From:         Bob Rankin 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 08 Feb 07 - Zune / Vinyl to CD Zune / Vinyl to CD /


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Greetings, fellow riders of the World's Biggest Bus! Today's tour will take us into Audio and Music land. You'll learn about the new Zune music player, get the scoop on copying vinyl records to CD, pick up some pointers on how to convert audio files from one format to another, and find out how to add your own music and sound clips to a Myspace profile. Read on!

Should You Buy a Zune or iPod?

Have you heard about the Zune? It's Microsoft's new portable music player, dubbed by some as the iPod Killer. Both the Zune and the iPod cost about the same, at $250 for the 30-gig model. Both can hold about 7500 songs, and both have a battery life of about 14 hours.

But there ARE some significant differences in the feature sets that may influence your decision to buy one or the other. Here are some facts and figures to help you decide whether an iPod or a Zune is YOUR best choice for a portable music player...

Converting Vinyl Records to CD

For audio purists, nothing compares to good old-fashioned analog recordings on vinyl records. The warm tonal attributes, those faint pops and crackles, the life-sized artwork, the simple act of setting needle to groove, they're all part of an immersive experience that is fading into history.

That's because those old records are fragile, and every time they're played, it causes a slight degradation of sound quality. You can leave those old favorites unplayed for years at a time, relying on nostalgia to fill the void, or convert them to digital format.

Here's an illustrated step-by-step guide to help you convert those vinyl records to CD so you can enjoy them for years to come:

Convert WMA to MP3

If you have lots of music in Windows Media Audio (WMA) format, it may seem "trapped" there because you can't put WMA files on an iPod or some other portable music players. That's because some of them only play music in the popular MP3 format, or in the case of Apple's iPod, they've just decided not to play nice with anything Microsoft.

But there are several audio conversion software solutions that work very well on both Windows and Mac computers. Read on to get my top recommendations for both platforms, and learn some tricks on how to handle DRM-protected music as well...

Converting iTunes music to MP3

On a related note, if you've purchased music in the iTunes music store and you're having trouble transferring those songs to a non-iPod music player, look here for help converting iTunes music into MP3 format:

I Wanna Hold Your Ha... Hold Your Ha... Hold Your Ha...

There really is nothing new under the sun... I thought we got past the skips when we left vinyl records in the dust. But now some iTunes users are reporting that songs played in iTunes are doing the s doing the s doing the s (thunk) doing the same thing. And smacking the computer doesn't seem to solve the problem.

If you recently upgraded to iTunes version 7, and have trouble with skipping tunes, here are some tips to solve the problem:

Adding Music to a Myspace Profile

Most people know they can add a profile song to their Myspace page, but what if you want to add a song (or sound clip) that's not in the Myspace music library? No problem, at least for some users.

If you have an MP3 music file on your hard drive, or you know the address of a song or music file on the Web, you can slap a bit of HTML code in your Myspace profile and play whatever you like. But recently, Myspace has been mangling the codes and wreaking havoc with user-added music. Here's how to make it work in both Internet Explorer and Firefox:

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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