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2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from

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Switching from MP3 to AAC Without Losing Your Mind

If you’re looking for a little more control when ripping CDs as AAC, try Make Mine MPEG-4 (rip 10 CD demo, $7.00 thereafter). iTunes doesn’t let you set some of the encoding options in QuickTime, Audio Quality for example. Anecdotal evidence suggests that iTunes has it set at “Good” or “Normal”, but QT is capable of Better and Best. Further subjective listening tests suggest AACs ripped at 192 kbps at Best Audio Quality are superior to “plain-old” iTunes rips.


Posted by Doug Adams on May 20, 2003 at 2:24 AM (PDT)

Switching from MP3 to AAC Without Losing Your Mind

If you have edited a CD’s info because the CDDB info was wack, your Mac will keep in its cache the info you entered. iTunes will only look up CD info if you check the pref to always look up CD info on the net. Otherwise it will check its local cahe data and use that.

The downside is this won’t work if you have edited your track info AFTER ripping. However I’ve been in the habit of editing track info when the CD is still in the drive, that way, if I ever need to play the tracks from the CD the track info is to my liking. Perhaps more of a tip for future encoding…

Posted by monty on May 20, 2003 at 1:39 AM (PDT)

Switching from MP3 to AAC Without Losing Your Mind

If you do end up with duplicate tracks (1 AAC & 1 MP3) after reripping a CD theres a good way I use which enables you to preserve the play count, and any info thats stored in the iTunes library rather than the ID tags.

Do an an apple R to show your MP3 in the finder, and delete it (inc. emptying the trash). Then in iTunes, clear the AAC track (remove from library) by hitting backspace, and when it asks you if you want to move the track to the trash hit no. Then, Do a get info (or play) the MP3 track… it will say it can’t find it, do you want to locate it… then you just point it towards the AAC file and bingo…. play counts are preserved!

Posted by rees in london on May 20, 2003 at 1:22 AM (PDT)

iPod 20GB Mac

I’m comparing the 2nd gen. ipod 20 GB to the 3rd gen ipod 15 GB.  Why do I want to spend almost $100. more for the newer model?  Are the specs significantly improved?  AND,  does the newer ipod play other music formats (non-MP3)?  I can’t seem to find tech specs on the older 20 GB to compare to the specs for the new 15 GB.  Anyone have any answers (other than a marketing “sell job”)?

Posted by J Dieter in East Coast on May 20, 2003 at 12:32 AM (PDT)

Switching from MP3 to AAC Without Losing Your Mind

Get a Mac.

Why mess with XP?  I converted last November & never looked back.  I have 3 iBooks (very low cost) & a Powerbook in the house with an airport base station…. and I bout my wife an iPod with her iBook.  She loves it (& me for it).

Posted by Freddy on May 19, 2003 at 9:51 PM (PDT)

Switching from MP3 to AAC Without Losing Your Mind

How about Windows XP, is there any apps can rip the CD direct to AAC ?


Posted by godzilla in UK on May 19, 2003 at 8:09 PM (PDT)

Will any MP3 player ever catch Apple's iPod?


that brings back memories of me in high school saving to get that thing. <tear> but i am a proud owner of the original 5 GB iPod.

Posted by bc on May 19, 2003 at 1:11 PM (PDT)

Switching from MP3 to AAC Without Losing Your Mind

Dude, you shouldn’t use AAChoo anyway.  Running two different codecs over the same song is a very bad idea because of severe audio degradation.  Not good.

Posted by Seth Johnson in Texas, USA on May 19, 2003 at 11:56 AM (PDT)

Switching from MP3 to AAC Without Losing Your Mind

Ovolab AAChoo doesn’t do anything that iTunes doesn’t also do. Why pay extra money for functionality iTunes already has? A phrase from a Buddhist parable comes to mind:

Selling water by the river.

