The Ultimate Digital Music Guide: The Best Way to Store, Organize, and Play Digital Music

Overview

Everything You Need to Know about Digital Music!

Your hard-core, up-to-the-minute, how-to guide

Download, rip, store, organize, play, stream–anything, anywhere

Seriously into digital music? Best-selling how-to author, serious audiophile, and eclectic music-lover Michael Miller will help you get all the digital tunes you want, whenever and wherever you want them! Miller guides you through today’s best new ...

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The Ultimate Digital Music Guide: The Best Way to Store, Organize, and Play Digital Music

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Overview

Everything You Need to Know about Digital Music!

Your hard-core, up-to-the-minute, how-to guide

Download, rip, store, organize, play, stream–anything, anywhere

Seriously into digital music? Best-selling how-to author, serious audiophile, and eclectic music-lover Michael Miller will help you get all the digital tunes you want, whenever and wherever you want them! Miller guides you through today’s best new options, from iTunes to Spotify…helps you make the most of social music, Internet radio, and cloud music services…even shows how to transform your home into a digital music paradise. This book is packed with practical answers, easy step-by-step instructions, insider tips, great ideas, and new music sources you never knew existed!

For everyone who’s passionate about music!

• Discover brand-new digital music services, sites, and devices that fit your lifestyle

• Find great new music on iTunes, Amazon, and sites you’ve never heard of

• Get the truth about piracy, file sharing, and copyright

• Find huge amounts of legally free music

• Rip, store, and organize: Build your perfect music library

• Determine the best audio file format and compression rate for your collection

• Create simply amazing playlists

• Stream songs anywhere, with Spotify, Pandora, Internet radio, and the cloud

• Get great sound from your iPod or iPhone on your home audio system

• Build a whole-house digital audio system, the easy way

• Choose your best next media player (Apple or otherwise)

• Find and share tunes on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and beyond

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789748447
  • Publisher: Que
  • Publication date: 7/13/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 600
  • Sales rank: 628,283
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL MILLER has written 100+ non-fiction how-to books, establishing a worldwide reputation for clearly explaining technical subjects to non-technical readers, and for offering exceptionally useful real-world advice on complex topics. A longtime musician and unwavering audiophile who owns an immense music collection (26,000+ tracks and growing), his many books on music include The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Theory and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Music Business. His recent technology books include The Ultimate Web Marketing Guide and Facebook for Grown-Ups.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: Understanding Digital Music

