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I just fed 78 CD albums into my home theater computer.

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I just fed 78 CD albums into my home theater computer.

Old 12-11-01, 09:41 PM
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I just fed 78 CD albums into my home theater computer.

And now my physical CDs are history.

Got a 60 GB drive really cheap a couple of weeks ago. And I didn't really need that much storage since I already had about 20 GB free on an existing 40 GB drive. So, what should I do with all that storage (excluding porn)?

I thought this would be a great opportunity to get rid of my huge, space-wasting Sony 100 CD changer where I had been storing the CDs. Now I have the WAV files stored on a 60 GB hard drive (with about 12 GB still free) and the originals are stored in paper envelopes in an $8 CompUSA storage drawer.

Music Match and CDDB made it really easy. I only had to do minor editing to the titles that CDDB provided to add the artists' names before the album name. And the Pioneer DVD drive ripped them at 12x so it went pretty fast. I compared ripped files of the same song ripped multiple times and they were exactly the same, right to the bit! (I've previously only seen that with a Plextor drive.) So either I'm getting good rips, or consistently bad ones. But they sound fine.

So now I can burn a copy for the car, convert to MP3, or just play them from any computer on the network. I'm pretty excited about the flexibility this provides. What do you think?
Old 12-11-01, 09:50 PM
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i think its great!

i'd do it too but i have a too many cds and only a 4x burner...
Old 12-11-01, 10:41 PM
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Re: I just fed 78 CD albums into my home theater computer.

You don't get out much do you X?

Actually that is pretty cool. I'm in the process of trying to more of my cd's into high quality MP3's, for playing on any computer, or on my audiotron in the main stereo system. I have around 1000 of them so far.
Dave
Originally posted by X
So now I can burn a copy for the car, convert to MP3, or just play them from any computer on the network. I'm pretty excited about the flexibility this provides. What do you think?
Old 12-12-01, 12:01 AM
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How are they cataloged and accessed? Windows media player?

I've had my pc connected via digital cable to a HT receiver for a while. This would be kewl.
Old 12-12-01, 12:01 AM
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I had no idea Yanni made so many cd's


http://www.yanni.com/
Old 12-12-01, 12:04 AM
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Originally posted by 4KRG
I had no idea Yanni made so many cd's
He didn't. But along with John Tesh...
Old 12-12-01, 12:56 AM
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This is exactly what I did before I went away to college. Made all my CDs into MP3, less luggage...
Old 12-12-01, 02:41 AM
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what a great idea.

so you put then in as WAV files? I thought about using my 60 Gb hard rive for an MP3 storage of all my cd's. I have a few more than you(David hasselhof + tesh and yanni ) so I figure i would run out of room with WAV and since my sony cd player plays MP3 I figure it is just as easy anyway for me.
Old 12-12-01, 09:43 AM
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I've been doing the same thing but with Exact Audio Copy (EAC).

I've also been encoding to mp3 with win32LAME using variable bit rate and the quality is excellent.
Old 12-12-01, 09:55 AM
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Originally posted by Jabx
I've been doing the same thing but with Exact Audio Copy (EAC).

I've also been encoding to mp3 with win32LAME using variable bit rate and the quality is excellent.


This is what I've done. So currently I have all my CD's ripped to mp3's on the hard drive. Whenever I need a CD to play in the car I can just startup EZ CD Creator and make a music CD from the mp3's including CD-Text. Makes creating mix CD's much easier as well.

Windows XP has a pretty cool feature too where if you place a jpg called folder.jpg into a folder, it will display that jpg when looking at the folder in thumbnail view. I use that to display CD covers when looking at directories. It's a neat effect and would post a screen shot some time maybe.
Old 12-12-01, 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by mtucker


Windows XP has a pretty cool feature too where if you place a jpg called folder.jpg into a folder, it will display that jpg when looking at the folder in thumbnail view. I use that to display CD covers when looking at directories. It's a neat effect and would post a screen shot some time maybe.
that sounds pretty slick

i just now got around to upgrading to Win2k, so maybe in a couple of years I can try that feature out
Old 12-12-01, 11:38 AM
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Any particular reason you didn't dump this straight as MP3s?

I did this with all my cds. It took several months since I had about 450 cds to go through. It's a process I don't care to repeat anytime soon.

