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iTunes 10 ~73 MB


ishan_rulz

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I'm using XMplay now.

I've tried it before years ago and some people really like it allot. I personally could never get used to the rather smallish GUI, but to each their own as we all have different preferences and needs. The reason I like Foobar2000 so much is the ability to have huge playlist(s) with very relevant info shown in the playlist(s) which is one reason I could never go back to Winamp, Quintessential Player, etc..

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I use the zune software primarily now.

I love my 8gb zune and my 16gb zune hd, but its the zune pass that really make them shine. If you want applications go for the ipod, but if your a music lover then go with zune. For 15 bucks a month you have unlimited access to just about anything thats out there.(you get to keep 10 songs a month which are awesomely always encoded in 320kbs mp3 and sound great.)

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Problem with zune is MS often will yank the DRM for the tracks you kept (Google "Rahul Sood" Zune to see the experience of HP/VooDoo's Rahul Sood with suddenly not being able to access his music.)

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For 15 bucks a month you have unlimited access to just about anything thats out there.(you get to keep 10 songs a month which are awesomely always encoded in 320kbs mp3 and sound great.)

I'm sure that would suit some folks. However for me I'd rather just sample songs on Amazon.com, and then get the actual physical CD since I'm all about lossless audio.

 

That and I don't know what they're going to encode those MP3s with which is something I'm super finicky about, i.e.; are they properly encoded with Joint Stereo, are they encoded with a modern version of LAME hopefully in VBR mode with something like -V2 or -V0 (which are high quality/archival quality LAME encoding parameters for those that don't know to save space over using bloated 320 KBPS CBR), etc., and encoded with a modern version of LAME that supports gapless playback in apps such as Foobar2000, Winamp, etc.

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I won't buy any lossy-(compressed but not quite the original) rubbish unless it's FLAC or some other lossless compression format or Audio CDs.

 

Richard S.

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Problem with zune is MS often will yank the DRM for the tracks you kept (Google "Rahul Sood" Zune to see the experience of HP/VooDoo's Rahul Sood with suddenly not being able to access his music.)

 

I found that blog post.

I'm not really sure what to make of it because I've been using my song credits every month and they download DRM less mp3s. Their is no DRM for them to pull, so I'm not sure whats going on with that guy. I have to wonder if he downloaded the song once with the drm and again with his song credit and then mixed up the files or something.

 

I've been using the zune pass since January and I don't really have a single bad thing to say about it. Its cheap and I always have new stuff to listen to either in my car or while working out. In fact I sometimes have a hard time deciding what to use my credits on because when everything is available at any time, what makes you want to "keep" one thing over the other. :lol: I still browse Amazon MP3 every now and then because I get the newsletter for the $5 albums they put up every month, but I rarely buy anything.

 

I used to buy tons of cds every month. Probably $50 or more and that was buying used copies a lot of time.

I have the artists catalogs that I feel like I need to have on disc(beatles, zeppelin, ect) but now with zune I'm finding stuff I never would have gotten into and certainly wouldn't have bought the album if I couldn't have listened to it for free. Every tuesday the new releases come out and I press a button and have them on my mp3 players in a few minutes without costing me a cent. (sadly not much new stuff I like, but thats another story)

 

I've had zero problems and even if I did go back to constantly buying discs, I'd still keep zune pass.

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I'm sure that would suit some folks. However for me I'd rather just sample songs on Amazon.com, and then get the actual physical CD since I'm all about lossless audio.

 

That and I don't know what they're going to encode those MP3s with which is something I'm super finicky about, i.e.; are they properly encoded with Joint Stereo, are they encoded with a modern version of LAME hopefully in VBR mode with something like -V2 or -V0 (which are high quality/archival quality LAME encoding parameters for those that don't know to save space over using bloated 320 KBPS CBR), etc., and encoded with a modern version of LAME that supports gapless playback in apps such as Foobar2000, Winamp, etc.

 

I'm not sure what they encode the files with.

I've got some pretty nice audio equipment though and I cant say I've had any time where I felt they were sub par. Definitely not anything most people would notice considering 90% of people probably use the cheap headphones that come with their ipods. :P I still keep a lossless library that I ripped with either WMA Lossless or FLAC(depending on how lazy I was the day I ripped it) and while listening on my pc I cant say I will listen to those songs and then the zune stuff and feel like its inferior. I'm all for good audio quality though(as we've chatted about this a ton before) but I honestly dont feel like its a step back.

 

Give it a shot, they have a free 14 day trial. You may be surprised. :P (even without a zune, its worth it just to get to browse around and listen to whatever you want.)

 

I won't buy any lossy-(compressed but not quite the original) rubbish unless it's FLAC or some other lossless compression format or Audio CDs.

 

Richard S.

 

I used to feel like this too.

I got over it once I saw stores like amazon offering good quality mp3(usually 320kbs which isn't lossless but its definitely not low quality either)albums at a fraction of the cost of the discs at the store. New releases are usually $8 and they offer tons of stuff for $5 or less. I love good sounding music but the difference wasn't worth the cost of spending $7 to $8 more per album to me. (may be worth it to you though)

Not to mention it stops me from adding to the shelves of cds that I ripped and never touch again.

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I'm not sure what they encode the files with.

Give the freeware Mr. Questionman by Gambit a whirl. It's not always 100% accurate if an mp3 has been messed with like processing through MPTrim however I find it indispensable since it can often tell what something is encoded by i.e.; FhG, LAME, XING, etc., and moreover if the LAME tag is intact it can tell you what LAME parameter was used.

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01 Plundered My Soul.mp3 MP3 9.26 MB 03:59 23.04% 320 kbps MPEG 1 Layer III FhG 44100 2 16

 

Thats what came up. :huh:

 

Oh and I did an Amazon song too:

 

16 - Shine Along.mp3 MP3 8.19 MB 04:33 17.84% 251 kbps MPEG 1 Layer III LAME 3.98b 256 44100 2 16

 

They use lame but lower bitrate. Some I have from them are 320 though too.(not that big a difference I know)

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