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MP3 Adapter for Regular Stereo Equipment 34

Vitriol writes " Apparently Adaptec is teaming with goodnoise to create technology that would let MP3's be played on regular stereo equipment from home-burned CD's. All I want is a portable. Bet Sony won't make one! "
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MP3 Adapter for Regular Stereo Equipment

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  • My MP3 recorder weighs about 8 ounces, is a bit smaller than four stacked 3.5" floppies, and can go about 16 hours between recharges, or about 10 if I'm recording... Storage for each additional 75 minutes of software is less than $3. I could have got this model for about US$220, but I wanted the latest and greatest, so I paid a bit more.

    My device: a Sharp 722 MiniDisc recorder [sharp.co.jp]. (The $220 model is the recently discounted Sharp 702 [sharp-usa.com]).. Or you can go Sony [sony.com] if you like...

    MD recordings make MP3s sound like crap.. But you can still record them, nonetheless...
  • Anybody have any idea what type of output this device has? If I've read it correctly, it reads MP3s from data CDs, decodes them into some sort of "normal" uncompressed audio, then outputs that audio. What type of output is this? Is it the sort of thing that I could plug earphones into (possibly with an adapter if it's not a normal earphone jack)?
  • Posted by Bob III:

    Well, for those of you who are interested in buying a singular cable, and keep your computer close in the same room as your stereo, you can always run the line out from your sound card in through an auxiliary input on your amplifier (the cable to do this is available at most places that sell audio equipment, including Radio Shack among others for $5 - $25) My experience with this setup has been very satisfactory, and it might be worth looking into. That way mp3s come out through whatever your stereo is, which offers the added benefit of making tapes of mp3s, which is generally a little cheaper that the whole CD-R thing, and less likely to get screwed up.
  • Posted by mosoka:

    The company Diamond Multimedia has already come out with a portable mp3 player that allows you
    to download mp3s off your computer to the player
    using a special cable. The actual unit comes with 32meg of space built in but you can buy expansion
    memory cards in an aditional 16meg or 32meg. The player is very small and very light. It comes ready to use with headphones and batteries as well as software to rip your own mp3s and mp3s of some songs to try. (they are really bad though..) It also has an internal graphic eq and a sampling unit that allows you to tag a part "A" of a song and a point "B" and it will play the content between the points over and over again. It can be pluged into your home stereo system by getting an RCA cable and plugging it into the aux or line in of your stereo. -mosoka
  • Posted by |AK|:

    worked it out once... Mp3's are approximately 1:12 compression ratio at 128kbps. .:. 74(mins)*12(compression)==888minutes

    now, you will probably record the mp3's in mode 1, which will only give you 650MB or so instead of audio's 740MB, so we recalculate :
    740 MB / 74 mins == 10 meg per minute
    .:. 650MB == 65 minutes of audio * 12 (compression) == 780 minutes.
  • by DaBuzz ( 878 )
    Fight the oppression of the music industry!

    Compression standards don't create piracy, inflated prices and anti-consumer companies do!
  • Wouldn't it make more sense to make a CD player that sent audio signal to any receiver?
  • It shouldn't be hard for Sony to combat MP3 on it's own turf, almost. The most straight-forward way would be to release ATRAC encoding and decoding software, but that would probably fall foul of patent laws. A better solution would be thus: 1) resurrect the MD-Data drive, but without hiding audio tracks from the PC; 2) release a PCI ATRAC encoding/decoding card (but there's no reason the MD-Data drives couldn't decode only straight to audio). To my mind, this would achieve several good things: 1) encourage the use of MiniDisc 2) compete with MP3 with an already properly licensed algorithm and 3) provide much-needed competition for Iomega :-), which would be a bit of a bonus, actually.

    But I think Sony is currently a little hamstrung with MD; sure, ATRAC gets you about 5:1 compression, but ATRAC II (which is a few years old now) gets you between 10:1 and 20:1. I don't know what the sound quality is like, BTW, but it compresses the bands a little differently than ATRAC and differently than MPEG Layer III, too. Unfortunately, there's all those MiniDisc players and recorders that can't understand anything but ATRAC. So MD version 2 would be a disaster in most of the world at the moment.

  • orb cartridges are about $30 i believe...
  • For hardware manufacturers:

    If you make a stereo-component style device that reads MP3's and playlists from a standard-format data cd (ISO 9660), I will buy it. You will earn revinue from me and many like-minded people.

