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 Post subject: replacing CD changer
PostPosted: November 30th, 2016, 11:13 am 
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My two 400-disc CD changers finally crapped out. They're a decade out of warranty, and Sony stopped making replacement parts five years ago.

Other than plugging my MP3 player into the AUX input on my A/V receiver, I have no clue how to transition from all CDs to all-MP3s.

What I would like is to sit on my couch with a wireless keyboard, type in an musician's name, see all his or her albums and tracks on my TV screen, scroll to a choice, click Play, and have it play on my living room speakers.

Do I need to hire somebody to rip 1,000 CDs to MP3s? Is there a component that stores the MP3s, feeds metadata to the TV screen, then plays them? What is it called, and what are some good models?


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 Post subject: Re: replacing CD changer
PostPosted: November 30th, 2016, 3:47 pm 
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They're called media players or media centers or even media center pcs :D

Nah, really just take a raspberry pi + external harddrive (can be a network harddrive as well) and install Kodi on it with the video signal plugged into your tv and the audio one to your stereo.

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 Post subject: Re: replacing CD changer
PostPosted: December 2nd, 2016, 7:53 am 
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Mastacheata wrote:
just take a raspberry pi
like this http://amzn.to/2fSScvU or this http://amzn.to/2gPZXVs? Will KODI allow me to search for musicians onscreen? Also, what's the best solution for ripping 1,000 CDs?


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 Post subject: Re: replacing CD changer
PostPosted: December 6th, 2016, 1:07 pm 
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That's what I had in mind.
KODI is just like your typical DVD/BlueRay Player or SetTopBox for the TV. You hook it up to a display via HDMI and plug in a network cable or set up the WiFi connectivity.
Usually most of it can be controlled via your TV remote if you hook it up to the TV. (This feature is called HDMI-CEC or sometimes labeled with a manufacturer specific name: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_ ... es_for_CEC)
I'd go for a full-size keyboard or at least something somewhat bigger than a palm-sized keyboard, though.

Of course you can search on-screen. KODI/XBMC is tuned for multi-media use and not a specific audio player, but can replace an image library or DVD player at the same time as well.

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 Post subject: Re: replacing CD changer
PostPosted: December 7th, 2016, 7:45 am 
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1. Customer reviews can be faked, but the MXQ for Android (http://amzn.to/2fVUCKj) is the highest-rated streaming media player with a keyboard on Amazon. Any views? Is that keyboard palm-sized?
2. I was advised to rip my CDs to FLAC, not MP3. Is this a good idea?
3. Is Exact Audio Copy a good app for ripping CDs to FLAC?
4. With 12,000 FLAC files, my current plan is to store a copy of all files on each of two Toshiba Canvios (http://cnet.co/2gYdQjt). Any views?
5. The player and KODI will work fine with FLAC files on external drives, right?
6. Some of my CDs are old imports, unauthorized compilations, etc., and have no metadata. I currently have MusicBrainz Picard and Tag&Rename. Is EasyTag a better solution for researching and tagging tracks without metadata?


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 Post subject: Re: replacing CD changer
PostPosted: December 7th, 2016, 9:37 pm 
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dj001 wrote:
1. Customer reviews can be faked, but the MXQ for Android (http://amzn.to/2fVUCKj) is the highest-rated streaming media player with a keyboard on Amazon. Any views? Is that keyboard palm-sized?

On the pictures it looks slightly bigger than the box itself, which is 11.5cm square footprint.
dj001 wrote:
2. I was advised to rip my CDs to FLAC, not MP3. Is this a good idea?

Storing in a lossless format is the best idea looking forward. You can't know what format will be dominating in 10 years, maybe MP3 will die out?
With FLAC you can convert your tracks to whatever format you might need in the future, without losing any of the quality of the original recording.
Also it's significantly smaller using FLAC than plain PCM digital uncompressed audio.
Alternatives like ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) or Windows Media Lossless have the same benefits as FLAC, but you'll have less options for playing without prior conversion.
dj001 wrote:
3. Is Exact Audio Copy a good app for ripping CDs to FLAC?

