PC PRIMER # 659
By Kristi Creighton Hicks
I have become an MP3 junkie! How many of you have purchased a CD you couldnít wait to listen to because you liked a song on it only to get it home and find that you really only like ďThat one songĒ? I have 250-300 CDís and I am pretty sure that there are more than a few that fit in this category!
Wouldnít it be nice if there were a way to keep track of the songs you wanted to listen to or a way to create play lists that would let you listen to whatever you are in the mood for at a given moment? There are many options out there that let you do pretty much the same thing; You can rip CDís to your computer or just the songs you want to listen to(ripping a CD means to copy the songs or tracks from a disc into the mp3 format and storing† them on your hard drive or external storage device).
You can listen to internet radio, create play lists (groups of songs that you want to play together or burn onto CDís), and download music to your computer. My†† favorite of all of the software products that I have tried is ďMusicmatch Jukebox 10.0Ē. Available at www.musicmatch.com this is a free download with the capability to upgrade to premium service for a small monthly fee. Many new computers come with the product pre-loaded and some even offer a free month or two to try out the premium services. All you need is a computer with a working CD-Rom drive and some time to invest in transferring your music. I guarantee you will be hooked.
I personally prefer ďMusicmatch Jukebox 10.0Ē to many of the others because it is very easy to understand, and it has plug-ins that work with a wide variety of MP3 players. We will cover the benefits of MP3 players in another column in more detail but the ability to choose from multiple players is nice to have.
I use Musicmatch primarily to catalog and organize the music I already own. I have ripped almost all of my personal CDís to my computer (this can take up a LOT of hard drive space so make sure you have the room, if you have a lot of CDís or music files on your computer you might consider an external hard drive to store your music. This will keep your computer running a little faster.) I then use Musicmatch Jukebox to listen to my music by genre or artist. The sorting capabilities are terrific, allowing you to sort by track length, artist, title, album or genre. Say you want to listen to Country, you can set it to play only country songs randomly from all of your country CDís. Itís like having your own personal radio station where you control the playlist and there are never any commercials!
†Another way of using this program is to download (legally) songs from the internet. Musicmatch has a catalog of thousands of artists and albums which you can purchase at the click of a mouse for $.99 a track or $9.99 for a whole album. They donít have all of the albums for every artist but they add new ones all the time. This is not file sharing, this is purchasing the songs just like going to the store and buying the CD only you donít have to have all of the songs you donít like! You can search for artists and see all of the albums they have put out along with biographies. ďMusicmatch Jukebox 10.0Ēwill also point you in the direction of related artists that might interest you!
If you are looking for a way to gain some control over the growing pile of music CDís you own, Musicmatch Jukebox 9.0 is a great place to start.
Missed a column?† Check out the PC PRIMER WEB PAGE @ www.rollanet.org/~pcprimer a listing of the last ten weeks of columns.