Digital Music Players

The iPod has literally changed everything about how we listen to music. Thanks to Apple Inc.’s wonderful little tool, everything is more portable and more reliable than ever before.

In its rawest state, the iPod is a portable digital music player. But there is more to it. The product could also be used as a Personal Digital Assistant even with just a little memory. Then there’s the game-playing components.

The battery is one area where you don’t want to skimp. These batteries are not made to be a user replaceable part but with proper instruction or access to a professional iPod repair shop you can enjoy the benefits of a new iPod battery in no time.

Naturally, the screen is pretty important too. This digital music player has some very innovative features incorporated in it that allow the users to access music as well as video clips and picture files.

And then there is the hard drive. This dictates how much music you can actually store on there. The iPod is about the size of a deck of cards, while the iPod mini is about half that size. In little over a decade they have progressed to the point where they are now capable of storing more than 100 hours worth of music, equivalent to 250 albums.

You’ll probably want a pair of earphones as well. Headphones are available in many different styles. The smallest type are in ear, which are plugged into the ear.

Headphones aren’t expensive. Most of today’s headphones are so-called dynamic headphones. Dynamic refers to the type of transducer that is used. There is no real difference, except for the amount you will spend.

Lastly, if you are someone who is handy with a set of tools, you actually can conduct repairs and mods on your own iPod. The repair process is really quite simple when you’re in need to fix iPod. DIY repairs are perfectly fine for a person who has experience and can confidently fix them.

The Rise of Digital Music and the Fall of the Music Store

There was a time when music stores ruled the airwaves. You could not go one mile in a city and not come across one, and the parking lot was always full. Then came online digital music. Now you can not find hardly a single music store that exists solely on the back of CDs and music sales. They have to sell other things to even survive. Why is this? Is digital music and online music really that much better? Here are several reasons why online digital music has overtaken the music stores of the world.

One easy reason that online music is superior to music stores is cost. You can download a great deal of music online at very little cost, and that is impossible to compete against. Even with iTunes and other MP3 downloads, you are still paying a pittance in comparison to CD prices. Downloading music is much cheaper than buying an entire CD.

Selection is another reason online digital music is superior. You can literally pick and choose among the songs you like, and only buy what you like. It used to be you had to buy the entire CD, and usually only liked one or two songs. With MP3 downloads, you can make your own mixed CD of sorts digitally, and have only the best of your music in a snap. Selection is awesome with digital music.

Portability is another huge thing with digital music. Remember when you got your first Walkman? How can that possibly compare with MP3 players and iPods? It can not. For example, you would have to carry not only the bulky CD player, but you would also have to carry 300 CDs around with you as well to match what your iPod can carry in most cases. Who would choose to do that?

Finally, sound is another factor. CDs always skipped it seemed, regardless of how you were listening. You would make one wrong move in the car or in your bedroom, and your CDs were skipping and getting scratched. With MP3 players and iPods, you need not worry about such things. Your music will be crystal clear regardless of how many Kevin Bacon “Footloose” dance steps you might make while listening. You need not ever worry about a scratched CD, as the music is digitally recorded. That same digital recording will also ensure that the music is reproduced in a perfect way. There is no better sound on Earth than digital music.

Online digital music is so vastly superior to CDs that it is likely the CD will go the way of the 8-track. There is simply no good reason to have CD around except to keep copies of your music as backups. Even that can be done more economically by putting them on your computer. Digital music is the wave of the future, and every person that listens to music will benefit from it over time. What is so exciting about online digital music is that we have only scratched the surface of what is possible. I remember when CDs were the latest craze and look at them now. What will be on the market in 2020? I can’t wait to find out.

How Do I Set Up a Digital Music System With Squeezebox Touch

How did I set up a digital music system using Squeezebox Touch as core player, part I

It was five years ago I took the plunge to join the digital music bandwagon, during the period I have learnt numerous techniques, tweaks, tuning, settings, modifications both in software & hardware from the internet trying to improve the performance from the music server. I think it is time for me to give something back in return.

I, as an early adapter and a normal user, based on my own experience will cover each of the below one by one so as to let the newcomers easily build up their own digital music library.

A digital music system should consist of:-

(1) a ripping software to turn our CDs into digital files
(2) a music library management system to arrange the digital files in a orderly fashion for easy editing, sorting, searching
(3) a storage to store the music files
(4) a player
(5) a local area network if the player and the audio system is separated.

