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Digital Audio Essentials by Bruce Fries, Marty Fries

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Organization of This Book

This book is divided into five parts:

  • Part I, Going Digital , introduces you to the many benefits of digital audio. You’ll get the history as well as the big picture on new technologies and business models revolutionizing the music industry. We also cover the hardware and software you’ll need to get started, along with the best ways to integrate your existing stereo or home entertainment system with your computer for the ultimate digital audio experience.

  • Part II, Listening to Digital Music , shows you how to organize and play music on your computer using several popular jukebox programs. You’ll learn about the different types of online music services, including downloadable music stores, music subscription services, file-sharing networks, and Internet radio stations. You’ll also learn how to take your digital music with you in a portable player such as the iPod, and how to listen to downloadable music on your car stereo.

  • Part III, The Nuts and Bolts of Digital Audio , covers the fundamental theories of digital audio, including how analog sound is captured and converted to digital format. We cover common digital audio formats, from the uncompressed PCM format used on audio CDs to common “lossless” and “lossy” compressed formats, including MP3, RealAudio, and Windows Media Audio. We also cover the high-resolution audio formats used for DVD-Audio, DVD-Video, and the Super Audio CD. A separate chapter covers the details of MPEG Audio, which includes MP3 and the AAC format used by iTunes.

  • Part IV, Capturing and Editing Audio , covers how to get audio onto your computer, either by recording it through your sound card or by “ripping” it from a CD. Once the audio is on your computer, you’ll learn how to edit it and convert it into common formats, including MP3. You’ll learn how to minimize noise and get the best-quality sound from your equipment. We also include a detailed chapter that shows you how to capture and clean up audio from your old records and tapes and explains the important differences between modern vinyl records and wide-groove vintage records.

  • Part V, Sharing and Distributing Your Music , cover show to burn songs from your digital music library to standard audio CDs, how to create MP3 CDs that can hold more than 12 hours of music, and how to set up your own Internet radio station. You’ll find detailed instructions for setting up a station on Live365 and for configuring a Nicecast or SHOUT cast server on your own computer. Finally, we cover the all important aspects of copyright law as it applies to digital audio, so you can avoid expensive legal headaches.

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