The nice thing about them being in mp3 is: they don't take much room, burning software will auto-wav them when I make an audio cd, and I backed up all 3500 songs onto 18 cds which are now stored in a bank safe deposit box.
Old 12-12-01, 11:50 AM
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my guess is since he had enough HD space he didn't want to compress them into mp3's and hurt the quality

IMO if you encode with LAME the quality is just as good as a CD

compelling arguments can be found at www.r3mix.net
Old 12-12-01, 12:15 PM
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Count me in as well

I copied over all my CD's to my Home Theater computer a few months back, only the good songs though. I now have over 2000 MP3's, 20 video's(alot of Britney Spears ) and a few Divx movies.

I use Winamp and a cordless mouse to navigate through all my stuff on my big screen TV.

I also use it to play Mame and other emulator on the TV, very convenient and alot of fun

Now if I could just find a nice looking black case that would "blend" better in the rack with the Home Theater components!
Old 12-12-01, 12:22 PM
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I haven't made them into MP3s for a couple of reasons. First, I'm a purist and having exact copies of the music is the only way I'd put away the CDs. I figure as long as I have the original WAV files I can do whatever I want with them in the future. Some people use Monster cable, some people use WAV files I guess. But this is a computer dedicated to home theater, it sits in my component rack, so I do want the absolute best sound. I'm still trying to figure out which of the devices has the best D/A converter.

I'm already bothered by players putting a small gap between tracks that were meant to seamlessly merge together. If anyone knows of a WAV player that doesn't do that I'd like to know what it is. I'm afraid it might be a file access thing that is more OS dependent. I have copied the two tracks together into one and that works but I'd rather not have to do that.

I'm not ready to get into a debate about the sound of MP3 vs WAV because I will be doing some testing and mostly have only heard conversions made by other people. I already have about 100 CDs full of MP3s but I don't listen to them when I want to hear music at its best. I mostly use them just to hear a particular song or to burn some new music for the car.

I have not heard an MP3 yet that sounded exactly the same as the original (up to 192kbit/s and maybe 256kbit/s) so I have a feeling that a high enough bitrate for me won't be worth the savings in storage. But I'm curious so when I get some time I'll work on this.
Old 12-12-01, 12:26 PM
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Originally posted by jumbojp
I use Winamp and a cordless mouse to navigate through all my stuff on my big screen TV.

Now if I could just find a nice looking black case that would "blend" better in the rack with the Home Theater components!
I use a cordless keyboard and mouse as well. But for setting up music lists I use a 15" CRT (one day I'll spring for an LCD) instead of the big screen. However I do play DVD and PVR stuff on the big screen -- that's originally why I made the computer. PVR is often ok on the 15" too just for news shows and Letterman.

As for a case, check out www.digitalconnection.com . I got a black soundproofed box there and have been very happy with it.
Old 12-12-01, 12:35 PM
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Originally posted by X
I'm already bothered by players putting a small gap between tracks that were meant to seamlessly merge together. If anyone knows of a WAV player that doesn't do that I'd like to know what it is. I'm afraid it might be a file access thing that is more OS dependent. I have copied the two tracks together into one and that works but I'd rather not have to do that.
Well you could a program (like EAC) to rip a CD into one large wav file and have it generate a .cue sheet. The .cue sheet is just a text file to tell a program where the tracks are divided in a large .wav file. However, I don't know of a .wav player that can read .cue files off the top of my head.
Old 12-12-01, 01:01 PM
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Originally posted by X


As for a case, check out www.digitalconnection.com . I got a black soundproofed box there and have been very happy with it.
Thanks for the link. I just spent $46 on a wireless keyboard I have been looking for

Checked out the cases which were nice, but the cheapest I saw was $259, which is a bit more than I want to spend right now!
Old 12-12-01, 03:36 PM
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Originally posted by X
I haven't made them into MP3s for a couple of reasons. First, I'm a purist and having exact copies of the music is the only way I'd put away the CDs. I figure as long as I have the original WAV files I can do whatever I want with them in the future.




I can't disagree with you there. If you have the diskspace to spare this is the way to go, because if down the road you need access to the .wav for some reason you don't have to re-rip all those cd's.



I have not heard an MP3 yet that sounded exactly the same as the original (up to 192kbit/s and maybe 256kbit/s) so I have a feeling that a high enough bitrate for me won't be worth the savings in storage. But I'm curious so when I get some time I'll work on this.
When you get a chance, head over to www.r3mix.net and follow the link on the left to "Quality." Very interesting stuff

("regular" LAME vbr mp3's work great for me because my audio equipmenty is run-of-the-mill - obviously everyone's situation is different)
Old 12-12-01, 08:58 PM
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I just wanted to give a quick screenshot of the Thumbnail preview in WinXP when you insert a folder.jpg inside a folder. It's pretty nifty.
Old 12-12-01, 09:33 PM
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mtucker, that is pretty cool.

