MP3 Special: Let the music play

Mpeg Compression 3, or MP3 as it is more popularly known, has fast become the favored standard for digital music formatting. Whatever the fate of Napster, the music file-swapping craze shows no sign of slowing down.

You’re the hidden few that keep your company’s IT infrastructure working. Out-of–sight and often out-of-mind till you’re required, you need something to keep you sane. You know that playing games is frowned upon. But how do you bring enough to keep yourself happy for the period of your ‘incarceration’? MP3 my boy, that’s the answer.

Mpeg Compression 3, or MP3 as it is more popularly known, has fast become the favored standard for digital music formatting. Whatever the fate of Napster, the music file-swapping craze shows no sign of slowing down.

YES

All it takes is the download and installation of a small program and you’re ready to run. It all starts with downloading a couple of tracks from bands you've never heard of and playing CDs on your CD-ROM. Now you download from Napster, rip CDs left, right and centre, swap songs peer to peer, and even download whole albums over cable modem, legally of course...

Just how do you think you’re going to manage all those songs and albums, and at the same time be able to find that one song you actually want to hear?

How do you sort your music or create a playlist, and what about taking your music with you on the move? And more importantly, what can you do about the fact that your previously empty 20 GB hard drive is full? But what happens when your MP3 player, PC and CD rack start to overflow? We at ZDNet take a look at some of the MP3 file storing hardware and software currently on the market, and discuss the likelihood of starting up your very own MP3 jukebox.

Your favorite MP3 player is in your start-up items and never stops playing those tunes, 1000s of them from Kiss to Karma County, from B52s to the Bloodhound Gang. But at some stage, something has got to give. You've been kicked off the household computer, you quickly fill the standard 20GB hard drive on your computer and your MP3 collection still keeps growing.

We took a look at all this, and more, with a special focus on what hardware and software you need for the ultimate MP3 jukebox.

When it comes to MP3 hardware storage products, we’ll have a look at a couple of hardware products that are available here now and what we hope will soon be coming. Software to organise those thousands of tracks, create the perfect playlist for any occasion, and burn the next party CD is also important. Most are readily available via download and many are free. A range of MP3 software is reviewed to find the best jukebox software out there.

You don’t even have to store your tunes on your PC or mobile device. Online MP3 storage is also available and the good sites even allow you to stream the music back to your computer. You can listen to them from anywhere with an Internet connection. There are plenty of online storage options but if you want to play and manage your music online, at a quality that is acceptable for home audio, bring your bandwidth, you'll need at least an ADSL internet connection running at 256kbits or better.


Read the complete story:
  1. MP3 hardware
  2. Portable options
  3. MP3 software
  4. Online storage
  5. So what’s the best choice?
  6. Overview of MP3 Jukebox software

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