I-Tunes/ I-Pod the way to go?

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cheezydemon3

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I have:

A decent Mac laptop, a crappy desktop PC, a Good Stereo (not computer speakers), an older model car and similar car stereo.

I want:

To pay very little to have music on my stereo, computer, and, if possible, in my car.



I am enjoying streaming radio stations free through I-Tunes, but hooking the laptop up to the home stero is a little bit of a PITA.

It isn't hard to hook up, but it is bulky to shove the laptop into my stereo cabinet where my kids won't touch it.

I also don't want to slow my lap top down by storing a ton of songs on it....


HOW DO YOU DO IT?
 

weirdboy

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I don't know what you mean by "very little" but you might look into an airport express (if you don't have one) and AirTunes.

An iPod also works well (that's what I do), but I am assuming you want other people besides yourself to be able to hear stuff.
 
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cheezydemon3

cheezydemon3

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I guess I am wondering if Ipods are where you store all the tunes and then hook them up to whatever, or if they can stream stations and other music as well.
 

klyph

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I use my desktop for music at home, and my phone has music for on the go. Having a sound system in your vehicle with an auxiliary input means that you can use your mobile media player/phone to take your music everywhere. You can plug it into the car, your home stereo or headphones.
 
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cheezydemon3

cheezydemon3

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So you have an Iphone klyph?

I like the idea of an external storage device.
 

BioBeing

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You'll need a copy of you library on one of your computers.

But yes, you can play the music on your ipod through your stereo. You will need some sort of connection though. A modern stereo might be "ipod compatible" with an appropriate cable. Even if not, if it has an Aux port or audio in you can still plug it in (with the right sort of cable). In the latter case, you'll use the ipod itself to select songs etc.

For the car, the easiest solution (the one I use) is an FM transmitter. I have one like this.
 
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klyph

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So you have an Iphone klyph?

I like the idea of an external storage device.
No, I have an HTC brand smartphone, but same principle, I just don't have to deal with the hassles of iTunes. There is a media player on the phone that plays many different formats of media, unlike the iGadgets which limit what you can do with your media. It also has a removable storage card.

Couple questions:

What format is your music library in?
Do you use iTunes?
Does your car stereo have an aux input?
 

homebrewer_99

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All my files are on external HDs...

I have 2 - 1 TB HDs with over 1200 movies on each, a 500GB with over 400 movies, music (about 30K songs) files are on a 320 GB, 2 - 160 GBs, and other files are on 2 - 160s and an 80GB.

A coworker just received a 1 TB with over 75K more songs (mostly Aussie bands) and more movies...;)
 
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cheezydemon3

cheezydemon3

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For the car, the easiest solution (the one I use) is an FM transmitter. I have one like this.
Sounds like a winer.

Couple questions:

What format is your music library in?
Do you use iTunes?
Does your car stereo have an aux input?
My music library now is all CD. I am moving to digital, that is why I am researching this. I also love 1 local radio station (wfpk).

I use i tunes on the laptop to stream radio stations.

No auxilliary.
 
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ChshreCat

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If it were me, I'd get something like a Sansa music player rather than iPod. You aren't tied to having to use iTunes, you can use whatever media you want however you want and the Sansa also has an FM radio in it so you can switch over and listen to that if you want. They'll work with the usual FM transmitters (without having to buy an Apple version of it for three times the price). They also use microSD cards so you can expand the memory if you want.
 

klyph

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Ah, I preach against the evils of iTunes and their DRM/Proprietary format nonsense. However, it is the most common way to go because it's simple.

My wife uses a Samsung YP-S3 .mp3 player


It was way cheaper than an iPod and has an FM radio built in. The software is a bit lunky, so if you're not tech-savvy you might wanna go with the tried and true iPod, but you'll pay a premium for it.
 
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cheezydemon3

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Wow!

Good to hear from those in the know.

I will research the samsung.

149$ for the ipod mini was about my max on this.
 

scottthorn

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No aux on your car stereo, but do you have a cassette deck?

FM transmitters suck compared to the fidelity you get with a cassette adapter...