    If you base the design of your system on the assumption that I'm a thief, i.e. incorporating encryption and licensing tools that limit my ability to manage the data myself, you won't see a dime.

    Jon
  • Well, since its still in MP3 format on the cd, 650 MB, and 1 MB ~= 1 Minute, so about 11 Hours...
  • Two ways this could be done, technically:

    1. The bitstream is taken from the digital line-out on most home players and buffered then fed into a MP3 decoder. Great idea, but the bitstream is running at 12x the rate required for MP3s, and the digital outputs offer no way of pausing or stopping the cd player - what are you going to do, have 650Mb of ram buffer?!

    2. Some sort of error recovery on resampled audio data (in the same way as a 56k modem decodes PCM from an original digital bitstream). Cons: less capacity but compatible with more players and a more expensive decoder.

    Both ways you will blow your speakers if you play a mp3 CD on a standard CD player - some players will mute the DACs and give you digital output on tracks with certain formats, some won't.

    This sort of thing was thought up at the time of video-cds: just hook a video CD decoder onto the digital out of an audio player. This was easier, as the data rate is at least the same, although the error correction isn't compatible.

    What this system *won't* do is to let you play iso9660-recorded MP3 CDs. I have no idea how it'll work for playing individual tracks either - maybe you select the tracks for 15 minutes of mp3 play and it buffers the bitstream in ram? You won't get constant play as there's no method for the decoder to control the cd player unless it knows lots of IR codes and has some pretty advanced pattern matching to ensure that it doesn't get overlaps in the data it receives from the cd player after a pause/restart operation.

    They'd have more luck making a home CD-player which played mp3s. Something which is well within the reach of the companies involved.

  • I would be happy if they made one not only for home but for car. Portable would be nice too : )
  • While they're designing it, couldn't they make some system with good sound quality? CDs basically suck, records are better in a few respects, 48 KHz DATs are a little better, MP3s are a little worse..... while they're turning over the whole music industry, you'd think that they could give us quality at the same time. But I guess we'd all need T1s. Not that I have any objection, of course... :)
  • Hmmm... have you run diff on the devices?

    I heard at one point that a burned CD should sound better than a pressed one. The explanation given was that clocking was done more precisely on the burned CD. This presupposes, obviously, that the CD reader in your computer is better than the one in your stereo (not likely in most cases, I would think, but I don't know for sure). The strange thing was that the claim was supported by a few people who had listened. Not that I got a chance to listen, but if someone sends me a CD of something I have...

    By the way, I'd rather not have my computer's sound card involved in sound reproduction (sound quality sucks), so a dedicated MP3 player would be just dandy. Even if my computer didn't make any noise...

    :)
  • Talking to a Stereo CD player is easy, even with a remote. "Uhh, track 3 of **** disk,please"

    My MP3 CDRs have ~10-15 directories on each, so I can sort out things. How the heck would you interface, esp. with a remote? Your remote would need to have a lcd monitor. Or be a wearable.

    Mmmmm, wearable....

    Anybody use IR to play Mp3s right now? Who's doing the Winamp plugin?!
  • My audiophile dad and his friend tried the same thing with "reference quality" CD: Burned a copy, and then did listening tests (on a VERY high end rig, mod B&W 801s, etc) and said they could detect very small sound quality loss (no more then the difference between $100 and $500 component cables).

    I am curious what setup you used to copy the CD. In what ways did the CD-R disk sound worse?

