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andresohc
07-30-2004, 11:55 AM
I saw the earlier thread on wifi stuff and it threw MEK on a smoldering fire. I havent been listening to my cd collection as much due to it not being as convenient as other sources (Time Warner digital music channels, digital radio websites) Next thing I know I am feeding CDs to HAL (my computer)I have been attempting to upload my cd collection to my computer and could use some advice. I have about a 1000 cd collection that I wanted to create a lossless (or excellent sound quality) digital library. I am using the current windows media player (but have most other players somewhere available to). I have a self built 2.4Ghz P4 with 1gig RAM.
I have uploaded about 10% of my library and have over 30 gig of space taken up on my 111 gig hard drive. I am considering buying a dedicated external drive to accomodate the library, but me thinks barking in the dark on this, I may be missing something. Is there an easier way to archive/library cds (these are all store bought, official music that I want to listen to throughout my house with custom playlists, kind of creating my own digital radio station). I know I could compress but then I dont have a back up copy in case the original gets eaten. I am considering getting the latest wifi setup eventually so my speaker shop 120 feet back from my primary computer, can use my digital library as well.
Anyway, hints and allegations appreciated (websites, previous success stories etc.)

boputnam
07-30-2004, 12:13 PM
Andre...

Can't tell from your post - but I'm guessing you're using .wav files? (I've not used Media Player for this...)

andresohc
07-30-2004, 01:43 PM
What I read when I selected Media player was that the current update has "lossless" mathematical storage (bit for bit). Sounded good. They say they create Windows Media Audio files, which now, I dont if are universal. Now I have a question about the flexibility. Apparently I dont know enough to know what I know. I could use some websites, references to check into the differences.

boputnam
07-30-2004, 01:58 PM
Take a look at the file extensions - that will tell you a great deal. They may be .wma or something.

Best - simply the only lossless option (to my knowledge) - are .wav files. However, these are ENOURMOUS. A typical four-minute song can be 30-40 MBytes. But, it is the only fully universally compatible file format and has no compression.

I have not embarked on the journey you're on - some friends have, but have wrongly, IMO, opted for a .mp3 format. This has compression I can hear, but they care not. The compression option certainly saves orders-of-magnitude storage space - but IMO that is a false economy.

Nero offers a functional "tracks to HD" option, with many output format options. Default appears to be .mp3PRO, but I go .wav.

I think this overall remains a very manual, iterative, and personal experience...

jblnut
07-30-2004, 02:52 PM
Yes this truly is a very personal experience :-). Here's what I did with my 1k cd colllection...

First, spend the $20 and get MusicMatch as your player/ripper of choice. It's head and shoulders above the rest in terms of capabilities and ease of use. I chose to convert my CD's into mp3 for several reasons. First off, it's pretty much the standard and you now have your music in a format that can be played on many devices. Secondly, it does offer tremendous compression - I have about 12k songs in 80gb. I did a LOT of listening tests on the 4410's in my studio and decided on a 192k bit rate. That's the point (for me) where it gets harder and harder to tell the difference. Next, I bought a USB FM transmitter that just pops into any USB slot on any computer you have. It mutes the PC speakers and brodcasts whatever your computer is doing over the airwaves. Bingo - the same music at the same time all over the house, yard, etc. There are many more expensive ways to do this, but think about it - you probably have FM radios everywhere already.

Now, this is certainly not the ultimate in sound quality - first because I mp3'd them and then broadcasted them. BUT, for the ridiculous ease and low cost of this solution it's very hard to beat. I find that I listen to a lot more music now simply because it's so damn easy. I have a 3500 song playlist I use at work, and several smaller ones at home.

And hey - when you want high quality you can still pull out the CD and put it into the player on your favorite stereo in the house.

There's my $.02...good luck with whatever you decide.

