In praise of Gutenberg

It's funny how one thing leads to another?

I mentioned a little while back that I had rejoined the library after an absence of some years.

That was fine.  I took a few books out and have already finished and returned a couple.  I did one of their online courses and finished it with an grand score of only 93% which was pathetic [must do better next time, as my old school reports used to say].  I also ordered a book for Herself.

This book ordering lark is a little minefield as I discovered.  I logged into the website and went into the book ordering section.  That allows a search of all books in all the libraries, so if your desired book is there, they'll have it delivered to your local branch.  Excellent!  The book herself wanted was listed so I ordered it.

A few days later I got an email to say it had arrived.  I was in the village the next day so I dropped into the library.  The librarian proudly presented me with a fucking box!  Somewhere there had been a mix-up, and they had just presented me with an audio book – ten fucking CDs!

Herself likes to read in bed, and staring at ten CDs doesn't really do much for the old brain.  She said she needed some way of listening to them.  Women can be so fucking picky!  So yesterday I went out and bought one of those portable CD players.  They are more or less obsolete these days so I picked up a brand new one for about €20.  I got home to find herself all excited – she had just found a second hand version of the one I had bought and it only cost €30!  There are some enterprising fuckers out there….

Anyhows, come bedtime, she settled down to listen to her audio book and everything was grand, until she started complaining – the reader was saying the same few words again and again.  This didn't make must sense in the context of the story so I had a listen in.  The fucking CD was scratched!

So now I have a brand new CD player and a box of scratched disks.  Now I have to go through the process of ordering the same book in readable format – i.e. on paper.

And Herself has decided she wants all my music put onto CDs [I have them stored as files] as she quite likes my selection.  Apart from Queen, apparently.  There's only about 95 Gigabytes which I presume I have to convert from MP3 to WAV [which will probably run to a Terabyte or two].

That's my spare time for the next few years neatly sorted then……

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In praise of Gutenberg — 22 Comments

  1. Why do you have to convert from MP3 to WAV? For burning an audio CD all you need to do is load your MP3 files into K3B, stick a blank disc in and burn away.

    http://lifehacker.com/5860851/the-best-disc-burning-app-for-linux

    Its been a while since I last used Linux but there should be some kind of disc gauge in K3B, it expands the file size as the song file is imported and shows you how much space it will use on the disc. Do not exceed 700MB per disc. Typically a 700MB audio CD will hold around 13 tracks.

    If the CD player will play MP3 CDs then you can simply copy the song files over. That way each CD will hold a couple of hundred tracks.

    • Okay…  I installed K3B  [nice looking application, by the way. thanks].

      I ran it and tried burning two MP3 files.  It refused – must convert to WAV first.

      Whacked out Sound Converter and converted both files to WAV.

      Back to K3B to burn the WAV files.  It refused – must convert to WAV first.

      Whacked up Brasero.  Burned both WAV files to CD.

      That seemed to work well. 

      I must test out the MP3 route by burning a test disk.  It's just as well I bought 100 blanks while I was in the shop?

      • Almost every application should automatically burn audio CD from MP3. Check out whether your system has the needed MP3 codecs. These are system libraries that the applications use for conversion. Sometimes, due to copyright thingies, I believe that the libraries don't come bundled with the burning software.

        Its your comment editing window that's loopy – sometimes I get a blank box, which I can still type into, the proper window with the formatting buttons appears after I have posted the comment. It didn't appear yesterday, and after refreshing the page I saw that my comment hadn't appeared either, which it usually does, so I thought it had gone into oblivion and re-posted. It looks fine today, even got the spell checker. I'm on Firefox.

         

  2. This didn't appear to go the first time GD, so am trying again.

    Why do you have to convert from MP3 to WAV? For burning an audio CD all you need to do is load your MP3 files into K3B, stick a blank disc in and burn away.

    http://lifehacker.com/5860851/the-best-disc-burning-app-for-linux

    Its been a while since I last used Linux but there should be some kind of disc gauge in K3B, it expands the file size as the song file is imported and shows you how much space it will use on the disc. Do not exceed 700MB per disc. Typically a 700MB audio CD will hold around 13 tracks. If the CD player will play MP3 CDs then you can simply copy the song files over. That way each CD will hold a couple of hundred tracks.

  3. Dunno, I just use Nero, and it burns whatever audio file it is onto the disc in WAV format so it plays on any CD player.

    I'm a bit old-school, insofar as I like to have CD players and record decks and amps and big speakers and stuff like that. Visibly storing over a thousand CDs is a drawback though, I must admit. I keep building new CD storage shelves, and then having the problem of finding wall space to hang them. But I rather like browsing the shelves for something I haven't listened to for a while, and scrolling down a playlist just doesn't give me the same satisfaction.

    I have consigned the cassette players and cassettes to history, though. Well, almost, anyway. I've got about three (quality) cassette players and untold hundreds of cassettes in boxes which I can't seem to bring myself to throw out. But then, I was the same about my LPs and decks, and lo and behold, they're back in fashion! So I'm super-cool once again! In the groove, man. Know what I mean?

    • One of the things that surprised me about the library is that it has a fair collection of books on cassette still.  I still have my original Sansui sound system gathering dust somewhere.  I bought it back in the 70s – radio tuner, twin deck cassette player, turntable, amplifier and of course the speakers.  I actually did use it a while ago to transfer some old LPs to digital, and the quality is fine, especially as I was able to remove so very annoying clicks and jumps.

      I see Nero are doing a Linux version.  They are charging for it though.  I don't pay for software any more! 

  4. Oh! You can burn mp3 files to CD you know without converting them. Going from mp3 to wav won't improve the quality so you might as well…

  5. Converting back from MP3 to wav is not advised because you exagerate the audio inaccuracies of the MP3 compression and they can sound crap. Many CD players play compilations of MP3 if you simply make a data disk full of MP3s without trying to write an audio disk.

    • Welcome Bill!  ClassicFM for me if I want an unwind.  They tend to avoid one of my pet hates [modern jazz] but the odd time will throw in another pain to the ears [soprano solos].  Peruvian pipes are okay provided they stick to Peru?

  6. Herself is now happy. 

    This is a rare enough event to warrant a mention.

    All she really wants is audio books, so quality of reproduction isn't really an issue.  Likewise the few disks of music she wants don't have to be 100% quality so long as she can tap her foot or drift off to sleep or whatever.

    I did consider the MP3 path [her player won't play 'em] but she has a slight aversion to menus [except in expensive restaurants] and wants to be able to just play, pause or stop.  I think the concept of about 500 tunes to select from would probably confuse things.  She says she doesn't want them anyway!

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