I just got my new CD-MP3 player today! It cost ï¿½100 because I bought it at El Cortes Ingles which is normally more expensive, but I finally couldn't wait anymore. I got a Scott MPZ-3T. I know, I never heard of the brand either, but it sounds awesome and displays the album/name of MP3s in a big window and has all the features I wanted. I popped my first MP3 loaded CD into it and found all 250+ songs without any problems. Yeah!
Maybe I'm barbarian, or deaf, or a combination of both, but I can't hear any difference between 128kbps and 96kbps, so I burn everything at the lower rate to save disk space. I'm listening to the MP3s right now and they sound fine. Great even. Yeah!
And maybe I'm like what, three years behind the MP3 curve, but I'm am REALLY digging having all my CDs on MP3! Listening to them on my computer isn't that great because the sound card isn't very good and the songs constantly skip during playback. I've never been able to figure out what the deal is, but I brought my MP3s to work, I just choose "random" and it's like my very own radio station with just my favorite CDs. Very very nice.
I actually have more CDs than I thought... More than 200. Maybe that's not a lot, actually, but it seems like it to me. It's taking more time than I thought to rip them - I still haven't gotten through half of them yet! I'm thinking I may need to buy an external Firewire hard drive. I saw an 80 Gigger (!!!) today for like $250 which is not bad. (All tech is a bit more expensive here, so I have to adjust my expectations). And being Firewire, I can use it with my future iBook I'm going to buy. ;-) (Ana was playing with the iBook today and really like it... I guess it's true that you can't just buy one.)
Jeff is completely right about MusicMatch: it sucks. I can't get it to stop auto-playing my CDs when I put them in, and it does separate CDDB lookups for the recorder and the player, and every 3rd CD has 2 or 3 entries in CDDB that I have to choose from TWICE. What a POS. What this does is make the whole process of burning a bunch of CDs, one after the next, a PITA. I can't just wait for the ding, take out the CD, replace it with a new one and hit "record". The GUI of MusicMatch locks up (!!!!) while it's doing a CDDB lookup, so there's nothing I can do, and it auto starts playing the CD so I have to stop it first. Ugh.
However, I tried the same process with RealOne and it's 1) a hell of a lot slower than MusicMatch and 2) for some inexplicable reason a lot lower quality recordings... Real wants you to use their proprietary format and therefore screws up MP3 recordings on purpose is my guess. So that means I'm sticking with MusicMatch for now. Hopefully Apple will get sick of the calls and get them to get off their ass and fix their problems.
By the way Jeff... I WISH I could afford an iPod, but I can't right now. And after checking the Spanish Apple page, it's $100 more expensive here in Spain... so that's why I went with the CD-MP3 option. CDRs are cheap as hell, so this isn't a bad option at all.
I can't see Niel's blog right now, but he suggested another P2P system that I also saw on another blog that I can't remember! I'll have to wait until he comes back up and check it out.