Oh, and if you want me to build you a PC with 1TB in it so that you can store everything in .wav format just let me know. I just finished one here today in the lab. Four 250gb disks and a RAID controller are under $1k (plus the regular PC parts, figure $1.5k total)

jblnut

andresohc
07-30-2004, 02:59 PM
Good luck finding an extension file type name on XP explorer. I had to copy and paste into an email. Gave a .wma file name. 27 meg file. Trying to copy a file name from explorer in the properties field yields this, C:\Documents and Settings\FLENETTE\My Documents\My Music\Neil Young\Unplugged which doesnt even have the name of the song on it. I knew Win 95 and 98. I cant stand this new explorer.
Anyway now I dont know if I should change the way I am saving these. I dont want to ever have to do this again. I will think this out.
Yeah it takes for ever, got nothing else to do. Three months of recovery. I cant do much physically as three of my vertabrae in my neck become one. Cant sleep, but I can mouse just fine, I can load cds, and I can listen to music. Could be worse.

boputnam
07-30-2004, 04:04 PM
In WinExplorer, choose "View/Details" - that should reveal extensions. There is also a winkie little button on the toolbar called "views" if you pause your cursor over it...

johnaec
07-30-2004, 06:15 PM
Actually, I think you want to go to the Tools pulldown menu in Explorer, choose Folder Options, select the View tab, then uncheck the option that says "Hide file extensions for known file types". I agree that viewing Details like Bo suggested is also best.

John

Don McRitchie
07-30-2004, 10:14 PM
Andresohc

You've probably made the most practical choice in using the lossless compression algorithm in Windows Media Player. There are quite a number of lossless compression programs out there as summarized here:

http://www.firstpr.com.au/audiocomp/lossless/

However, none of them integrate as seemlessly with playlists and libraries as does Media Player. For those using MAC's, iTunes was recently upgraded to include lossless compression so that it provides the same functionality. Lossless compression tends to reduce file sizes to about 50-60% of the original size, so I believe it is worth it. Conversely, I have hundreds of MP3's that are at least 160kb/s in quality, with many at 320 kb/s. All are noticably degraded from the uncompressed CD's.

A 200GB drive, which can be had for less than $150, would store around 600CD's using lossless compression. To me the biggest investment is the time to rip and store all of your CD's. To protect this investment, I would be very concerned about backups. In the past, I have used a second hard drive just for this purpose. Recently, I bought a new PC. This has allowed me to turn my old PC into a dedicated backup machine. I would suggest that you consider some kind of backup scheme..

Regading the longevity of the Media Player lossless format, it probably has as good a chance as any of becoming a standard. After all, it's only included on 200 million PC's ;) Right now, the market is new enough that no dominent standard currently exists.

boputnam
07-30-2004, 11:00 PM
Originally posted by Don McRitchie
...the market is new enough that no dominent standard currently exists. :yes:

Great post, Don. Tough (and long-lasting...) decisions, for sure.

"no dominant standard" = .wav as the only sure bet. But, the trade-off on LARGE file size is material. Very material. Period. That is because .wav contains all the data, un-nuthing. Raw. IMO, that's best for storing music datafiles which as a data type are certain to benefit from all the current focus, and best practices and formats are sure to evolve. Key word is "evolve". What's the hurry? No-one needs end-up unintentionally with Betamax, hey? :( So, were I so inclined, I'd make a non-decision and go .wav, and wait for the technology to catch-up. It will... If it's worth doing (therein reaffirms your purpose...), do it whole.

