Music Server Questions

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Jon Whitling, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. Jon Whitling

    Jon Whitling Auditioning

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    I'm at the point where I am thinking seriously about putting all my CD's into my computer for playback on my HT system. I already have an older PC hooked up to my TV/stereo via a wireless home network. I'm looking for questions/comments on the following:

    Mp3 vs WMA, I started scanning in several CD's in both WMA and Mp3 at 192kps and I cant tell the difference in sound quality. Is there any reason I shouldnt go with WMA? What is the lowest acceptable bitrate for home stereo use on a decent system? I've been impressed with Windows media player for how it automaticly downloads cover art/song titles.

    Anyone have any experience with the Creative Labs wireless music unit http://us.creative.com/products/prod...1&product=9192

    How about similar products? Jukebox programs? Touch screens? Any imput would be much appreciated

    Regards,

    Jon
     
  2. Thomas J. Coyle III

    Thomas J. Coyle III Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Jon,

    I am presently using a Turtle Beach Audiotron that works with my LAN file server to playback MP3, WMA, and WAV music files on my home stereo. I am using a Linksys WET11 with the Audiotron to communicate with my hardwired LAN.
    I found the Audiotron while looking for info on the Creative Labs wireless music unit. I payed $268 with free shipping on amazon.com for the Audiotron. The Audiotron is housed in a solid metal case and has a nice 2 X 40 lcd display. The control buttons are similar to what you would find on a cd player. A rotary knob on the right side of the case allows the user to scroll through the Audiotron menus.
    The Audiotron comes with a setup utility and a music organizer called Audiostation 6. It works very nicely as to ripping tracks and organizing your music collection for playback from your hard drive.
    You can find Audiotrons on ebay.com for less than $200. There are presently four used ones up for bidding now.
    Hope this helps,
    Regards,
    TCIII
     
  3. Jeff Blair

    Jeff Blair Second Unit

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    As for the MP3 vs. WMA, I would go with MP3's. They are usually smaller in size, and they are easily transferable. If you want to make a CD for your car, no problem. I'm not sure about WMA's doing that. Also if you ever get a MP3 player, you would have to reincode everything again. Just my $.02
     
  4. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    While WMA, AAC, OGG and the host of other formats sometimes offer better compression or whatever than MP3, MP3 is the standard, and is going to be around for a long time. When I ripped and compressed my collection this past summer, I use LAME for my MP3 compression, with the --alt-preset=standard flag. The files sound great, and play without a hitch on my iPod, Macs, PCs and my Tivo.

    For playing music throughout my house, I ended up going with a Tivo with the Home Media Option. My wife got me a Tivo for Christmas, and the $99 Home Media Option did more than the $250 AudioTron did (not as many supported media formats, but it does pictures and remote TV show scheduling). The Tivo gets it's music off of my Mac server at home.
     
  5. MikeFR

    MikeFR Supporting Actor

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    I just finished doint the same thing, except mine is not wireless. I have a comp by my ht system networked with my main computer which stores all my music. Works great.
     
  6. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    I think the point is that when people rip their cds, very rarely do the tracks just stay on the PC. Enough people have done this over the years thinking that initially it will just be on the PC to realize that later down the line they do move it to other platforms and other devices that sticking with the standard that is used by the majority proves to be a wise decision. Hence the reason I'll never rip mine in ogg or wma. Its all variable bit rate mp3's. This way I am guaranteeing to myself that it will always work on any device that plays digital music. They will all play mp3, but they might not all do ogg or wma or aac.
     
  7. PhilBoy

    PhilBoy Second Unit

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    Jon,

    Exact Audio Copy (freeware) allows you to transfer a perfect .wav copy of any tune to a hard drive.

    Lossless compression cuts file size to maybe half, but since drive space is now less than $1 per GB, file size is a non-issue. A 40 GB drive will hold 1000 tunes.

    If you plan to connect your HTPC via SPDIF to your receiver I would leave your tunes as .wav. It's perfect for High Quality CD's On Demand too.

    my 2 cents...
     
  8. StephenL

    StephenL Second Unit

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    Another issue to consider: do you want a player and codec that provides gapless playback between tracks where audio on the original CD is continuous from one track to the next?
     
  9. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    I agree with Philboy. I rip my favorite CDs to my HTPC only in WAV.

    PS- does everyone else's EAC start out going fast then hover around 5x speed when ripping?
     
  10. Joe Ku

    Joe Ku Stunt Coordinator

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    EAC is the best ripping program out there right now, it lets you know if there were any errors that it couldn't correct and lets you listen to the 3 second part of the track with the error so you can decide if it is acceptable. It also supports a bunch of different encoders and compressors for processing the wavs.

    I would suggest going lossless with flac, shorten, monkeys audio, WMA lossless or whatever, there are a number of options. If you want to share with someone with a mac or who runs linux, or think you may use something other than windows someday, use flac or shorten.

    If you don't go lossless use MP3, it is the industry standard and is the most widely supported. You can listen to them with pretty much all music devices and all operating systems.

    If you decide to use WMA (lossless or otherwise) be sure to turn off the option to add DRM to all the tracks you rip, it is turned on by default. Otherwise you can't give copies to friends or if you lose the license file you can't listen to them yourself.
     
  11. Joe Ku

    Joe Ku Stunt Coordinator

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    Also I would compress rather than just store as wav, a 40gig drive can hold 1000 wav files or it will hold 1600 losslessly compressed songs (which are still perfect copies), it is definitely worth the extra effort.
     
  12. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    $80 can get you a 120gb 7200rpm Seagate. [​IMG][​IMG]
     

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