I just want to play some of my music

 by Martin Belam, 12 June 2006

Having just moved countries, the only thing we had to play music on was either our iPods, or my laptop, which has probably got worse quality speakers than my three year old mobile phone has.

Anyway, we picked up a cheap DVD/VHS combo recorder - a Philips DVP3055V - and part of the attraction was that it could play MP3 files from CD, so at least we could get some music played out of the slightly better quality TV speakers.

So on Friday I set about making my first MP3 CD compilation, and it was time to read the instruction manual small print for the DVD player. It does play MP3 files. But only if they are saved with filenames in 8.3 DOS format. And at less than 384kbps quality.

So in order to listen to my music on (theoretically) better quality speakers, I have to firstly rename all of the files, and then re-rip some of them down to a lower quality bitrate than I originally ripped them to.

Oh well, anything for a quiet life - or, in this case, anything for a not-quite-so-quiet life.

So I start up Audacity to import the audio on a track-by-track basis, and then re-export it as MP3 files at a lower bitrate - except I forget that Audacity doesn't come with the native ability to export as MP3. You need to download the standalone LAME MP3 encoder.

Audacity helpfully wants to locate lame_enc.dll on the internet for me, but bless it, it isn't yet aware that I've moved to a communications black hole where it seems impossible to get a phone line installed. So next time I'm online in an internet cafe, I have to remember to download the LAME MP3 encoder and then I can start the whole process all over again.

All I want to do is move some perfectly legitimate digital music files from one device (laptop) to another (DVD player), using removable storage (CD-R). How can this be so hard?

When I was a boy, they told me going digital was going to make things easier in the future.

They lied.


How ridiculous

But - you had MP3s at more than 384kbps? I didn't know that was possible.

You might have the google a program called Tag&Rename - it should help with the process.

>> But - you had MP3s at more than 384kbps? I didn't know that was possible.

Hmm, maybe it isn't. They claim to be at a variable rate between 400 and 550 or so when played in Windows Media Player - but I haven't actually counted them as such ;-)

Ah, windows misrepresents variable rate mp3s. they're probably 200-250kbps. try using winamp or itunes to get a true picture of the bitrate.

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