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Advice on best MP3 software

Next week I will be visiting an out-of-town friend who wants me to set up his computer to download MP3s.  My friend is quite computer-phobic, so the system needs to be easy to use.  He wants to make conventional music CDs from the MP3s.  He has a broadband connection.

I don't really have much experience with this.  Is Kazaa Lite still the way to go?  I've heard rumors that it will soon be shut down.

What about software to burn CDs?  He has a CD player that doesn't play MP3 files, so it would have to be regular old music CDs.

Again, ease-of-use is the primary consideration here.

Thanks.

Alex Chernavsky
Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Around here, the eLearning guys at my company use MusicMatch and it seems its worth its reputation.

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Wednesday, December 24, 2003

iTunes is excellent for those that wish a friendly UI. It's very use-friendly and the music you can purchase is freely burnable to disc as an audio CD.

JBaugher
Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Definitely iTunes.  Simple, powerful interface.  MusicMatch is a *horrible mess* of an interface, IMHO.  Soulseek will cover legal music downloads, online music previews, burning, etc.

As far as possibly-illegal downloads go, Soulseek (http://www.slsknet.org/) is the best.  That's strictly a peer-to-peer filesharing service only, no burning or anything.

John Rose
Wednesday, December 24, 2003

"Soulseek will cover legal music downloads, online music previews, burning, etc."
---------------------------
I'm sorry.  Typo.  Replace "Soulseek" with "iTunes" in that sentence.

John Rose
Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Another vote for iTunes.

Rhapsody is also good and for $10/month you can stream over one quintillion songs.

dmooney
Wednesday, December 24, 2003

+1 for iTunes. I shook it off because I'm already too heavily invested into WMA (and it would be downright stupid to have two sets of music that required two different players). The UI is not typical Windows, though, so familiarize yourself with it, so that when your friend starts using it, you can help them out.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Oh, and since your friend is computer-phobic, do NOT put him on one of the illegal services like KaZaA. The last think you want is the phone call that's been sued, and told them you were the one who set up him to the illegal downloads. :-p

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Wednesday, December 24, 2003

+1 for iTunes. I shook it off because I'm already too heavily invested into WMA (and it would be downright stupid to have two sets of music that required two different players).
--------

I can't really fathom why one would want to become heavily invested in WMA.... just too restrictive... compared to mp3, is the slightly better quality-to-filesize ratio of WMA really worth it?  Whatever makes you happy, though.

John Rose
Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Yes, it's worth it, when you rip 3,000 CDs.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Wednesday, December 24, 2003

www.allofmp3.com

GuyIncognito
Wednesday, December 24, 2003

I used to use MusicMatch because I liked how the music library worked (I like to organize by artist then album, and don't use playlists). It has CD ripping but not CD writing last I knew. The rest of it's UI is rather crappy and slow IMHO.

I've since switched to Window Media Player 9 (!). It has a similar song organization capability, rips CDs (to WMA, or mp3 if you spend $10 on the encoders as I did), makes audio CDs, talks to my Nomad Zen mp3 player, and will minimize to a neat little taskbar control.

For music downloading, who knows. I've lost track of the best illegal methods (arrr). Rhapsody is pretty good for streaming music. They have a decent catalog.  I haven't used their CD burning feature yet (some < 1$ price per track). I tend to go and buy the CDs I like after test driving them on Rhapsody for a while.

Chris Altmann
Wednesday, December 24, 2003

A little off topic--

Has anyone else noticed any problems with the latest release of Winamp (version 5.01)?

I used it for a few days, but stopped because there are slight crackles heard from time to time in either speaker. Very annoying.

ICBW
Thursday, December 25, 2003

MusicMatch (8.x) will burn CDs and has done for a very long time, either as a bunch of MP3s or as music CDs.

Simon Lucy
Friday, December 26, 2003

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