Five years ago, it was rare to hear general discussion about this topics over the web except some computer audio heavily skewed forums. At that time when people talked about computer music they mean mp3. Over time people start to appreciate the benefits of the digital music system over the conventional players. With the rapid development of technology previously it required an expert in computer to manage the system now becoming so easy that anyone with some basic computer knowledge can handle the system with ease.

There are many turnkey solutions in the market, mainly by some big name, eg. Linn, Meridian, Sooloo etc. They are expensive and proprietary meaning once you took its route you get stuck with it forever as you cannot move to other system easily without a big hassle, also you will be at the brand’s mercy for any upgrade or improvement. With my tips & hints the end result is nothing to be ashamed of comparing to these megabuck system.

Ok, first we need to rip our beloved CDs to computer file. There are more than hundred of CD ripping software over the internet more or less doing the same thing-converting the music stored in the CD to a digital file which can be storage in the harddisk. Most of them are free including the MS Mediaplayer, iTunes, CDex, EAC (Exact Audio Copy)…. The major difference between them is the workflow and the output format they allowed. Amongst them EAC is the most preferred one for its accuracy of ripping because it will do the ripping twice in order to make sure both result are identical before output, if not it will continue to re-read the data.

The data stored in the CD is in a wav format, it is encoded using 16 bit and 44.1kHz sampling. The goal of ripping is to ensure everything within the songs are being retrieved and stored in a computer recognizable format. There are a lot of computer audio file formats available, some are lossy and some are lossless.

Wav-original format, file size is big and lacks of tagging feature which make the library management difficult

Lossy-mean some of the data is removed during compression, without which the listener won’t detect the difference (similar to jpeg in photography) eg. mp3, isf,

Lossless-by mean of compression the file size is reduced (usually 50% of the original size) but when the lossless file is uncompressed it will be bit by bit perfect comparing to the original wav file. Eg. AIFF, FLAC

Myself would prefer using the iTunes to do the ripping. When we talk about Apple products it always stirs a flame war between the pro & anti Apple, to me I only want to concentrate of its user-friendly design plus its music management ability and I don’t want to comment of its self protectionism. I use iTunes internal Apple Lossless Encoder for ripping, by which I can always convert it back to a CD if I want to and preserve the bit perfect status.

The Future of MP3 Digital Music

Recording, playing and listening to music has never been more fun that it is today. Through the Internet, you can easily download songs and listen to your favorite music anytime of the day and wherever you are. Portable players that have access to Internet or those that can store large number of digital music files are now very affordable, fun to use and designed just right to fit the modern generation’s lifestyle.

What is MP3?

MP3, an acronym for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, is one of the most popular digital audio encoding and compression formats being used nowadays and is apparently making an enormous impact on how people store, listen and share music of different genres. It is even now regarded as a standard technology used in greatly reducing the amount of data used to represent audio without altering the uncompressed audio’s sound quality when played.

Compressing Audio into MP3 Digital Music

The compression ratio of MP3 is 12:1, which means that a typical audio file that is 1200 KB big can be converted into a 100 KB MP3 digital music file without corrupting the sound quality of the original. In fact, some MP3 digital music are clearer and sound better since the compression process eliminates portions of the original music that are not too significant to human hearing. There are three ways through which the unwanted portions of the music are determined; among them is psychoacoustics, which is a study of how people subjectively perceive sounds.

MP3 digital music can be compressed with various bit rates (the number of bits of data representing a second of audio), which makes it possible for you to create different sizes and sound quality of an MP3 digital music converted from the same original digital audio file.

Usually, digital audio is compressed with bit rates ranging from 128 to 320. MP3 digital music encoded with low bitrate are of lower sound quality whereas those encoded with higher bitrate are clearer and more pleasing to the ears. However, there are also other factors affecting the quality of the compressed MP3 digital music; these are the quality of the encoder and complexity of the signal encoded. Moreover, the quality of the computer, the speaker or the earphones through which one listens to the music also affects his judgment with regard to the sound quality.

Benefits of MP3 Digital Music

MP3 digital music is very versatile. It can be played using your personal computer or a laptop; it can be played through a portable, small and light MP3 player; it can be decompressed and recorded on a compact disk; and can be easily downloaded via the Internet. Through several software, which are also available for free, you can easily create MP3 digital music from other digital audio formats.

The best things about MP3 digital music is that it is inexpensive and can even be obtained for free. It makes acquiring and listening to high quality music easier, more pleasurable, and particularly, cheaper. Its small size also allows you to store hundreds of MP3 digital music on your computer or MP3 player with ease, helping you save money you might have spent for CDs.