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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 6th October 2005 Thread Starter
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New Laguna II MP3 changer disc formats

The clock is ticking, and the delivery of my new Laguna is getting nearer and nearer. In preparation, I was thinking of rattling together some of my audio collection onto MP3 CDs. I'm hoping some kind soul who already has the MP3 equipped system will spring to my rescue and tell me how to do the discs and files before I burn myself a dozen or more novelty coffee mats.

What I'm really wondering is how it expects the discs to be organised: Does the system differentiate between albums via file and folder names (like my home DVD player) or does it actually have the sense to read the information from the ID3 tags? If it does work with ID3, can it handle ID3 V2 or just V1? Which (if any) of the information appears on the display?

I'm also wondering whether it has limitations on bitrate. I have a load of spoken word stuff that I encoded from cassette many moons ago as 32Kbit mono. Yes the quality is lousy but I doubt I'll ever be bothered re-encoding them at higher bitrates unless I have to. I've known MP3 players that would only handle bitrates within a certain range, and some that wouldn't touch mono. I could always re-encode the existing MP3 at a higher bitrate, but that means losing even more quality (a further lossy encode pass) and ending up with a bigger file. I'm also wondering how well it handles variable bitrate: A lot of players seem to play it okay, but become stumped when trying to do rewind/fast-forward or when displaying running times. I don't see this being a real problem as most of my stuff is fixed bitrate, but I do have the odd thing that's VBR.

And possibly the biggest question: Does the player handle CD-RW or is it CD-R only? I know my old Renault/Alpine CD changer refuses to play CD-RW discs even though it's not at all picky about brands of CD-R. I plan to have a few ready made CD-R MP3 discs, but it'd be nice to be able to compile a RW disc specifically to suit my mood at the time, knowing that I can re-use it when I want to put something else on there instead.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 6th October 2005
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Just envious of the fact you are getting a new facelifted Lag. Sorry unable to help on the mp3 front as well, I haven't caught up yet and now mp4 is out!

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 24th October 2005 Thread Starter
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I hate to be one of those people who bumps his own threads (well at least I'm not doing it within a few hours of my original posting) but the car comes in two days, and I'm itching to get 'burning.'

I know there were a lot of questions, but if anyone can answer any of them, it'd be a big help. I'm about to break the seal on a new box of CD-RW media, so the biggy right now is whether or not the player can handle CD-RW (I'll be very disappointed if it can't.)

To ST:
Sorry, I missed your follow-up until now.

I don't think I'll be going to any other format besides MP3 anytime soon. I've just updated my 'Single artist music albums' folder, and I'm a handful short of having 200 discs in there - all at 192k fixed bitrate and all ripped from original discs (that I still own) using Lame. On top of that, I'd guess that I have 60-100 compilation, classical and comedy CD's that I haven't catalogued properly yet. I probably have most of them ripped already, but need to sort them and fill in the blanks.

Don't tell my boss, but ripping this lot was probably instrumental in the untimely demise of my last-but-one notebook PC. The DVD combo drive died on it, though it had to be said that the PC was already misbehaving in other ways. I don't see me re-ripping them all anytime soon - well not unless I want to kiss goodbye to another notebook.

Looks-wise, if it's any consolation, I envy you in that department. I think the car's lost a lot of its personality in the facelift - I particularly liked the front of the old one, provided that it was in a colour that contrasted well with the aluminium trim above the radiator grille. I'm not keen on what they've done with the tail lights on the new one either - I'm contemplating a set of Lexus lights (I still like them, even if I am far too old to have them) or alternatively might even go down to the scrappy's and buy a set of rear clusters of the old design.

But no, I don't want to swap, so don't even ask
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 24th October 2005
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Horatio I use Nero to burn MP3 cd's - these days Nero has the start smart bit to make things very easy - you just select cd from the dropdown at the top then audio and make mp3 as for the id tags I presume you want to make sure the track title and things come up on the display ? Nero does this automatically but...

If you need to edit MP3 ID tags

Right click on a MP3 file (or select several at once and right click)

Select properties > summary > advanced

Click the item you want to change

Hope that's helped out a bit ?

Also I have no idea if the new audio equipment for the facelift laguna includes id tag read ?
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 24th October 2005 Thread Starter
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Hiya L2O.

I'm okay with the ripping and tagging process, though thanks for bringing up another method that I hadn't considered. I was really wondering what the capabilities of the Laguna's MP3 player are. It seems that they can be very variable between devices.

For ripping, I've always used Audiograbber, so I'll probably stick with it: I even bought it back in the days when it was shareware rather than freeware (I think the author gave in to pressure from similar freeware apps.) I do have another suite of apps for sorting out 'problem discs' that refuse to play in the Clio thanks to copy protection (I've paid for the music, so I expect to be able to listen to it in the car, thanks very much! )

Audiograbber links to Lame and FreeDB quite nicely - just insert your disc, click the FreeDB button to load all of the album details (assuming that it's recognised - I've found one or two that weren't) and it'll rip and encode to MP3 on the fly and populate both ID3 V1 and V2 tags from the FreeDB data. It even gives good control of the file structure (I like the folders to be in the format 'Artist - title' and the tracks to be named 'Track no. - Track title.') There's also a handy feature that lets you set the start and end points on a track. Pointless most of the time, but really handy when someone thinks it's clever to add 20 minutes of silence and then 10 seconds of jibberish onto the end of the final track.

For mass re-tagging of MP3s, I haven't found anything better than ID3TagIt. It can be a bit flaky (especially if you delete the folder that it's currently looking at) but otherwise does a sensible job. It can rename files, or even re-organise the directory structure of your entire MP3 collection based on the ID3 tags. It can also create ID3 tags based on the filename (useful in conjunction with Audiograbber if you want to rip via WAV for some reason.)

I've already got the discs, so I think I might just burn out a couple of RW's and see how it goes. I can see it's going to be a bit of trial and error, but if I'm using rewritable discs, then it's not like it's costing me anything other than time, is it?
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