Posted by eustacescrubb in Yellow Springs. OH on May 19, 2003 at 11:52 AM (PDT)

TAPs and Obsolete iPods

I work at one of the 7 Atlanta Metro area CompUSA’s and the policy for TAP items in this store goes like this:

If the product is broken and unrepairable, the customer will be issued a store credit equal to the purchase value of the item at the time it was bought. This credit is to be used only for the purchase of an item of equal or similar features by the same manufacturer unless the manufacturer has ceased production of the item. In that case, a product of equal or similar value, features, specifications and functionality will be offered to the customer, along with the choice of a store credit in case of a price difference.

Managers in my store are pretty lax about it, believing that customer satisfaction comes first, so read between the lines people…

Posted by etionee in GA on May 19, 2003 at 11:35 AM (PDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

So….Apple are you listening? It seems that “on-the-go” only refers to the iPod itself, not the actual playlist(!) How can these multimillion dollar decisions get made without first asking any twelve year old?

Posted by Dave on May 19, 2003 at 11:32 AM (PDT)

Switching from MP3 to AAC Without Losing Your Mind

DON’T USE Ovolab AAChoo!
Frequent crashes are bad, as is the wiping of ID3 tags in many cases.

Don’t waste your time.

Posted by mc on May 19, 2003 at 11:27 AM (PDT)

My iPod Buying Experience

I ordered my iPod 11 days ago, and it’s still not in!!! why do you think this is? I live in Canada… does this make a difference?

Posted by Dave Luebbert in Ontario, Canada on May 18, 2003 at 8:26 PM (PDT)

Switching from MP3 to AAC Without Losing Your Mind

There is another option.  If you are like me and aren’t that particular about the difference between MP3 and AAC quality, you can use Ovolab’s ( AAChoo utility.

From their website:

An amazing utility for every music lover, Ovolab AAChoo converts all your MP3 songs to AAC, the new high-quality and compact audio format at the core of MPEG-4, with an easy drag-and-drop interface and full control over every encoding parameter.

Try that out !!

Posted by A G4 Cube User in NY on May 18, 2003 at 2:21 PM (PDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

playlist, if my ipod had a playlist and an ebook feature it would be gods gift to humanity.

Posted by duc in uk on May 18, 2003 at 1:44 PM (PDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

I overheard a conversation at the Live On Stage event for the debut of iPods…
One customer was discussing the concept of pitch control on iPods with the iPod DJ…

Would it be possible to modulate the pitch with an external signal processor plugged into the iPod’s headphone port? iPod > Pitch Controller > Mixer

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on May 17, 2003 at 1:16 PM (PDT)

Switching from MP3 to AAC Without Losing Your Mind

I’m going through a similar process now.  A few observations:

9500 songs?  Pah!  I’ve nearly twice as many smile  But it’s much easier this time than ripping the first time, for a few reasons.  Partly because of my other major difference:

I don’t use CDDB.  I’ve a lot of out-of-the-mainstream stuff that’s not on there, so I’d have to enter quite a lot of stuff manually anyway.  I also have my own standards for capitalisation etc., which CDDB &c won’t stick to.  (Briefly, I keep album names in ALL CAPS, which makes them much easier to recognise in iTunes’ small window &c.  I enter all the composer info, which CDDB doesn’t have.  Plus I put ’ (live)’ in the title of live versions, so I can easily distinguish them when the album title’s not showing.  And even some of the basic songname info in CDDB is dodgy!  Much safer to do it all myself, and a much more consistent result.)

So, having entered everything the first time, the Mac remembers the track details on all my CDs, so I don’t need to re-enter this time around.  All I need to do is check for things I’ve changed since then—which is very little, generally.  (And, now things are stable, I’m ensuring the CD info gets updated, so if there’s a next time, there’ll be no changes at all!)

As you said, one nice thing about `Replace existing’ is that where fields are blank on the CD, it keeps the corresponding fields from the track it’s replacing.  So you don’t need to re-enter comments &c.

Also, the encoding is much faster.  The first time round, I used lame, and an AppleScript.  I’d rip many CDs to AIFF during the day, put them into a special playlist, and then run the script overnight to convert stuff into MP3.  Much better quality than iTunes’ encoder, but a slow process.  This time I can’t do that; not only do I not have enough HD space left smile but iTunes’ AAC encoder runs about 8 times faster than lame!  So this time round I’m encoding as I rip; slower, but I get to use the computer for other things as it’s going, so it doesn’t feel as bad.  And not having to re-enter the track info makes it quite a bit quicker overall.

