Sunday, June 16, 2013

Making Music Accessible on a Shoestring Budget

Here is how I assembled my music library for easy access and listening. 

My objective was to put it on the Internet cloud where I could access it from anywhere at any time and where it would be safely stored.

I first went to the Internet Archive to find music from earlier days. I especially wanted the music from the old 78s we had in the house when I was a child. I found that much of the music recorded in the 1930s was still just fine. RCA had mastered the technology of recordings by that time. It was just the old fragile and scratchy records that marred the music. 

I downloaded what I wanted from compressed files and unzipped them to include in my library. I then went to Amazon for some collections of music at low cost. For a few dollars each, I found collections of Brahms, Chopin, and so on. I selected them based on favorable comments from Amazon buyers. I then added a few CDs of outstanding quality based on the same comments.

Much of this music such as MP3s automatically went into my Amazon Cloud Player account and also to my Google player account. 

I converted individual CDs using iTunes. When the CD is loaded, a message comes up asking if it should be converted uy iTunes to MP3 format. Easy. 

The MP3's from Internet Archive, however, needed to be added to the Amazon and Google Cloud storage libraries. That required the use of two utilities. The utilities were Amazon Cloud Uploader and Google Play Manager. These are NOT to be confused with the players offered by each or the downloader apps. Google Play can be made to automatically load up anything imported into iTunes from audio CD.

Long ago I had laboriously converted LP's to MP3 files and I uploaded these also. That had been far more difficult than obtaining music from Internet Archive and Amazon. 

So, if I had not converted an LP earlier, I simply got it from the Internet Archive or Amazon.

I did have a few old unconverted audio CDs and I added them using iTunes

The result is that I can instantly access my music anywhere. I can also access the wealth of music recorded way back in the 30s but which never found its way into the record stores.


I was able to get mp3's for old and discarded 78s and LP's without locating a physical copy of them or converting, a very tedious and time-consuming job. 

I was able to assemble a huge mp3 library from collections recommended by customer reviews on Amazon. 

I was able to buy used audio CDs of outstanding performances for a fraction of their original price.

I then was able to put the entire library on a WiFi accessible WI-Drive and also Amazon and Google music storage in the cloud. The result is that I can access anything instantly anywhere for playing on any device or  set of bluetooth speakers. 

No more pulling out LP's or CDs ever.

Note: I added piano rolls and digitized sheet music from such sources as (click or tap) RagRag.  You can always just play these from a browser.

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