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  •  The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section

    Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.

    Ripping and Encoding 101.
    By Joel Pirard

    So, you want to upload music to the web?
    You need files, such as MP3 files (music files). What! You say you don't have any MP3 files on your hard drive? Well then you need to rip them from a CD onto your computer, or record them on to your computer through another device. The software should offer you an option to pick the audio input device that you are recording from.

    You need a "ripper." You say you don't know what a ripper is. Well in a nutshell, it is software that can convert files from an audio source; say an audio CD, to MP3 files. (Some ripper sites below.) For the purposes of this instruction, I will refer to MP3 files only, but the truth is most encoders can rip to many file formats. I will use MusicMatch as my example, but they all pretty much work as follows:

    1) Insert the disk in your CDROM.

    Make sure the bit rate is set to the level needed. Think of bit rates as fidelity levels. The higher the bit rate, for example, the higher (better) the fidelity. (Most MP3 rippers default at 128bps, but you can go higher or lower.)
    IMPORTANT! Many sites set a limit on the bit rate allowable, as high bit rate files are larger, and also there are issues with the parameters that may be set up on their servers. MAKE SURE to check the acceptable bit rate on the site in question. After all, you don't want to be spending hours uploading (especially on a dial-up) only to have your file rejected.

    2) Select the tracks. (I suggest editing the names here, so they will be easier to identify later. Otherwise, it will default to something like 'track_one.mp3'.

    3) Press record.
    Your CDROM will begin flashing as the process progresses. With MusicMatch, and I suspect other rippers, there is a progress "line" that monitors it. Once the ripping process is complete, the MP3 files will have been created. You should find them in a folder that relates to the software used. Most of the time the icon is related to the software used in burning. I say this because I have used different burners to burn the same song (for comparison) and found that the icon relating to the song file in the folder looked different due to branding. This could be confusing. However, so long as you have encoded the file as an MP3 file, it doesn't matter what the icon looks like.

    Speaking of uploading, let's talk about that. Many sites now offer a place to showcase your music. Simply go to one. When uploading to MP3.com, or Vitaminic.com, or Besonic, for example, you have to:

    1) Register with them. You are essentially being given access to their FTP server, so you are bound by the parameters set on their system.

    2) After that process is done, you follow their instructions. They will prompt you for information regarding the file, and will have a browse tool for you to use to select the file you wish to upload.

    3) Simply select the song, click open, and their server will start uploading the file. IMPORTANT! Do not run any other tasks or click the "back" button while the upload is happening or you may disrupt the process. BE PATIENT! On a 56k modem, a 4-minute song can take up to 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the ACTUAL connection speed. Bear in mind that your song will probably not be live until approved. This necessary because the files have to conform to the system parameters. Many of these sites receive thousands of uploads daily, so approval can take some time. That's just about it folks. Have fun, and good luck!


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