AllOfMP3 Music Store: A better way to buy digital music
Imagine a digital music store that lets you choose your bit-rate and file format, and then encodes your music into that format and uploads it to you. Imagine a digital music store that charges you $0.01 per megabyte of music ($0.02/mb as of January 15, 2005).
Choosing your own bit-rate and file format is exciting enough. I prefer 192kbps MP3s, but I could have chosen up to 384kbps WMAs, OGGs, MPEG4-AACs, or MPCs instead. You can even use advanced LAME encoding settings like -alt-present standard! But lets put the pricing into perspective.
Here is an album that is probably available on any digital music store around: Sarah McLachlan's Afterglow.
192kbps(high quality) MP3s of all of the tracks on that album add up to 55.4MB. Thats $0.55 for the entire album downloaded legally. Compare that to the extremely rights-limited files of similar quality from iTunes Music Store for $9.90.
Then look at song previewing. Any digital music store I've seen until now provides 30 second song previews of all music in their library. AllOfMP3 goes a step further, providing 24kbps streaming or downloadable "previews" of the entire song.
If you want legal digital music, this is now the only way to go.
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19 Dec 04 | +Permalink+ | Comments (2) | TrackBack (2)
MSN Desktop Search
Usually I won't touch anything that says "MSN" in its title with a ten foot pole, but that changes with the new MSN Toolbar featuring MSN Desktop Search. This is Apple's Spotlight feature of their next OS X release, for Windows, available immediately. Google Desktop Search, which I loved, pales in comparison. And the core technology is still just a Linux user's "locate" as Windows' normal search is a Linux user's "find". This is the best you're gonna get until
Longhorn Blackcomb's WinFS sees the light in your next life. The beta just went live. You need to check this out for yourself. This is an invaluable new addition to your Windows installation.
Holy crap! You have to try this thing out for yourself to appreciate it.
WhatTheFont!? is a site that allows you to upload an image of some text and it will do its best to identify the font for you.
13 Dec 04 | +Permalink+ | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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The Marv Digital Music Library
1. Acquiring the MP3s
a. Rip CD audio to WAV with iTunes then encode to MP3 with LAME using the --alt-preset standard setting.
b. Obtain already encoded MP3s at VBR/CBR192 quality from various sources.
2. Tag MP3s as accurately as possible through official sites, freedb.org, or Amazon.com through Tag&Rename.
Note: After trying out tons of different freeware and shareware tagging utilities, I have found that Tag&Rename is the best for all of my needs.
3. Grab album art from Amazon.com through Tag&Rename, or wait until later to drag and drop artwork to iTunes; use high quality images no less than 200x200 found through Amazon.com/music, Google Image Search, Buy.com's BuyMusic, or other random sites.
4. Rename files into the following format:
%My Music% / %Album Name% / %Artist% - %Album Name% - %Track #% - %Song Title%.mp3
using Tag&Rename's mass renaming feature after the files have been properly tagged.
Alternatively, I could have iTunes organize my music which is what I used to do. It renames your files into the following format, which you are unable to change: %My Music% / %Artist% / %Album% / %Track #% - %Song Title%.mp3
The main problem with this appears when you have compilations: albums with many different artists on one album. For this, if you have told it to, it puts those albums into a different folder called "Compilations". If you forget to set an album as a "compilation" it can be quite a hassle to find your files outside of iTunes, and if you do use the compilation feature, it leaves your file hierarchy inconsistant with some albums in this special folder.
5. Add music to iTunes' Library, making sure iTunes accepts the files into this exclusive area on your computer. (I had a problem with some files suddenly no longer being recognized by iTunes. Here is my fix.)1 Dec 04 | +Permalink+ | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)