That's why I've not yet done it - except on all my live source material, which lives-on as .wav ... :slink:

andresohc
07-30-2004, 11:04 PM
My plan today was to go buy a second 250 or so gig harddrive just for copying music to, and adding it to my computer as a "slave?" drive so I dont use all my space on the active drive. There is one that is in Frys flyer today that is external and USB, my guess is it is significantly slower with USB hook ups, but I will ask tomorrow when I look. I hate to be selective about the music but 250 gig will leave out about 20% of my collection. I hadnt planned on burning new cds for all, probably just my favs that I beat up in the car.
What is exciting me is the possibility of making some kick ass playlists, do some randomnizing, and broadcasting on wifi at zero loss to all over my garage. Andres digital radio. I probably wouldnt have the same level of repetition as the Time Warner digital stations, and the sound will be much better i hope. My music system is in the garage (where my XPL200As will be joining the fracus sometime in the next three months maybe).

boputnam
07-30-2004, 11:09 PM
Originally posted by andresohc
What is exciting me is the possibility of making some kick ass playlists, do some randomnizing, and broadcasting on wifi at zero loss to all over my garage. Andres digital radio. Dood, there is a real easy way - for that application, at least.

Go XM Radio. It is exactly what you describe, and you don't have the IT headache. I'm thinkin' Channel 40, "Deep Tracks" (http://www.xmradio.com/programming/channel_page.jsp?ch=40) will keep you fulfilled 90% of the time. :hmm:

Don McRitchie
07-31-2004, 12:00 AM
Bo

I'm not sure if it is clear, but lossless compression has all of the benefits of .wav files but at half the space. When played back, the file is uncompressed and becomes a bit for bit equivalent of the .wav file from which it was created. If need be, you can burn the files back to a CD in .wav format and they will be exactly the same as the original.

andresohc
07-31-2004, 12:04 AM
I checked out some of their playlists, good stuff. I evaled XM about a year ago, excellent idea, especially when I worked in the field, out in a car all day. For me its another new stand alone system that doesnt complement other systems I have in place. The IT thing also allows me to get internet to my shop, transfer data back and forth between my future testing computer to my main computer inside, plus being an ex DJ I have control issues about my playlists. I am constantly critiquing how others set up the channels playlists, thinking I can do better. Arrogance and ignorance, ah yes, at least I am not running for president.
I think my whole problem stems from watching too much of the original Star Trek as a kid and aspiring to be a set builder so I could make cheasy things with buttons knobs and lights. :D

boputnam
07-31-2004, 12:55 PM
Hey, Don...

Thanks, I know. I worry - perhaps needlessly - that we're vulnerable to buying into this the way many did to Dolby NR (I never did...). Maybe there was much to that which failed due to being analogue and of no tape speed standard. The going from deck to deck was an worthless exercise, and lots of seemingly good recordings were for naught. The best tapes I have in the archives are those that are simply the pure stuff.

I just shudder at going through all this, then 5- or 10-yrs down the road the algorithm changes and there is information loss (or gain... :eek: ). Maybe I'm tiliting at windmills...

boputnam
08-07-2004, 04:10 PM
I was just kinda shuffling around the shop getting organized for a gig, and realize the bit about XM that we don't think about, enough. OK, it's all been digitized by them, but instead of listening to MY library, I'm treated to wonderful stuff I missed along the way. Things even fanatics of the various groups may not have heard. Obscure shows, covers, outtakes, etc. Off topic, but riviting stuff none-the-less, hey?

Doesn't solve the uploading probem - perhaps it only increases it!! :slink:

andresohc
08-07-2004, 07:15 PM
Thanks Bo, I agree with what you are saying about hearing new stuff and enjoying new experiences. I find myself more open to this at different points in my life, and today while I was listening to a playlist I made and reading the new Sandford novel, I was feeling as good as I have in several years. Sometimes re experiencing what I have can be soothing and therapeutic. Probably will be back into experimenting in six months to a year.
Question: Does anyone know how to upgrade the sound in P4 board with inboard sound card. All I have is the 1.5 mm stereo jack that is used for the computer speakers. There is a digital coaxial ouput that doesnt seem to have any output. There is also a optical digital output which I havent tried yet. What I am concerned about is the programs for sound playback through Soundmatch digital audio, and MIDI playback through MIDI microsoft GS wavelength SW Synth. Are these adequate and if not, where and what can I download or buy that is optimal. Also are there hotrodded sound cards that significantly improve sound. I am not into all the DSP, just the pure sound.

