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Old 02-07-2015, 11:09   #16
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Re: Music storage and access

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Ideally, you would "rip" the CD's into a lossless digital format. Apple has their own standard. FLAC isn't as widely supported but it is growing, and is another way to go. WAV format is common, but also uses large files.


For real portability, you may chose to rip the cd's to a lossless format, and store that library someplace, like on two large hard drives, so you don't lose it all when one crashes. (4TB Western Digital is now about $150, for comparison.)
For reference, iTunes will rip CD's to MP3, ACC (MP4), Apple Lossless (ALC), AIFF and WAV formats. Of those, none of them are proprietary - Apple made ALC open-source and free 4 yrs ago. The rest of them were never proprietary and are in wide use everywhere in all devices. ALC preserves album art and other metadata, which the other lossless formats do not.

If one wants to store a library on a boat, use solid state drives. Actually, SSD's are pretty much better for everything on a boat. Orders of magnitude faster than HD's and much more reliable in a boat environment because there are no moving parts, spinning platters, etc.

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Old 02-07-2015, 11:25   #17
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Re: Music storage and access

A warning about (especially) car stereos that "take" USB drives: They're all different.
What no one really tells you up front, is that every company and every model is a bit different. Some can take "Up to 512 folders" and then, if you organize your music by "one folder per artist" you're out of luck. Some can take "10,000 files" regardless of the folder hierarchy. Files, folders, limited formats, you really have to check carefully before getting stuck on that. And, some allow you to do random play across the whole media, others only do it within one folder. Some are incredibly dumb, and list all tracks alphabetically--rather than by track number. So you have to mangle your files and name them by "track#, cut name" instead of just the correct name.


Incredible how CRUDE most of the equipment is, compared to smartphones. Incredible how smartphones all seem to think 16 steps of volume is enough to fit everyone, everywhere. Go figure.


SSD's: great, yes. But if you just want to archive the library and STORE it, rotating hard drives are way cheaper. And when they're not spinning...they're pretty reliable.(G) The trick with SSD's is that they can only be written to so many times. No problem if you are just writing to them once or twice for storage, but conceivable that you'll see capacity drop and data possibly lost if they're used with daily write operations moving data around.


$300, twin 4 terabyte hard drives. Wanna price that out for SSD's? (G)
Music is one thing, but if you cross the line into videos...ouch.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:30   #18
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Re: Music storage and access

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I bought a used Apple mini Ipod on Ebay for $23. It works fine. I tried a couple inexpensive other Ipod like devices but they were not too good.
I have ITunes on my computer. Not sure I like I tunes on the computer that well but need it for the Ipod. It seems a bit restrictive and takes control of everything you do musically.
RealPlayer is good on your computer if you don't have an Ipod.
With ITunes when I load a CD in my computer it goes right to ITunes. Quick and easy.
I still have a couple of 20GB iPod "classics". They work fine, but there are some very good player apps available now for Android and even app based equalizers etc. I just picked you a cheap no name ($65) 7" tablet. Its become our "entertainment center" with music, players, ROKU, Amazon Prime, Netfilx, Sirius, Pandora....all loaded on it (well almost all...I'm working on it anyway...).

Pandora is awesome for streaming music, with some very good and simple mix functionality. but it requires good internet access. Plenty of good stand alone app players out there too.

I have a pile of CDs in storage...can't imagine toting them around aboard anymore.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:32   #19
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Re: Music storage and access

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For reference, iTunes will rip CD's to MP3, ACC (MP4), Apple Lossless (ALC), AIFF and WAV formats. Of those, none of them are proprietary - Apple made ALC open-source and free 4 yrs ago. The rest of them were never proprietary and are in wide use everywhere in all devices. ALC preserves album art and other metadata, which the other lossless formats do not.

...
I agree iTunes is pretty good, I got tired of its limitations for managing multiple libraries/devices after losing it all a few times. Got a set of utilities called CopyTrans that allow you to manage iTunes libraries without iTunes...very handy.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:55   #20
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Re: Music storage and access

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
SSD's: great, yes. But if you just want to archive the library and STORE it, rotating hard drives are way cheaper. And when they're not spinning...they're pretty reliable.(G) The trick with SSD's is that they can only be written to so many times. No problem if you are just writing to them once or twice for storage, but conceivable that you'll see capacity drop and data possibly lost if they're used with daily write operations moving data around.

