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MP3 player

Posted by rkj 
February 25, 2009 02:15PM
I know, my gf is an audiologist, selling hearing aids. Some of her customers are rather young...
rkj
February 25, 2009 04:40PM
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Cab Treadway
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rkj
Sort of, I'm inserting a normal cd in and putting it on itunes (not downloading it from itunes, I do not do that, if I want music I buy a cd or rent it from the library) and then burning it there to another blank cd-mp3 format?

The music files on a CD you bought at the store are not MP3 format. When you use iTunes or another program to take files from a CD on to your computer (commonly called "ripping" songs), the files you end up with will be in whatever format you choose. You can heavily compress them to allow you to fit more of them on your computer/iPod/whatever, but that will result in the most loss of the original file. You can specify that the files be converted in a "lossless" format, in which case you do not lose any of the original file, but it will take up just as much space on your computer as it takes on the CD. You trade off sound quality for storage capacity.

So if you have essentially unlimited data storage and just want your music on your computer, you can rip the CDs into lossless files, and then you will essentially be making an exact copy of the complete original file, but storing a few hundred CDs worth of music will consume a lot of disk space. Compressing them allows more music in the same disk space, but the files have some loss. I'd recommend ripping a few songs at different rates, from lossless on down, then listening to them through whatever medium you will be using, and see if the music sounds acceptable to you. If you're just going to listen with the computer's speakers or cheap, low quality headphones, having compressed files may not matter to you.

Now, once the songs are on the computer, what you do with them is up to you. You can turn around and burn them back onto a blank CD, but as I mentioned above, once information is lost, it cannot be recovered. So if you ripped the CD onto the computer using a compression like MP3, when you put that same file onto another CD, you will not get the original file back, it can only be as good as the MP3. If you have a CD player in your car that can play MP3 CDs, this might be okay. You can put a lot more MP3 files on one CD than normal music files. So if you want to have a few physical CDs in your car but have lots of CDs' worth of music, you can do it this way.

Basically, the old rule still applies; there is no free lunch. Importing files onto a player or computer with no loss will take up a lot of memory, and limit the amount of songs you can have. Importing files with compression so you can fit more songs will cause a loss of quality that can never be recovered. Whether or not the loss of quality is acceptable is up to you. I have something like 350 CDs' worth of music on my iPod (more on my laptop), and the quality doesn't bother me, because of how I use the device. But I'm not giving up my CD collection, because I don't want to lose the original songs.

Thanks Cab, that's perfectly clear.
February 26, 2009 03:35AM
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Dave_G
iTunes is evil. There are better audio software packages for your computer, and MUCH better places to purchase downloads.

If anyone cares for an opinion on the other side of the educated bias, feel free to PM me.
Otherwise, I think I'll keep my gasoline soaked opinions away from the sparks I see flying.
We wouldn't want to end up with any flames in our nice new forum, now would we? ;-)
February 26, 2009 06:50AM
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Earendil
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Dave_G
iTunes is evil. There are better audio software packages for your computer, and MUCH better places to purchase downloads.

If anyone cares for an opinion on the other side of the educated bias, feel free to PM me.
Otherwise, I think I'll keep my gasoline soaked opinions away from the sparks I see flying.
We wouldn't want to end up with any flames in our nice new forum, now would we? ;-)

i want to hear your opinion here.

i can't remember exactly what computer you have, but if you have a mac, your opinion about itunes may be different than the opinion of windows users.

I have used itunes quite a bit (regrettably) on both windows and OS X, and it amazes me how much better the program performs on a mac, regardless of the specs of the computer running it. it only makes sense since it is a program made by apple, but still, by version 8 one would think there would be some equality.

put simply
if i had a mac, i wouldn't even start to think about finding another music management program for my computer. but, i have windows, and i reluctantly use itunes to sync and update my iphone, while another program handles the actual listening of music.

i don't mind going into exact differences if someone cares to hear.


February 26, 2009 09:40AM
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daniel
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Earendil
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Dave_G
iTunes is evil. There are better audio software packages for your computer, and MUCH better places to purchase downloads.

If anyone cares for an opinion on the other side of the educated bias, feel free to PM me.
Otherwise, I think I'll keep my gasoline soaked opinions away from the sparks I see flying.
We wouldn't want to end up with any flames in our nice new forum, now would we? ;-)

i want to hear your opinion here.

i can't remember exactly what computer you have, but if you have a mac, your opinion about itunes may be different than the opinion of windows users.