morbo!
10-25-2005, 09:03 PM
i like to encode my mp3`s at 256 kbps
i find it sounds better than 128
and dislike wma
and prolly get a high end sound card if you can really here the diffrence
between your pc and your cd-dvd
p.s cool edit is awsome for recording your vinal to pc
ive made $1000`s doing this for people who`s record players have given up the ghost but still want to listen to their hard to replace vinal collection

technics turntables rule

morbo!
10-26-2005, 09:51 PM
Disable your onboard sound card in your bios.
Then go guy a good 1.
you have to enable the digital out but its really not worth it ive heard to many on board sound cards to like them .
Mine is disabled in bios and found a huge diffrence when i installed the blaster audoilgy but this is kinda old now i want the 2

morbo!


Thanks Bo, I agree with what you are saying about hearing new stuff and enjoying new experiences. I find myself more open to this at different points in my life, and today while I was listening to a playlist I made and reading the new Sandford novel, I was feeling as good as I have in several years. Sometimes re experiencing what I have can be soothing and therapeutic. Probably will be back into experimenting in six months to a year.
Question: Does anyone know how to upgrade the sound in P4 board with inboard sound card. All I have is the 1.5 mm stereo jack that is used for the computer speakers. There is a digital coaxial ouput that doesnt seem to have any output. There is also a optical digital output which I havent tried yet. What I am concerned about is the programs for sound playback through Soundmatch digital audio, and MIDI playback through MIDI microsoft GS wavelength SW Synth. Are these adequate and if not, where and what can I download or buy that is optimal. Also are there hotrodded sound cards that significantly improve sound. I am not into all the DSP, just the pure sound.

Fred Sanford
10-27-2005, 02:29 PM
If you've got the bucks, or a whole-house control system such as Crestron, these units are a tidy and good-sounding solution:

www.request.com (http://www.request.com/)

http://www.request.com/pdf/newfseries.pdf

I do quite a bit of R&D for them, and my company's a dealer, so take that for what it's worth. My favorite aspects would be the auto-syncing/emergency backup (I add a song to my master unit in NY, it automatically backs up via ethernet to my slave unit in PA) and remote access (I can stream playlists or download songs from my home servers to any computer anywhere) and internet radio (I can set up playlists and advertise an IP/port, and folks can point their players at it & listen to whatever I've got playing).

je
...closing in on 40,000 song files...yikes...

hjames
08-02-2007, 12:52 PM
Can you ballpark define what "if you have the bucks for a Celestron" might mean? I gather its a library unit and a series of receiver/interface units .With the Apple gear I already had the computer in use as a library, so I just needed to get the receiver unit for the high-fi room - the AppleTV uses our TV to see the interface and I can scroll through the library, pick any artist, song, album, playlist etc and have it go from there.

When I convert from FLAC files (Mermen concerts and such) it dumps to 1411kbps AIFF or WAV format - I can dump those into iTunes but they are huge - I usually downsize them to 320kbps AAC files just so they are portable.

I don't really need to web-stream them - home use only is fine.




If you've got the bucks, or a whole-house control system such as Crestron, these units are a tidy and good-sounding solution:

www.request.com (http://www.request.com/)

http://www.request.com/pdf/newfseries.pdf

I do quite a bit of R&D for them, and my company's a dealer, so take that for what it's worth. My favorite aspects would be the auto-syncing/emergency backup (I add a song to my master unit in NY, it automatically backs up via ethernet to my slave unit in PA) and remote access (I can stream playlists or download songs from my home servers to any computer anywhere) and internet radio (I can set up playlists and advertise an IP/port, and folks can point their players at it & listen to whatever I've got playing).

je
...closing in on 40,000 song files...yikes...

Fred Sanford
08-02-2007, 04:32 PM
Can you ballpark define what "if you have the bucks for a Celestron" might mean? I gather its a library unit and a series of receiver/interface units .With the Apple gear I already had the computer in use as a library, so I just needed to get the receiver unit for the high-fi room - the AppleTV uses our TV to see the interface and I can scroll through the library, pick any artist, song, album, playlist etc and have it go from there.

