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Thread: New-fangled Home Entertainment Stuff

  1. #1
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    May 2007
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    New-fangled Home Entertainment Stuff

    OK, so never mind that I spent my career specifying, operating, maintaining high-tech video/audio gear and everything associated with it. I researched the daylights out of everything new that was available before I spent a penny of my company's money. Then, I retired and started making sawdust (most of the time). The electronics became one of those "been there, done that" aspects of my life. My bad!

    When we decided to update the home entertainment system in our family room, I thought, "No big deal!". It's just a TV, some kind of disc player and sound. Yeah, but it's way different than what I bought 10-20 years ago! After much research on just how smart I wanted the TV to be vs having the smarts in a different box, I decided to go with a 55" LG LCD/LED with a full range of I/O and an LG blu-ray player with "Smart TV". Right! A box that's smarter than me! But, it's just a box and I finally read enough of the instructions to get streaming content from the Internet and my home office computer. I'm sure I'll have to change to a higher speed on the cable modem, but that's a quick phone call to LOML (she works at the cable company) followed by a command from their IT folks.

    Sound system? We decided on the Bose Cinemate GS Series II system. The quality and room-filling sound that sucker puts out is amazing!

    OK, so why am I telling you all of this? One: I've been enjoying the new "inside toys" so much (to say nothing of knocking holes in walls and installing a wall mount, etc.) that I haven't hit a lick on my credenza project all week! And the credenza's original purpose was to hold the new TV on its stand - then we decided to hang it on the wall. Two: I have a seemingly simple decision to make regarding committing our CD collection to a hard drive, mainly for streaming but also for backup. I've done a few CDs for our cars - converting them to MP3 to get several CDs on a disc. Before I spend the time to copy all of our CDs to a hard drive, I'd like some input from those of you who have done more of this than I have.

    1. My first thought was doing a direct copy - no compression - of all CDs. Lots of HD space required, though.

    2. Save as MP3 at ??? compression rate: 320, 256, 128. Saves space at the expense of data loss.

    What say you of the audiophile persuasion?
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  2. #2
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    Can't help with the CD thing but congrats on the new system. We have 3 LG's and they are all great products.
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

    Rule of thumb is if you don’t know what tool to buy next, then you probably don’t need it yet.

  3. #3
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    I personally like to make MP3s at 320. 256 is good and I don't like 128 at all. I would only go with 128 if I was running out of space.
    Chinese Proverb: Man who eats many prunes gets good run for the money.

  4. #4
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    Compression's effect will be directly proportional to what you play the resulting file on. Like you "back when I was younger . . . " The stereo I mostly listen to now I would not even have bothered to turn on "back then". Now, unless I am doing some "active listening" in my listening room, MP3s and streaming internet Lo-Fi are fine. My favorite for really listening to music are 'direct to digital' recordings but the offerings (although getting better) are still a minority. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a snob and love listening to almost any kind of music but, background music and paying attention-like listening are different forms of entertainment for me ;-)
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 12-22-2011 at 04:16 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  5. #5
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    With that Bose system, I'd go at least with 320 for quality, disk space is pretty cheap now days. If you have to go lower, really you're only going to notice it if you've got the two playing sided by side. Mostly be consistent, I notice some differences between some earlier lower compressions and newer ones with higher compressions, which was mostly the volume and highs/lows. If all are ripped at the same rate, then you're not going to have to adjust much if at all.

    I'd try to keep a second drive around too or make backups of the mp3's on dvds once you get them ripped. I have one drive I copied the mp3's and pictures to, disconnected it, and put it in the safe so it wouldn't be affected by power surges and such.

    I spent every night for about 3 weeks ripping my collection. Since we've gone to ipods/iphones, we pretty much only buy from the iTunes store and don't buy CD's anymore either, so keeping up with making backups has gone away since apple lets me download what I've already purchased again.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  6. #6
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    gonna slide in here for a bit and ask a question... how do you take existing music on cd's and get it converted to mp3's and also how can one import that into a streaming music setup like pandora for instance,, sorry for hyjack bill...
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  7. #7
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    Larry, no problem with the hijack - it's still on the subject. I'm using Windows Media Player to do the conversion - set a few parameters and let 'er rip. Someone may have a better suggestion, though. Can't help with Pandora.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  8. #8
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    Larry, I can't help with ripping cds to mp3's but check out google music. You can upload all your music and then listen to it anywhere via the web, ipod/iphone or android phone. I haven't had time to upload all my music to it yet but apparantly you can even upload your itunes music.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
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