I have used itunes quite a bit (regrettably) on both windows and OS X, and it amazes me how much better the program performs on a mac, regardless of the specs of the computer running it. it only makes sense since it is a program made by apple, but still, by version 8 one would think there would be some equality.

put simply
if i had a mac, i wouldn't even start to think about finding another music management program for my computer. but, i have windows, and i reluctantly use itunes to sync and update my iphone, while another program handles the actual listening of music.

i don't mind going into exact differences if someone cares to hear.

Agreed, discussions of this type have never gotten out of hand and nearly always prove educational.
If Tyler does have a Mac: which is a superior machine to any Windows setup; he probably does hear much better sound than on something else.

I don't know what the state of the art in sound cards for Windows machines is these days but there used to be some pretty awesome products that you could upgrade the system with. I once had a Turtle Beach card that played back incredible sound; through my hi-fi head phones and through a pretty decent pair of Koss speakers.
My current computers just have the onboard sound chips and are adequate for the poor quality of most internet radio compressions.

So, come on Tyler; let's hear about what you hear. Just like engineers; some digital, some analog; we all hear differently or there wouldn't be anything to discuss grinning smiley
February 26, 2009 03:42PM
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Archeo-peteriX

Agreed, discussions of this type have never gotten out of hand and nearly always prove educational.
If Tyler does have a Mac: which is a superior machine to any Windows setup; he probably does hear much better sound than on something else.

I don't know what the state of the art in sound cards for Windows machines is these days but there used to be some pretty awesome products that you could upgrade the system with. I once had a Turtle Beach card that played back incredible sound; through my hi-fi head phones and through a pretty decent pair of Koss speakers.
My current computers just have the onboard sound chips and are adequate for the poor quality of most internet radio compressions.

So, come on Tyler; let's hear about what you hear. Just like engineers; some digital, some analog; we all hear differently or there wouldn't be anything to discuss grinning smiley

its not so much the sound quality. i imagine they are the same between normal computers, whether they be PCs or Macs.

I am referring to the actual stability and performance of the program, and how much RAM it uses to run, etc.


rkj
March 01, 2009 02:26PM
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daniel
Quote
Earendil
Quote
Dave_G
iTunes is evil. There are better audio software packages for your computer, and MUCH better places to purchase downloads.

If anyone cares for an opinion on the other side of the educated bias, feel free to PM me.
Otherwise, I think I'll keep my gasoline soaked opinions away from the sparks I see flying.
We wouldn't want to end up with any flames in our nice new forum, now would we? ;-)

i want to hear your opinion here.

i can't remember exactly what computer you have, but if you have a mac, your opinion about itunes may be different than the opinion of windows users.

I have used itunes quite a bit (regrettably) on both windows and OS X, and it amazes me how much better the program performs on a mac, regardless of the specs of the computer running it. it only makes sense since it is a program made by apple, but still, by version 8 one would think there would be some equality.

put simply
if i had a mac, i wouldn't even start to think about finding another music management program for my computer. but, i have windows, and i reluctantly use itunes to sync and update my iphone, while another program handles the actual listening of music.

i don't mind going into exact differences if someone cares to hear.

Daniel, So this means you, like Dave use another program for your music, what it it please?

On my larger laptop it cam with arcade, would that be considered a good program to use. I know I will get a music machine (MP3 like thing, I like the no hard drive angle) sometime soon and know it will see hard use (on the road with the motorcycle) camping and such.

I see both of us sitting around the campfire with our helmets on listening to music, both plugged into the little splitter/intercom box I just bought grinning smiley
March 01, 2009 02:56PM
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rkj
Daniel, So this means you, like Dave use another program for your music, what it it please?

On my larger laptop it cam with arcade, would that be considered a good program to use. I know I will get a music machine (MP3 like thing, I like the no hard drive angle) sometime soon and know it will see hard use (on the road with the motorcycle) camping and such.

I see both of us sitting around the campfire with our helmets on listening to music, both plugged into the little splitter/intercom box I just bought grinning smiley

haha, you could also get a cheap pair of portable speakers, then you wouldnt have to wear your helmets.

