podSERVE CD encoding service launched in UK | iLounge News


podSERVE CD encoding service launched in UK

“We take your complete CD music collection and convert it to Apple iPod compatible MP3 format. Why? Because you have better things to do than feed CDs into a computer. Because you’d rather have someone else add all the track data. Because you’d like the added comfort and security of having a copy of your valuable music collection. Because you’d like to kick-start your digital music library. Because you’re a music lover not a geek.”

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“Apple iPod compatible MP3 format.” A quote directly from their website. Obviously tragetting users who are not educated with making mp3 file. The iPod firmware will in theory play back any mp3 encoded file.

And what is studio quality sound? ~192 CBR? I bet its some 128 CBR crap with fhg codec or something similar.

I honestly dont see what is so hard with ripping a CD. You can rip & encode a cd during dinner, your shower or the hockey game. Programs ever have templates you can load. A decent computer can rip and encode a cd in 20 mins (depending on settings).

Posted by Stasyna on March 5, 2004 at 6:03 PM (CST)


Why MP3?  I choose iPod because of its AAC, and should I downgrade my listening habbit to MP3 again?  No WAY.

Posted by Jerry on March 5, 2004 at 7:03 PM (CST)


Some people will be dumb enough to use this.  See Big Bear’s post above.

Posted by PeopleAreStupid on March 5, 2004 at 10:55 PM (CST)


I could be wrong but half the fun of owning an ipod is doing that yourself !

Posted by Pat on March 6, 2004 at 12:56 AM (CST)


What if you don’t have a computer but want an iPod? Quite a good idea then.

Posted by Jackson in London on March 6, 2004 at 8:39 AM (CST)


again, more crap from the peanut gallery…

i’ll bet 5 out of the 7 people tou talk to about an ipod mini (who don’t already own ipods) will tell say something like “so do i download the songs for it?” or “I have Win98 and a 2 GB drive”. I know we are all for the most part a techie dork of some sort and we know this shit but there are ALOt of people seeing the minis at the gym or the market or the street and buying one and then asking “so now what?” Of course this isn’t a solution for EVERYONE, it’s obvious. I have close to 550 CDs and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna send them anywhere (rhetorically, because i’m in the Us anyways). But if some person say has 50-100 CDs the price is right to avoid the aggravation to begin with.

*patiently waits for the next topic for people to whine about not working well*

The legality is another story, but i don’t see how thats a problem unless they are doing soemthing illegal on your end. It has been common place for companies to offer digital video backups of VHS since at least the late 90s. This is the same they are giving you back ups. whether you or they do it legally is up to you but the act itself isn’t a problem.

Posted by RegalBegal on March 6, 2004 at 8:46 AM (CST)


i actually think it’s great that they are providing this service, weather people will use this service is a whole other matter but this certainly has potential. it’d be cool if they had shops where you could drop off your cds and iPod, wait an hour or so and have them ripped and transferred to your ipod

Posted by ti on March 6, 2004 at 9:43 AM (CST)


All of you who say that “time is money” is ridiculous (or evil!) are yourselves ridiculous.  Every one of you gladly and regularly pays people to do things that you could do yourselves.  Biggest example—purchase and consumption of prepared food.  ANYONE can bake bread.  It’s easy!  It just takes a few hours.  ANYONE can make a hamburger. But you don’t—you go to McDonalds and pay them to do it for you. 

Moving up a little, there’s the prevalence of cleaning services/housekeepers.  I know, most people don’t have them, but nobody would say that a housecleaning service is a terrible business idea b/c nobody will hire someone to do something they could do themselves. 

The fact is, iPods are very expensive.  A significant percentage of the people who buy iPods are people who make a lot of money, and who highly value their personal time.  Example—a friend of mine who is a lawyer.  She works 70+ hours per week.  When she’s working, her time is billed at $325 per hour.  She just bought an iPod.  You can say that ripping cd’s in iTunes is fast and easy, but she has 100+ discs to rip.  This will take dozens of hours.  During those hours, she can’t leave the house.  She has to change the disc every 5-10 minutes or so.  She would be delighted to pay someone $100-$200 to do the job for her.  I know a LOT of people who fit this mold.

Posted by rich on March 6, 2004 at 12:22 PM (CST)


In London people pay

Posted by Jackson in London on March 6, 2004 at 1:09 PM (CST)


“What if you don’t have a computer but want an iPod? Quite a good idea then.”

Uhh… Jackson you need a computer to transfer the music anyways. They store your music on a CD/DVD. How do u expect the music to get from the disc to the iPod?

You need a computer and software to transfer the stuff over anyways.

