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mp3 very basic questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by george kaplan, Dec 2, 2001.

  1. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    First of all, I think this qualifies as a hardware question, and I see lots of questions here about dvd-audio vs. SACD, but if an admin wants to move this to music or something, go ahead.

    I know almost nothing about MP3. I have no interest in downloading mp3 files off the web. However, I've seen this mp3 jukebox at Best Buy that supposedly holds some riduculous amount of 'cd-quality' music (100 hours?), and can supposedly allow you to import music from cds. I have a very large cd collection, and the thought of being able to put a lot of that music in one easily mobile device intrigues me. I have a cd burner, but that only gives me the ability to reallocate 74 minutes worth of music.

    I guess my questions are as follows:

    1) How easy is it to transfer music from my cds to this mp3 jukebox?

    2) Is the music really going to be cd-quality?

    3) How big is the player? I've seen mp3 players that fit in your pocket, and others as big as portable cd players, and I couldn't tell from the Best Buy box how big this unit was. A smaller one (although it seems unlikely) would be a selling point to me.

    4) How is the music stored? Is it on some internal hard drive, or is it burned onto a compressed cd of some sort?

    5) Any other thoughts or opinions would be appreciated as well.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Dave Dugan

    Dave Dugan Stunt Coordinator

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    Assuming the unit you were looking at was the Creative Nomad Jukebox, then:

    1) No idea, as I've never used one. I believe this particular unit has some proprietary file transfer program...

    2) If I remember what I've read correctly, the Nomad's pretty flexible about file formats, so you should have a measure of control over the level of quality of the files you load.

    3) The Nomad's about the size of a fat CD player.

    4) The Nomad has a simple laptop hard drive inside. Other players (often smaller ones) use some form of flash memory. There also now exist MP3 CD players. These are essentially discmans that decode MP3s as well as playing straight redbook, allowing you to carry quite a bit of music on a standard CD-R.

    Hope any of this helps. Feel free to jump up my ass if I've gotten anything wrong.

    -Dave
     
  3. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    well as an owner of a Rio 800 MP3 Player I think i can help you here.

    1) I agree the one you were lookingat was liekly the Creative Nomad, it has a 20 Gig Harddrive, and i believe connects theough a USB cable, it would likely be a slow transfer, but the upside is you have it transfer over night and you should ahve the vast majority of your collection on one player.

    2) as far as quality goes well lets just say that MP3's are made for size, i personally usually encode at 96 or 128, what this means for me is there isn't much differenc from listening to them at this quality than there would eb if i listened to them on a discman, the main reason being the ehadphones i buy are usually cheap ones and are already a limiting factor.

    3) given the feelings of most of the people on this board and the things they have said so far (that I have read me still being a newbie) it seems most of you enjoy your sound quality above all, so if you are looking for a portable player id go for one of the smaller portale ones like a rio 800 lots of nice features and it hold 64 megs of music thats about 1-2 hours depending on quality. if you are lookign for convenience of having your music collection all in one place for a HT then id say go out and buy a 500 disc changer instead probably a better investment
     
  4. Leo

    Leo Second Unit

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    Well I have one of the new Apple iPod digital players. I love it. It works great with iTunes (Currently both products are Mac only). The unit is small as a deck of cards, holds about 1000 songs in 160bit rate format, has a 10 hour rechargeable battery, fast transfer via the built-in Firewire port (which also doubles as the systems charging port). Sound quality is excellent. It can support as high as 320bit rate audio format, is firmware upgradeable, supports Variable Bit Rate. Syncs automatically when plugged into Mac running iTunes. Also doubles as a portable hard drive. Is 5 GB hard drive (4.6 available due to formatting). http://www.apple.com/ipod for greater details.
    Leo
     
  5. BrentC

    BrentC Agent

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    I have the Nomad Jukebox as I speak I have 892 songs from 58 CDs on it. What it is is basically a minatureized laptop(it is the size of a fat cd player) It has a 6.0gig laptop harddrive and runs on an operating system just like a laptop. the lcd screen is large and backlit. there are 5.7 usable gigs of storage(the other bit goes to the OS) and after storing 892 songs I STILL HAVE 4.% GIGS LEFT!!!!!. I have run out of songs to put on the damn thing. As to the quality of the songs you can choose the bitrate that is used to store songs on the Jukebox(these are measured in Kilobytes per second) the higher the bitrate the higher quality. For Mp3s 128bits per second is "CD Quality" But remember ANY time you make a copy you are going to lose SOME quality. But I don't notice unless I listen Very critically to something complex like Classical music.

