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April 15, Author s: Having a home server can bring obvious benefits, but what if it could do more than just sit there? Pop in a disc, and minutes later it will be available for streaming. As our digital libraries grow exponentially year after year, and we start to only purchase music from our favorite online vendors Zune Marketplace for me, please!
While the format you choose to use is completely up to you, the term MP3 is no longer associated with the way the song is compressed but rather now is simply a slang term used for most songs in digital form. As my education to the technology increased, and my tastes evolved, I have found myself ripping those same CDs two, three and sometimes even four times over the past decade into an ever increasing audio quality.
What started with Musicmatch Jukebox yeah, you remember that one and k quality, has evolved into lossless rips such as FLAC. There are many different programs available that allow you to rip your CDs to MP3. Some are free to download while others will set you back a bit of money. In my experiences over the past few years, a networked house is a beautiful thing, and when you can combine your love of music with your love of technology, exciting things can be done.
In our looks at the Squeezebox3 and more recently, the Logitech Boom , no longer is your digital audio collection forced to be played on your PC or your MP3 player of choice. This ability to completely open up your audio is powerful and has personally changed the way I approach enjoying my music on a daily basis.
We first got excited about the platform over two years ago when it was debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The following year was quite a headache for not only Microsoft but anyone who decided to adopt the still-new operating system. Publicly known around October of , it took Microsoft almost nine months to issue a fix for the problem with the release of Power Pack 1. After that, critics have agreed that WHS is by and large a very solid approach to backing up your networked PCs and sharing your media across said network.
After Power Pack 2 was released last month, adding even more streaming capabilities, Microsoft has made another significant push into the living room when paired with a Windows Media Connect supported device like the XBox and the PS3.
Borrowing the styling from the Mac minis and providing a fair amount of storage expandability, the RipNAS box is meant to allow easy ripping of your CDs and then use the power of WHS to send that media across your network to any place you desire. Along the top of the window, you have your basic functions including connected computers and their respective backups, user accounts, shard folders, server storage, overall network health and the RipNAS software icon.
Once on the RipNAS tab, displayed is a list of your previously ripped albums and whether or not each album experienced errors in the ripping process. While settings are sparse compared to the full-blown version of dBpoweramp, you do have the choice of ripping your music quickly, or slowing things down in an effort to silence the process as much as possible. RipNAS will automatically reach out to four different meta data providers with PerfectMeta, download the data for that album including album art and then begin to rip the disc.
While this is completely painless, you are going to want to edit the settings before you do anything. In the upper right corner of the WHS console, there is a settings button. As we mentioned earlier, I am no audiophile and have been ripping my music to MP3 for a long time now, so for the sake continuity and space, I still use the tried and true compressed format. Also available is Wave bit-for-bit lossless and Windows Media Audio You also have the ability to control where your music is placed once ripped.
By default on WHS systems, it will place it into your music share, allowing your music to be available for streaming as soon as a song is ripped. The process is as simple as that. There is really little effort involved. Once you have your settings in place, it literally as easy as putting in your disk and closing the drive. Without working with the RipNAS hardware, I cannot comment on it in any way other than my own personal opinions based solely on what I have read and the pricing of the goods.
For what you get, the pricing of the RipNAS places it squarely in the premium segment of the market. Having only worked with the software, and using WHS installed on my own personal hardware, I can say that unless you are in love with styling or plan on showing off your RipNAS in your entertainment center, I see no reason to spend the money on the hardware when you can build your own WHS for far less. The only real downside, of course, will be the much larger size. Illustrate is a highly respected software provider in the audio community and while not the entire package, the RipNAS WHS integration is truly a great addition to the overall home server experience.
There is a catch, however. There is little more than 5 minutes in between installation of the software and completion of your first album. Have a comment you wish to make on this article?
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