Well worth it, anyway.  My first iPod arrived yesterday…  It’s *NICE* :-]

Posted by Andrew Giddings in UK on May 17, 2003 at 10:28 AM (PDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

yeah it might, but would people ever listen?

Posted by Oliver in Japan on May 17, 2003 at 10:13 AM (PDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

If my pod had pitch control like turntables , It would
fundamentaly change the art of DJ’ing.
Any ideas?

Posted by DJ Mark Kamins in NYC on May 17, 2003 at 6:15 AM (PDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

Dave - mine, and everyone elses, is the same way.  Its what everyone is complaining about.  You’d figure that the songs that were just added to the end of your list would play, but instead when it gets to the last song on your original list you made, it loops back to the first song on the orginal list.


When I’m listening to my songs and have inspiration to add another song to the list, I want it to play when it’s turn comes about. Please, please fix!

C.C.R, I’m totally with you on this one.

Posted by Brad on May 16, 2003 at 7:10 PM (PDT)

Will any MP3 player ever catch Apple's iPod?

Don’t want to start a big comparison debate, but I don’t think the original article was written based on actual experience of using the alternatives.
1. Archos can show photos/videos
2. Zen plays mixed CD tracks gaplessly. Last Ipod couldn’t. Can the new iPod do this?)
3. Jukebox3 has two removable battery slots. 22 hours of play. And much better sound management (not the gimmicky bits, but e.g. the compression for loud environments, such as cars/planes)

I know each of the above players can also be faulted very easily. But it’s important to recognise that for many people the Ipod can be bettered, in fundamental features.
I think the new Ipod is an absolute classic. Beautiful. For me I’d buy one if I knew that point (2) above was fixed.

Posted by RBH on May 16, 2003 at 10:53 AM (PDT)

Will any MP3 player ever catch Apple's iPod?

Clearly anything *can* be beat… but will it? I suspect iPOD will be beat but it will take time since PC centric companies are slow on the draw. That said someone has to come up with a small MP3 player that has WORLD CLASS (read: classy art NOT cheap plastic faux “modern) looks, huge hard drive with FM radio, and WORLD CLASS SOFTWEAR for the PC. Can it be done? Sure… will it? Maybe.

Posted by Dave in Chicago on May 16, 2003 at 10:03 AM (PDT)

Will any MP3 player ever catch Apple's iPod?


Are you the same Max who spent 4.5 hours trying to sync his new iPod to his pc? Come on now, fess up… I read a post by a Max that said he had all kinds of trouble and was at his wits end.

check out that page to see what I am referring to if it is not you.

Comparing the iPod to other Mp3 players is a lot like comparing Macs to PC’s and the statement I made is not a generalization, it’s a fact. I have never met anyone who’s ever used a mac that liked windows better except one and he may really be crazy!

Yes, I am proud to own a Mac. So much so that I bought stock in the company.
Are you proud of your PC?
Would you buy stock in whichever of the thousands of windows PC manufacturers built your machine?

Posted by sillycar on May 15, 2003 at 9:38 AM (PDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

Sounds like a bug in the software, not a hardware defect. Can anyone confirm?

Posted by Songdog on May 15, 2003 at 8:07 AM (PDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

Got the new 30G 2.0 model and was thrilled to have a queueing feature—but I think I’ve hit a problem…is mine defective?  It works like this:  I set up a short “on-the-go” playlist of three songs.  Then I start playing the first song.  Then I go back to adding songs to the list.  I hold down the button, the title blinks, the song is added to the queue and everything seems to be working fine BUT:  The ipod stops playing after those first three songs.  Any songs on the list that were added after I’ve pressed PLAY aren’t recognized.  So I scroll up to the top of the queue again and press PLAY and this time it’ll play all the songs in the list.  If I add any more though…same thing. They’re on the list but the ipod doesn’t see them. Anyone else?

Posted by Dave in SF, CA on May 15, 2003 at 7:21 AM (PDT)

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