My favorite lightweight (meaning: doesn't slow down your computer) music management program is called foobar2000. It has a really simple interface, which is also completely customizable, and it supports every audio format known to man. the only downside is that it cannot manage devices, so one cannot sync their ipod or other mp3 player with it, and i am not sure if one can rip or burn cds. my favorite robust, more graphically impressive music player is windows media player (whatever the latest version is). Even though it consumes more RAM during use, it looks prettier, you can rip and burn cds, and it supports hundreds of mp3 players for syncing music (not the ipod).

the ipod is fairly easy to use, but frankly i find the process of getting music onto the device to be quite a hassle. it would be much easier if you got a music player that supported windows explorer drag and drop, meaning you can just open up its location in windows, and drag the music folders you have onto its location, and it will copy it for you. then, when you access the music from the mp3 player, everything is organized based on either the folder structure (Music\Beatles\White Album\etc...) or by the metadata, which is the hidden information within each mp3 file that contain the track title, artist, composer, genre, etc.

edit: there is a program called songbird also that is very nice, that supports both ipods and non-ipods. it looks an awful lot like itunes, but since it is open-source, like firefox, it is easily customizable and has a lot of people developing things for it.


rkj
March 01, 2009 07:16PM
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daniel
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rkj
Daniel, So this means you, like Dave use another program for your music, what it it please?

On my larger laptop it cam with arcade, would that be considered a good program to use. I know I will get a music machine (MP3 like thing, I like the no hard drive angle) sometime soon and know it will see hard use (on the road with the motorcycle) camping and such.

I see both of us sitting around the campfire with our helmets on listening to music, both plugged into the little splitter/intercom box I just bought grinning smiley

haha, you could also get a cheap pair of portable speakers, then you wouldnt have to wear your helmets.

My favorite lightweight (meaning: doesn't slow down your computer) music management program is called foobar2000. It has a really simple interface, which is also completely customizable, and it supports every audio format known to man. the only downside is that it cannot manage devices, so one cannot sync their ipod or other mp3 player with it, and i am not sure if one can rip or burn cds. my favorite robust, more graphically impressive music player is windows media player (whatever the latest version is). Even though it consumes more RAM during use, it looks prettier, you can rip and burn cds, and it supports hundreds of mp3 players for syncing music (not the ipod).

the ipod is fairly easy to use, but frankly i find the process of getting music onto the device to be quite a hassle. it would be much easier if you got a music player that supported windows explorer drag and drop, meaning you can just open up its location in windows, and drag the music folders you have onto its location, and it will copy it for you. then, when you access the music from the mp3 player, everything is organized based on either the folder structure (Music\Beatles\White Album\etc...) or by the metadata, which is the hidden information within each mp3 file that contain the track title, artist, composer, genre, etc.

edit: there is a program called songbird also that is very nice, that supports both ipods and non-ipods. it looks an awful lot like itunes, but since it is open-source, like firefox, it is easily customizable and has a lot of people developing things for it.

grinning smiley Right Daniel, but on a motorbike you want to take the least amount of crap! speakers don't make the list baby. Thats why those little mp3 players looked so good, even if the quality is less good, some have radios that might be more important to us at times thumbs up

I think I'd want software that would allow me to take music off and on the player easily from the computer, is this even possible?, and are the radios in these players any good???, songbird might fit this bill, no?

Thank You
March 01, 2009 10:06PM
Yes, the players you can drag and drop from can have the music taken off easily also. You can also get the music from more than one computer, which you can't do with an iPod.


March 02, 2009 07:57AM
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daniel
the ipod is fairly easy to use, but frankly i find the process of getting music onto the device to be quite a hassle. it would be much easier if you got a music player that supported windows explorer drag and drop, meaning you can just open up its location in windows, and drag the music folders you have onto its location, and it will copy it for you. then, when you access the music from the mp3 player, everything is organized based on either the folder structure (Music\Beatles\White Album\etc...) or by the metadata, which is the hidden information within each mp3 file that contain the track title, artist, composer, genre, etc.

