When you insert an audio CD into your computer, by default iTunes will launch and query the Gracenote online database (formerly "CDDB") for information such as the album and track names. This information is then applied to the tracks when they are imported; however, some people are having an issue in Snow Leopard where iTunes will query for the information and then promptly unmount the CD from the system.… Read more
Back in the late 1980s when Jane's Addiction was in its prime, I saw an interview where front man Perry Farrell was asked about sales figures for their albums. His response: "If I wanted to sell records, I'd work in a record store." He knew that the key to success was touring, which the band did almost incessantly for about three years.
CD Storage Master lets users keep track of their CDs, games, movies, and software without having to actually import the content onto their computers. Although it's not the most intuitive program we've ever used, it's fairly easy to use and has some cool extra features.
Getting information into the program is easy, once you figure it out. For an audio CD, we simply inserted the CD, clicked the New button, and a screen opened allowing us to enter the album information. Users can either do this manually or have the program populate the information from CDDB or … Read more
Online money-saving tool BillShrink launched on Tuesday a new Savings and CDs feature designed to help people find the highest interest rates.
BillShrink, which also offers help on finding cheaper cell phone plans, more advantageous credit cards, and low gas prices, told me in a conference call Monday that it's on track to help users save more than $1 billion by year's end across all three of its money-saving features.
With its Savings and CDs tool, BillShrink now enables people to take the cash they've saved and invest it in a savings account or a certificate of … Read more
They're good, but do the remastered Beatles CDs offer a big enough sonic improvement over the 1987 CDs to make them essential? Listening over my high-end, two-channel system they absolutely do! But are the differences large enough to show up over an iPod, car system, or computer speakers?
The 2009 remasters are louder than the 1987 versions, so a quick comparison might lead you to believe the remaster is "better" simply because it's a little louder. And there's more bass. So if you compare old and new adjust the volume of both CDs to make them the same. Then tell me what you hear.
I compared two of the better sounding CDs, "The Beatles (The White Album)" and "Abbey Road" over my iPod, using my Monster Turbine in-ear headphones, and over my computer, with Audioengine2 speakers. Mind you, the Turbine and Audioengine2 are a good deal better than average-sounding ways to hear music, and after I compensated for the volume differences between the 1987 and 2009 versions, the sound was nearly the same.
And I was listening in a dead quiet room, add some background office or street noise and the differences would be even harder to hear. Rather than buy the new Beatles CDs, buy better headphones or speakers. They would make the Beatles music you already own sound better.
Thing is, with the 2009 remasters we're talking about fairly subtle improvements in clarity, especially in high-frequency detail, overall spaciousness, and naturalness. And the music seems more dynamically alive. Too bad those qualities evaporate over iPods, computer speakers, and car systems. … Read more
For this week's installment of the weekly Crave giveaway, we're offering up something everybody seems to want these days--the entire collection of newly remastered Beatles CDs. While the picture you see above is of the boxset, you're not actually getting the stereo boxset, but you will get every CD that's in the boxset. That includes the albums "Please Please Me," "With The Beatles," "A Hard Day's Night," "Beatles For Sale," "Help!," "Rubber Soul," "Revolver," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club … Read more
ImageCD Catalog is a clever program that allows users to create libraries containing thumbnails of photographs that are stored on CDs. For photographers who tend to store images this way, ImageCD Catalog provides a quick way to find images without having to physically dig through a bunch of CDs.
The program's interface is basic and fairly intuitive, with a handful of buttons for frequently used functions and everything else organized in drop-down menus. Although not everything is intuitive--we had to check the built-in Help file to find out how to start a slideshow--for the most part the program is … Read more
Vinyl is back, big time, but the fact is most folks, probably close to 99 percent of the under 40-set, haven't heard records.
For them, music is about portability and vinyl is a stay-at-home deal. Vinyl has more of a hands-on work ethic: you've got to cue the tonearm, lower the "needle," and when the side's over, turn it over or play another LP. Digital requires almost nothing from you; no wonder it's dominated the music scene for the last couple of decades.
Me, I'm having something of a vinyl fling right now. I've always owned a turntable, but there were times I played only CDs for months on end. I guess I didn't want to deal with the extra work of playing vinyl. Sad, but true.
As for LP vs. CD comparisons, I didn't do any. Trust me, you don't have to be a golden-eared audiophile to notice the two formats sound very different. Records are "warmer" and sound more like the sound of real instruments and voices; CDs almost always make them more detailed and brighter-sounding than they are in real life. … Read more
Got a Netbook? Then at some point you've probably longed for an optical drive, whether to install software, watch a DVD, burn a CD, or whatever.
Newegg has a Samsung SE-S084 portable CD/DVD drive for $48.99 shipped. It's perfect for netbooks, though obviously it's compatible with desktops and laptops as well.
The SE-S084 is about as compact and lightweight as an optical drive can get, weighing 14 ounces and measuring just 0.75 inch by 5.5 inches by 6.2 inches (HWD). You'll barely notice it in your travel bag.
Better still, the … Read more
Sony has announced four new Xplod in-dash CD receivers. The new 2009 fall lineup adds Radio Data System (RDS) technology, which is an FM radio tech that, when receiving a compatible station, displays text data such as artist, track, and song information or station call numbers directly on the display.
Starting at the bottom of the new line is the CDX-GT240 ($80), which is a fairly standard single-disc, single-DIN CD player. In addition to the AM/FM tuner with RDS technology, the unit features MP3 and WMA file playback from the optical drive and an analog aux-in on the faceplate … Read more