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Audio Dubbing: Analog -> Digital -> Itunes



My project is converting LP's, cassettes and reel-to-reel to digital, and then getting the result into iTunes. I have EMC 10 and EMC 8 (on different computers)


(My apologies that resolving this question might require some iTunes expertise as well as Roxio product expertise)


I have done 23 conversions using LP/Tape Assistant in combination with Sound Editor, burning a CD, and then having iTunes import the resulting .wav file. iTunes is set to convert .wav into AAC format upon importing. My understanding is that if using iTunes (and Ipod) the AAC format is preferable to MP3 - AAC saves more detail and (somehow) takes up less space.


(FYI - though probably not directly relevant - I have saved all the .wav files in deep storage - on an external 1TB HDD - just in case)


This method worked OK for the first 23 LP's, cassettes, because I DID want to also have an audio CD for each conversion. The only glitch (other than the need to double-check the breaks between songs, and possible sound clean up using Sound Editor) was the need to fill in the info for each song (song name, artist, album name, genre, etc) because the internet service (Gracenote) that sometimes does that automatically took a long time and usually got the information wrong. Filling in the info while still in LP/Tape Assistant/Sound Editor was a waste of time, as the info would disappear when burning to CD and I would just have to do it again in iTunes after importing from the burned CD (in the iTunes main music window - putting the info in while in the iTunes imported CD window also would not preserve the information).


Now the project has changed a bit. For the rest of the project (8 cassettes, 22 LP's and 40 reel-to-reels) I have no need to have an Audio CD for each conversion. Also, I need to synch iTunes on 2 different computers. If I leave the burn setting in EMC to create a .wav file, and still burn a CD from Sound Editor, I suppose I can reformat and reuse the CD-RW for each conversion - after I use the CD to import into iTunes. Trouble is I will have to fill in all the info for each song twice - once for each computer - unless I can figure out a way to fill it in while in EMC and have that info preserved on the CD so that iTunes will pick it up - (or unless some iTunes expert out there can show me a way to synch iTunes on two computers without losing playlists and settings). Haven't figured out a way to do that.


Another variable (option) is to set the EMC burn option to create an MP3 file instead of a .wav file, and then skip the CD burn and just have iTunes "import a folder" or "import a file" - (if I try that method with a .wav file, iTunes (apparently) will import it as a 'wav file - taking up way too much space). HOWEVER, that will also still leave the double info input issue, AND I am also concerned about losing quality if iTunes is importing an already compressed MP3 file instead of a .wav file (meaning I lose the extra quality and compression that AAC format allegedly provides). {EDIT: JUST FOUND UTILITY IN ITUNES TO CONVERT .WAV TO AAC - That may prove handy but not solve info input issue}


Am I missing something? Is my understanding incorrect? Can anyone assist is sorting out my thinking/plan for this project?


Also, is there some converter built into EMC to convert .wav to MP3 format (I can't find one, though one would think that such a utility is in the Suite somewhere). If there is no such conversion utility, then one seems to be stuck for already created .wav files - and one would have to go back and re-import all the analog material after resetting the EMC option to MP3 (very time consuming and not really feasible).


Many thanks for any thoughts, advice, corrections.

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Thanks for the response tbrewst, now I have a much better understanding of the problem.


FYI, the procedure I have settled on (until I find a shortcut, if ever), is to capture the analog material on my laptop using LP and Tape Assistant, and editing the start/stop points in that program. Then I go into music editor if need more detailed clean-up work on individual tracks, then save the tracks as .wav files and use a flash drive to take the wav files to my desktop (much more powerful, with much better CD/DVD drive, and more comfortable for me).


On desktop I burn a CD-RW (which gets used over and over) as an audio CD. Then iTunes imports and converts to AAC format. Then I fill in the information (track name, artist, genre, album or compilation name). If I am careful how I structure the information that will leave distinct "folders" in iTunes music directory (for example, if all tracks are from same album, there will be a separate folder established by iTunes - if a compilation I lie to iTunes and do NOT check the compilation box - but instead make up an album name).


With separate folders for all the newly imported music, it is simply a matter of using the flashdrive again to move the folders over to the laptop and use the iTunes "import folder" option. The new music ends up on both computers with all the info - saving me the effort of having to input the info again for the second computer.


That seems to work, but at this rate (with analog having to be "ripped" in real time) it will take me full-time until 2010 to finish digitising all the analog music :-)


Thanks again for your response



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The online databases use a unique ID that's from a cd to look up the data for a disc.If you make those discs yourself then that ID isn't there and the database can't make a match.


This is how it works,copied from Wikipedia:

"CDDB was designed around the task of identifying entire CDs, not merely single tracks. The identification process involves creating a "discid", a sort of "fingerprint" of a CD created by performing calculations on the track duration information stored in the table-of-contents of the CD (see the following section for an example calculation). This discid is used with the Internet database, typically either to download track names for the whole CD or to submit track names for a newly-identified CD.


Since identification of CDs is based on the length and order of the tracks, CDDB cannot identify playlists in which the order of tracks has been changed, or compilations of tracks from different CDs. CDDB also cannot distinguish between different CDs that have the same number of tracks and the same track lengths.





CDDB1 identifies CDs with a 32-bit number, usually displayed as a hexadecimal number containing 8 digits: XXYYYYZZ. The first two digits (labeled XX) represent a checksum based on the starting times of each track on the CD. The next four digits (YYYY) represent the total time of the CD in seconds from the start of the first track to the end of the last track. The last two digits (ZZ) represent the number of tracks on the CD.


For example, suppose a CD contains one track. Then the ZZ digits in the disc ID will be "01".


Now suppose that the total duration of the CD is 3610 seconds (from the start of track 1 to the end of track 1 in this case). This number is decimal, and must be converted into the hexadecimal equivalent "0e1a" which form the YYYY portion of the disc ID.


Finally, the two-digit checksum needs to be calculated from the start time in seconds of each track. There is one track in this example CD, and as with most CDs, the first track starts at 2 seconds (there is a 2 second silence leader). Therefore, summing up all of the decimal digits of each track start time yields the value 2. This value is less than 255, so it does not need to be evaluated modulo 255; and therefore, the XX digits of the disc ID are "02". According to freedb.org, the example code is done modulo 255 and not 256.


So the full disc ID of the example CD is "020e1a01". Any CD which contains one track with a duration of 3610 seconds starting 2 seconds from the beginning of the CD will have this disc ID. To distinguish between different CDs which happen to have the same disc ID, the CDDB1 database is organized into multiple categories. If there is a conflict with different CD releases possessing the same CDDB1 id, they can be placed in a different category (such as classical, rock, blues, folk or misc)."





So,unless you make your disc exactly like the original you'll never get a database to correctly identify the cd.If you get it right then you might get the correct ID.Mp3's already carry that info in their tag info.Even if you have wav files and convert them to mp3 the info isn't there in the first place so I don't think the created mp3 will have it.



I use iTunes but not to the depth that you're asking about.Sorry I can't give you more help with that.

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