1 The History of Music Distribution—From Piano Rolls to iTunes 11

How Do You Collect Music When There’s No Music to Collect? 12

Between the Sheets 13

Going on Record 14

The Rise of Radio 15

It’s a Long-Playing World 16

The Singles Life 18

The Tale of the Tape 19

Say Hello to My Little Friend, the Compact Disc 21

Going Digital 22

What’s Next 24

2 Exploring the Different Ways to Listen to Music Today 29

Going Old School with Compact Discs 29

Ripping Digital Tracks from CD 31

Downloading Digital Tracks—Legally 32

Downloading Digital Tracks—Not So Legally 34

Getting All You Can Eat from a Subscription Service 35

Listening Anywhere on Any Device from the Cloud 36

Listening to Internet Radio 37

3 How Digital Music Works 39

The Way We Were: Remembering Analog Audio 39

The New Wave: Understanding Digital Audio 41

Making a Digital Recording 41

Storing and Playing Digital Audio 43

Dealing with Digital Compression 43

The Benefits of Digital Music 44

Quality 45

Easier Storage 45

Easier Organization 45

Streaming 46

4 Understanding Digital Audio File Formats 49

Evaluating File Formats 50

Uncompressed Formats 50

Lossy Compressed Formats 51

Lossless Compressed Formats 53

Comparing Formats, in a Nutshell 54

Considering Bitrate 55

Comparing the Major Digital Music Ecosystems 56

The MP3 Ecosystem 56

The Apple Ecosystem 57

The Windows Media Ecosystem 59

Choosing the Right File Format 59

What Works with What 60

Choosing an Ecosystem 61

Choosing a Bitrate 62

5 Understanding Copyright, Piracy, and Other Legal Issues 65

Understanding Copyright and Royalties 66

How Copyright Works 66

Calculating Royalties 66

Royalties on Online Performances 67

The Dark Side of Downloading: Online Piracy 68

The Spread of Piracy 68

The Impact of Illegal Downloading 69

What’s Legal—and What’s Not 70

6 Understanding DRM 75

What DRM Is and What it Does 76

The State of DRM Today 76

Problems with DRM 77

Dealing with DRM 79

Part II: Downloading Music

7 Understanding Music Downloading 83

How Music Downloading Works 84

Requirements for Downloading Music 84

How to Download Music to Your Computer 85

Where to Download From 85

Online Music Stores 85

Subscription Download Services 88

Free Download Sites 89

File-Sharing Sites 89

Choosing the Right File Format 89

Why Downloading Makes Sense 90

8 Downloading Music from the iTunes Store 93

iTunes Over the Years: A Musical History Tour 94

Getting to Know the iTunes Store 95

Installing the iTunes Software 96

iTunes Store Pricing 96

Navigating the iTunes Store 97

Creating an Apple Account 98

Searching the iTunes Store 100

Browsing the iTunes Store 101

Purchasing Items from the iTunes Store 103

Introducing iTunes in the Cloud 104

9 Downloading Music from the Amazon MP3 Store 107

Amazon.com—From Books to Tunes 108

Getting to Know the Amazon MP3 Store 108

Amazon MP3 Store Pricing 109

Creating an Amazon Account 110

Setting Up an Account 110

Enabling 1-Click Ordering 110

Navigating the Amazon MP3 Store 111

Navigation Controls 112

Left Column 113

Center Column 113

Right Column 114

Searching the Amazon MP3 Store 115

Conducting Basic Searches 115

Conducting an Advanced Search 116

Browsing the Amazon MP3 Store 117

Purchasing Items from the Amazon MP3 Store 118

Introducing Amazon Cloud Drive and the Amazon Cloud Player 120

10 Downloading Music from Other Online Music Stores 123

Why Switch from Apple and Amazon? 123

What Can Other Stores Do That Apple and Amazon Can’t? 125

Exploring the Competition 126

Google Play Music 126

Bandcamp 127

CD Baby 129

Classical Archives 130

eMusic 132

Zune Marketplace 134

Discovering High Resolution Music Online 135

B&W Society of Sound 135

HDtracks 136

iTrax 138

Linn Records 139

11 Finding Free Music to Download 141

Downloading from Official Label and Artist Sites 142

Downloading from Free Artist Communities 143

ARTISTdirect 143

BeSonic 143

dmusic 145

MP3.com 145

PureVolume 146

SoundClick 147

Finding Tunes with MP3 Search Sites 148

Downloading Music from MP3 Newsgroups 149

12 Downloading Music from P2P File-Sharing Sites 151

Understanding File Sharing 152

A Short History of File Sharing 152

How P2P File Sharing Works 153

Then There’s BitTorrent… 153

A Few Good Reasons Not to Use File-Sharing Sites 154

It’s Illegal 154

You’re Helping to Starve Musicians to Death 155

Quality Is Questionable 155

It’s Likely Infested with Malware 156

Yes, Virginia, There are Some Benefits to File Sharing 157

It’s Free 157

You Can Choose Your Format 157

You Can Find Stuff You Can’t Get Anywhere Else 158

A Quick Look at the Most Popular File-Sharing Sites 159

Gnutella 159

eDonkey 160

Kad 160

BitTorrent 160

Considering Legal File Sharing Networks 160

Protecting Yourself (and Your Computer) When File Sharing 161

Protecting Against Viruses 161

Protecting Against Spyware 162

Use Anti-Malware Software 162

Just Don’t Do It 162

Part III: Managing Your Music

13 Storing Your Digital Music 167

How Much Storage Space Do You Need? 168

Storing Digital Music on Your Home PC 169

When Local Storage Makes Sense 169

When Local Storage Isn’t Enough 171

