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The W - Music - MP3 Question
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pieman
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Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


Here's another question from the Stone Age Parent.

My kids got mp3 players from Santa this year. What't the most cost effective way (or free way) to get stuff onto these players. This question comes from a person who has never owned an mp3 player, so even if you think it's a really basic question, I don't know the answer. Any help will be really appreciated as they are dying to put some music on them and listen.

Thanks!




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Leroy
Andouille








Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.21
    Originally posted by pieman
    My kids got mp3 players from Santa this year. What't the most cost effective way (or free way) to get stuff onto these players. This question comes from a person who has never owned an mp3 player, so even if you think it's a really basic question, I don't know the answer. Any help will be really appreciated as they are dying to put some music on them and listen.

    Thanks!


A lot of this depends on the musical tastes of your kids. And the type of player they received.

The cheapest way is to convert CD's to MP3 (or another format) and upload those. iTunes can do the conversion for you with little effort. If they received an Apple player, iTunes will do the uploading to the player. If not, there should be a program that came with the player.

As for 3rd party services, I have subscription to EMusic, but that doesn't have much in the way of mainstream music (although they do have an excellent jazz and classical selection). iTunes is probably the next choice (or iTunes Plus if they received something other than an Apple player).

I'm a little out of touch with the other services. I'm really happy with EMusic, but I haven't listened to top 40 radio in about 7 years.






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KJames199
Scrapple
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.50
Yep - the cheapest way to load up the MP3 players is to make MP3s from CDs you already own. As Leroy said, you can do that using iTunes.

There are a pile of other programs that will do this as well. I haven't done this in a while because ever since I got my new computer, there are skips in every MP3 I rip from CDs, regardless of the program I use (and that's after I've slowed down the process and shut down all other programs) - if anyone has any advice about this, I'd love to hear it. Maybe I will make it a separate thread some day.

Anyhoo. You can buy songs through iTunes as well, but I believe the files generally only work with iPods. I believe the iTunes Plus files Leroy mentioned are NOT MP3s, but unprotected AAC files (meaning that they do not contain any kind of copy protection - they're still not legal to share, though, and they still only work with iPods). I could be mistaken on that point, but you might want to doublecheck just to make sure.

Most sites that let you buy songs make you buy proprietary formats that won't work in (most?) MP3 players. Avoid those. You might want to try Amazon, which has copy-protection-free MP3s (again, not legal to share or trade, but it's probably cool if you buy a song once and put it on each kid's MP3 player). They have 89-cent songs, and full albums starting at $5.99.

I also know a good site for DRM-free MP3s of independent Canadian music, but you probably don't want that :)



JK
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.40
Here is a side tangent to the pieman's question...

IJ also got an MP3 player this year: a Disney "Mix Stick" something or other. It came with a CD that has a plug-in that works with WMP 10 on a PC. Mrs. JJD has that already so she skipped the plug-in and started copying songs directly from her PC onto the player.

I have a Mac and a ton of stuff in iTunes, including a couple of IJ's faves, but iTunes doesn't recognize the player even though my computer sees it when I plug it in. I tried copying songs directly by dragging the files, but they are saved on my hard drive as mpeg-4 files and apparently the player only plays .wma files. Is there a free converter out there or something or do I have to keep burning CDs and giving them to Mrs. JJD to import and transfer to IJ's player?



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Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
    Originally posted by JayJayDean
    Here is a side tangent to the pieman's question...

    IJ also got an MP3 player this year: a Disney "Mix Stick" something or other. It came with a CD that has a plug-in that works with WMP 10 on a PC. Mrs. JJD has that already so she skipped the plug-in and started copying songs directly from her PC onto the player.

    I have a Mac and a ton of stuff in iTunes, including a couple of IJ's faves, but iTunes doesn't recognize the player even though my computer sees it when I plug it in. I tried copying songs directly by dragging the files, but they are saved on my hard drive as mpeg-4 files and apparently the player only plays .wma files. Is there a free converter out there or something or do I have to keep burning CDs and giving them to Mrs. JJD to import and transfer to IJ's player?


Well you can right click on a song in iTunes and convert it to another format. Have to go into options first and set it to import songs in whatever format you wish to convert to, like MP3.

Also QTFairuse is handy sometimes. :)
Leroy
Andouille








Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.21
JJD:

Do you have access to a PC (with either Vista or XP)? Windows Media Player rips to WMA, so you could burn a standard Audio CD on your Mac, and rip it on your PC with WMP to WMA. Edit: I completely missed the part where you mentioned you were already doing this. Sorry.

I know of one Mac application that rips to WMA, but it's $30.

Switch Audio File Conversion Software

I've never used it (WMA is not a format I deal with frequently), but it was recommended on a couple of sites.

From what I've read, there little options with freeware because WMA technology is proprietary. (I thought MP3 encoders and decoders require a licensing agreement as well, but there definitely seems to be more options for MP3 software).

    Originally posted by KJames199
    You might want to try Amazon, which has copy-protection-free MP3s (again, not legal to share or trade, but it's probably cool if you buy a song once and put it on each kid's MP3 player). They have 89-cent songs, and full albums starting at $5.99.


I've never downloaded from Amazon because I heard some not-so-positive things about the service (e.g. very confusing downloading interface, problems with audio quality, etc), but if none of that is true that would be good to know.




(edited by Leroy on 27.12.07 0955)



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Since: 4.1.02

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#7 Posted on
    Originally posted by Leroy
    I've never downloaded from Amazon because I heard some not-so-positive things about the service (e.g. very confusing downloading interface, problems with audio quality, etc), but if none of that is true that would be good to know.


I've been using it as my new primary download service (since it's DRM free, unlike iTunes) and I've had no problems with the quality. It's encoded at 256kpbs, so the quality is actually much better than a typical 128kpbs CD rip and arguably better than iTunes's 128kpbs AAC encoding. Above all... no DRM, so you can play it anywhere, on any device, at any time. (Plus it's 10 cents cheaper usually.)

The downloader's pretty simple program and even integrates into iTunes to autoload anything you buy with only one click into your iTunes library.
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