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MP3 / AAC what do you use? - Page 2

post #16 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick M
Hey, you seem like a Minidisc guy, so you might know: How do you get a recording OFF a Minidisc and onto a PC? Today a friend needed me to take a concert recording from MD and put it onto a CD - I eventually just put a line-in into my PC and recorded it through the sound card. Is there an easy way? Can you convert those .hma files somehow? Just curious, I guess. edit: MD players have an awesome eject action. Very dramatic. I could just sit here all day clicking the open button and having it go KA-CHACK!
Well mnemonic isn't really around much right now due to him being at DLI in Monterey. But its pretty simple, you hook the data cable from the "out" plug on your MD player into your computer (usually a usb or firewire plug to 1/8 jack or optical/optical) and if you have the MD drivers installed, it should show up as a drive in your "my computer" on a PC or in the dock/desktop on a mac. If it doesn't work, and its something with its own program (like SonicStage), open the program, and look for an "import" tab or button. Then it should either show up as a drive in a pulldown menu or just automatically import from the device.. If you can't find either one of the above - it means you haven't installed the drivers or software for the MD player. edit: I just looked, and .hma files are ATRAC3 sonicstage files, so you'd need sonicstage to pull em off.
post #17 of 55
Good to know, thanks TS! I thought about downloading Sonicstage, until I realized that I fear it taking over my PC, much like I fear iTunes.

Follow-up - the same friend is going to be conducting some interviews in the near future, and needs some kind of digital recording device, something with easy drag-and-drop functionality so she can put the recordings onto a PC, maybe something that automatically converts to mp3.

I normally use the mike on the side of my H340 for that kind of thing, but I'm thinking she wants to spend a little - or a lot - less. Any ideas?


On-topic: Above about 128, I can't really tell the difference, but I usually rip at 192 or 256, whatever the setting happens to be on at the time.
post #18 of 55
I rip everything now to AAC 128. My 40gb ipod's reaching its limit and need to conserve.
post #19 of 55
I encode everything with AAC @ 192kbps VBR. I realize that this is overkill (160 or even 128 would probably be enough) but I have lots of space so it doesn't really matter. The AAC encoder inside iTunes is known to be one of the best in the industry, which is quite funny since the mp3 encoder is regarded as one of the worst.. If I ever need to encode mp3s, I use LAME 3.97 with the setting '-V 2 --vbr-new'
post #20 of 55
To conserve space, 128 AAC is good enough for me. And just to piss Slim off, I use the white earbuds.

I'll never understand the appeal of iTunes. 128 is fine for my iPod, but if I were to burn a CD with the AAC files I bought from iTunes, it's like ordering a pizza and finding a bite taken out of every slice. The $9.99 album price is not much different from the $10-12 I pay on Amazon or HMV for an actual hard copy of the album, artwork, satisfaction of seeing my record collection growing, blah blah blah...
post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick M
I normally use the mike on the side of my H340 for that kind of thing, but I'm thinking she wants to spend a little - or a lot - less. Any ideas?

I've got this Sandisk one: http://tinyurl.com/7w9jq It works very well, it's dead easy to use (just drag and drop like a USB memory stick) and they're dirt cheap.

Back to the main issue; I've never bought anything from iTunes -- do they really only sell you files at 128kbps? That's an outrage. FLAC or mp3s at V0 or APX for me!
post #22 of 55
I rip everything to 256kbps AAC, overkill for most things but I could pump them into a high end stereo system if I needed to. If you wanted to be an uber asshole audiophile you would use a lossless compression like Apple Lossless format. Right now I have a 300GB drive full and both a mini and a shuffle.

The iTunes AAC codec spits out .m4a files, which is the audio layer of the mp4 codec. I started doing AAC because I saw it as the next generation. Since my ipod is my car stereo system, it works fine, the only problem you might have with using AAC is if your car plays mp3s off a CD, this would be annoying to have to convert various songs off the fly.

IIRC, AAC is free to use while MP3 has some hefty royalty fees. If you do use mp3, do NOT use the iTunes codec, they deliberately made the mp3s sound like crap. The best for mp3 is to use LAME with a variable bitrate, AAC is VBR by default.

All in all, I think iTunes organizes the songs the best and is the easiest to use from Linux through Windoze.

If you want to compromise quality, filesize, ipod battery time, I would go with 128kbps AAC, I think that is the default that iTunes uses.
post #23 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiecollector
IIRC, AAC is free to use while MP3 has some hefty royalty fees. If you do use mp3, do NOT use the iTunes codec, they deliberately made the mp3s sound like crap. The best for mp3 is to use LAME with a variable bitrate, AAC is VBR by default.

Actually, both AAC & mp3 have royalty fees, but these are paid for by the ones distributing the encoders, not the end user.. At least in iTunes, AAC isn't VBR by default; you have to go into the prefs and tick the VBR box. Now why they haven't made it default yet is beyond me. The quality is much improved with it enabled.
post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babar
Actually, both AAC & mp3 have royalty fees, but these are paid for by the ones distributing the encoders, not the end user.. At least in iTunes, AAC isn't VBR by default; you have to go into the prefs and tick the VBR box. Now why they haven't made it default yet is beyond me. The quality is much improved with it enabled.