Storing Digital Music on a Dedicated PC 171

What Is a Media PC? 171

When Using a Dedicated PC Makes Sense 174

When a Dedicated PC Doesn’t Do the Job 174

Storing Digital Music on a Home Server 175

What Is a Home Server? 175

When Using a Home Server Makes Sense 177

When a Home Server Is Overkill 177

Sharing Your Library Over a Home Network 178

Backing Up Your Digital Library 179

Backing Up Locally 179

Backing Up Over the Network 180

Backing Up Online 180

14 Organizing Your Digital Music Collection 183

Organizing Audio Files on Your Computer 184

Understanding Song Tags 185

What Can Possibly Go Wrong? 189

Editing Tags 190

Editing Tags Directly in a File 190

Editing Tags in iTunes 191

Editing Tags in Windows Media Player 193

Editing Tags with Third-Party Software 194

Five Tricks for Better Organized Music Libraries 195

Delete Duplicate Tracks 195

Combine Multi-Disc Albums into a Single Album 196

Separate Combination Albums into Individual Albums 197

Assign Multiple Genres 197

Add Song Lyrics 198

15 Finding and Downloading Cover Art 201

Understanding How Cover Art Works 202

What Can Go Wrong with Cover Art 203

Where to Find Cover Art 204

How to Change Cover Art 206

Changing Album Art Files Manually in Windows 206

Changing Album Art in iTunes 206

Changing Album Art in Windows Media Player 207

Changing Album Art with a Third-Party Program 207

16 Creating the Perfect Playlist 213

Why Listen to Playlists? 214

Creating a Playlist from Your Digital Music Collection 214

Creating and Sharing Playlists on the Web 216

8tracks 216

FIQL 216

Greatestplaylist 217

Jog.fm 217

Mixtape.me 219

Playlist.com 219

ShareMyPlaylists 219

Tips for Creating the Ultimate Playlist 221

1: Tag Tracks Before You List 221

2: Keep the Beat 221

3: Build a Mood 222

4: Mix It Up 222

5: Program by Sub Genre 222

6: Program by Activity 222

7: Consider the Length 223

8: Put Tracks in Multiple Playlists 223

9: Discover New Music Online 223

10: Share Your Playlist with Friends 223

11: Experience Serendipity 223

12: Don’t Stop Editing 224

13: Get Creative 224

Part IV: Streaming Music

17 Understanding Streaming Music 229

Understanding Streaming Audio 230

How Streaming Audio Works

Compromises and Requirements 232

Streaming Music Services 232

Internet Radio 233

Cloud-Based Music Services 233

18 Listening to Music with Spotify 237

Getting to Know Spotify 237

Subscribing and Getting Started 238

Getting Around Spotify 239

Importing Local Files into Spotify 240

Importing Files 240

Viewing and Playing Imported Music 241

Listening to Local Files on Your Mobile Device 241

Viewing and Playing Music 241

Playing an Individual Track 242

Playing an Album 243

Playing Music in a Queue 243

Viewing Artist Information 244

Listening to Spotify Radio 245

Creating a New Radio Station 245

Playing a Spotify Radio Station 246

Working with Playlists 247

Creating a New Playlist 247

Adding Tracks to a Playlist 247

Playing a Playlist 247

Listening to Spotify Offline 248

Making a Playlist Available for Offline Listening 248

Listening Offline 249

Sharing Your Music with Spotify Social 249

Adding Facebook Friends 249

Adding Other Spotify Users 250

Sharing Tracks 250

Sharing Albums 251

Sharing Playlists 251

Sharing Artists 251

Sharing Everything You Listen To 251

Collaborating on a Playlist 251

Extending Spotify with Apps 252

Scrobbling to Last.fm 254

Listening on the Go with Spotify Mobile 254

19 Listening to Music with Other Streaming Music Services 257

Grooveshark 257

Last.fm 259

MOG 259

Pandora Radio 260

Raditaz 260

Rara.com 261

Rdio 262

Rhapsody 263

Slacker Radio 264

Turntable.fm 265

Zune Music Pass 266

20 Accessing Your Music in the Cloud 269

How Cloud-Based Music Services Work 270

Pros and Cons of Streaming Music from the Cloud 271

Advantages of Cloud Streaming Services 271

Disadvantages of Cloud Streaming Services 272

Comparing Cloud Music Services 273

Amazon Cloud Player 275

Google Play Music 277

iTunes Match 278

MP3tunes 280

mSpot 281

MyMusicCloud 282

Streaming Music from Your Own PC 283

Audiogalaxy 284

Subsonic 285

21 Listening to Internet Radio 289

Understanding Internet Radio 289

What’s Out There 290

Listening to Web-Only Radio 291

Searching for Internet Radio Stations 294

Listening to Terrestrial and Satellite Radio Online 295

Part V: Playing Your Music—At Home

22 Understanding Home Digital Music Playback 301

Music Is for the Home 302

Different Ways to Listen to Digital Music in Your Home 302

Digital Music via PC 303

Digital Music via Network Music Player 304

Digital Music via iPod 305

Other Items to Consider 306

23 Ripping Your Physical Music Collection 309

Ripping CDs to Digital 310

Understanding the Process 310

Choosing the Best Digital File Format and Bitrate 310

Choosing the Best Ripping Application 311

Ripping a CD with iTunes 313

Ripping a CD with Windows Media Player 314

Ripping Lots of CDs 316

Filling in the Metadata 317

Ripping Vinyl Discs and Analog Taps to Digital 317

Understanding the Process 318

Choosing the Right Equipment 319

Choosing the Right Software 322

