music teacher considering digitizing my music collection. advice please

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Italianblend, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. macrumors 65816


    I am a music teacher and I have literally hundreds of CDs in my collection that I use for my music classes. I have backed these up digitally (with windows media player) and usually use a 300 Disc CD player to house all the music. Still, I have more than 300 CDs and organizing them is a pain.

    I think I am ready to take the leap to digitize my library, but I need help and ideas. I have never owned an ipod (I have an iphone though, so I'm not totally oblivious).

    But I have a few questions about getting an ipod hooked up with speakers - and how I can use airplay.

    Do you need a wireless network to use airplay? Can I use airplay on any speaker system or will I need to buy one directly from apple? With airplay, can I nagivate to the song I want on an ipod and it will simply play over the speakers wirelessly? They won't give me the password to our wireless network here, so I am wondering if I will be able to use it.

    What kind of ipod would you recommend for this purpose?

    Keep in mind that we have PCs at my school, I hope a mac is not required for airplay.

    Are there any alternatives to airplay? Like any devices that will plug into the headphone jack and transmit a wireless signal to a speaker?

    Lots of questions, But I would appreciate some advice. Thanks.
  2. macrumors 6502

    Airplay does require a wireless network to work, both the iPhone/iPad/iPod and speakers must be connected to the same wireless network. There are a variety of speaker systems that come with Airplay today, or you could make any stereo/receiver/powered speakers airplay compatible with an Airport Express or AppleTV.

    For your situation the best solution may be getting an Airport Express to create a wireless network just for this use and connecting a stereo/speakers to it. Then using your iPhone or an iPod Touch to connect to the speakers with Airplay.

    Another option is a speaker system that uses bluetooth to stream music from an iPhone/iPod Touch.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Wait, your concern is that you want to be able to walk into a classroom with an ipod, and then hook up that ipod to the classroom's speaker system, right? You're not so worried about home?
  4. macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    load all your CDs into iTunes ... sync them onto a 160GB iPod Classic ... then buy a portable radio that plays music from an iPod ... like this one. Should work well for a classroom

    Attached Files:

  5. macrumors 65816

    Yep. This is not for home use. I just need a wireless way to transmit the sound from the iPod to the speakers that are already in the room.
  6. macrumors 6502

    Why does it have to be wireless? Can't you just use an iPod dock and a cable between the speaker system and the dock?

    There's a CD system in the room, right? So there must be a jack for audio input. Is there an IT person at the school to talk to? This must be a very very common question for them now.

    Trying to go wireless adds a world of hurt there, and lots of ways to go wrong and leave your class plan in tatters. Simple is better here.
  7. macrumors 65816

    I would like it to be wireless. My desk is far away from the speakers.

    I suppose I could fish a long wire over to the speakers, but I would like it to be portable and keep it on me throughout the day.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Jsm4182's is the best advice then, as far as I know. You can get an airport express and plug that in near the sound system, and then run a wire between the airport express and the system. Your iPod would be able to connect to the wifi that the Airport Express puts out instead of the school's wifi. You wouldn't have internet, but I suppose that's not so important.

    It's kludgy though, and adding links on the chain always provides extra failure points. As a long time teacher, personally I'd go with the simplest thing possible, which is either the good old fashion CD, or the ipod dock directly plugged into the system.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    You may also want to think about the quality of the music you want to convert from your CDs. If you need them to be of cd quality, you will probably need a huge storage to store all of them. One song can go up to 30-40 mb for uncompressed quality.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Check out the Audioengine W2 (AW2) wireless adapter for iPods. Plug the transmitter into the iPod's dock connector & the receiver into your existing system (the receiver needs to be powered & comes with a USB AC power adapter) & you're ready to rock. The limiting factor is the range, which is listed at 9 meters. At $99, it's the same price as an Airport Express but with better sound.
  11. macrumors 65816

    That looks like a good option. I will look into that. Thank you very much.
  12. macrumors 65816

    when you are ripping the music I would suggest ripping to lossless, that way you will get exactly the same quality as the CD, and you can always convert a copy down to fit more music on a iPod, it will be far more future proof than ripping to mp3 or aac.

    as for the lossless format your use ALAC is good if you are going to be using iPods and itunes and is a compressed file so will rake up less space, AIFF is more widely supported but is uncompressed, FLAC is compressed but can't be used on iPods/itunes. but you can always convert file formats dead easy in the future if you happen to rip say ALAC now but then want FLAC, and because all the formats are lossless ripping a CD to ALAC then converting to FLAC is the same as ripping the CD direct to FLAC.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    I am a music teacher too, I have 5900 songs (many classical but some pop stuff too) and this is only 30GB. If you figure an average of 10 songs per CD, that's almost 600 CDs I guess that I have digitized.

