Rip rip rip…


While I was on vacation in Chicago, I finally cracked and bought the shiny white plastic (60gb).  I’d tried to find something acceptable that would play WMAs, since I ripped my entire CD collection to high-quality WMAs a year or two ago, and the Audiostation I have at home plays them, but I finally gave up waiting.  Every WMA player looks like it was designed in 1985 by comparison.  Why is it that Apple seems to have a lock on sexy hardware design?  I’ll skip my frustrations with the software, etc. for now.  Had a few crashes, and some driver issues with the iPod – and that was on my CLEAN machine.


To add to the attraction of iPod, I got the option on the Mini for an iPod interface.  I’m not particularly happy with it, but it is better than nothing. 


Pros:  plays music from the iPod directly through the car’s sound system, sits in the glove compartment (where it’s lockable), integrates track-skipping and playlists into the car’s system.


Cons: it only integrates with five playlists, and the playlists have to be specifically named (prefixed with “MINI1”, “MINI2”, etc.); it can play all tracks (playlist 6), and it will just keep playing a playlist/album that it’s already playing.  It also loses the Random/Shuffle Songs option every time it’s turned off.  (GRRR.)  Worst of all, there is no integration of track/artist/playlist NAMES with the stereo’s display – so you can’t see what you’re listening to, even though it does that with FM info – and the iPod display is useless, because it’s connected!  (It just shows “MINI – ok to disconnect” while it’s plugged in.)


But, the short story is that now I need to re-rip my entire CD collection again as MP3s.  So, I’m reaching down and swapping CDs every couple minutes.  I think I’m about a quarter of the way through.  Wow I own a lot of CDs.


Comments (14)

  1. game kid says:

    Complain to Microsoft, who made the additional format. Oh wait, you work there, my apologies…

    Blame too, the record companies that keep begging for such "protected" formats, when people can (gasp!) record music from an unprotected or protected format whenever it leaves a speaker.

    Add a final layer of blame to the player-making corporations, who clearly have no hardware-design vision or skill in comparison to the Fruit. (Not just Innovation[TM], but creation of a new UI or smaller package, you know?)

  2. LiFo2 says:

    Funny, I have the same problem. It’s hard to find a good player that support Ogg Vorbis. The most surprising thing is that Ogg Vorbis Spec is free, so every player should be able to play it.

  3. Didier R says:

    About a good player for Ogg: I found one (bought on Ebay for ~200€, new value: ~300€):

    Take a search about iAudio M3. 20 Gb, longlife battery, plays Ogg, Mp3, Wma, smaller than iPod and UMS standard. Declined in M3L, with 34h-long battery.

  4. D. Blas says:

    Why didn’t you use official standards ? Standards are made for interoperability and so, to spare money and time, aren’t they ?

    db

  5. db-

    you seem to be under a misunderstanding of the term "standard". WMA *IS* an official standard – an industry standard, even – it just isn’t an openly developed one.

    MP3 is also an offical standard, AND an open one (sort of) – but in my completely-subjective-though-not-because-I-work-for-Microsoft opinion, it’s just not quite as good as WMA.

    I ripped as WMA originally because in my subjective listening, I got better quality from the WMA at the same rate – or, more to the point, I could get the same quality as a lower bitrate. My entire CD library in WMA: 14GB (at 128kps). My entire CD collection in MP3 (at 160kps): 23GB.

  6. Oh, and by the way – GameKid, your comment on the hardware design companies was exactly my point.

    I won’t bother going on a diatribe against record companies here – FWIW, I think "protected" formats are a waste of time too, and I think the record companies dug their own grave by creating CD-Audio format, and as a (mostly former) musician, I can’t say as I’m going to shed too many tears.

    However, WMA files are not all protected – for example, none of my ripped-from-the-CDs files are, and I can copy them across my computers to my heart’s content if I so desire.

    But again, I ripped to WMA first because 1) it played on the players I wanted to use it on at the time (Turtle Beach AudioTron and a Diamond Rio), and 2) it was a better format in my subjective listening opinion.

  7. game kid says:

    "MP3 is also an offical standard, AND an open one (sort of) – but in my completely-subjective-though-not-because-I-work-for-Microsoft opinion, it’s just not quite as good as WMA."

    It does sound better at equal bitrates–that’s a given.  I remember some old microsoft demo pages with two songs comparing mp3 and wma.  The quality difference was noticeable and believable, and a nice excuse to switch to it when recording.

  8. game kid says:

    "I think the record companies dug their own grave by creating CD-Audio format"

    Yup, they sure blew it there.  The people who then made computer-based "ripping" from CDs easy with drives and software, are true revolutionaries in the industry.

    They have proven and made it known that no matter how much effort it takes to make a certain combination of sounds, it’ll take mere seconds to copy it.  It shows just how advanced and powerful (if profit-risking) these computer thingies are.

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