Digital Music and iTunes Libraries

With the Christmas arrival of my new XBox 360, I’ve decided to convert my CD library to digital music. That brought up a bunch of questions and issues, most of which I have now resolved. Here are some of the highlights of my search for digital music.

I’ve decided to create all my digital music files in MP3 format so that I can use my XBox 360 to stream the music from my PC through my sound system. The XBox 360 will not read AAC files, which had been my first choice. So I’ve now started ripping all my CD’s into MP3 format at 192 kbps with iTunes. The benefit of MP3 files is that they’re widely supported. The biggest drawback is that they’re not the best format out there. There’s much debate over what is the best format, but I’m not going into that here. I settled on MP3 mainly for the compatibility reason.

I wanted to set up Apple’s iTunes software to allow myself and my wife to share one music library instead of each having our own (possibly with disk-space wasting duplicates). The Sharing option within iTunes only works across the network, and does not look for other shared directories on the same computer, so that didn’t work. A quick search on Google found a post on that provided exactly what I wanted. The instructions allowed me to move my music library to a central directory, and then let any users set up on my computer to have access to that music. Once I get my new hard drive, I will have to re-link the junctions to a new directory, but that’s not a big deal (read the link I provided if you’re confused by all this).

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