I love my Sansa mp3 player. I picked up several of the 2GB Clip model when woot had them for $15. It interfaces with PC, home stereo and car stereo - haven't tried it with a Mac personally but a quick Google search shows that others have.... It's tiny so it'd be easy to 'hide' in your stereo.

No need to be tied to iTunes - it just acts like an external drive when connected to a computer, then you drag and drop (copy/paste, whatever) your music.
 

khiddy

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If you want easy to use and "just works", then you gotta go with the iTunes/iPod solution. All of the other offerings are just going to leave you wanting. You said you have a good Mac laptop and a crappy windows machine. Well, if you go with a Windows-based solution, you're going to be disappointed when the Windows machine craps out on you (and it will, that's the way it works). As far as "proprietary", that's the ol' pro-Windows boogeyman rearing its ugly head again. (If you wanna talk proprietary, Microsoft sure had a wonderful solution with "Windows Plays For Sure", didn't they!)

You're already using iTunes for the streaming, so you're already familiar with a usable interface. You said you don't want to "slow your laptop down" by putting your music on it, but that's not even an issue - on a Mac, it won't slow your machine down at all.

Use the "Import" function in iTunes to copy your CDs into the library on the laptop, then sync an iPod to iTunes, and voila! You have all of your music with you, whether in the living room or the car.

As far as playing the music in your car, if you have a tape deck, you're going to be much happier just getting a tape adapter. I've tried many of the radio transmitters, and they suck. You'll be frustrated when you drive anywhere by the fading in and out, whereas if you plug into the tape deck, it works beautifully.

As far as streaming music, you can use an iPod Touch to listen to both iTunes and Pandora.

I own an iRiver Mp3 player, a Sony Walkman Mp3 player, and several iPods and an iPhone. I never, EVER, use the Sony or the iRiver anymore. Their interfaces suck, the music management is a pain (who has time or wants to sort through folders on a hard drive?), and the "benefits" of "non-proprietary" simply don't exist, except in some nebulous philosophical world where everything should be misery. 'Nuff said.
 

ChshreCat

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If you go with something like this:
http://www.sandisk.com/products/sansa-music-and-video-players/sandisk-sansa-view-mp3-players.aspx
you can use Windows Media player to do everything Itunes can do to an ipod, or just treat it like a thumb drive and drag and drop on to it.

And I use a Mac all day, so I'm not a gung-ho windows apologist. I think windows is pretty much crap to deal with, but the Mac stuff is so proprietary is makes me pull my hair out. I don't need Mac's nannies looking over my shoulder asking if I paid for that song or not or telling me I can or can't share what I have with my wife and daughter.

With my Sansa, it works great, I can put whatever I want on it (audio, video, brewing podcasts, pictures) and it works. I don't have to sync with itunes libraries or mess with any of that. Just plug it in, drop my music on and go.
 

khiddy

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Well, this can quickly degenerate into a religious war, so I'll speak my piece carefully, but as I said in my post, while you can use a non-iPod MP3 player like a thumb drive and copy music files to it, why would you waste your time to do that, when iTunes puts it all in a library and gives you easy, sortable playlist management? Windows Explorer is not music management - it's levels upon levels of files with inconsistent names. Bah. That's lame. And I find Windows Media Player to be no better, either.

As far as "nannies looking over your shoulder", you have options. First off - purchase your music from Amazon.com, which sells you non-DRMed tracks that work just fine on iTunes (albeit a much smaller selection than on iTunes).

Or, if you bought the song from the iTunes Music Store, burn the purchased song to a CD and then import it, thus stripping out all DRM. IIRC, you can't even burn songs to CD that were purchased through Rhapsody or one of the other Microsoft-approved music sites, so let's keep it real and acknowledge nannyism where it exists, if you want to use that brush.
 

ChshreCat

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As far as "nannies looking over your shoulder", you have options. First off - purchase your music from Amazon.com, which sells you non-DRMed tracks that work just fine on iTunes (albeit a much smaller selection than on iTunes).