    There are some on here that would say that lossless is the way to go. Unless you are listening with $400 headphones, there is no way to tell the difference, so just rip them at the standard iTunes rate.

    I guess what I'm saying is, unless you plan on digitizing over 600 songs, I recommend an iPod Touch (32 or 64 if you want tons of room). No need for a classic. It's clunky to use. Then again (I'm serious here), the Touch is a lot more desirable for others to steal. A clunky old looking classic may be just boring enough to not take when the opportunity presents itself.

    A suggestion: keep the art updated. Also make sure all your tracks have all the info, including movement information and composer. It is so nice to type in "Holst" in the search box and then all my music by Holst shows up. Without keeping on top of tagging, this would not happen.

    Good luck! You will love it!
  14. macrumors 65816

    Thank you:

    Is the iPod touch the only searchable iPod?
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Not to nitpick but your music on CDs is already digital. All you are doing is copying it and losing quality if you compress it down to mp3.

    As has been said a iPod classic will be perfect for your use. You can rip everything and encode it down to a decent size and free yourself from coasters.
  16. macrumors 65816

    nooo, storage space is dirt cheap nowadays so there is no reason to not rip to lossless, you get an exact copy of the CD perfect if you loose or damage a CD, you never know in 5 years time there might be some crazy technological breakthrough where you get the sound quality of £10,000 speakers in every £50 pair.

    rip to lossless so you never have to rip them again, as I say storage is cheap (1TB HDD for £50), I've ripped ~140 of my CDs so far to ALAC and it has taken up just under 50GB, so 300CD's should be ~100GB not even near the iPod classic storage limit.

    rip once to lossless so you never have to rip again no reason not to.
  17. macrumors 601

    What do you mean by "I have backed these up digitally (with windows media player)"? Have you converted your CDs to mp3 using WMP?

    Just a suggestion, but do you need to use an iPod? How about a laptop? You can play music off of the laptop using iTunes. If you have access to the speakers in the room, you can run a cable from the laptop to the reciever. Alternatively, you could buy an Airport Express and use Airtunes. No need to use the school's network as the Airport Express will set up it's own network and your laptop will connect to that. (downside - you won't be able to surf the internet or connect to the school's network while you're playing music).
  18. macrumors 65816

    What I mean is that I took all of my curriculum CDs and other CDs and let windows media player rip the music, so I have these wmp files as a backup.
  19. macrumors 601

    You might be able to convert these files to something iTunes/iPod can read. Are the files in .WMA format? There are converters that will do this, although re-ripping from the original CDs will yield the best results.
  20. macrumors 65816

    You can usually just add the folder to iTunes and it will convert it automatically.
  21. macrumors 6502a


    I think the point of the OP is to have all her music with her all the time. A music teacher will soon fill up that classic.
  22. macrumors 65816

    Thanks all - I have another question:

    I've started to import my massive library into itunes.

    I have curriculum sets that have several CDs for a grade. For example, I have 7 CDs in a Kindergarten Curriculum Set.

    Is there a way to group these albums together, so on the album screen, I can have only one picture of a Kindergarten album instead of all 7 listed? I have 3 different curricula and 5 grades for each and it is going to get crowded on the album screen.

  23. macrumors 65816

    yep name all the CDs the same name for 'Album' but then 'disc number' the CDs say 1 of 7

    so all the Kindergarten CDs are all album named 'Kindergarten Curriculum Set' and the first CD is disc '1 of 7' the 2nd is '2 of 7' ect.

    you don't have to have lossless on the device though, you can create a 2nd 256 mp3/aac copy of the lossless files or even use the auto convert to 128aac option in itunes.

    as I say storage is cheap I have all my CDs in ALAC but have an identical copy in 320kbs mp3 for my mobile phone, separate playlists in itunes keeps the different formats from mixing.
  24. macrumors 65816

    Thanks! that does seem to work -

    When you combine the albums like that, there is one list and they go in order (CD1-all tracks, CD2 all tracks).

    I know I'm being Picky, but when the list is populated like this, there is only one graphic for CD1 - then the others just continue down the list. Is there any way to add the graphics for the other CDs? (I have artwork for these, but only CD1 displays in the list).


    CD1 Graphic -------- Track 1
    ---------------------Track 2 etc
    ---------------------CD2 Track 1
    ---------------------Track 2

    But I want:
    CD1 Graphic -------- Track 1
    ---------------------Track 2 etc
    CD2 Graphic----------CD2 Track 1
    ---------------------Track 2 etc
    CD3 Graphic----------CD3
  25. macrumors 65816

    nah you can't get itunes to display like that, it will show the correct artwork in the 'artwork viewer' for the playing track and also on an iPod, just can't be displayed like that in a list in itunes.

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