X, out of curiousity, what kind of audio/video system do you have?

Dave
Old 12-12-01, 10:38 PM
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Originally posted by Dave99

X, out of curiousity, what kind of audio/video system do you have?

Dave
Video is Pioneer Elite 510HD. Audio is in transition. I'm still in stereo mode because I haven't decided on a home theater receiver yet -- been waiting for Marantz to come out with a newer version of their SR-8000 and then I'll decide on speakers. I'm still using my old Marantz 4400 receiver (an old receiver with oscilloscope) and assorted DVD, CD, DAT, and equalizer/spectrum analyzer equipment. Of course I can replace most all source equipment now with the home theater computer. It's a Tivo-like PVR, regionless DVD player (with direct VGA output to the Pioneer HDTV), and now a CD changer as well.

But my big problem is that I'm so spoiled with my current, massive AR-9 speakers, that I don't think I'll be able to find surround type speakers that can replace them at any decent price. In case you're not familiar with the classic AR-9, they are a true joy to hear. Wonderful imaging, absolutely transparent. You can stare at one of them and swear the sound you hear isn't coming out of it. You can really believe that the artist is performing behind them. Here's a picture and the specs:

SYSTEM TYPE Floor-standing columnar acoustic suspension 4 way system with 5 drive units (including side-firing woofers) and AR Acoustic Blanket.
DRIVE UNITS Two 300mm (12") acoustic suspension woofers. One 200mm (8") acoustic suspension lower midrange driver in its own sub-enclosure. One 38mm liquid-cooled dome upper midrange driver with semi-horn. One 19mm liquid-cooled dome highrange driver.
VOLTAGE SENSITIVITY 2.83 volts produces 90dB SPL at 1 metre on axis.
EFFICIENCY 1 watt produces 87dB SPL at 1 metre on axis.
POWER REQUIREMENT 15 watts per channel minimum.
POWER HANDLING ABILITY May be used with amplifiers capable of delivering up to 400 watts continuous power per channel, being driven into clipping no more than 10% of the time on normal speech and music source material in non-commercial applications.
SYSTEM FREQUENCY RESPONSE -3dB (half power) points at 28Hz and at 25000Hz.
SYSTEM LOW FREQUENCY PERFORMANCE -3dB at 28Hz with an effective Q at resonance of 0.5.
IMPEDANCE 4 ohms nominal (3.2 ohms minimum).
CONTROLS Three 3-position switches for lowermidrange, upper-midrange and highrange level control.
CROSSOVER NETWORK Woofers have full section network and include a bass extension and Q optimization circuit. Lower midrange has quarter section lower slope network and half section upper slope. Upper midrange has half section networks coupled with an impedance equalizing network. Highrange has full section network. Only the best components are used: air-core chokes wound with solid copper conductor, high grade bipolar electrolytic capacitors, non-inductive high power ceramic resistors.
CROSSOVER FREQUENCIES 200Hz, 1200Hz, 7000Hz.
CABINET INTERNAL VOLUME 120 litres (4.24 cu. ft).
CABINET DIMENSIONS 1340 x 380 x 402mm deep including grille panels.
CABINET FINISH Oiled walnut veneer.
WEIGHT Packed in carton 60kg (132 lbs.) Unpacked 52kg (114 lbs.)
Old 12-12-01, 11:39 PM
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Hey, just wanted to add - If you decide to encode to MP3, for goodness' sakes, use a Lame based encoder. Most everything else is crap in comparison. ESPECIALLY audiocatalyst. Not that anyone brought audiocatalyst up.
Old 12-12-01, 11:53 PM
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Those are some pretty sweet speakers X, massive things that they are. When I sold audio at a mid-fi shop in college, we serviced some of the old AR speakers. People who have some of the older stuff, they don't want to give it up.

Dave
Old 12-13-01, 12:05 AM
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If you've got the space, you can rip your Audio CDs straight to an image with a program called CloneCD. You can then use a utility called Daemon Tools to emulate a CD-ROM. If you ever have to write a cd, you can write a perfect duplicate. Works for me

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