Or, if you bought the song from the iTunes Music Store, burn the purchased song to a CD and then import it, thus stripping out all DRM. IIRC, you can't even burn songs to CD that were purchased through Rhapsody or one of the other Microsoft-approved music sites, so let's keep it real and acknowledge nannyism where it exists, if you want to use that brush.
I prefer to just don my eye patch, break out the parrot for my shoulder and get my music that way. ;)

Don't worry, like I said, I use a Mac all day and a PC at night, so I'm not one to get into the computer jihad mentality. Personally, I think they both suck. :D

Mac vs PC = The Evil of Two Lessers.
 

weirdboy

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I thought all the stuff on iTunes has been DRM-free for a while now. Since, like, a year ago.

AAC may have been a proprietary format at some point, but now most mp3 players handle it. And you can tell iTunes to convert stuff to mp3 anyway.


I'm not a huge fan of the actual software interface and the way the library works, but I don't get people bashing it for stuff that's not even true.
 
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cheezydemon3

cheezydemon3

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DAMN........

lol, too much good info.

I will have to research this.

Is Best Buy or wal Mart a good place to buy or do I need to get this online?
 

khiddy

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Mac vs PC = The Evil of Two Lessers.
I love it! I used to test software for PCs, and then go home to a Mac, so I, too, feign indifference. :mug:

And cheezydemon3, you can indeed buy in a bricks-and-mortar store, but you usually want to search online to see if there's a good deal going at one of the sites - for example, many times Walmart will have a great price online for a particular item that they don't sell in the store, but they'll ship it to your local store for free, thus saving you any shipping costs and still getting you the best deal.

I like to peek at http://dealnews.com each day to see what sort of deals are out there.

Good luck!
 

ChshreCat

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I've always shopped around online and each time ended up buying mp3 players at buy.com. Usually getting something refurbished, though some folks are wary of that. It hasn't came back to bite us yet.
 

klyph

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No one can say Mac or PC is better, it depends on the user. I was trying to figure his level of technical capabilities to steer him in a direction that would work well for him. I hate to see someone pay Apple tax just because everyone else is, but that may be his best option.
 
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cheezydemon3

cheezydemon3

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Ive found it useful for mostly obscure stuff, typically South American, European, Japanese and US underground rock music. Stuff you would probably see tour through in a 800 capacity (or smaller) venue; the hard to find stuff.
That's me! The local station I love here is public radio WFPK. You won't hear brittany spears or metallica on there.;)
 

scottthorn

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Not to venture too far off topic, but you can find loads of legal free live music recordings at archive.org You can stream them through your computer and/or download them (in FLAC, mp3 or ogg formats) to your hard drive - and eventually to your spiffy new mp3 machine. I'm a "taper" - I record live concerts with permission from the bands. You can find a bunch of shows I've recorded (yes, mostly jambands but you'll also find reggae, bluegrass, electronica and more) and uploaded HERE. There are tens of thousands of other recordings too.... Quality varies from pristine soundboards to muffled audience recordings, but it's fun to check out new music for free!

May I suggest Jake Shimabukuro, the world's foremost ukulele player??!?!?
 
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cheezydemon3

cheezydemon3

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Not to venture too far off topic, but you can find loads of legal free live music recordings at archive.org You can stream them through your computer and/or download them (in FLAC, mp3 or ogg formats) to your hard drive - and eventually to your spiffy new mp3 machine. I'm a "taper" - I record live concerts with permission from the bands. You can find a bunch of shows I've recorded (yes, mostly jambands but you'll also find reggae, bluegrass, electronica and more) and uploaded HERE. There are tens of thousands of other recordings too.... Quality varies from pristine soundboards to muffled audience recordings, but it's fun to check out new music for free!

May I suggest Jake Shimabukuro, the world's foremost ukulele player??!?!?
Definitely on topic as far as getting the most from whichever device!:mug:
 

ForRealBeer

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No one can say Mac or PC is better, it depends on the user. I was trying to figure his level of technical capabilities to steer him in a direction that would work well for him. I hate to see someone pay Apple tax just because everyone else is, but that may be his best option.
I can say Apple is better, because I have about 30-odd years of professional experience, and have worked with both products actually since both of their inceptions.