When I convert from FLAC files (Mermen concerts and such) it dumps to 1411kbps AIFF or WAV format - I can dump those into iTunes but they are huge - I usually downsize them to 320kbps AAC files just so they are portable.

I don't really need to web-stream them - home use only is fine.

http://www.crestron.com/features/applications/home/

Crestron is a control system, sort of ties together all the electronics in the house to one interface/manager. The ReQuest units I mentioned are music servers can be controlled via RS232, Ethernet/IP, or IR. Remember when we were talking about Universal Remotes? Think of Crestron as the money-is-no-object Universal Remote to control your house-wide AV, your lighting, your HVAC, your windows & curtains, your security system & cameras, blah blah blah. ReQuest can be used as a stand-alone and work well. I'm still putting my system together (lots of other home-improvement stuff lately), but once I have one or more of them accessible remotely I'll give you a demo. They're getting better and better at playing nice with ITunes, too, but I haven't tested it yet:

http://request.com/products/netsyncforitunes.asp

Both companies have lower-budget whole-house systems that are pretty affordable & easy to set up, and also have the ability to get way expensive (I've done systems over $1,000,000).

I worked for one of the biggest dealers of both companies for years, but no longer do- take that for what it's worth.

je

hjames
08-02-2007, 04:53 PM
Yeah - the iTunes Airports Express unit - (Just a blind receiver, basically a remote speaker within your house to send a local stream to) is $99.
The Apple TV which is a dedicated computer that connects to your TV (or HDTV) as an interface for streaming movies, photos and such around your house, or to sync with your music library) is roughly $300 for 40 gig unit or $400 for a 160 gig unit. Both expect you to have a computer in the house to "hub" from. Is the crestron anywhere near that, say, $1000 complete price range?

I don't need exact prics, and I know everything can be expanded, I was just wondering where it fits in the world a la slingbox, apple TV, Win Media and the other media hub systems ...

Fred Sanford
08-02-2007, 07:23 PM
We're talking two different things here. Might be better discussed real-time rather than typing.

The ReQuest units are fancy music servers that are also very, very smart archive setups, particularly if you have multiple dwellings or want one in your house & one in your office.

The Crestron stuff is a large family of control components that need to be designed & programmed to play together to control just about anything you can dream of controlling.

You're not touching either of these in the $1K range, more like a basic setup in the $4K-5K range? We turned down systems if they were under about $90K, wasn't worth our time- so, I'm not really up on the lower budget setups. I can certainly discuss how elements of either could help you, though.

Another smaller IPod-friendly system I had set up & played with is the SpeakerCraft Mode system, if you want whole-house audio with decent Ipod control & a music server it seemed pretty decent:

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/audiovideo/2149/speakercraft-mode-multiroom-audio-system.html

je

hjames
08-02-2007, 08:11 PM
well, I guess what we now have works nicely and fits our budget - I don't have much call to listen to my stream via internet from distant places. I dupe the library to an external firewire drive every month, and I alternate so I keep two complete backups on hand - takes about 1 1/2 hours these days (about 135 gigs).

Titanium Dome
08-03-2007, 03:12 PM
I've seen a few reQuests on ebay for around $1100. I've wondered if they are user installable or if contractor installation is really the way to go.

Right now I have my Harmony 1000 controlling my MacBook Pro/Airport Express/FAP T1+/FAA1000.5/Performance Series "digital music" option. It works quite well for me. However, it'd be great to get that library onto a dedicated unit.

Fred Sanford
08-04-2007, 07:16 AM
Hit me PM or e-mail re: ReQuests, there's lots of info to know. Older units ran QNX, newer run Linux- big differences in features & support. Yes, you could set it up with some network knowledge, and I could help you through before purchase or after.

je