$300, twin 4 terabyte hard drives. Wanna price that out for SSD's? (G)
Music is one thing, but if you cross the line into videos...ouch.
I agree that HD's are cheaper right now.

Actually, for archiving, SSD's are better. All HD failures we have had have been perfectly fine HD's that sit stored for several years and start grinding and failing when plugged in after that time. While they are not spinning when stored, they are subjected to sharp movement, environment, and have things like bearings to be concerned about.

As for the write cycle thing with SSD's, Google and others have published their long-term statistics with these drives (actual individual models/companies) in constant read/write usage. The failure time from writing is measured in petabytes - a time so long that for an average consumer, the drive itself will be out of date before exceeding the write cycles (average users will write ~1TB/yr, so a PB represents a thousand years).

Here is one of the more famous studies on consumer SSD's: The SSD Endurance Experiment: They're all dead - The Tech Report - Page 1

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Old 02-07-2015, 12:07   #21
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Re: Music storage and access

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I have loaded all my music and movies on to a 2t portable hard drive and I am happy with that so far, no CDs or DVDs on board.
How do you get the music from the PHD to your stereo system?

I've got an older Sony car stereo system with a 10 disk CD changer (circa 2007). I can play my old iPod nano (tiny) through the cassette tape adapter. OK, OK, I still have cassettes with some great stuff on them. Probably the last cassette deck ever made!

I also have a roatary dial cell phone.

IIRC, I could get something to plug into the RCA jacks on the back of the head end unit.

Any suggestions? Do they make a USB to RCA adapter? The unit doesn't have an aux input plug on the front.

I also have the instruction manual for the
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Old 02-07-2015, 14:15   #22
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Re: Music storage and access

I prefer WD My Passport USB drives, about the size of a wallet, no external power supply. I have about 2TB of movies, over 1TB of TV shows and close to 1TB (and growing) of music in MP3 format.

I can play them on my laptops or through my WD TV Live! media player, or plug the music one into any stereo with a USB input. If the stereo has folder or file limitations, that's something that can be dealt with, given a little time and effort.

My music is sorted by Artist folder, album folder, then tracks in numerical order.
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Old 02-07-2015, 14:17   #23
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Re: Music storage and access

I also have 2 Ipods, but only for travel or jogging use. If it has a USB input, then I prefer the portable HDDs.
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Old 02-07-2015, 15:00   #24
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Re: Music storage and access

I prefer the Passport drives for music the same reason, but went for a 4GB for video. Of course just to be perverse, apparently the TV won't see a partition over 2GB in size. (sigh).


I also organize my music the same way, but have the outstanding luck to have a car that will only shows tracks alphabetically--it doesn't understand track numbers. And I'm not about to go rename all those tracks, manually. I'll play them through the phone if I want album play in the right sequence.


There's always something that you would never think to ask about, because it is so trivial and mundane. And they still find a way to screw it up every time.
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Old 02-07-2015, 15:31   #25
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Re: Music storage and access

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1 I also organize my music the same way, but have the outstanding luck to have a car that will only shows tracks alphabetically--it doesn't understand track numbers. And I'm not about to go rename all those tracks, manually. I'll play them through the phone if I want album play in the right sequence.


2 There's always something that you would never think to ask about, because it is so trivial and mundane. And they still find a way to screw it up every time.
1 I do, too. Sometime ago I hit the shuffle box by mistake and all my music came out in the wrong order. If "This Land is Your Land" didn't come right after "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" it all sounded weird!!!:whistling :

2 It's amazing how some programmers can manage to make 1,2,3,4 come out 5,1,234, 2, minus 69 and 7!!!


I have learned to manage to deal with it. After all, back in my cassette days, I used to make mix tapes, and now do that with making up my own playlists of "best of..." CDs that have songs in different orders.

It still boggles me though, when I start singing what should be "the NEXT song" and something else starts playing!!! :whistling :

OK, OK, I've made the transition from records to tape to MP3 to CD. Now all I need is an iPod that is big enough to hold my music.

Back to needing answers to my last post. #21

Thanks, this is fun.

Not old enough to remember or use gramophones, though. LIVE music rocks, hard to do on a boat unless I bring my guitar, and most who have heard me play agree it ain't music!
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Old 02-07-2015, 15:31   #26
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Re: Music storage and access

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...

SSD's: great, yes. But if you just want to archive the library and STORE it, rotating hard drives are way cheaper. And when they're not spinning...they're pretty reliable.(G) The trick with SSD's is that they can only be written to so many times. No problem if you are just writing to them once or twice for storage, but conceivable that you'll see capacity drop and data possibly lost if they're used with daily write operations moving data around.


