Nine genres -- 700 albums -- 6,100 tracks -- 24GB

Converting my entire CD collection to MP3s was a straightforward but time-consuming process. I used MusicMatch Jukebox to rip the tracks onto my hard drive, then I used Roxio's Easy CD Creator to burn my entire collection onto MP3 data CDs.

The Kenwood KDC-MP8017 MP3 player has great new technology and some first-generation blemishes. When playing MP3 data files, it pauses for five seconds between songs, and it takes another five seconds to display the track title and artist info. Fast-forward and fast-reverse only work with music CDs; MP3s can only skip forward and backward by track. Still, all-in-all an excellent player and worthy of recommendation.
Why go to all this trouble? Portability. MP3 files are about one-tenth the size of the original WAV file, so you can fit 10 times as much music onto MP3 data CDs. Actually, the ratio is even higher than 10: each data CD holds an average of 15 albums and 200 tracks. The extra margin is provided by two factors: 1) music CDs (especially pop) are seldom full, whereas my data CDs are filled to the brim, and 2) most music CDs are burned to a 74-minute capacity, whereas I use an 80-minute format on my data discs, with no ill effects.

With Kenwood KDC-MP8017 MP3 players in both of my cars, I can listen to any song in my collection, which fits in a small CD case, as I drive. As the music plays, the name of the song and the composer scroll across the face of the Kenwood. MP3 files have a little tag called an "ID3 tag" that contains the name of the artist, composer, genre, song title, album title, etc. An excellent program called "MP3 Internet Renamer" enabled me to quickly edit the ID3 files of each album to correct any errors and to suit my needs. For example, for every classical composer in my collection, I appended the year of his birth and death to his name. (Interestingly, music CD players of very recent vintage, playing ordinary music CDs, can also display this information, but only if the CD has been properly encoded. In Easy CD Creator, you simply check the "CD text" box before you burn the music disc. Still, most commercial music publishers fail to enable this cool little feature on their retail CDs, and I cannot fathom why.)

Here's a listing of my music collection by genre. I used a program called "Directory Printer" to make these listings. Highly recommended.
Christmas Classical Country
Folk Jazz Other
Pop Rap Rock

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