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Would like to transfer my 300+ CDs to my hard drive and connect the PC to my audio system. What does everyone recommend as the best MP3 management software?

My needs/wants:
1. Excellent cataloguing
2. ability to further classify songs beyond artist/album/year
3. abilty to generate random playlists based on classifications
4. easy for the wife to use (incredibly important or my life will be miserable)
 

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I've used MusicMatch for years and find it easy to use and very robust. Its currently on Version 10 and is updated often. (Apparently its the Winner of PC Magazine Editors' Choice Award - seven times in a row!)


My wife has no problem with it.

I haven't but you can classify songs as well as rate them.

I have pre-defined playlists and sometimes I just drop a genre in the playlist window and tell it to go random.

They were recently bought by Yahoo so I don't know what the price is now or particulars.
 

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for transfering your CDs to the PC I would recommend you look at CDEX.

It is a free program and works very well. It will use CDDB to rename all your tracks and put it in the album data. You can also include the year of the album, genre, etc etc.
What I like about it is that it will make a folder for each album, and these albums will be in a folder for the specific artist/band. It makes it very easy to find the album you want to listen to.

Best of all, CDEX is free.
for playback i use winamp...
 

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I believe the standard Media Player will do a fine job.
I don't personally use it because I don't like the playback quality. I use Foobar2K, but that is not easy to use.
 

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hugh said:
I've used MusicMatch for years and find it easy to use and very robust. Its currently on Version 10 and is updated often. (Apparently its the Winner of PC Magazine Editors' Choice Award - seven times in a row!)
I totaly agree! Musicmatch is great. It is not the cheepest but you definatly get what you pay for.
Do not use the free stuf as they do not covert to mp3 with decent quality (there is a difference).
I would recomend using a setting of 60% vbr or a fixed setting of 160bps. do not use the default of 128bps.
 

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Audio said:
Do not use the free stuf as they do not covert to mp3 with decent quality (there is a difference).
I would recomend using a setting of 60% vbr or a fixed setting of 160bps. do not use the default of 128bps.
Audio

I'll have to disagree with you on that one. EAC with the LAME encoder does an extremely good job. Both are free. I use these and for cleaning up the tags afterward (and you will have to clean up/recatalogue tags) I use ID3-tagit.
 

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I've been using MusicMatch for years too. It's a great program and on top of that, their support people really listen. I made a whack of suggestions to them about a year ago and every single one of them made it into version 10.
 

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jurassicjockey said:
Audio

I'll have to disagree with you on that one. EAC with the LAME encoder does an extremely good job. Both are free. I use these and for cleaning up the tags afterward (and you will have to clean up/recatalogue tags) I use ID3-tagit.
I think Audio was referring to the free version of MusicMatch which has encoding and burning limitations.
 

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Yes I was, thanks but some of the other freeware stuff is also bad for converting but not all. The bigest difference is that Musicmatch does it all in one package and does it very well. You can even make lables. And the ID taging info is very simple to edit.
 

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I've used iTunes for over a year now. I used to use Musicmatch, but was missing some of the features that iTunes allows. Before that, like everyone probably, I used Winamp, but it soon became a pain in the rear. So chalk one up for iTunes.
 

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Another vote for music match. It's a mature product the just keeps getting better with each upgrade.
 

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Audio said:
Do not use the free stuf as they do not covert to mp3 with decent quality (there is a difference).
I believe this statement is patently false. There is NO difference between the quality from free and purchased programs. There was an issue with WinXP by default only allowing MP3 conversion at (I believe) 64 kbps but that is easy to work around.

If you are just ripping music to be played from your PC then you could rip to WMA lossless using Windows Media Player - this is from a free program and the quality is perfect. This isn't such a good idea if you have an iPod or want to conserve disk space.

With iTunes you can rip at very high bitrates if you want - 256 kbps, or higher at CBR or VBR. iTunes is also a free program.

As has been mentioned elsewhere LAME is considered the gold standard for MP3 and is also free.
 

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There is indeed a WMA Lossless option. This is certainly my preference because you can then convert that to any file that makes sense to you without having to pull out the original CD.
 

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Oops. Didn't know about that.
Is it really lossless (like FLAC, Monkey Audio and the likes) or just transparent (like 256Kbps MP3s) ?
 

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Wayne, pay attention, that wasn't what he said and its been re-iterated twice that he strictly meant the free version of Musicmatch!
 
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