Basics of making music CDs

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Old 01-06-03, 06:46 AM
Mosey
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Basics of making music CDs

I recently got a computer with windows XP Home edition (HP Pavilion). It had a CD ROM drive. I just added a DVD reader that will also burn CD R and CD RW. I would like to create my own music CDs, but know nothing about how to do that. I want to be able to play them back on any CD player, such as the one in my Sony stereo or in my Chevy pickup.

I know that it's possible to download music and burn the songs onto a CD. Do I write them to the CD just as if they were data files? How many songs will a 700MB CD hold?

I also have a Canon Mini-DV camcorder with A/V in/out jacks, so I can record music from a DirecTV music channel. How do I go about copying this music to a CD? I use a USB cable to download still pictures from the camcorder, is this the same cable I use to download video and music? The Canon manual says the camcorder can be used as a "memory card reader/writer" and it explains how to install the software, but it doesn't explain what to do after that. I haven't installed the software yet.
 
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Old 01-06-03, 07:48 AM
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Your computer should have come with Nero or Adaptec software. The procedure for burning CDs is slightly differenty, but similar. Basically you'll need to open the program, select a Music CD, then simply drag and drop your music to the CD. When done simply click burn. A 700Mb CD will probably hold about 15 or so songs, but it really depends on the length of the song. In order for the CD to play in any CD player you'll need to burn the files as WAV files (that's why you select a Music CD). If your player can play MP3 files you can simply put your music as MP3 (data CD), and you can have around 120 or so songs.
Regarding recording music off DirecTV, all you really need is a cable hookup from the output of the receiver to the line in on your sound card, and an audio recording software (such as Total Recorder). Then you can record away. Please note that most programs will record in a wave file, which means that 1 hour of music is about 650 Mb on the drive...
 
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Old 01-06-03, 08:31 AM
Mosey
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trinitro - Thanks. Drag and drop sounds pretty easy! I'll look and see what software is on my HP at home. I'll be sure and select Music CD, since my Sony stereo has no idea what an MP3 is (I've had it for over 10 years) and the CD in my pickup is about as old. When you say "the line in on your sound card", what type of jack is that? My HP manual doesn't help much.
 
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Old 01-06-03, 10:31 AM
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The line-in will be just like the line-out, it's a standard 1/8" stereo plug.

One note: with CD players that old, you may have problems reading from CD-R's. Make sure you buy GOOD CD-R's (not CD-RW's) for recording. They are cheaper and sometimes CD-RW's won't play in older CD players (sometimes CD-R's won't play in older CD players.) Don't buy a lot at one time. Buy some Memorex (or another name brand) and try them. If they don't work, try a different brand, some brands may work better than others.

Good luck!
 
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Old 01-07-03, 12:52 PM
Mosey
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My HP doesn't have either Nero or Adaptec software. It has one called MusicMatch Jukebox. I haven't had time to see what it will do yet.

The back of the computer has 3 jacks lined up in a row. The top one is labeled "Out" and it's green and has a symbol with a dot in the middle and then 2 sideways parenthesis that get bigger as they go out. The middle one is labeled "In" and it's blue and has the same symbol. They both look like they would accept a 1/8" stereo plug, but I haven't tried it yet. The bottom one has no label, but has a picture of a microphone and it's pink. I don't have anything plugged into any of them right now. The speakers for the computer plug into a different spot.

Is a 1/8" stereo plug the same thing that comes on headphones for portable radios/CD players? My DirecTV receiver has 2 RCA type plugs for the audio out, so it looks like I need to get something to convert from the 2 RCA plugs to a 1/8" stereo plug. Radio Shack should have one.
 
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Old 01-07-03, 01:04 PM
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Yep, you got it. Radio Shack has adaptors for RCA to 1/8" plugs (same as headphones for computers.) Plug it into the IN and you're ready to go. I believe MusicMatch does have capabilities you want, but I'm not positive about that, only used it a couple of times. If not, go to www.download.com for some good freeware/shareware.

Good luck!
 
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Old 01-07-03, 02:24 PM
Mosey
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Thanks for your help. Now all I need is the cable and some time to try this out. The later will be the hardest to get!
 
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Old 01-08-03, 05:28 PM
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I would highly suggest NERO.

however, music match will work to burn music cd's from songs you've downloaded-it works fine for that purpose.

however, if you want to copy cd to cd, meaning make a copy of your buddy's cd for yourself, you will need nero.
 
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Old 01-08-03, 06:35 PM
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I burn both music cd's (cda) and mp3 music files.
I use Sonic Foundry (Siren) for my cda files, and use Adaptec to burn(MP3) or copy cd's. I never have to fool with a wav file.
My Silverado has a cd player, but I prefer one mp3 disc, which holds 100 to 150 tunes and I use a Phillips MP3 player with a car kit plugged into my truck cassett player. It takes an eight hour road trip to get through one MP3 data file. I was always skeptical of the sound quality, until I bought both kids(grown) the MP3/cd players and tried it myself. The sound is impressive.
Recording from DirectTV audio channels will be a pain, especially during the editing process. You'd be better off downloading what you want and then burn to your heart's content. Also, if your in the market for a DVD player, get one with an MP3 decoder and listen to the data files on the DVD. The only other tip I know is to dl at least 160 bitrate tunes for closer to cd quality. I only wish I had my cable modem when I downloaded my master library a year or two ago.
my .02

fred
 
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Old 01-09-03, 11:56 AM
Dan Meyer
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I have a related question: How would I run the cable if I want to make a CD from a music cassette? From the output of the cassette player to the input of the computer or from the output of the amplifier to the computer? And would the above mentioned software programs be acceptable?
 
