If there's a lesson to be learned from this week's MP3 Mailbox Monday, it's that flattery will get you everywhere. And that it's hip to be square. Oh, also, there's something about digitizing music and recycling CDs in here, too, though I like to delude myself into thinking you stop by for my self-indulgent-yet-somehow-still-witty intro chatter. What do you mean witty, you say? Ha! Good one. Read on for the skinny.
Q: I just joined CNET--great site, just love it! Here's the thing: I'm old, I'm out of it, and I need help. I only started downloading music a year ago, and now I'm hooked. Love having digital music and want to get rid of my physical CDs. I work non-stop and don't have time to do this myself. I've looked into ripping services and wonder if anyone can recommend one service over another? They all seem pretty much the same as far as cost so I'm looking for actual positive experience with a specific service. I'm in the New York City area but it's fine to ship to a distant location if it's a good service.
Also, what format should I convert to--MP3 or AAC? I have an iPhone, a Mac laptop, and external back up (a time machine). And what do people do with their old CDs? Are there places to donate, recycle, etc.? Thanks a ton!--Clare, via e-mail
A: We haven't done a comparison of CD-ripping services at CNET, but I found one over at Digital Trends that is nicely laid out and includes a wide variety of options. (As usual, I also invite other CNET users to leave feedback below.)
Now, the question of format is a good one, and I'm afraid the answer isn't entirely straightforward. What format to use depends on your purposes. If you're looking for archive-quality audio, lossless is the way to go. The most common lossless format is WAV, but in your case, I'd recommend Apple Lossless, which offers some compression while still preserving the data of the file. (This means the Apple Lossless file will be smaller than the WAV, but will arguably sound just as good.) Apple Lossless is supported by iTunes and most iPods, including the iPhone.… Read more