“In London people pay

Posted by Stasyna on March 6, 2004 at 2:06 PM (CST)


Well, “rich,” quite a defense of modern, commodified existence. No one is saying that time isn’t money, but taken too far, the dictum leads to a kind of existence fit for weasel lawyers.

Were you suckled by a wet nurse? Perhaps this initial “service for hire” has led to your hostile defense of measuring every action in terms dollar value.

Posted by Questioner on March 6, 2004 at 7:58 PM (CST)


This thread is getting boring, but I do have to commend “Questioner” on his/her vocabulary and writing skills.  My question is: why waste them on this topic?

Posted by StupidPeople on March 6, 2004 at 8:32 PM (CST)


As the person who is behind podSERVE I have read all the posts with great interest. Your input is useful even when its less than flattering.

rich has neatly captured the type of person for whom we felt our service would be attractive. Someone who enjoys music, owns an iPod and would rather do something else. Thank you Big Bear, such charity and support is a rare commodity these days.

Nothing in the service is complicated and couldn’t be done by an enthusiastic Apple owner. Yes, many such people will love to do this in their own way for themselves. The strength and the versatility of the Apple platform and the iPod is that it lends itself to effective use by enthusiasts and people who value simple elegance.

We never thought the majority of iPod buyers would be interested in a service such as this. Given the number of iPods sold in the UK over Christmas a few will and hopefully they’ll value someone else feeding between 50 and 150 CDs into a slot. This is our target user. When we explained how to get the CDs to us one guy said he felt he could delegate the post / wrapping safely to his secretary.

When we talked to iPod owners we found many who knew incredible amounts about the technology behind it. Some knew next to nothing, some of the worst informed were people selling iPods in multiple PC retailers. People, yes a minority, just wanted to wave a magic wand and get their iPod filled. Hopefully you’ll see these are the people we think we can help.

Finally may I stress this is a UK service. I certainly would not recommend anyone to send their valuable music collection internationally unless they could 110% rely on a carrier.

Anyway, pro anti or neutral thanks for your comments.

Posted by Mr podSERVE on March 7, 2004 at 12:08 PM (CST)


you know what, i’ll do this for half price. that’s right. i’ll do it for AUD$1.50 per CD.

Your choice of bitRate.

If you send me your iPod i’ll transfer them to your iPod for you. An Extra $10 per 50CDs or part thereof.

Min is 10CDs

You pay shipping

You pay for a medium to return it to you on

Posted by Harrison on March 8, 2004 at 2:07 AM (CST)


I work 79 hours a week and barely have the time to eat let alone rip songs for my iPod. I’ve managed to scrape together 500 songs from cd’s over 4 months of iPod ownership. I use my iPod every day on the train on the way to work and like being able to listen to my music.

So yes time is money, no just because i’m busy doesn’t mean I don’t listen to music and yes if I had the money I would consider letting someone else do the ripping for me - providing they followed my song organisation structure.

Posted by Pecker on March 8, 2004 at 6:15 AM (CST)


Organization structure? I see useless clutter on my ID3 tags all of the time? Are they also going to create genres for you? How do they know which tracks should go in what genre? For instance, does Outkast’s “Hey Ya” go in “Hip-Hop” or “Pop” or “Alternative”. You would probably waste the same amount of time creating genre/playlist instructions for them to follow that you would if you did the encoding/ripping yourself. If you don’t care about organization, then you are not taking advantage of one of iTunes/iPod best features! Happy searching! I can find any of my tracks in a heartbeat!

Posted by Stylescraper on March 8, 2004 at 7:32 AM (CST)


I fully agree that file structure is very important and thus I use the simplest method possible.
Only ID3 Tag fields I use are:
Song Title,
and Album - occasionally depending if I have a lot of songs from that particular Album.

As for deciding which songs are in which genre then its difficult but as I normally select by artist then its not to important. Infact I very rarely use the genre function, which is a shame.

Posted by Pecker on March 8, 2004 at 7:37 AM (CST)


You must have to pull your iPod out and browse every time you want to find a song. The playlists minimize that keep you movin’ and groovin’! I simply can’t live without my playlists!

Posted by Stylescraper on March 8, 2004 at 9:21 AM (CST)


OK. Those who work 70+ hours a week need more than an iPod to help them enjoy life. Just not worth it for me. If you don’t have time to put your songs in your iPod, when do you actually have time to spend your money that you work so hard to make?

Posted by Wolf on March 8, 2004 at 9:40 AM (CST)


I admire their ingenuity and entrepreneurial zeal though I doubt it will be a big money spinner.

Posted by loGan on March 8, 2004 at 4:07 PM (CST)

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