What people see as a "Macintosh" is simply the display face of the operating system. The Aqua GUI has ever window element, text, graphics, or widgets is drawn on-screen using the anti-aliasing technology making Macs exceptionally clearer than even Windows 7 using like hardware (and both OS's can run on Intel hardware.)

Apple machines, both PC and iPhone, use an evolutionary variant of the MACH kernel with parts from FreeBSD's and NetBSD's implementation of Unix were incorporated in Nextstep, the core of Mac OS X.

Mach is an operating system microkernel developed at Carnegie Mellon University for true parallel computation - something that in 1985 when it was written was almost unheard of in desktop computing. At the time, any "multitasked" computer was actually switched multitasking, meaning that one app ran for a few cycles then gave way to the next. Mach threaded its apps so that all ran at the same time, according the administrators wishes. This came down from the original UNIX developed by ATT. Mach was one of the earliest examples of a microkernel, and still the standard by which similar projects are measured. It is a drop-in replacement for the traditional UNIX kernel and in some ways outperforms most other kernels, including the vaunted Linux and BSD ones.

Apple's edition is probably the best closed-source kernel available.

Windows, on the other hand, was until Vista a very poorly implementation of a layered design that consists of two main components, user mode and kernel mode. It is a preemptive, reentrant operating system, techincally inferior in many ways to a like Unix-based kernel. Programs and subsystems in user mode are limited in terms of what system resources they have access to, while the kernel mode has unrestricted access to the system memory and external devices. All too often, sub-kernel parts like DLLs and apps are given kernel access.

That access is the weakness of Windows and the exact "why" it has so many security issues. While a properly used UNIX system NEVER gives kernel access to applications, Windows, even in Windows 7, does by design. To overcome that flaw, one has to pay a performance tax (what we call a Microsoft Tax here) by layering security over the operating system in order to keep it safe. Common products like Mcafee or Symantec can and do regularly use upwards of 30% of CPU and memory resources on desktop computers, and overly complicate matters besides that such that a Windows machine is constantly hamstrung by the need to overcome its weakness in its core design.

Even then, one is dependent on constant vigilance and the need to upgrade, update and constantly use security products, all in the hope that the chosen vendor has done a good job of keeping its customers ahead of the bad guy curve.

That is not to say that Windows is not a good product, it is. It is simply not a GREAT product, which OS/X is.

Windows core strength in my mind is the fact that its overwhelming market share has given it an application base that is far beyond what is available for the Mac. Games, specialized applications and others are widely available for Windows but not to be found on the Mac.

I am by no means a Mac bigot -- I have an iMac, a pair of Dells and a pair of Linux servers in my house, and at work I administer more Microsoft servers than I care to count. All that said, I strongly feel from a technical standpoint that Apple makes the better product for the average user and that any "Mac tax" is offset by not needing to constantly purchase and tend to security products nor replace the machine as often. A Mac will last 5 years before obsolescence while a Wintel machine really starts getting slow and old at about 3 years. That's 3 replacements for every 2 Macs.

And oh by the way, you can run Windows as a virtual machine in a duo-core or quad-core Mac if you really need to have Windows running as part of your life. You cannot do that on a PC (legally anyway, but it's done.)

That's all opinion, though, and YMMV.
 

buffalobrewer

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don't forget to check the public library for music. the library here has a great collection of music, the only problem is new stuff takes a while to arrive. I can request a cd and they ship it to the closest library for $.25. Slap the disk into my mac and copy to itunes.
 

jeffmeh

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If you are looking for high-quality digital playback on a good stereo, take a look at http://www.logitechsqueezebox.com/products/overview.html. I have three Squeezebox Classics (pre Logitech acquisition). These have tremendous quality for the money, particularly streaming lossless such as FLAC.

For a good non-ipod portable player, check out http://www.jetaudio.com/products/cowon/d2/. You can plug it into a USB port and it looks to your computer like any other drive, so just drag and drop.

And yes, I take my listening seriously. :cross:
 

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