$300, twin 4 terabyte hard drives. Wanna price that out for SSD's? (G)
Music is one thing, but if you cross the line into videos...ouch.
Yes, SSDs are expensive which I why I said it will take time to allow them to drop in price to be affordable for video.

The write limitation in SSDs is so large on the SSD in my laptop that I don't worry about it. The laptop will be functionally obsolete before the SSD starts loosing memory. If one is using the SSD to store music and video, the write limitation is really moot.

Mechanical hard drives do fail over time as does any magnetic device. A few years ago I tried to boot a system that had not been used in close to 15 years and the drive was dead. I did manage to get some files off my 3.5 floppies but it was ugly and many of the floppies were just dead. Both the PC and floppies had been stored properly but they had not been used and died. What was frustrating was that the electronics in the PC were just find, the mechanical hard drive was just toast. Not surprising but still frustrating.

My backups are on USB external drives that I power up from time to time and as the drive's age, they get replaced with newer higher capacity drives. Eventually, those mechanical drives are going to fail but they are pretty danged reliable in my office and house that do not move.

Seriously thinking about buying a new SSD, since there are higher capacities available for the same or less money and using the old SSD for backup along with mechanical drives both USD and internal.

The reality with SSDs is that for most people, there is more than a enough capacity on the cheaper units. What has caused me to need more space is my camera takes images that are around 50MB which eats up space fast. The large images needs an SSD to process with a reasonable amount of time since the biggest performance bottle next is the IO time. If not for video and images, regular data files just don't take up that much space. My music is only 12-13 GB.

Later,
Dan
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Old 02-07-2015, 15:53   #27
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Re: Music storage and access

Stu-
I always used to listen to albums by album, no mix tapes, and no great fondness for "Best of" collections if I could get the real deal. But in the evil car, I labored for days to figure out how to get an entire USB stick to random play. Evil machine won't let me random play "from this folder down" so I had to put the polka music on one stick, and all the yodelling on another. But, at least I got it to random play "a stick" so in the car, it is always "My Radio Station" and rarely albums. If I try to un-random it...I never quite get it back on the first try. Or second. And definitely can't do that while driving.


An iPod big enough for all your music? Well, the discontinued iPod Classic with a 160GB hard drive might do it, in mp3 format. But that's obsolete, anything that can play digital music and take a 128GB micro-SDXC card in it (not SD, not SDHC, but SDXC) can make a good dent. Newer stuff can take a 256GB micro card in it, and you can do some damn nice storage on that.(G)
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Old 02-07-2015, 16:03   #28
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Re: Music storage and access

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OK, OK, I've made the transition from records to tape to MP3 to CD. Now all I need is an iPod that is big enough to hold my music.

You took a step backwards at the end of your transition there...

Until just a few months ago, Apple made a 160GB iPod - which was way big enough for even our large collection. Unfortunately, they just discontinued it and do not make one that can hold all our music now.

Hope our current one lasts.

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Old 02-07-2015, 16:11   #29
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Re: Music storage and access

Speaking of SSD prices, I've been getting emails from Tigerdirect and newegg with some amazing prices on 500GB, 930GB and 1TB drives.

IIRC, they were selling a 500GB Crucial M500 for about $169, another brand of 930GB SSD for $239 and a 1TB Samsung 850 was down under $300. These were all 1 day specials. If all 3 desktops and both laptops didn't already have SSDs, I'd be tempted.

Newegg still has a Samsung 5TB desktop 3.5" HDD for $120 delivered, pretty cheap for that much portable storage. I remember back in the day I paid about $ 150 ea for my 2TB WD Black drives that I used for my 8TB media server RAID.
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Old 02-07-2015, 16:13   #30
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Re: Music storage and access

I think someone at Apple wanted to shift users to subscription music instead. But for $199 there's the Fiio X3-II, which will hold two 128GB memory cards. Godawful interface on the thing, someone was too brilliant to just put an Android OS on it and let users pick their own players, and you have to select "this card" or "that card", it can't pretend they are one.


It's typical of the digital players out there now, and probably more bang for the buck than the overhyped Pono player. Apple must be geniuses, to think they can push everyone to "$10 a month for life and just stream the data" instead of at least TRYING to compete with a best-of-breed player, which they could do so easily.
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