Sep 06

itunes

Importing songs into iTunes is easy – you just INSERT the CD, SELECT it in iTunes, and press the ‘Import’ button!

But… the default setting on iTunes is not the best setting to use when importing songs. It’s far better to use the ‘Apple Lossless’ setting which will keep your music at CD quality. If you must compress the music (e.g. you want to fit it on your iPod or a laptop) then use the  bitrate of 320kbps rather than the default 128kbps of iTunes.

This article describes how to import songs into iTunes with the better quality bitrate.
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Jul 05

 

Introducing LAME! 

Lame is an mp3 encoder that is open source, which means rather than being developed commercially, it was developed by unpaid programmers sharing together. It was originally not as good as the commercial mp3 encoders.  Slowly as many people worked on LAME it actually overtook the original mp3 encoder. Some people now claim it is the best mp3 encoder available. They have a pretty lame logo (see above) probably because they are unpaid programmers not graphic artists. Continue reading »

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Jan 05

When you have more than one computer and more than one iPhone or iPod there are various ways to sync your iTunes songs across all your devices.  This article outlines them all.

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Aug 21


In this article I talked about the best import settings for iTunes. Since then with the increase in Hard Disk space I now think it’s best to import all your songs using the apple lossless encoder. This still compresses the files by about 1/3 but there is no loss of audio quality at all. With AAC and MP3 files, not matter how high you set the quality, there is ALWAYS some loss of quality. Apple Lossless audio is exactly the same quality as what’s on your CD. Here’s how to import into iTunes using the Apple lossless encoder.
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Nov 18

Some older music players do not sync with itunes but require you to manually copy an mp3 file onto them. Here is how to convert a song that you have in iTunes into an MP3 file so you can copy it to your mp3 player.

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Apr 15

Here’s a list of some programs that you can download for free from versiontracker.com or find via a google search to supplement the software that comes with your mac. Continue reading »

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Sep 25

>if I want to convert some aiff files to mp3 to be downloaded from net…
> what specs should I aim at to keep size down but quality ok…

These are the settings I use for good quality speech in itunes: Continue reading »

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Aug 29

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    I have a lot of .mov files. Each file is about 1 hour of movie footage but compressed to only 200-300MB. When I import them into iMovie it tries to convert them to dv files. Do you know a way to burn a collection of .mov files to a dvd so that they can be read with a normal dvd player?

Good question, let me explain a little bit about what you can and can’t do with CDs and DVDs.
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Mar 28

I’ve been playing round with getting good quality compressed speech with LAME. (See here for iTunes.) Here’s what I’ve found.

1. SMALLEST FILE SIZE ACCEPTABLE QUALITY.
For very small file size (3MB for 20 minutes) and acceptable quality, use the LAME encoder with the following arguments in the ‘Encoding options’ Box:

–abr 16 -q 0  -m m  (gives very small file size but some artefacts audible)

Here are some better options, note that the higher bitrate does not always sound better! I think a lower bitrate decreases the frequency of the lows pass filter so in some cases lower bitrate sounds better as it takes of the harsh tops, depends on the person and how their voice sounds.

–abr 24 -q 0  -m m (gives small file size but you can only just tell it’s compressed)

–abr 32 -q 0  -m m

–abr 48 -q 0  -m m

abr 16 means a bitrate of 16kbps

-q 0 means best quality available at that bitrate

-m m means mono

You can hear some low pass filtering on the above speech, the highs are missing, but this can make for a better listening experience with spoken word, it can be less harsh.

 

3. BETTER QUALITY AND ACCEPTABLE FILE SIZE.
For about twice the size files (8MB for 20 minutes of speech) but very very good quality try this in LAME encoder:

–preset voice

OR

-V 8 –vbr-new -h -q 0

4. BEST QUALITY. Use iTunes. Although LAME is better for music, and lower bitrate spoken word, iTunes is great for 40kbps spoken word and above. CLick here to read about the best settings on importing spoken word into iTunes here.

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Feb 28

To quote from the DivX website:

Due to limitations in the QuickTime Architecture, AVI video files containing MP3, WMA or AC3 audio tracks will not play directly in QuickTime based applications. You may experience stuttering, loss of sound, no sound or an error message.

We have written a useful application called “DivX Doctor II” which can fix these problems, and other issues QuickTime has with AVI files. You can download DivX Doctor II from http://doctor.3ivx.com/.
Here is the direct link to the file:

http://www.3ivx.com/codec/DivXDoctorII2.2.sit

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Feb 12

So you’ve made an mp3 file, and you want to turn it into a podcast. Here’s how.

A podcast is simply a small file called an ‘RSS feed’ that points to the audio (mp3) file that you want to podcast.

You can then go one step further and submit it to itunes to make it an official Apple podcast. The  RSS feed file can be registered with any podcast site, but this post describes how to do it with the Apple iTunes site.. Continue reading »

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Jan 25

Here’s a pretty good way to record speech on the macintosh, and have it sound OK for listening to over the internet. Continue reading »

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