advice regarding future iTunes update

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by mdouglas, Nov 21, 2002.

  1. mdouglas macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2002
    Dear Group,

    I'm new to the Apple system having recently acquired an iMac and an iPod. I've yet to either download any music to my computer/iPod or store any of my CD's as MP3's on my hard-drive. As my system is "virgin" at this point, I wanted to get some advice from y'all regarding the best approach to setting up iTunes.

    Three questions:

    -should I wait for the rumored iTunes update (with better sound and compression) or just go ahead and start converting to MP3's?

    -do you think my new iPod will either support this new compression format or be upgradable?

    -what file sharing program do most of y'all use to get music off of the net? I've used Morpheus, Limewire, and Napster in the past on my Windows machines. I would like to use one for the Mac that is without a bunch of extraneous crap (i.e. advertisements or other ancillary things that download to my computer).

    TIA for taking the time to answer my questions,
  2. alex_ant macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2002
    All up in your bidness
    I can answer the first one:

    The built-in iTunes MP3 encoder encodes very fast, but generates poor quality files. If you're concerned with both quality and file size, I would say wait for AAC support. If you're concerned with quality but not really file size, then I would recommend either using the built-in iTunes encoder to encode at a very high bit rate, or using the iTunes-LAME plugin (found at VerstionTracker) to use a different, superior MP3 encoder, which will be able to achieve similar results at a lower bit rate. If you're concerned about encoding speed, though, you'll have to either use the built-in MP3 encoder or wait for the AAC encoder and hope it's fast, because LAME is quite slow on the Mac.

    (I wish there were a mainstream lossless compression standard. We have enough lossy codecs with MP3, Ogg, WMA, and now AAC. We don't need any more. If we could just settle on a lossless codec, we'd never have to worry about sound quality issues again.)
  3. Stike macrumors 65816


    Jan 31, 2002
    So, I will answer the others:

    2) The iPod will support AAC for sure, at last when iTunes gains full AAC (encoding) support. And, yes, the iPod software is very upgradeable. Plug in the Ipod and use Software Update.

    IMHO I would wait with encoding, iTunes with AAC support, I suspect, should come in January.

    3) Limewire is kinda crap (because of spyware installed, slow, java etc.) but in spite of that it is also reliable at downloading and you find almost everything. You can find it (and much more) at . If you have a fast internet connect, it is good (DSL/Cable).

    There is also "Neo", a client for the Kazaa network, but it is in comparison to the PC version, unconvenient and difficult to use. You may give it a try.
  4. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Re: advice regarding future iTunes update

    Kazaa is probably the biggest network on the PC at this time... this doesnt exist for the Mac, and no solid plans that it is coming to the Mac.

    AudioGalaxy and Napster used to be the largest MP3 networks. These are both gone, for all intents and purposes.

    Gnutella - which is Limewire, and now Morpheus - is relatively large but the network doesn't work very well in my opinion. Limewire exists for the Mac.

    The largest/most available MP3 network at this time is probably OpenNap... which is based on the Napster network but with individual-run Napster-like servers. (shareware) and XNap ( are your best bets.

    DirectConnect is coming to Mac OS X soon... (within a month or so)

  5. mdouglas thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2002

    appreciate the advice. is direct connect a file sharing program, and if so, do you recommend waiting for it? also, which is the program that most mac users use? i was always told that the mac was the ultimate machine for pirating, but if what you're saying is true (little mac support by big file sharing programs), this would seem to be incorrect.

  6. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Well, I'd say Windows would be have a larger pirating scene... there are more protocols/applications and users.

    The mac is relatively well represented in terms of file-sharing protocols (Direct Connect coming, MLdonkey (edonkey), OpenNap, Gnutella, Carracho, HotLine) ... but it's not as good as Windows.

    But the most significant network that Mac users don't have access to is Kazaa.

  7. Fipher macrumors newbie


    Carracho is the best filesharring app on the mac. Go to and then to to get trakers. There's instructions on how to use carracho either as a readme file and/or at Carracho's site. I can't remember wich because I have been using Carracho for so long it's been a long wile since I needed instructions. Infact, I don't think I even used them, I think I had a friend tell me how, but it's very simple. It's not like limewire or any of those apps. You search for files wiutht the tracker and then you open up servers wich are peoples puters. You can even set up your own server by getting Carracho Sever, but setting up your own server is hard, I have yet to succesfully do it myself. Sometimes you will have to upload files to the people that own the server in order to get an account and be able to download from their server, but there are plenty of free servers out there also. Well, lunchtime, good luck with your new Mac! ;)

    Oh, and with the iTunes thing, persinally I don't have any problems with my imported mp3's, they are all fine. If you really want to you can wait, but I perinolly wouldn't, do whatever you think is best.
  8. rdas7 macrumors regular


    Nov 17, 2002
    London, England
    Ok, this might be a little off topic, but it is related specifically to "What is the best napster/kazaa, etc. alternative for Mac."

    Follow me on this one:

    AppleTalk/File Sharing - Apple have gone to great lengths to let you share your computer over a network, so far as installing Apache webserver on EVERY Mac as part of the operating system.

    Rendezvous - Apple have gone to great lengths so that you don't have to configure your network for sharing, you just press the "share" button.

    iTunes 4 - share music files over the network.