    But the best thing about the Jukebox is its upgradability.Because it runs on an OS unlike other MP3 Players. If you do get a juke box the first thing to do is to go to nomadworld.com and download the new Firmware. This allows you to use Newer audio formats. WMA(windows media audio) Is a music file that has CD quality at 64bits/second. That means they take UP HALF the room a MP3 takes up!!! That is the reason I have so much room left on My Jukebox. It is great for the car(buy adapter seperatly) or on the go.

    It is very easy to use. the software that comes with it is extremely intuitive.

    Ok now this is a first generation product so there are a few cons.

    Noise-the hard drive is wirring away almost all of the time. (this dosen't bother me I like Music LOUD)

    Battery- this thing Suck power. Harddrives need a lot of power to spin up. The rechargeable batteries it comes with last 4 Hours. To ofset this they give you two sets of batteries. This is the major problem with the Jukebox. I keep it plugged in at home or Plugged in in the car for this reason.

    Slow- not near as fast booting up or loading songs as other MP3 players. The start up time is particulaly slwo(10-15 seconds)

    All in all I am very happy with this machine. I use it primarily as a wicked huge car cd changer and sometimes for plane trips. It is not for jogging or everyday hiking use, to heavy and too fragile. but it fits my needs perfectly.

    If you have anymore questions plaese ask.
     
  6. Joe Schwartz

    Joe Schwartz Second Unit

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    I'll throw in my recommendation for the Archos Jukebox. I have the 20 GB version, which is more than I'll ever need. I've copied most of my 200 CDs onto it, and it still has over 10 GB free. It's relatively small, and the rechargeable batteries last about 9 hours.
     
  7. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Thank you all for the info. It gives me somethings to think on. [​IMG]
     
  8. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    George,

    Keep in mind that you could also set up a PC to do this. If you have an old computer laying around you could throw a big hard drive in it and be done. Even if you don't have an old computer- first gen pentium class machiens (like pent 75 or 100 mhz) are dirt cheap- and you could probably get one with a soundcard for under $100.

    You add a $150 drive (60 gigs), you could hold 3 times as much music as the jukebox, and could run your own applications for ripping from CD, you could design cutom playlists, etc.

    Anyway, just figured I'd throw out the option. If you're interested- drop me an email and I'd be happyto fill you in!

    -Vince
     
  9. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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    Vince,
    True enough...but Damn...Carrying that setup with you on the train would a pain in the neck!!
    [​IMG]
    I have a 20GB Nomad and I love it. The transfer speed from PC-> Nomad is a little slow, but the unit is pretty solid, and it's great to be able to carry 300 CD's or so with you everywhere.
     
  10. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Let me also state that when you do start ripping your CD's to the MP3 format (if and when you do), you do not want to do it at 96 or 128 kbit... I could go into great detail as to what you should use, but let me just give you a good web page to use as a starting point. You can do some trials with your current computer setup and see how it sounds.
    The software you'll want is free for the download, Exact Audio Copy and Lame.
    http://www.r3mix.net
     
  11. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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  12. Bernard L

    Bernard L Stunt Coordinator

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    yups... 128kbps is DEFINATELY NOT CD quality and is easily distinguishable.

    160kbps, you would still be able to distinguish, but not as easily.

    but anything hitting 192kbps+ will require quite a bit of effort to distinguish.

    usually, if I want it to sound like CD quality, I do 224kbps... and I can't tell 224kbps from 320kbps even with the best of speakers/headphones.

    but if you're on the road. 128kbps is good enough because the background noise of cars and trucks will be your primary problem (not bitrate)
     
  13. Randy G

    Randy G Second Unit

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    George Kaplan....
    Wasn't that the name of the main character in "North by Northwest"?
     
  14. Mickey Brown

    Mickey Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd go with Vince on this one. Setup a cheap hard drive, and run a digital cable to your receiver. You can really get a great library going with a big, fat, cheap hard drive.
     
  15. SamRoza

    SamRoza Stunt Coordinator

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    At home I use my former HTPC as an MP3 jukebox. I ran a piece of coax to my reciever from the room my PC is in and it works great.

    Want portability though? Use the Nomad, don't have one but I know quite a few people who love theirs.

    Sam
     

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