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MP3: The Definitive Guide

Book Description

MP3, standing for MPEG-1, Layer 3, is a codec for compressing the size of audio files for digital distribution. Much more than a definition, MP3 is nothing less than a cultural and economic revolution on the Internet. Every day, hundreds of thousands of MP3 music files are searched for, shared, recorded and listened to by computer and Internet users of all kinds. Either alone or collected into massive download sites, the MP3 revolution is seriously threatening the traditional ways people find, listen to and create music. MP3 players and encoders are available for all major computer platforms, including Windows, Macintosh, Linux and BeOS. MP3 hardware players include portable players you can take with you jogging or exercising from manufactures like Sony, Diamond and Philips to home stereo and car stereo players. MP3: The Definitive Guide introduces the power-user to just about all aspects of MP3 technology. It delves into detail on obtaining, recording, and optimizing MP3 files using both commercial, and Open Source methods. Coverage is complete for four platforms: Windows, Macintosh, Linux and BeOS. In depth chapters describe all aspects of the MP3 experience from distributing, streaming, broadcasting, converting and playing to archiving your collection. Readers will learn how to test their equipment, optimize their encoding times, evaluate their playback options, control and organize a collection, even burn their own CD's or distribute their own music to a massive worldwide audience over the Internet. In addition, the author fills readers in on the complex legal issues surrounding MP3 files. Everything you need to know to enjoy MP3 today and tomorrow is contained in this single volume. MP3 is here to stay, and the applications for this versatile compression format are expanding exponentially along with its user base. MP3: The Definitive Guide should appeal to a broad audience of users, from the those just getting into this exciting new technology, to those who want to fully immerse themselves in the complexities and possibilities that MP3 presents.

Table of Contents