I definitely agree with the access to the iPod being annoying. However, since I hardly ever add or remove songs from mine, it doesn't really bother me. The last time I did, though, I could swear that I just plugged the iPod into a USB port on the computer, and dragged and dropped files from it. Maybe not, it has been a while. My opinion of the iPod is the same as many other Apple products: looks great, stylish, a good product that tends to be fairly robust and easy to use, however you have to play within the strict rules that they impose. I would like it a whole lot more if I could just do something very simple, like change the battery, without needing an instructional video and several prayers hoping I don't break it!

I have used iTunes for years on various PCs, desktops and laptops, and have never had a problem with it. However, I've also never looked at other applications, so I have nothing to compare it against. But it's never crashed, noticeably slowed down my system, or bothered me in any way at all. Typically I use it for just listening to music through my headphones while I'm at work, and I really like the Genius function. I just select a song I'm in the mood for that day, hit the Genius button, and it generates a playlist of "similar" songs from my library. For me, that's all I would ask it to do. I'm sure there are other programs out there that are as good or better, but I really can't complain about iTunes, it's been fantastic for how I use it. I also have used it to rip all my CDs, burn some, and I've purchased a very small number of songs from the Store.

Cab
1990 325i(s)
2004 325XiT
March 02, 2009 02:08PM
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Cab Treadway
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daniel
the ipod is fairly easy to use, but frankly i find the process of getting music onto the device to be quite a hassle. it would be much easier if you got a music player that supported windows explorer drag and drop, meaning you can just open up its location in windows, and drag the music folders you have onto its location, and it will copy it for you. then, when you access the music from the mp3 player, everything is organized based on either the folder structure (Music\Beatles\White Album\etc...) or by the metadata, which is the hidden information within each mp3 file that contain the track title, artist, composer, genre, etc.

I definitely agree with the access to the iPod being annoying. However, since I hardly ever add or remove songs from mine, it doesn't really bother me. The last time I did, though, I could swear that I just plugged the iPod into a USB port on the computer, and dragged and dropped files from it. Maybe not, it has been a while. My opinion of the iPod is the same as many other Apple products: looks great, stylish, a good product that tends to be fairly robust and easy to use, however you have to play within the strict rules that they impose. I would like it a whole lot more if I could just do something very simple, like change the battery, without needing an instructional video and several prayers hoping I don't break it!

I have used iTunes for years on various PCs, desktops and laptops, and have never had a problem with it. However, I've also never looked at other applications, so I have nothing to compare it against. But it's never crashed, noticeably slowed down my system, or bothered me in any way at all. Typically I use it for just listening to music through my headphones while I'm at work, and I really like the Genius function. I just select a song I'm in the mood for that day, hit the Genius button, and it generates a playlist of "similar" songs from my library. For me, that's all I would ask it to do. I'm sure there are other programs out there that are as good or better, but I really can't complain about iTunes, it's been fantastic for how I use it. I also have used it to rip all my CDs, burn some, and I've purchased a very small number of songs from the Store.

To add music to your ipod, you must tell it to sync with certain playlists, which you have to create. At least that is how mine works if I don't want it to take a random sampling from my whole library until the player fills up.

Maybe iTunes plays better with XP compared to Vista?


March 03, 2009 06:45AM
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daniel
To add music to your ipod, you must tell it to sync with certain playlists, which you have to create. At least that is how mine works if I don't want it to take a random sampling from my whole library until the player fills up.

Maybe iTunes plays better with XP compared to Vista?

Like I said, it's been a long time since I actually moved songs on or off the iPod itself. That mostly sits at home in the dock, and I just plug headphones into my laptop at work and run iTunes. But I don't remember it being that difficult. You want iTunes to not automatically sync with the iPod, so you don't wipe it out every time you connect it, but as I recall, once I connected the iPod to the computer and opened iTunes, I could drag and drop songs/playlists/etc from my music library to/from the iPod, within iTunes. But maybe I'm remembering wrong. Anyway, I guess I just don't see the great evil of iTunes, it's worked great for me, and I use it just about every day as a player. Maybe if I did more, like regularly download podcasts or purchase music, or sync with my iPod regularly, I'd be frustrated. I dunno.

Cab
1990 325i(s)
2004 325XiT
March 15, 2009 02:27AM
Hi All,

Here is another MP3 question. I have a iPod Nano wihch was a gift. I've also started running (well, more like jogging) recently. I'm up to 3 miles on the treadmill. Lately I've been thinking of buying some pop/R&B music for the Pod which really helps me to keep moving. I was thinking of buying and downloading single songs rather than whole albums. (My CD collection is mostly jazz which is not good for my running.) Now running implys all types of background noise: treadmill machine, breathing, heart beat, etc. I use earbud headphones to reduce the weight.

