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A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind

Polishing Your Digital Audio Files

By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 4/15/2024
Posted: 2/27/2008
Page Views: 6163
Topics: #DigitalRecording #MP3s #DigitalMusic #WindowsMediaPlayer #Music
How you can make your ripped CDs sound even better, and be able to quickly find any song you like!

Previously I described the basics of using different rippers to create MP3 or FLAC tracks from your CDs. Today I'm going to cover ways of finessing your MP3 tracks so that you can get the most out of them.

There are three steps I take to get my tracks into a condition that will allow me to enjoy them forevermore. Those steps are:

  1. Trimming silence

  2. Normalizing volume

  3. Tagging tracks

Below are links to pages describing each of these steps, along with the programs I use to do the job.

Trim The Fat (mpTrim/mpWav)

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 8/30/2017
Page Views: 2651
Topics: #Music #Ripping #Polishing #mpTrim.mpWav
How to use a free/inexpensive applet to remove leading and trailing silences from digital audio tracks.

There are a number of reasons why there might be stretches of silence preceding or trailing a song on a CD. The most common is probably laziness, as the recording producer saw no reason to be neurotic over this issue. After all, we are talking less than a second in most cases. The next most common reason is intentional. Perhaps Track 7 was long and slow, and the producer wanted three or four seconds of silence to allow you to savor it before starting with the hip-hop beat of Track 8. Unfortunately, the break between tracks could come at the end of Track 7, the beginning of Track 8, or split between the two. And when you freely mix the songs you listen to, you may well play Track 8 first, or even a track from a completely different album. So the silences that may have made sense on the CD, do not make sense when the tracks are ripped.

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Normalizing (MP3Gain)

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 8/30/2017
Page Views: 4178
Topics: #Music #Ripping #Polishing #MP3Gain
How to use a free applet to normalize your digital audio albums to a common loudness, while retaining dynamic differences between tracks.

The word "normalize", in the world of digital audio, means to adjust the volume of a set of tracks to a common value. Individual tracks can be set to that volume, or an entire album can be normalized so that the average loudness will meet the desired setting, without losing the relative volume levels between songs. The best applet I have found for this is called MP3Gain.

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Name That Tune! (MP3tag)

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 9/1/2017
Page Views: 3979
Topics: #Music #Ripping #Polishing #TaggingDigitalAudioFiles #MP3tag #MP3wav
How to use a free applet to add song titles, artists, comments, cover art, and more to your digital audio tracks.

A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but it's a lot easier to find if it's grouped with "flowers beginning with 'R'". The same goes for your MP3s. You want to name them in such a way that you can find them later. Even though you'll be using your Windows Media Player (or other player) most of the time to access them, it can be helpful if you can quickly locate the actual file—for example, if you want to copy it to your MP3 player. And that means you want a standard naming convention that you can count on.

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