Splitting a Side 323

24 Playing Digital Music on Your Computer 327

Choosing and Using a Music Player Application 328

What a Music Player Does 328

Evaluating Music Player Programs 329

Using the iTunes Player 331

Using Windows Media Player 335

Using MediaMonkey 337

Improving Your Computer’s Sound 339

Using an External Digital to Analog Converter 340

Choosing Better Speakers 344

Using Headphones 355

Connecting Your Computer to Your Home Audio System 355

Making the Connection 355

Choosing a Ten Foot Interface 358

Controlling Your System 366

25 Playing Digital Music on a Home Media Player 375

What Exactly Is a Home Media Player? 376

Choosing a Home Media Player 377

Evaluating Home Media Players 380

Sony SMP-N200 380

Apple TV 380

Western Digital WD TV Live 382

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex TV HD Media Player 383

Microsoft Xbox 360 383

Netgear NTV550 HD Media Player 385

D-Link Boxee Box 385

Logitech Squeezebox Touch 386

Sonos Connect 388

Denon DNP-720AE 389

Pioneer N-30 Audiophile Networked Audio Player 390

Marantz NA7004 Network Audio Player 391

NAD C446 Digital Music Tuner 391

Logitech Transporter SE Network Music Player 392

Musical Fidelity M1 CLiC 393

Connecting via DLNA 394

26 Building a Whole House Digital Audio System 397

How Whole House Audio Works 398

Using Personal Computers 399

Using Networked Media Players 400

Using Media Center Extenders 402

Using Freestanding Media Players 403

Part VI: Playing Your Music—On the Go

27 Playing Music on a Portable Music Player or Smartphone 411

Choosing a Portable Music Player 412

Apple’s iPods 412

Other Portable Music Players 415

Playing Music on a Smartphone 419

Apple’s iPhone 419

Android Phones 421

Windows 7 Phones 423

Playing Music on a Tablet 424

Apple’s iPad 424

Amazon’s Kindle Fire 424

Other Android Tablets 425

Managing Music on Your Portable Device 425

Syncing Your iPod or iPhone 426

Configuring Sync Options 427

Syncing Your Music 428

Improving Your Device’s Sound Quality 428

Upgrading Your Earbuds (or Headphones) 428

Adding an Outboard DAC 432

28 Listening to Streaming Music on a Portable Music Player or Smartphone 437

Evaluating Streaming Audio on Portable Devices 438

Listening to Streaming Music Services on the Go 439

Listening to Internet Radio on the Go 441

Listening to Streaming Music from the Cloud 442

29 Playing Your Portable Music in the Living Room 447

Connecting Your Device to External Speakers 448

Connecting to Powered Speakers 448

Connecting to a Tabletop Speaker System 449

Connecting Your iPod to Your Home Entertainment System 453

Connecting via an Adapter Cable 453

Connecting via an iPod Dock 454

Part VII: Sharing Your Music

30 Burning Your Music to a CD or USB Drive 461

Burning Music CDs 462

A Short History of Home Recording 462

Understanding CD Burning 462

Understanding CD Standards and Formats 463

Choosing CD Burning Software 465

Before You Burn: Preparing Your Hardware 465

Before You Burn: Configuring Your Software 466

Burning an Audio CD 467

Burning an MP3 CD 469

Burning Music Files to a USB Drive 469

31 Sharing Your Music Over a Network or Online 473

Sharing Music Over a Network 473

Sharing Music via Email 474

Sharing Music via a Cyberlocker 475

32 Sharing Your Music—Socially 479

Sharing Music on Facebook 480

Sharing Music from Another Music Service 480

Viewing Your Friends’ Music 481

Sharing Music via Live Chat 483

Sharing Links to MP3 Files 483

Sharing Music on Twitter 484

Sharing Music via Spotify 486

Sharing to Facebook 486

Sharing to Twitter 487

Sharing to Other Spotify Users 488

Sharing via Windows Live Messenger 488

Sharing to Anyone via Email 489

Sharing Music via iTunes Ping 489

Posting to Ping 490

Viewing Your Ping Page 491

Finding Friends to Follow 493

Part VIII: Discovering New Music

33 Discovering New Music with Last.fm and Pandora Radio 497

Discovering New Music with Last.fm 498

Scrobbling from Other Music Services 498

Scrobbling from PC-Based Music Players 499

Investigating Last.fm’s Recommendations 500

Creating Radio Stations 501

Discovering New Music with Pandora Radio 503

Creating a New Radio Station 504

Fine-Tuning Your Radio Stations 505

34 Discovering New Music in the Amazon and iTunes Stores 509

Discovering New Music on Amazon 510

Viewing General Recommendations 510

Viewing Music Recommendations 510

Fine Tuning Amazon’s Recommendations 513

Discovering New Music on Your Own 514

Discovering New Music on iTunes 517

What’s Interesting (and Promoted) in the Store 517

Previewing New Music 520

Getting Genius Recommendations 522

35 Discovering New Music via Social Media 525

Discovering New Music on Facebook 526

Discovering New Music on Twitter 528

Discovering New Music on MySpace 528

Exploring the Social Aspects of Spotify and Other Music Services 530

36 Exploring the Best Music Review Sites and Blogs 535

Exploring Music News and Review Websites 536

Discovering Music Blogs 539

Reading Online Music Magazines 542

Using Music Recommendation Sites 545

Index 549

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