Please Read This First!

The out-of-print albums that I post here are available for free! For many years, I used Megaupload to store my shares, but with their recent demise, I have switched to using MediaFire instead. If one of the shares is unavailable, please leave a comment requesting it and I'll re-upload it as soon as I can. If you have any problems, feel free to email me and I'll do my best to help!


Monday, August 21, 2006

There's a method...

First post. How exciting! I should mention first that I was inspired to start this blog by Mondo Digital's 7 Black Notes blog. I want to begin with an explanation of the methods I use converting music to .mp3. Tedious, I know. But some technical-minded visitors may care, so what the heck...

I rip CDs with Audiograbber 1.83 with the LAME encoder. I currently use version 3.97 beta 2 with the setting --preset fast extreme. This is a high quality variable bitrate encoder. This preset may be a little overkill, as the average bitrate on an album generally lands in the 200 to 250 kilobits-per-second range, but blind tests have shown that this setting with this encoder produces .mp3 files that are indistinguishable to the original source. Variable bitrate is so much more efficient than constant bitrate; bits are allocated based on the complexity of the music, fractions of a second at a time. Nothing annoys me more than hearing those flangey or muddy audio artifacts that result from a bad encode.

After encoding, I double check all of the ID3v2 tags to make sure the information is correct. I'm a nut about song title capitalization. The best page I've found that succinctly covers this is the Capitalization Rules for Song Titles page. I like to use the "multi-tag" format for Genre. Trying to classify music is tough, but the best place I've seen it done is over at the excellent AllMusic site. I like to take their Genre tag and then follow it with their Styles tags. My first post will probably be Congo Norvell's The Sex, The Lies, The Vaseline. Using the information from the AllMusic page for that album gives me a Genre tag for that album as "Rock / Alternative Pop-Rock / Indie Rock". If seeing anything more than "Rock" in the genre tag bugs you, please feel free to change it. ;-)

After double-checking the tags, I drop the whole folder into MP3Gain 1.3.4. Using this, I add album and track replaygain info to the tags. This is a nice way to level out the volume of the music you're listening to, if your player supports it.

Finally, I try to find a nice .jpg cover scan. Unfortunately, I don't have a scanner myself, but the web is a big place and I can usually find something. I rename the the image to "folder.jpg" and throw it into that album's folder.

Anyhow, I hope to be posting albums soon. Oh, if you're curious to learn more about me and what I'm into, you can check out my MySpace page.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey dude... someone is stealing links from your blog... I thought you'd like to know...
this is the blog
http://stop-stuff-here.blogspot.com/

Kevin Sartori said...

Thanks for the heads up. Yeah, I'm not sure why people bother doing blogs like that. Maybe they think they're helping. They should just start up their own full album music blog, instead of hijacking others' work.

Still, there's not much I can do about it. That's why I make the password the web address for my blog. This way, people still know where the original files came from.

I did leave a comment there, though...