Taken off wikipedia, I guess I don't grasp the subtleties

"Licensing and patents

In contrast with the MP3 format, which requires royalty payments on distributed content, no licenses or payments are required to be able to stream or distribute content in AAC format. [3] This reason alone makes AAC a much more attractive format for distributing content, particularly streaming content (such as Internet radio).
However, a patent license is required for all manufacturers or developers of AAC codecs. [4] It is for this reason FOSS encoders and decoders such as FAAC and FAAD [2] are distributed in source form only, in order to avoid patent infringement.
Although AAC requires a patent license, contrary to popular belief, it is not a proprietary format."


I hope I encoded all the CDs in VBR, I think I checked that box without thinking. Otherwise I have 400 CDs plus to re import .
post #25 of 55
What is the appeal of I-pods that was alluded to in an earlier post? I mean, five years ago, I was using an Archos Juke Box, 20 gig HDD, for $250.00 when the Ipod was a staggering 1 gig for $350.00. I just do not get it, if anyone could tell me I'd appreciate it, as we seem to have many users here.

FWIW we rip mainly, I agree about the quality of d/l's, and rip at 192 MP3 for our 40 gig Toshiba Giga-Beat for portable play. The Archos is getting old and I have just been using it as a USB HDD to store work files with.
post #26 of 55
Piobaire, My main reason for buying one was when I was in the office, I was usually bring in a stack of CDs to listen to each day. I got an iPod so I could rip my collection on it, and just bring in the iPod each day and leave the CDs at home. I usually don't bring it with me when travelling, commuting, etc. as I'm usually with a friend. When walking around, I prefer to be aware of my surroundings (I can be a scatterbrain at times and need all of my senses ). Pros: I like, but don't love the iTunes software (for organizing music, not for buying it) Can be had for cheap if you buy the Apple refurb models The click wheel is cool, and easy to learn Size, weight, portability More aesthetically pleasing than other MP3 players (IMO) The sound quality is fine for me The number one reason, convienience - having your entire music collection just an arms reach away is a lot of fun. I know all other MP3 players do this, but the iPod interface just seems to do it's job very well; and I've never been confused about how to use it. Cons: iPod is to MP3 players what Kleenex is now to tissue paper Hard drive models are not ideal for physical activities, where a lot of shaking is involved (still has ~20 minutes of anti-skip) The odd technical glitch every now and then Long term reliability issues (no problems with mine so far, but it's been less than a year). Surface scratches easily - cases are bulky, ugly and overpriced Battery life is iffy in some cases. The stated battery life only applies if you listen to the same album with songs ~3 minutes on constant repeat. Now, if you're a normal person with normal listening habits, you'll probably get 75% of the stated battery life when the iPod is brand new (this was my situation anyway).
post #27 of 55
The best reason to use an ipod is for the same reason that people stick with Windoze. They have both won the market share. I have a poor man's setup in my car and I use a casette player adapter to plug into my ipod's headphone jack. This will work with any player, but if I had the money I would get a dock, which allows the ipod to be controled from the car's stereo system faceplate. Devices like these are guaranteed to support and most often geared towards ipods. fwiw, I was waiting in the apple store and the new shuffle is incredibly attractive, so I bought one. I pin it on my lapel and I'm good to go.
post #28 of 55
I can agree about the standard being Ipod and that is why to pick it now. But back when this market was being created, there were vastly superior products. I think it all boils down to the Jeff Gold...berg? Bloom? commercial they ran endlessly! Things like the Archos were never advertised.

No doubt the best auto-interface is for Ipod. However, my prediction is that within the next 2-3 years we will see vehicles with built in Wi-Fi and computers so you can just d/l straight from your home LAN to your vehicle hard-drive, making that particular Ipod application moot. It will probably go the same route as NAV and Bluetooth, starting with the high end and also the "trendy" cars, then work it's way down to ubiquity, which I usually define as being available on a Camry or Accord
post #29 of 55
I have owned two MDs in my day (MDLP: MZ-R700 and a couple years ago I got a HiMD MZ-NHF800) The sound quality is good, discs are cheap and record 4-40 hours of music per disc (40 hours with quality loss, One gig of music just using the disk as a dump). Only problem I have had was with my MZ-R700 the headphone jack eventually wore out and had to be replaced, this was after several ears of hard hard use. The main things I like about the MD are being able to edit on the fly (especially since I listen to a lot of uncut mixes without track marks) and the ease of recording live music.
post #30 of 55
One thing that really irks me about the ipod is that there is no built in radio tuner. I listen to AM mostly but FM is nice when you get tired of listening to CDs.

The clickwheel and great marketing with their other products combined is what put them over the top. Integration with OS X is nice, I have used numerous np3 players and although winamp looked cooler, the playlist was atrocious, iTunes was the first program I used that was easy to use, I went from using winamp for 5 years to switching overnight to iTunes.
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