    -beb (who tries to fight the audiophile genes to save his wallet)
  • Wow, what an ingenious comment, do you want bonus points for repeating info everyone already knows, and is sick of hearing? Hasn't anyone noticed everyone dwells on the negatives of everything? Every new thing that comes out with mp3s, the RIAA is suing them for it immediatly, and everyone screams that it promotes illegal mp3s. Just because we want to listen to mp3s on our home stereos is not implying we will be listening to ILLEGAL mp3s. Or have you forgotten all the budding artists and bands that have swarmed to the internet and the mp3 format to distribute their music LEGALLY, and to large audiences. If you have something relevant, and meaningful to say about new technology, fine. Otherwise keep it to yourself, we're all tired of seeing pessimists at every corner.
  • How was the original actually copied? Did you use cdparanoia, cdda2wav, or xcdroast's copy facility? I'm not an audio guru by any streatch of the imagination, but I do recall that there are framing and timing issues with respect to the digital to analog conversion and bit sampling rates. Perhaps similar issues arise when capturing music and converting it to another, intermediate digital format. I can't for the life of me see why this would be so, but like you, I have observed definite degridation in some cases. It seems to vary, depending on the make/model of cdrom one is capturing from as well. You are right -- it is counterintuitive. Perhaps cdparanoia is effective at correcting this -- I haven't gotten around to trying it yet, but the docs do address some of the "physical media" issues which can arise, and how the program addresses them (by resampling the corrupted data, interpolation if recovery is not possible, and so on). If I get a chance this weekend I'll try cdparanoia out -- I haven't had cause to rip any cd's lately. Anyone else with experience using cdparanoia care to comment?

    (Of course, it goes without saying that the audio output from the cdrom to the sound card is analog -- but cdda2wav and cdparanoia use the scsi interface which *should* be digital to digital.)
  • I've seen an item similar to what people are requesting: a portable player for MP3 tracks written to CD-R media.

    It certainly sounds like vaporware, but the curious might want to take a look [naiam.com].

  • A standard CD-R blank holds 650MB of data. MP3s can be encoded at various bitrates, the most popular being 112, 128, 192, and 256kbps (kilo-bits per second).

    For a 650MB blank:

    @ 112 kbps: 47542s64f (13h12m22s)
    @ 128 kbps: 41600s00f (11h33m20s)
    @ 192 kbps: 27733s25f ( 7h42m13s)
    @ 256 kbps: 20800s00f ( 5h46m40s)

    I'm waiting for the DVD-Rs to come down a bit more in price. First generation blanks are 5GB each, yielding:

    @ 112 kbps: 365714s21f ( 4d05h35m14s)
    @ 128 kbps: 320000s00f ( 3d16h53m20s)
    @ 192 kbps: 213333s25f ( 2d11h15m33s)
    @ 256 kbps: 160000s00f ( 1d20h26m40s)
    while the second-generation media should have 18GB of capacity:
    @ 112 kbps: 1316571s32f (15d05h42m51s)
    @ 128 kbps: 1152000s00f (13d08h00m00s)
    @ 192 kbps: 768000s00f ( 8d21h20m00s)
    @ 256 kbps: 576000s00f ( 6d16h00m00s)
    so about two weeks of music on an 18GB disc.
  • The CD recorders I've worked with (mostly HP-4020i and Yamaha CDR400) have at times written disks with the wrong data or with "soft" data, which reads differently each time. This is with various different software, and no errors reported during writing.

    The errors are noticable in music as little pops and clicks (which I can only hear on a good stereo), but are of course as plain as day to /usr/bin/diff.

    Switching from cheap blanks to name-brand ones solved the problem for me. Your mileage may vary.

    And yes, CD/CD-Rs are nothing like floppy disks or other digital media you are probably used to....


  • True audiophiles still use vinyl. Nothing can compare to an old tube amp and high quality (note..HIGH quality cartridge and stylus).

    Digital is good, but I still prefer my vinyl.

    Note - I'm not saying digital is bad. Digital is great in fact, but when listening to music, most music junkies use vinyl still.
  • by El ( 94934 )
    I already have the output from my sound card plugged into my home stereo, and I can store A LOT more MP3s on my 8GByte hard disk than I can on a CD... there's a market for portable "MP3Man" players, but I can't see any market for home stereo players! True audiophiles will still by the CD!

    On a related issue, my friend used his new CD-R writer to copy an audio CD. Then we did a side-by-side comparison of the sound of the original to the sound of the copy, and there was very noticable loss of quality! This is counterintuitive, I was expect a straight binary copy to be indistinguishable. Has somebody mandated that the copying software "dither" the audio bits to cause degradation, or is this just a bug in the software, or is there some other explaination?
  • by PDG ( 100516 )
    Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but are DVD players MPEG2? How difficult would it be to move that up to layer 3? The price of those players are coming down as it is, why not just meld the two together. They've always pushed the DVDs ability to play CDs. Why not take the step further and play MP3s too?


  • Is will the home stereo's let you play cdrW's?
    Answer: no, and that sucks

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. -- Dr. Johnson

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