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#66446 - 03/20/10 12:39 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] MP3 player?
Registered: 02/23/08
Posts: 110
dmrodes Offline
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Registered: 02/23/08
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In the process of switching from using a CD player for BIAB files to an MP3 player.
What is the best MP3 choice for a gig situation? (Really rather NOT use a computer)

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#66447 - 03/20/10 12:52 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: dmrodes]
Registered: 05/18/07
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Rachael Offline
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I don't think it really matters. Most are adequate. As one who has recently made the move to MP3 from laptop at gigs, make sure your naming conventions are something easily used on gigs. I have over 400 arrangements and to find a song on the fly must be an easy process.

I use the Sony Walkman 344. No problems.

R

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#66448 - 03/20/10 12:54 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: dmrodes]
Registered: 05/29/00
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Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Mac Offline
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Too many available to possibly find "the best".

My advice to you is to go shopping, use the internet to find out the basics about these players, with an eye towards a few key salient points that would aid the use of such device in the live performance situation:

*I'd want the largest screen I could find, to make it easier to see what's going on under stage conditions.

*Same for buttons and controls, I'd try to find one that had large, easy to identify controls and buttons.

*Perhaps a larger than the average sized pocket mp3 player device, such as a disk player that also played mp3 format as well as CD format would be a good choice. But I would not rule out those that use memory cards, for there may be some that have the screen that is easily readable, controls easily accessed and it may represent a good economical solution.

Any of them, you could use the Earphone output jack as a stereo line out to PA, with the proper audio cord and adaptors.



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#66449 - 03/20/10 01:07 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: Mac]
Registered: 03/27/06
Posts: 812
Loc: Guadalajara, Mexico
Edward Buckley Offline
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I use an iPod Nano, Works great, it's small and light. I have 10 set lists setup as playlists. Battery lasts for 8 45 minute sets at least.

I do recommend you use a High bitrate and VBR for your MP3 tracks. It might take up more file space, but sonically it's more than worth it.

Ed

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#66450 - 03/20/10 02:03 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: Edward Buckley]
Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 18028
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Matt Finley Offline
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It really pays to do not only your research but also spend time testing the one you will buy. I used to use an M-Audio MicroTrak. It's fine in most respects, but the display would go dark just as you needed to see it in the wings of the stage where it was dark. It had an odd pushbutton that you could not know if you had pushed it, and a delay in the screen so you couldn't see if it did what you want. Neither of these things would be apparent by reading any manual.

I now use a SONY http://www.amazon.com/Sony-PCM-M10-Porta...7495&sr=8-1

The transport buttons are great. The screen is very readable and clearly shows what I need. It is expandable in memory but comes with 4 GB built-in. It has a speaker so you can double-check that you have the right song loaded. The built-in mics are good. It plays and records WAV as well as MP3, which I think is important. Of course, being a recorder as well, it's probably overkill for what you need.
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#66451 - 03/20/10 09:35 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
Shastastan Offline
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Loc: CA
Your suggestion makes a lot of sense to me, Matt. I have an Archos w/20gb drive. I bought it rebuilt for $170. It has the buttons on the outside like the Sony. I like that it shows the songs for the folder in a list so that you can play the tunes in order or choose them at random. It's pretty simple for a techno minus guy like me. If it fails, you Sony suggestion is first on my replacement list.

Stan
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#66452 - 03/23/10 04:02 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: dmrodes]
Registered: 02/25/10
Posts: 211
Loc: Upstate Michigan
ikeinblackriver Offline
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Registered: 02/25/10
Posts: 211
Loc: Upstate Michigan
I researched for at least two weeks before I made my decision. Of course a large part of the decision for me was the price-to-feature issue. After owning several brands and models over the years, I now have the SanDisk Sansa Fuze 8 GB Video MP3 Player. I've fallen in love with this little machine and it's packed with features. It's also very well put-together -- it's going to last me. It cost me all of $65 dollars and it has a huge following of users -- therefore, it also has lots of accessories too. I read lots of independent test results prior to selecting this (over the Sony). I actually owned the Sony and I have several thousands of dollars invested in Sony audio equipment -- they have a great sound that nobody can produce. But, I couldn't justify the cost of the Sony. I also don't like the feature Sony has built in to prevent you from listening to your own music -- my wife buys 99 cent music tracks off amazon and she can listen to it but if i use my music library software to copy the same song to my Sony MP3 (I use Mediamonkey), it won't let me listen to it because Sony says I'm violating the license -- which is NOT the case. I have the same problem with all of my Sony audio also but I'll never buy anything but Sony as audio systems go. Sound quality wise, the Sansa is great. Also, I can pull out and replace the SD card anytime I want or need to. I've got something around 400 tunes and videos and pictures and voice recordings on my Sansa 8GB and I haven't filled 50% percent of it yet. I haven't even started to touch my SD card! SanDisk Rocks! They ought to ... they're one of the originators of SD cards and are still tops!

