>>> danco (AT) f2s (DOT) com 11/4/2004 3:15:59 AM >>>
>I am in process of digitising a whole bunch of old reel-to-reel
>tapes. I'll be able to play things at last that I haven't heard for
>many years. I'm slowly bringing them into my computer and saving as
>FLACs, so that I can post-process them if needed.

I did the same, with Reel to reel and old old albums. Kept them
in either WAV or FLAC, I can't remember why I split up the
types. Maybe FLAC was not available at the time. I may
go back and do the WAVs to FLACs.

>I plan to convert to MP3 once I am satisfied about the basic quality,

>and have a few questions.

I did this too, primarily so I could listen to them on my Archos.

>What bitrate should I use for the MP3? The original recordings were
>done at the very slow speed (foolish of me) of one and seven-eight
>inches per second. Mostly folk, folk-rock, etc, no classical music,
>some jazz, country, rock, etc. I realise I can just experiment but
>wondered if people had views. I suspect 192 is quite high enough, but

>I'm wondering if (given original quality) even 64 might be enough, or


Even on an Archos connected to my car stereo via either an FM
broadcaster or a cassette adapter, there is an audible difference
between 128 and 192. 192 is the minimum I'd consider for the
space vs. quality. Anything below that (even at 160 there is
an audible difference in the car) and you are wasting your time.
I can hear a difference between a 192bps mp3 and FLAC, but
then again I don't do the 192 mp3s at home, only do the source
from FLAC.

>Can I change the bitrate for transcoding FLACs (only, leaving MP3 and

>AIFF as no limit) for playing through the Squeezebox, and if so how.
>That would let me experiment without having to save different
>versions of the same music.

Yes, you can. There is a bitrate limit you can place per player.
You can even test this out using softsqueeze if you have good enough
speakers connected to your PC. But, you'll be saving two versions
of your music - the "permanent" one (FLAC) and the "what's good
enough for now" one (192 bps mp3). There may be technology
that comes along later that will join these two somehow, but
for now I've decided drives are cheap enough and I can have the
best of both worlds - great sound at home (FLAC) and easily portable
sound on the go (mp3). My kids benefit from this more than I do,
but I occasionally get to listen to the music I like, not just Kidz
Bop or Alvin and The Chipmunks.

>Is there a simple way of converting (a bunch of) FLACs to MP3, or
>does one have to decode to AIFF/WAV first? I am using a Mac G4, but
>have access to a slow PC (Thinkpad 240).

I think Pat Farrell has some pretty good utilities on his site. I've
using them to batch convert lots of FLAC to mp3, and also get the
benefit of grabbing album covers too. At least it used to work.
I have had to do that in a while, so YMMV.

>I'll have some more questions later, but these will do for now.

Fire away. This is easily one of the most helpful lists I'm on.