you and your mp3 player

PCs, laptops, macs, mp3 players, consoles, peripherals
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darvé
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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by darvé » Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:15 pm

Gordon wrote:There's also TuneUp http://www.tuneupmedia.com/ which automatically retags and album-arts music if you're that way inclined.
That's great if you want to hear Sleep Around the Clock by Belle and Sebastian it seems.
and that snare drum, that drum roll
means we've got a winner

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Gordon
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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by Gordon » Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:18 pm

Nice.
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Uncle Ants
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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by Uncle Ants » Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:24 pm

They let the users fill out the data? Good lord, no wonder it's shit.
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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by islandhopper » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:34 pm

Uncle Ants wrote:
I guess it depends on whether having Bob Dylan listed as two separate artists "Bob Dylan" and "Dylan, Bob" or the Beatles as three "Beatles", "The Beatles" and "Beatles, The" bothers you or not.
But it won't because whether it's tagged as Bob Dylan or Dylan, Bob my it will all still come up on my itunes as Bob Dylan.
I guess it's a personal thing, but I just don't get the songwriter thing at all. Personally, who has written a song has no bearing on how I listen to or sort my music. I guess I just don't care enough.

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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by Uncle Ants » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:52 pm

islandhopper wrote:
But it won't because whether it's tagged as Bob Dylan or Dylan, Bob my it will all still come up on my itunes as Bob Dylan.
I guess it's a personal thing, but I just don't get the songwriter thing at all. Personally, who has written a song has no bearing on how I listen to or sort my music. I guess I just don't care enough.
Don't mind me. I'm just whinging for the sake of it. I've worked with computers all my life though and it never ceases to amaze me that after all that time they are still a bit rubbish and never quite do what you want them to. Just as it never ceases to amaze me that we put up with it.
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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by Jangloid Mark » Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:16 pm

Gordon wrote:iPods don't use ATRAC (or is that what you meant? No one but Sony uses ATRAC).
Well, it's not strictly speaking an Ipod. It is indeed Sony. I would call it an MP3 player, except that it won't play MP3's....but, to all extents and purposes it does the same thing as an ipod/mp3 player.

I have had ezxactly the same issues as described this morning with compilations...
Gordon wrote:Ironically enough minidiscs do use ATRAC. Some would say carrying one device that has all your music on it is simpler than carrying lots of breakable magnetic minidisks, though.
The thing is, it doesn't really matter with minidisc. I have both a minidisc walkman, and separate...it does knock a bit of the sound off because of ATRAC as well as compression...but, still sounds better than an MP3.

The way I look at it is this...if a minidisc breaks/corrupts, it's 70p for a new blank, and a case of recording one album again....if an MP3 goes pop it's a case of start from scratch.
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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by islandhopper » Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:24 pm

Jangloid Mark wrote:
The way I look at it is this...if a minidisc breaks/corrupts, it's 70p for a new blank, and a case of recording one album again....if an MP3 goes pop it's a case of start from scratch.
What do you mean by "if an mp3 goes pop" though?

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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by Gordon » Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:58 pm

I think it's like classical music vs Mantovani.

And then the MP3 eats itself.
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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by tonieee » Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:02 pm

Uncle Ants wrote:Or that I want them as lossless on my main computer (to listen to through the stereo) but compressed on the iPod and it won't do it.
There is a filesystem for Linux that allows you to store all your music as lossless files (FLAC I think) and then you can mount it in a certain way and all the files magically appear as mp3 and are converted on the fly when you listen to them or copy them onto your mp3 player. It sounds like a fantastic idea and something I've considered looking into but then I'd need to buy a hard drive about 10 times as big to store them all. Also I imagine it would be quite slow.

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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by tonieee » Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:14 pm

Uncle Ants wrote:I've worked with computers all my life though and it never ceases to amaze me that after all that time they are still a bit rubbish and never quite do what you want them to. Just as it never ceases to amaze me that we put up with it.
I think it's the latter that causes the former. Coming up with a seamless computer interface that works for all users costs time and money and if people are willing to put up with it then a company is not going to spend the extra money. Actually these days I've come to favour the old-fashioned, command line based, cryptic keypress types of interface as even though they're harder to learn, once you've learnt them then they are much easier to use, especially for complex tasks. In an ideal world you would get an interface that caters for both levels of users but that never seams to happen.

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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by Jangloid Mark » Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:23 pm

tonieee wrote:
Uncle Ants wrote:I've worked with computers all my life though and it never ceases to amaze me that after all that time they are still a bit rubbish and never quite do what you want them to. Just as it never ceases to amaze me that we put up with it.
I think it's the latter that causes the former. Coming up with a seamless computer interface that works for all users costs time and money and if people are willing to put up with it then a company is not going to spend the extra money. Actually these days I've come to favour the old-fashioned, command line based, cryptic keypress types of interface as even though they're harder to learn, once you've learnt them then they are much easier to use, especially for complex tasks. In an ideal world you would get an interface that caters for both levels of users but that never seams to happen.
The biggest problem - especially with anything Microsoft - is that it tries to second guess you, and does what it thinks you want to do, but, 9 times out of 10, it gets it hopelessly wrong.
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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by tonieee » Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:49 pm

Jangloid Mark wrote:The biggest problem - especially with anything Microsoft - is that it tries to second guess you, and does what it thinks you want to do, but, 9 times out of 10, it gets it hopelessly wrong.
Microsoft is far from the worst offender in my opinion. At least their interfaces tend to be consistent and reasonably well thought out, with keyboard shortcuts which are in many cases configurable. I haven't used Vista or the new Office though.