On a final note ... I suggest that you do not buy any of the cheap one's out on the Internet right now. At the time of this writing there is a flood of sub $100 dollar players that previously (prior to Christmas 2009) were selling for over twice that price. Most of these do not support the higher capacity and faster plug-in cards (i.e. SDHC, miniSDHC, microSDHC). Yes you can purchase older SD cards that are very inexpensive, but they will not have the capacity and the higher access speeds that the newer players now accommodate.

Check it out at amazon.com

http://amazon.com

Now having said all that, I'd like to say that having looked at Matt's recorder over on the amazon site, there are two features on this Sony model that might make me want to pay the extra money (assuming I had it to spend). These two features alone might make me think twice since they do in fact pertain to us musicians and Band In A Box people. Recording (and playing back) your backing tracks from a WAV (versus MP3) might well be worth it!

Here's the two I'm referring to:

1 The PCM-M10 includes both digital pitch control & key control. Digital pitch control maintains pitch while slowing down or speeding up playback speed.
2 The PCM-M10 conforms to the USB 2.0 Mass Storage Class Device standard and this recorder's native recording file formats include .WAV and .MP3.


Edited by ikeinblackriver (03/23/10 04:19 AM)
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#66453 - 03/23/10 12:43 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: ikeinblackriver]
Registered: 08/08/06
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Robh Offline
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Some of those players are expensive the sony was $250 Wow you could get a Net book for that and have a screen big enough to really see the songs and folders. The MP3 players can fail as well there are so many folks using netbooks and laptops that it is well documented that with care they work well. Then have a cheap MP3 player as back up! That way you can use all the features BiaB has to offer.
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#66454 - 03/23/10 12:58 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: Robh]
Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 10059
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Gary Curran Offline
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Stan,
My first mp3 player was an Archos, and I purchased another one to replace the first. I will NEVER buy one again. The one I have is slow, hard to use, totally touch screen, apt to fail regularaly, need constant reboot, and had to be returned for repair because the mobo failed within the first year.

While it has a 7" screen, and is very easy to see, I would not recommend an Archos for any live performance application.

Gary
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#66455 - 03/23/10 12:59 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: Gary Curran]
Registered: 01/07/02
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Gary Curran Offline
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Rob,
The nice thing about the Netbook idea is that you can get 160gb hard drives, or even bigger, attach an external drive, and more importantly, selecting a file is VERY easy to do.

Plus, during breaks, you can check your e-mail!

Gary
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#66456 - 03/23/10 03:11 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: Gary Curran]
Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
Shastastan Offline
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Loc: CA
Hi Gary. I have an older Archos. It does not have a touch screen. It is the "Jukebox" model. We've used it for over a year on gigs with no problem. The main thing that it doesn't have is .wav file capability. There are good points said about netbooks here. We have one that we use for traveling. That Sony that Matt has really looks nice, though. What we were using before was a little boom box via cds. It's just too hard to select stuff at random on a gig with that setup though. In a post above, it said that there were problems putting non-Sony songs on it? That sounds weird.

Stan
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#66457 - 03/23/10 07:32 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: Shastastan]
Registered: 02/25/10
Posts: 211
Loc: Upstate Michigan
ikeinblackriver Offline
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Posts: 211
Loc: Upstate Michigan
Quote:

In a post above, it said that there were problems putting non-Sony songs on it? That sounds weird.




Hello Stan. No what I meant to say was that somehow the Sony technology knows when a file you're using is on another machine and it interprets this as a copyright violation. Next thing you know, you're digging through the manual and on the Sony website to find out that they have a special technology built into their equipment that tries to prevent copyright infringements on music files.

I just pulled out the manual for my Sony stereo audio system and here's what it reads ...

Music discs encoded with copyright protection technologies. This product is designed to playback discs that conform to the CD standard. Recently, various music discs encoded with copyright protection technologies are marketed by some record companies [Sony is one of those record companies]. Be aware that among those discs, there are some that do not conform to the CD standard and may not be playable by this product.

My Sony MP3 player that I paid almost $300 dollars for reads ...

About the Serial Copy Management System (SCMS). The SCMS allows you to make only a single copy of a digitally recorded source. This unit conforms to the Serial Copy Management System. You cannot perform a DIGITAL recording from a digitally recorded CD-R or CD-RW. In this case, make a ANALOG recording.

Stan, you'll note that by ANALOG recording that they mean a recording that is no better than the voice recorder function through the player's built-in microphone. Imagine that! A digital recorder that prevents you from making a digital recording.

My wife downloads these 99 cent tracks (legally) off from Amazon.com. She puts that MP3 download on her MP3 or burns a CD of it. From then on, if that MP3 contains Sony's SCMS encoding in it, you'll not be able to play it on another player (my own for instance). In fact, until you 'return' the MP3 you downloaded to it's original download, you can't even burn a second copy onto a CD. Sony's plan to build this into their equipment has been around for years. At one time, you couldn't even use a Sony Walkman without using their own proprietary software to manage your music library (until recently when people stopped buying their products). However, more and more companies are setting up their players and their MP3 downloads this way, using Sony's proprietary protection scheme. Have you ever been given a file from a friend that wouldn't load up in your player (maybe opens your browser and takes you immediately to a website page)? Won't even run in Windows Media Player? There ya' go! Microsoft's been in on it since version 10 of Windows Media Player.

