Tips for managing digital audio

Paul Thurrott has just posted a useful article on the Connected Home Media site about acquiring digital media (the comments are worth a read too).

I use iTunes (only because I have an iPod – otherwise it would be far more convenient for me to use Windows Media Player) and have ripped all of my CDs to disk as 192-bit MP3s (I still need to rip the CD singles, the vinyl records, the compact cassettes, the MiniDiscs and the DVDs), but I do disagree with Paul on one point- I still buy music on CD. I do this for a number of reasons:

  • I own a legal copy of the music without any digital rights management (DRM).
  • I have a backup copy.
  • If I buy my CDs online (or from the supermarket), it generally costs the same (or less) as buying a whole album from iTunes.

Having said that, I did buy a couple of tracks from iTunes recently – single tracks when I didn’t want to pay an extortionate price for a CD single. I was concerned about DRM and the limitations of 128-bit AAC but using the iTunes Music Store is really easy.

Paul’s approach of burning the legal downloads to CD and then ripping them again is a great idea (accepting that there will be an inevitable loss in quality) – at least that way I have a non-DRM copy for use in years to come.

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