August 05, 2004

Computers

Internet Radio

Computer music update: I just found out about shoutcast, which seems to be a really cool free internet radio site. Hundreds of different streams of music, all free, and fairly good quality. Some streams have commercials, some don't. It works with WinAmp for a player. Try it out!

Posted by randy at 07:45 AM

August 04, 2004

Miscellaneous

Music Revolution

OK, I'm a little late to join this revolution, but lately I've been diving into the world of MP3 players and rippers, and I'm in the process of ripping all of our CDs and storing them all on our hard drive. There's a lot to learn about all this, but there's an incredible volume of information on the web to get you started. I also have a book on the subject that has been very helpful (thanks Gary!) I've found so far that CDex is great for ripping, and MP3tag is very handy for tagging your collection. MP3gain levels out all your volume levels, which is also nice. I found MusicMatch to be a nice, full-featured program, but it costs money, and you pay to get each new version. They're at version 9 now, and I doubt if it's been more than 3 or four years, so I can guess I'd be paying fairly frequently to keep it up to date. I think the above tools I mentioned can do almost everything that MusicMatch can, and I plan to use WinAmp to play them, since I can control it remotely with an IR remote or other custom interface.

The reason I've been so slow on this is that we don't listen to music while we're on the computer, we listen when we're in the kitchen, or cleaning the house, etc. so I need a remote control method, and a way of getting the sound to our living room speakers. I'm working on all that finally, so who knows, in a year or so we might actually be able to push a button in the kitchen and have the stereo start playing our MP3 collection from the office computer. It's such a simple need, but turns out very complicated (or expensive) to implement, even with all of the technology available today.

I would guess that the trend will be toward central media servers in every household, to act as a Tivo-like device to record shows, store all your video and audio and pictures, and probably handle other server tasks like e-mail and contact information that would be accesible to you even when you're away from home. And normal TVs and stereos need to start integrating the ability to deal with these servers, because they'll become commonplace.

Well, that's all my crystal ball tells me today. Meanwhile, let's start rippin'!

Posted by randy at 05:19 PM