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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by Gordon » Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:20 am

tonieee wrote:
Uncle Ants wrote: In an ideal world you would get an interface that caters for both levels of users but that never seams to happen.
Makes me think there must be a reason. Remember when Firefox was touted as being elegantly simple? Now people won't upgrade because it would break their installed extensions... Actually I've forgotten what my point is. Except that I don't think iTunes is badly written because it doesn't read the user's mind.
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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by Uncle Ants » Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:12 pm

Gordon wrote:Makes me think there must be a reason. Remember when Firefox was touted as being elegantly simple? Now people won't upgrade because it would break their installed extensions.
Seriously. Don't mind me I was just having a whinge :) I wasn't being very serious

I think the main reason is the attitude prevalent in the software industry that it doesn't really matter if something doesn't quite work properly because they can always fix it with the next version, service pack or bug fix (which is of course a never ending carousel). This has been so long the case that the customers accept it as normal, whereas it wouldn't be accepted in most other products. There is also an attitude that what should be included are the features the programmers think are cool rather than including features the customers might actually want.
Gordon wrote:Except that I don't think iTunes is badly written because it doesn't read the user's mind.
One doesn't expect a piece of software to read one's mind. One does expect the developers to think hard about the various different ways their users might want to use it and accomodate those requirements.

I use an iPod Touch with 8Gb of space - I have an iTunes library on my PC which I primarily use on my main stereo using an Apple Airport Express to get the music to the stereo from the PC which is elsewhere, and the Touch with the Remote App to remote control iTunes on the PC. It's pretty neat actually. Your whole iTunes library in lossless available through the stereo with the Touch as a remote - album art, shuffle, search, the lot.

I want to use the iPod away from the house as an iPod though - clearly my whole libaray won't fit. I just want a selection in compressed format - they can do this for the Shuffle - why can't they do this for an 8Gb Touch? Seems to me like the sort of thing a lot of people wth an 8Gb Touch might want to do. I donlt think it's unreasonable and it's all the more frustrating that they HAVE implemented it for another similar product.

I'll conceed the problems with tags aren't entirely speaking Apple's fault (I was playing at Mr Grumpy). But the data structure used for tagging music files in MP3 (ID3 I think) IS seriously flawed. So Apple created their own standard for AAC and Apple Lossless, which you would think ought to cover the problems with ID3 - does it? Of course not.

The quality of the data aside, just because a lot of people might not (for example) want to devise a playlist based on who wrote a song rather than who sang a song, doesn't mean it isn't a legitimate requirement. Not all music is pop music - you try and get iTunes to make sense of a classical music collection - A typical classical listener might well have the same piece recorded by different orchestras, with different conductors, in different venues at different times on different record labels. They might legitimately want to choose by conductor, or orchestra and certainly by, yes, who wrote it. To do so requires the tags to exist and accurate data - we have neither.
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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by Uncle Ants » Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:01 pm

I've just re read that ... I can come across as a right pompous, moaning pillock sometimes .
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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by Gordon » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:12 pm

Uncle Ants wrote:I think the main reason is the attitude prevalent in the software industry that it doesn't really matter if something doesn't quite work properly because they can always fix it with the next version, service pack or bug fix (which is of course a never ending carousel).
Still... remember when you had to send off for bugfixes on a floppy disk?
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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by Uncle Ants » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:15 pm

Gordon wrote:
Uncle Ants wrote:I think the main reason is the attitude prevalent in the software industry that it doesn't really matter if something doesn't quite work properly because they can always fix it with the next version, service pack or bug fix (which is of course a never ending carousel).
Still... remember when you had to send off for bugfixes on a floppy disk?
True, but maybe the ease with which they can be distributed now makes the attitude itself even worse. Then there was a real incentive to release un buggy software because it cost them money to put it right, now it's really cheap and easy for them. Then if they released some software that was buggy it was a bit of a disaster, now its a bit so what.
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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by Gordon » Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:16 pm

I think it's swings and roundabouts, really.
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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by tonieee » Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:09 pm

Uncle Ants wrote:True, but maybe the ease with which they can be distributed now makes the attitude itself even worse. Then there was a real incentive to release un buggy software because it cost them money to put it right, now it's really cheap and easy for them. Then if they released some software that was buggy it was a bit of a disaster, now its a bit so what.
Until the BBC puts a news item on its website advising people to use a competitor's product: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7784908.stm

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Re: you and your mp3 player

Post by Martijn » Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:55 pm

tonieee wrote:There is a filesystem for Linux that allows you to store all your music as lossless files (FLAC I think) and then you can mount it in a certain way and all the files magically appear as mp3 and are converted on the fly when you listen to them or copy them onto your mp3 player. It sounds like a fantastic idea and something I've considered looking into but then I'd need to buy a hard drive about 10 times as big to store them all. Also I imagine it would be quite slow.
Hee, that sounds like a fantastic idea, even though I can't see a way I would make use of it personally. What I would find useful is if mp3s' tags would allow for multiple albums to contain the song. So that one single mp3 could be on an album, on a best-of compilation and on two mix-cds you have made, while there is only one file on the computer. It would make it easy to get a display of 'all songs by the Beatles' too

As for computer programs being buggy, I think the criticism a bit unfair. Many bugs are security bugs and these are only considered bugs because the nature of the internet makes it quite easy to try and break into many computers at once. If it were possibly for crooks to remotely try and break into hundreds of cars at once, then cars would turn out to be very buggy too.

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