CatholicAudio.Net Learning about Audio Files
|About MP3 format audio files
What is an MP3 file?
|MP3 is a computer-readable file format that
is much more compact than cassette tapes, or
traditional CDs. A cassette tape can hold one
hour of music or speech on each side, and a CD
can hold one hour. An MP3 disk looks like a CD,
but it can hold 15 hours of music, or 50 hours of
speech. This high capacity has allowed people
with music collections to store them much more
compactly, taking their music with them as they
drive or travel
MP3 files can be transferred
using the Internet, unlike tapes or CDs. This has
allowed people to share and transfer music with
friends, and for new bands to inexpensively
showcase their music to potential fans worldwide.
Software such as Napster
have acted like clearinghouses for music
transfer, using common PCs and the Internet.
MP3 files can be stored on a computer disk,
for playback on a PC, or transfer to a portable
MP3 player. These portable players commonly are
battery operated, and small enough to carry while
travelling. Players are now becoming available
permanently mounted in car dashboards, and within
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|How to download audio files
How do I download MP3 audio files from your site?
Follow these steps to download MP3 Audio files from our site:
- Go to http://www.catholicaudio.us
- Click on the "Search Library" link
- You should now see a list of authors. If you do not, then you
likely need a new browser. We support Microsoft
Internet Explorer 4.0 and later, and Netscape
Navigator 4.0 or later. Download the latest version using the
links if you need to.
- If you are technically savvy, you may use an FTP client to connect
to ftp://catholicaudio.us/ with a login of "anonymous"
and your email address as a password. Then go to the "audionet"
- You should now see a series of speakers, by name. Click on one
to see his/her programs.
- A list of series will appear. To download a series, right-click
on a series' name, then select "Copy to folder" from
the popup menu. Give the name of your MP3 audio directory on disk.
It will copy the series directory name, and all audio files in
- If you wish to copy individual programs in a series, then double-click
on the series name. A list of files will come up. You may copy
them individually by the right-click procedure used above, or
you can "rope up" a set of files with the mouse, then
right-click to select "copy to folder".
Each half-hour program is approximately 6 megabytes in size. It will
take from 3 to fifteen minutes to download, depending on your Internet
connection. Once downloaded to your disk, you may listen to it on
your PC, or store it in a portable MP3 player, or burn it into a CDROM.
About 100 half-hour programs fit on a single MP3 CDROM, or 50 hours
How do I turn my CDs into MP3 files?
In order to turn a music CD into an MP3 file, you will
need a PC, and conversion software, generically called a "CD
Ripper". There are many programs available to handle this, and
many of them are inexpensive or free. I recommend and use a product
called "Music Match Jukebox",
which is available without charge in its basic version. Click on the
preceding link to be taken to Music Match's homepage. From there,
you can download the software, then follow the installation instructions.
Once installed, you feed a music
CD into the CD drive on your PC. The program will
detect the CD, and ask if you want to play the
CD, or rip it into MP3s. You will select the
latter choice, then give it a directory on your
PC's disk where the MP3 files should be stored.
The program will take about 15 minutes to read
and store the music on the CD, labelling each
Once you have converted your CD library into a set of MP3 files
on your disk, you may use Music Match to play the music through
your PC's speakers. You may also write the MP3s to a CDR (CD Recordable)
disk, or download to a portable player, for offsite music play.
How do I turn my CDs into MP3 files?
Another way to get audio files is to use download software. Two
of the most popular programs are Napster,
and BearShare. Download the
programs from their respective websites, install them, and follow
directions. Each of them let you put in keywords for the name or
type of audio file you want. Then they present a list of choices,
and you select what you want to download. Napster is more famous,
but I personally prefer BearShare.
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|How to play MP3 format audio files
How can I play MP3 files?
|MP3 files play on any PC with speakers, using
player software such as Music Match Jukebox,
WinAmp, and Windows Media Player. If you want to
play those files away from your PC, you have
- A small, solid state player, such as the Diamond
Rio, or Creative
Labs Nomad. You can find reviews of
portable players here.
These players tend to be portable and
inexpensive, but often are limited to an
hour or two of storage. They cost from $80
- A CDR/MP3 player that accepts discs with
MP3s. These tend to be larger in size,
but have much greater capacity than the
small portable players. I like and use
the "MPTrip" player, which you
can buy here
for under $150, or you can search the web
for other vendors.
- A car player, which doubles as an in-dash
radio and CD player. This special type of
car stereo unit can accept the compressed
MP3 discs you make in your PC, as well as
the more common CD format. I have an Aiwa
unit in my car, which I bought at Best
Buy for $300, and it works fine.
- A DVD player, with the added capability
of playing MP3 discs made in your
computer. Few of these are presently
available, but I have an Apex
600 unit at home that I bought from
Circuit City, and it works fine. I can
play DVD movies, music CDs, and high-density
CDR disks with 175 MP3 songs each on them.
- Other devices, which you can read about here,
which play MP3 files.
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|How to put downloaded files on a CD
How do I make my own discs with MP3 files on them?
You will need several items:
- A PC.
- A special type of CD drive in your PC that writes CDR discs.
These are called "CD Burners" colloquially, but are
called "CDR" orr "CD R/W" drives in the store.
Many new PCs come with these already installed. If you don't have
one, I recommend the Acer model, which I use and like. You can
buy them for around $125.
- Some MP3 files on your PC's hard disk.
- Burning software. The Adaptec
software which comes with many CDR drives is the best there is.
I also use and recommend the Music R