Given these factors (background noise, earbuds) do you think that there is ANY disavantage to buying and downloading MP3 songs rather than CDs? I probably would not listen to the excercise music at other times.

If you have thoughts, pls let me know. :-) Kelly
March 15, 2009 04:52AM
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Kelly
Hi All,

Here is another MP3 question. I have a iPod Nano wihch was a gift. I've also started running (well, more like jogging) recently. I'm up to 3 miles on the treadmill. Lately I've been thinking of buying some pop/R&B music for the Pod which really helps me to keep moving. I was thinking of buying and downloading single songs rather than whole albums. (My CD collection is mostly jazz which is not good for my running.) Now running implys all types of background noise: treadmill machine, breathing, heart beat, etc. I use earbud headphones to reduce the weight.

Given these factors (background noise, earbuds) do you think that there is ANY disavantage to buying and downloading MP3 songs rather than CDs? I probably would not listen to the excercise music at other times.

If you have thoughts, pls let me know. :-) Kelly

no disadvantages. mp3 sound quality is fine for everything unless trying to get some kind of reference quality sound from high quality speakers.


March 15, 2009 02:06PM
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Cab Treadway
Quote
daniel
To add music to your ipod, you must tell it to sync with certain playlists, which you have to create. At least that is how mine works if I don't want it to take a random sampling from my whole library until the player fills up.

Maybe iTunes plays better with XP compared to Vista?

Like I said, it's been a long time since I actually moved songs on or off the iPod itself. That mostly sits at home in the dock, and I just plug headphones into my laptop at work and run iTunes. But I don't remember it being that difficult. You want iTunes to not automatically sync with the iPod, so you don't wipe it out every time you connect it, but as I recall, once I connected the iPod to the computer and opened iTunes, I could drag and drop songs/playlists/etc from my music library to/from the iPod, within iTunes. But maybe I'm remembering wrong. Anyway, I guess I just don't see the great evil of iTunes, it's worked great for me, and I use it just about every day as a player. Maybe if I did more, like regularly download podcasts or purchase music, or sync with my iPod regularly, I'd be frustrated. I dunno.

You aren't remembering wrong. Of course, to each his own, but iTunes certainly isn't "difficult" by any standards.

I personally have a library of 30gigs or so, and an iPod that can hold 8gigs. I use Smart Playlists to manage most of the stuff on my iPod, and it works brilliantly. Most people don't take advantage of smart playlists, so here's how it works.
iTunes allows for playlists that have conditions. For example, you can create a playlist that will hold all songs played in the last 5 days, and then iTunes will auto-populate the playlist with all music matching that criteria.

I have a number of SmartPlaylists that reside on my iPod:
1. All Music rated 4 and 5 stars
2. All music rated 4 and 5 stars, but limited that to 50 songs that were played the least recently. (I love this playlist btw)
3. All music added to my computer in the last week
4. All music added to my computer in the last month
And in addition, I have other manual playlists that I pop on and off.

However the genius here is that I don't manage my iPod, the Smart Playlists do it for me. You can image that I buy a new CD, and load it onto my computer. Guess what? It gets added automatically. I find an old song that I realize I really like. Rate it 4 or 5 stars and it also gets added.

Podcasts are no different. They auto download to your computer like any podcast, but they can also be added to you iPod automatically using a smart playlist. Over the summer I had large spans of time that I was capable of listening to something and paying attention to it, so I have a number of NPR shows loaded up.

In addition, since I use an Apple computer (Yes, I am part of at least two elitist groups winking smiley ) iTunes is capable of managing all the media on my iPod, not just music. And it can do so using the same smart playlists. I don't know how well this concept gets integrated on the windows side. But, to each his own :-)

Oh yeah, and it's not true that you can have your iPod only synced to one computer at a time, and it'll wipe it if you plug it into another computer.
If you want the auto-magic sync abilities, than yes, it has to associate it's self so it knows what is knew, and what isn't (but that is a duh, right?). However you can use an iPod across multiple computers if you want to manage the music manually within iTunes.
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