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Old 01-09-03, 12:42 PM
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Same theory applies. Just run your cable from the Out on your cassette deck to the Line-In on the computer. The computer is not going to know what you have hooked up to the Line-In, it's just going to record whatever you have coming in. So, you could literally hook-up any audio component to it. As long as you're not using digital signals and cables or something like that. You could use the out from the amplifier, but you don't want an amplified signal (in other words, use the Rec Out or Line Out, not a speaker out.) You could actually hook-up all your components to your amplifier/receiver and use a Tape Rec Out or Tape 2 or something similar, with a Line-Out output, then just change between components on the Receiver/Amplifier. Whatever you hear, is what you record then.

Note: I assume when you say amplifier, you mean your stereo receiver. If not, if you are actually using a real amplifier, I would not recommend hooking-up through the amp to the computer. Amps are for driving speakers. You need Line quality signals to record on the computer.
 
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Old 01-10-03, 12:53 PM
Mosey
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Fred - So, based on what you said I assume your truck's factory CD player is not MP3 compatible. Are any of the Chevy/GMC trucks CD players MP3 compatible? If so, what year did they start doing that? It sounds like I might be better off with one of those cassette adapters and just go with MP3.
 
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Old 01-10-03, 01:07 PM
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Well, you could do that, but then you take your CD quality recordings and make them Cassette quality recordings by running them through the cassette deck. Not a big deal, but if you want quality recordings, just burn cda's to your disc. If you use CD-R's and burn cda files (CD player dat files basically) then you will have CD quality recordings that will work in MOST CD players. The main difference between MP3's and CD's is the size of the file and how many you can get on 1 disc (because of compression.) Of course, on the other hand, if you were to buy a portable MP3 player (which most portable CD players are also MP3 players now) you would be able to move it from vehicle to vehicle easily, or anywhere for that matter.

Just some thoughts. Good Luck!
 
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Old 01-10-03, 01:11 PM
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Mosey,
Correct, my Z71 is a 98, but I don't think any of the big four(or three) are installing mp3 comp. cd players.
The first after-market auto mp3 player was introduced by Kenwood a few years ago. It was pricey, and there are now others available. I haven't priced them lately. The cassette adapters are pretty nifty, sounds good.
Lately I've noticed many home DVD players will play mp3, and wma files - I almost plunged for one yesterday.

fred
 
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Old 01-10-03, 01:12 PM
Mosey
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SafeWatch - I'll look to the portable CD players, that's a good idea also. Thanks.
 
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Old 01-10-03, 01:40 PM
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Safewatch,
I'd say mp3 cd's with a cassette adapter are alot better than tape quality. First and foremost, NO TAPE HISS, zero, nada.
That was always the biggest problem with any tape recording.
My older ears can't tell the difference between a 160 bit mp3 and a studio cda. Of course now you worry about bumps in the road, and scratches.
fred
 
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Old 01-10-03, 02:03 PM
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Yeah, you're right, it's not exactly down to cassette quality, but it's not CD quality by any means. What is cassette quality? About 100 bit? I forget. I'd say it's probably somewhere right in the middle of 160 CD and whatever cassette quality is. But since you're still using a traditional cassette head to read the data, you get some loss.
 
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Old 01-11-03, 03:26 PM
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Some of the manufactorers ARE offering mp3 players-in the higher end audio systems-such as the mach 460 sound system in the mustang. The system in your truck definetly is not an mp3 player.

I have one of those kenwood car mp3 players. It is probably the best thing I have ever bought for my car. It is a first gen 2001 mp3 player. I almost don't bother with normal cd's anymore. I have over 700 cd's in my personal collection, but condensed to mp3 format, it only takes up 60 cds in mp3 format, I just carry those 60 in a case, and have enough music to play cross county and back 600 times or so.

I would not invest my money in clunky car adapters, simply because of them sliding around and being a nuisance. I bought my kenwood for $350. Don't be tempted by the cheaper ones such as the ones made by aiwa or sony, they can't play the folder in folder architecture-which is standard for mp3s, they also take generations to read and load the cd.

If you go with a car mp3 player, take your mp3 disks with you to the stereo shop, and try all of them out.

I am the mp3 guru--ask if you have any questions.
 
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Old 01-11-03, 04:02 PM
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J Guru,
I appreciate your input. The player in my truck is an MP3 player!! And a klunky car adapter is no problem at all. My MP3 player is velcro'd to the top of my truck console.
It doesn't get in the way since I have arm rests. And, my trip last week 900 miles RT up to Ohio and back to Va was a snap. Removed the player and threw in the wife's Grand Prix. Never touched the radio dial - 14 hours worth. And just today, showed a friend my set up. He's got a 6 disc changer in his truck. He was impressed with the MP3 sound. And what really amazed him was 162 oldies on one disc.
I would have got the Kenwood, but I didn't want someone tearing up my new dash.
I cannot tell the diff between my dash cd player and my MP3 player.
fred
 
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Old 01-13-03, 11:52 AM
Mosey
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Fred - "Of course now you worry about bumps in the road"

Are you saying that you have problems with CDs skipping or something when you hit a bump?
 
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Old 01-13-03, 07:00 PM
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Mosey,
If you hit a good enough hole/bump in the road any cd player is going to burp now and then.
My son cured his with additional padding(in the mounting kit) above and below his in-dash unit.
fred
 
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