    Now, we saw Steve demo this on stage with a desktop G4 and a TiBook, a few meters apart. But, doesn't Rendezvous mean that the distance between computers becomes transparent (zero-config networking)? Does this mean that I'll have the option to share my iTunes library either locally, or over the web (just as you can share your hard drive locally, or open a drop-box for people to access from anywhere in the world)? Does this therefore mean that if Mac users running iTunes4 just click "share globally" (or the equivalent setup) that iTunes will become the Tower of Babel for music?

    I mean, if I'll be able to share my music library between my office and my home, if everyone can do that... and just "forgets" to password protect, etc... does this mean we will be launching iTunes4 in January to see every Mac user in the world's music library in our own playlist?

    To hell with Napster. That, would be music on demand!

    Somehow I doubt it. But, power to the people and no delay.

  9. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    You could be waiting a long time for AAC, and even then it's not THAT great. Of course, it could be here in January, but iTunes was just updated a few months ago. I'd say start ripping the songs you really want in MP3, that'll be around for awhile. Just don't do anything less than 128. 160 or 192 if you're an audiophile.

    You can always re-rip or convert the files later.
  10. totally_fly macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2002
    Re: Carracho

    Carracho for a beginner is complicated. You don't search for specific files using tracker search. You search for file types: mp3, game, audio, video, developement, serials, etc.
    Then you have to find a server. If the agreement says that you have to upload to download, don't even bother; you have nothing the admin wants... trust me...
    Go find a good free server... this may be hard to find, and will probably requires hours on end of searching... but, its better than Hotline, without a doubt. Also, stay away from any server that has an ƒ in the server name. This server is part of ƒreedom, which is a hacking group.. you will get yourself into more trouble than you can imagine... Heh when I was 11, i became a memeber of ƒreedom.. and after a year of getting apps that do all sorts of neat things, (anonymous emails without ips, email bombers, etc.) I decided it was best to leave this type of environment.

    Anyways, setting up a server is not so difficult. If ever you are interested, give me a shout at and i'll help you out.

    Don't let carracho take up too much of your time... now I just use my old ƒreedom servers to try out games before I buy them or to use apps I would never buy in the first place (how is that bad for the company).
    I used to be on all the time, and now its just random occasions.. I prefer Limewire for finding mp3s btw, although full albums can be found on Carracho.

    Remember, these things will make people despise you on carracho:

    1. no icon
    2. anonymous nickname
    3. Not actually trading files, only acquiring files
    often you will see NO LEECHING (this means, you will have to upload)
    4. unfriendliness (be kind to anyone who talks to you, for the most part, the people are nice)
    5. asking questions that can be answered by reading agreements or the server's news
  11. dricci macrumors 6502a

    Dec 15, 2001
  12. crassusad44 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 30, 2001
    WTF??? The encoder iTunes uses, produces very high quality mp3s. I've heard a lot worse mp3 encoders (eps. freeware Windblows apps). Apple bought the foundation for iTunes (from SoundJam), including one of the best mp3 encoders. Although most will not hear a difference at 128 kbit, I would recommend setting iTunes to 192 VBR, which produces excellent mp3 files.

    You have to re-rip. Converting will only result in a mp4 file with worse quality than the original mp3 file. That's kind of like a............ a bummer
  13. irmongoose macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2001
    Sometimes Tokyo, sometimes California
    If you're going to use Limewire, you're better off getting Acquisition, as Limewire uses Java and thus has a slow gui, but Acquisition is a cocoa app, which is the ideal OS X app format. Acquisition connects to the Limewire network, the Morpheus network, and the OpenNap network.

    If you want to download apps, though, you should get KDX (look for KDX Client-Mac). Many people still use Carracho and Hotline, but this is the current most popular P2P app of this sort. But, like someone said, if you haven't dealt with this kind of P2P before, you're better off waiting a while and settling in with your new machine, and then sit down and learn how the whole system goes when you have the time.

    As for iTunes, there won't be able to tell much difference between MP3 and MP4 unless you hear really hard (or turn up the volume really high, for that matter), so unless you're worried about hard drive space, I'd say go ahead and rip away. Besides, it's not like MP3s are going to vanish, trust me, they'll be here a long time.

    And, I can't say anything about whether the MP4 support would require a new iPod or just a firmware update, but like you, I'm hoping it'll just be a firmware one, cause I don't want to spend another $500!

  14. rugby macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2002
    One very big showstopping problem is that Rendezvous is same subnet only. Unless you are good at networking and can bridge your work network and home network to be one network you're out of luck for sharing from home/work. Apple will not screw this up and let files be shared out in the open because the RIAA will be ALL over them, and that's one case Apple doesn't want.

  15. iwantanewmac macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2001
  16. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Well, the tools perhaps...

    In general, you are allowed to talk about filesharing tools/protocols on MacRumors. Specific piracy, file requests, sharing etc.... is very much discouraged and against the rules.

    This thread is just on the line... so... let's not take it over the line.

  17. iwantanewmac macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2001
    Ok I see. :)
    I was just wondering wich direction this would take. Im even again "pirating" music from internet.
    It's so much more fun to own the original album than just a lousy bad sounding mp3.
    but ok tht's just me.
  18. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    I agree........ I'm kind of a sucker for having the artwork that goes with the CD too!! But that's the designer in me..... very sad I know!! :p

    Although I like what R.E.M. are doing on their site, allowing you to D/L remixes from their last album as well as the artwork so you can print it out!! That's cool...... I'm down with that!!! ;) :)

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