  1. MP3: The Definitive Guide
    1. Preface
      1. Conventions in This Book
      2. How to Contact Us
      3. Acknowledgments
    2. 1. The Nuts and Bolts of MP3
      1. MP3 Basics
        1. What Is MP3?
          1. Why the term “MP3?”
          2. Small is beautiful: How MP3 works
        2. Working with MP3 Files
          1. Downloading MP3s
          2. Finding MP3 files
          3. Creating your own MP3 files
          4. Playback basics
          5. Playlists
          6. ID3 tags
          7. Internet radio
          8. Beyond the computer
        3. About the Codec
          1. The MPEG family
          2. The MP3 patent
      2. Rights, Piracy, and Politics
        1. MP3’s Impact on the Recording Industry
          1. File-based digital audio changes the game
          2. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em
            1. Beat ‘em: The Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI)
            2. Join ‘em: MP3 and electronic commerce
        2. The Artist’s Turn
          1. The next wave of self-publishing
          2. Do the math: A good deal for artists
        3. Why MP3 Is Here to Stay
          1. Not the best, but good enough
          2. The source, Luke, use the source
          3. “Open source” music
          4. Give the people what they want
          5. Biting the hand that feeds
          6. Can’t we all just get along?
    3. 2. How MP3 Works: Inside the Codec
      1. A “Perceptual” Codec
        1. MPEG Audio Compression in a Nutshell
        2. Waveforms and Psychoacoustics
        3. Breaking It Down
        4. Notes on “Lossiness”
        5. Masking Effects
          1. Simultaneous (auditory) masking
          2. Temporal masking
        6. Enter Bitrates, Stage Left
          1. CBR vs. VBR
          2. Bitrates vs. samplerates
        7. Freedom of Implementation
        8. Other Considerations
          1. Dipping into the reservoir
          2. The joint stereo effect
        9. Who Defines “Imperceptible?”
        10. The Huffman Coding
        11. Raw Power
        12. Notes on Decoding
      2. The Anatomy of an MP3 File
        1. Inside the Header Frame
        2. ID3 Space
        3. Frames per Second
    4. 3. Getting and Playing MP3 Files
      1. Choosing and Using an MP3 Player
        1. Basic Features
      2. Players by Platform
        1. Windows 95/98/NT
          1. MusicMatch Jukebox
          2. Real’s Real Jukebox
          3. Sonique
          4. WinAmp
          5. Windows Media Player
        2. Linux
          1. mpg123
            1. Output options
          2. FreeAmp
          3. Xmms
          4. XAudio
        3. Mac OS
          1. SoundJam MP
          2. MACAST, MACAST Lite
          3. SoundApp
        4. BeOS
          1. SoundPlay
          2. Media Player
          3. CL-Amp
      3. Obtaining MP3 Files
        1. Via the Web
        2. Streaming MP3
        3. Via FTP
        4. Download Managers
        5. Via Usenet
        6. Roll Your Own
      4. Organizing Your Collection
        1. Naming Your Files
        2. Building Logical Directory Structures
        3. Storage Requirements
      5. Equipment Considerations
        1. Sound Cards
        2. Speakers
          1. Speaker placement
          2. Connect your computer to your stereo
        3. Headphones
    5. 4. Playlists, Tags, and Skins: MP3 Options
      1. MP3 Options and Considerations
      2. Equalization and Sound Quality
        1. Can Quality Be Measured?
          1. Conducting listening tests
        2. Digital to Analog (and Back)
        3. Equalization
          1. Why equalize?
          2. The Fletcher-Munson curve
          3. Working with EQ presets
      3. ID3 Tags and Playlists: The Virtual Database
        1. What Are ID3 Tags?
          1. ID3v1 vs. ID3v2
        2. What Are Playlists?
          1. Playlist formats
          2. Loading and manipulating playlists
        3. ID3 and Playlist Editors
          1. Windows
          2. One-click master list
          3. Do it with Perl
          4. Mac OS
          5. Linux
          6. BeOS
      4. Skins: Dressing Up MP3 Players
        1. How to Get WinAmp Skins
        2. Creating Your Own Skins
          1. Skin graphics
          2. Cursors and control files
          3. Manipulating fonts and colors
          4. Manipulating the visualizer
          5. Manipulating skin regions
      5. Plug-ins: Extending Your Reach
        1. Input Plug-ins
        2. Output Plug-ins
          1. Converting MP3 to WAV files
          2. Use Microsoft Audio optimizations
          3. Cross-fading your files
        3. DSP/Effects Plug-ins
          1. Virtual DJ
          2. Normalizing playback
          3. Other DSP/Effects
        4. Visualization Plug-ins
        5. General Plug-ins
      6. Listening to MP3 Streams
        1. Types of Streaming
          1. MP3-on-demand
          2. MP3 broadcast
          3. Of bandwidth and buffers
        2. Configuring Your System to Handle Streaming MP3
      7. Performance Considerations
        1. Benchmarking Decoders
          1. Windows 95/98
          2. Windows NT
          3. Mac OS
          4. Linux
          5. BeOS
        2. System Requirements
          1. CPU speed
          2. Memory
          3. Sound cards and speakers
          4. Disk speed and space
          5. Sound/video card interactions
    6. 5. Ripping and Encoding: Creating MP3 Files
      1. General Encoding Principles
        1. Achieving Optimum Quality
          1. Pre-encoding optimizations
        2. Samplerates
        3. Speed vs. Quality
        4. Normalization
        5. The Venerable CDDB
        6. Other Encoding Options
        7. Finding the Best Encoder
        8. Improving the Quality of Existing MP3s
      2. General Ripping Principles
        1. Ripping from Compact Discs
          1. Notes on digital audio extraction
      3. Ripping and Encoding Tools
        1. Windows
          1. HyCD’s HyCD
          2. Xing’s AudioCatalyst
          3. AudioGrabber
          4. MusicMatch Jukebox and Real Jukebox
          5. CDFS.VXD
          6. BladeEnc
          7. MP3ENC
        2. MacOS
          1. SoundJam
          2. N2MP3
        3. Linux
          1. cdparanoia
          2. cdda2wav
          3. LAME