I'd be willing to bet that if Matt looked for it, he'd see it buried in the fine print of his owner's manual too.

Like I said -- Sony's got great audio but there's a price for it. For home audio I won't buy anything else -- I'll just pay the extra 99 cents they want so bad.
t
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#66458 - 03/24/10 01:39 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: ikeinblackriver]
Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
Shastastan Offline
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Thanks for the explanation, Russell. We sometimes download tunes from Amazon for 99 cents, too. So far we haven't had any problems, but now I'm leery of Sony.


stan
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#66459 - 03/24/10 02:10 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: Shastastan]
Registered: 07/12/00
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Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Matt Finley Offline
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Russell, no mention of this in the owner's manual. I do read the manual, and I am familiar with the SONY scheme from several years back and would have been annoyed to find it there. I purchase downloads primarily from Amazon (I shouldn't, because they don't pay the artist well) and iTunes (much better corporate policy toward paying artists) and have never encountered a problem.
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#66460 - 03/25/10 12:00 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 02/25/10
Posts: 211
Loc: Upstate Michigan
ikeinblackriver Offline
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Loc: Upstate Michigan
Quote:

Russell, no mention of this in the owner's manual. I do read the manual, and I am familiar with the SONY scheme from several years back and would have been annoyed to find it there. I purchase downloads primarily from Amazon (I shouldn't, because they don't pay the artist well) and iTunes (much better corporate policy toward paying artists) and have never encountered a problem.




Matt, the problem I've had can be traced back to Sony Records ... That is, if the artist recorded with Sony Records (the production company), that is where I've experience a problem.

Then for Christmas this year I got a card for some downloads to use at amazon. Two of the 10 that I downloaded had this issue and it wasn't even a Sony Records production -- I assumed from that experience that other production companies are jumping on the bandwagon.

I took the same two MP3's that I had trouble with and loaded these onto my new Sansa Fuze and they played fine ... from that, I concluded that it is a two-sided deal which is to say that you'll evidently only realize a problem under two conditions ... One, that you're playing back via Sony hardware and two, that the track you're playing (assuming it's a legally purchased track), was produced by Sony Records.

BTW my Sony CD unit (part of my stereo equipment), is only just over two years old.

Just my own observations kids ... I don't claim to know exactly what's going on here. And, I'd still purchase Sony home audio equipment despite this little snafu.
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#66461 - 03/25/10 12:08 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: ikeinblackriver]
Registered: 07/12/00
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Matt Finley Offline
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OK, I understand, thanks. Not sure if I typically know what record company produces any of my songs, but I'll pay more attention next time, and let you know if I have a problem with any SONY records. I thought they dropped the scheme, though, after being deservedly raked over by the press.
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#66462 - 03/25/10 02:06 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 02/25/10
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Loc: Upstate Michigan
ikeinblackriver Offline
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Matt, I had the pleasure of checking out your CD on CDBaby. We like it very much and had a good time with your videos.

Q: I see you use other companies as well. I have a jazz guitar friend who records and markets via CDBaby. What's your take on this company versus some of the other well-known Internet distributors?
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#66463 - 03/25/10 12:22 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: ikeinblackriver]
Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 18028
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Matt Finley Offline
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Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Thanks very much for the kind words about my CD and videos. All nine songs on the CD started in BIAB. My percussionist has eight more of my BIAB-started songs about to be released on his new CD.

I am a huge fan of CD Baby, especially when they send me checks, which they do faithfully. CD Baby gets me onto many of the other services, too, especially iTunes.

I am NOT a fan of Amazon, as their fees, artist cut and shipping policy eats up any profit for the artist. Every time they want me to send them one CD at a time, I grit my teeth and ask why.
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#66464 - 03/28/10 11:19 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 02/25/10
Posts: 211
Loc: Upstate Michigan
ikeinblackriver Offline
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Registered: 02/25/10
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Loc: Upstate Michigan
Quote:

My percussionist has eight more of my BIAB-started songs about to be released on his new CD.




Matt,

Your percussionist is awesome. I watched him play solo on one of your videos and my wife fell in love with him. I know he will do well with that CD. Do you mind telling me who and how (for his new CD with your arrangements)?

By the way, I've only found one flaw with you and your band -- you don't record enough CD's!!!
I mean that.
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#66465 - 03/28/10 11:28 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: MP3 player? [Re: ikeinblackriver]
Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 18028
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Matt Finley Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
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Thanks again, Russell. My percussionist is Tomas Martin Lopez. When his CD comes out, I'll let folks here know. It was just mastered.

I plan to market play-along MMO tracks on a limited basis, too.

As for more recording, I might. Several regional songwriters have hired me to do arrangements, transcriptions, and solos on their CDs, but other than that, I only take the horns out of the case a few times a year.
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