It's the best I know. Easy to handle and not much you could do wrong. Any ripping tool will do, though. After all there is no Analog->Digital conversion involved. The only chance to do something better/worse is with the compression level (will not affect the quality, only the filesize which will vary by 2-3% depending on the compression levels) and the User Experience.
dj001 wrote:
4. With 12,000 FLAC files, my current plan is to store a copy of all files on each of two Toshiba Canvios (http://cnet.co/2gYdQjt). Any views?

Depends on the length and "musical variance" inside each of the tracks and the size of the external HDD you choose.
As a rule of thumb: FLAC with "Pop"-music from the last 3-4 decades will land you at an average 15MB/min.
dj001 wrote:
5. The player and KODI will work fine with FLAC files on external drives, right?

Yep. As well as about 100 other audio, video, photo and subtitle formats.
dj001 wrote:
6. Some of my CDs are old imports, unauthorized compilations, etc., and have no metadata. I currently have MusicBrainz Picard and Tag&Rename. Is EasyTag a better solution for researching and tagging tracks without metadata?

Never used either of these. If you have full CDs, you should be fine with anything that supports CDDB (commercial by Gracenote) or it's free counterpart FreeDB (same protocol, but different servers and no officiall support by the labels, but only community-driven, much like Wikipedia)
I personally use TheGodFather for my audio file tagging needs. It supports FreeDB and MusicBrainz out of the box and for those who like some more "MetaData" it's able to parse websites like the AllMusic Guide for relevant information. It's highly flexible thanks to the built-in scripting language (which is coincidentally built upon Delphi just like PAL in SAM)

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 Post subject: Re: replacing CD changer
PostPosted: December 12th, 2016, 8:42 pm 
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Mastacheata wrote:
KODI is just like your typical DVD/BlueRay Player or SetTopBox for the TV. You hook it up to a display via HDMI and plug in a network cable or set up the WiFi connectivity. Usually most of it can be controlled via your TV remote if you hook it up to the TV. Of course you can search on-screen. KODI/XBMC is tuned for multi-media use and not a specific audio player, but can replace an image library or DVD player at the same time as well.
I bought a media player with KODI, and cannot for the life of me figure out how to use it. I went to the KODI forum, and only got incomplete, useless answers.


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 Post subject: Re: replacing CD changer
PostPosted: December 13th, 2016, 1:21 pm 
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You said you have problems with searching through your music library, can you at least browse through it by hand?
Or is your problem more with setting up the library and telling KODI where to look for your music files?

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 Post subject: Re: replacing CD changer
PostPosted: December 13th, 2016, 1:44 pm 
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Mastacheata wrote:
You said you have problems with searching through your music library, can you at least browse through it by hand?
Or is your problem more with setting up the library and telling KODI where to look for your music files?
Neither. I can see my files, I can browse them, I can play them. However, I have 10,000, so a functioning Search for Artist, Title, Album or Genre is mandatory.


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 Post subject: Re: replacing CD changer
PostPosted: December 13th, 2016, 5:52 pm 
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I'm not sure if KODI has a search function out of the box at all, I always installed readymade bundles on my Raspberry and Set Top Box.
Looks like you need to install an addon for that. You might want to try Global Search or Mega Search. I can't remember which one was in my XBMC bundled version.

No matter how esoteric your wishes for what you want to do with KODI might be, you'll find an Addon for it in 9 out of 10 cases :D

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 Post subject: Re: replacing CD changer
PostPosted: December 14th, 2016, 7:38 am 
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Mastacheata wrote:
I'm not sure if KODI has a search function out of the box at all.
Yes it does. I wasn't able to get it to work. But I found out you need to press C on the keyboard to get KODI's Context Menu. Neither the KODI music scanning Wiki page nor the media player manufacturer mentioned this.


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