          4. GOGO-no-Coda
          5. Get a Grip
          6. RipEnc
        4. BeOS
          1. CDPlayer and SoundRecorder
          2. MediaPede’s UltraEncode
          3. RipEnc
      4. Ripping from Other Sources
        1. Direct to Hard Disk
          1. About S/PDIF
        2. Encoding from Analog Sources
          1. MusicMatch Jukebox
          2. LineRipper
          3. Notes on manual track separation
          4. Notes on noise reduction
          5. Splitting large files
      5. Roll Your Own Compact Discs
        1. CDA vs. Data
          1. Keep your files in MP3 format
          2. Transform your MP3s into CD audio format
        2. Hardware/Software Requirements
        3. Burning Notes
          1. Making space
        4. Format Conversion
          1. Windows: WinAmp
          2. MacOS
          3. Linux: amp
          4. BeOS: SoundPlay
    7. 6. Hardware, Portables, Home Stereos, and Kits
      1. Playing MP3 Through Your Home Stereo
        1. Analog Connections
          1. Connecting your computer to your stereo
          2. Connecting external devices
        2. Digital Connections
          1. Connection types
      2. Portable Players
        1. Memory and Storage Issues
          1. Memory to go
          2. Lilliputian hard drives
          3. Portable MP3 data CDs
        2. Diamond Rio
          1. Rio use on other platforms
          2. Rio: The next generation
        3. Creative Labs’ NOMAD
        4. RCA Lyra
        5. I-Jam’s I-Jam
      3. Hand-Held Computers and Other Devices
        1. Utopiasoft’s Hum
        2. Handspring Visor/InnoGear MiniJam
      4. Home Stereo MP3 Players
        1. Choosing the Best External Player
        2. ReQuest’s AudioRequest
        3. Lydstr⊘m’s SongBank
          1. How it works
          2. New paradigms in distribution
        4. MP3 CD-ROM Players
          1. NetDrives’ Brujo
          2. MacPower Peripherals’ Mozart’s Music Box
        5. Pine’s D’Music
      5. Car Players
        1. Car MP3 on a Budget
          1. Cassette adapter
          2. Auxiliary in
          3. Cigarette lighter adapters
          4. Direct wiring
        2. In-Dash and In-Trunk Players
          1. empeg
          2. Using the on-board controls
          3. Upgrading the empeg
          4. Xeenon MP Shuttle II
      6. Kit Players
        1. Ready-to-Build Kits
          1. CarPlayer
          2. TrackZ
        2. Do-It-Yourself
          1. Hardware and form factor
          2. Operating system
          3. Display
          4. Input methods
          5. Software
          6. Networking alternatives
          7. More information
    8. 7. The Not-So-Fine-Print: Legal Bits and Pieces
      1. The Rules of Engagement
        1. Copyright
        2. Fair Use
        3. Personal Use
        4. Using International Servers
        5. The First Amendment
        6. Linking to MP3 Downloads
        7. Not-for-Profit Sites
        8. Free Advertising
      2. The Players
        1. The Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA)
          1. AHRA in the real world
        2. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
          1. Webcasting
        3. The No Electronic Theft Act
        4. The First Sale Doctrine
        5. International Issues
        6. The MP3 Patent
        7. The Serial Copy Management System (SCMS)
        8. The Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI)
          1. Phases I and II
          2. Holes in the facade
          3. Technical difficulties and possible solutions
          4. More information
    9. 8. Webcasting and Servers: Internet Distribution
      1. The Fundamentals of Internet Distribution
      2. Offering Files for Download
        1. Serving from an Internet Service Provider
          1. Standard web downloads
          2. Offering FTP access
        2. MP3-on-Demand
          1. Bandwidth considerations for MP3-on-demand
        3. Commercial Options
          1. MP3.com
          2. EMusic.com (formerly GoodNoise)
          3. Internet Underground Music Archive (IUMA)
          4. GarageBand.com
        4. Bandwidth: How Much Do You Need?
          1. Colocation
          2. Free bandwidth
        5. Running Your Own Web Server
          1. Server setup
          2. Testing the server
          3. Establishing MIME types
          4. Dealing with dynamic IP addresses
        6. Running Your Own FTP Server
      3. Webcasting: Real-Time MP3 Broadcasting
        1. How MP3 Broadcast Works
          1. Types of source streamers
        2. Working with SHOUTcast
          1. Configure the plug-in
          2. Install an appropriate codec
          3. Configure the server
          4. Additional server options
          5. Extended logging
          6. Remote administration
          7. Serving live streams, microphone input, and other formats
          8. Resource consumption
          9. Using publicly available servers
        3. Working with icecast
          1. Running shout
          2. Running liveice
      4. An Interview with MP3.com’s “High Geek”
    10. 9. Competing Codecs and Other File Formats
      1. The Architectures
        1. ASF/MS Audio/Windows Media Technologies
          1. Playing ASF files
          2. Creating ASF files
          3. Linking to and streaming ASF files
          4. What Windows Media means for the future of MP3
        2. QuickTime
          1. What QuickTime means for the future of MP3
        3. MPEG-4
          1. Playing and creating MPEG-4
          2. MPEG-4 copy protection
          3. What MP4 means for the future of MP3
        4. RealAudio
          1. What Real Player means for the future of MP3
      2. The Codecs
        1. MPEG-1 Layer II
          1. What MP2 means for the future of MP3
        2. QDesign
          1. What QDesign means for the future of MP3
        3. AAC
          1. What AAC means for the future of MP3
        4. a2b
          1. What a2b means for the future of MP3
        5. Liquid Audio
          1. What Liquid Audio means for the future of MP3
        6. Global Music’s MP4
          1. What “MP4” means for the future of MP3
        7. VQF
          1. What VQF means for the future of MP3
    11. A. ID3v1 Genres
    12. Glossary
    13. Index
    14. Colophon