Audio News for April 18, 2006

by | Apr 18, 2006 | Audio News | 0 comments

Digital Music Transferring Service – The explosion of iPod-type mobile players as well as increasing use of hard drive music storage centers in the high-tech home have created a need for converting libraries of CDs to the new media players.  That can be a time-consuming job with a large library. Even though you don’t have to do it in real time (as with vinyl), transferring 250 CDs would take about 36 hours. So special services have sprung up to do the work.  Moondog Digital Inc. in Indianapolis is an example.
Customers receive shipping supplies from Moondog, including spindles on which to load their CDs out of the jewel boxes. The CD collection is then shipped back to Moondog where it is converted to MP3 or AAC files and burned onto DVDs – which of course hold much more digital data than a CD.  (Depending on the bit rate, each DVD holds from 35 to 100 CDs.) The DVDs and CDs are returned to the customer, who loads them into their computer to create a digital music library that can be transferred to other devices. The files will transfer automatically to an iPod, for example. While the majority of users don’t mind the low-quality 128 Kbps rate for their MP3s, owner Craig Kelker encourages those wanting the best sound quality to use the 320 Kbps rate instead, and he can also furnish WAV, FLAC or AIFF files which are identical to 44.1K CDs. Either GD3 or AMG (All Media Guide) take care of the album title, performer and track information for your discs (but be prepared for some surprises in the classical category…). The cost for those 250 CDs would depend on the transfer rate selected, and runs between $180 and $305. Moondog is at 1-888-237-2673.
 
Hi-Res Downloads for WMA Player 10 Users – MusicGiants announced today immediate availability of their hi-res online music downloads to over 300 million users of Windows Media Player 10. Using WMA Lossless technology, the music suffers no compression and no compromises – a perfect copy of the original, with up to seven times the audio quality of standard downloads. Selections come from the four major record labels and many independents, and are available at the MusicGiants HD Music Store online.

Digital Rights Management Eats Batteries
– The Ars Technica web site has a report on battery life tests of various digital music players. They found that playing music with DRM-encoded songs created a significant drain on battery power.  Decryption of encoding requires extra processing power, and adding the copyright protection scheme to that makes it worse. One player reduced its running time from 11 to 9 hours and an iPod lost 8% of its battery life due to the AAC format. Mac consultant Michael Pearce suggests changing the import preferences from the factory default to 256 Kbps, and when you buy songs encoded with AAC or Windows Media DRM export them to AIFF or WAV files, and then re-import as MP3, which strips off the DRM encoding.  This protects against future decrypting failure and your music should then be available forever, without extra battery drain.
 
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