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Online MP3 "re-write" service

 
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Several times I've had music files that I've downloaded (paid for, legal downloads), or ripped from a CD, "mess up" just because the computer "hiccuped" and lost a single bit from the file. And when I say "mess up" I don't mean just had a little blip in the song, but when the MP3 player gets to that one little dropout, it f***ing gets stuck and you can't FF past it, you can never again listen to whatever comes after that one little missing bit. All you can do is skip to the next track, or you may even have to reboot the player.

It seems as though the manufacturers of a lot of players figured that since MP3 files aren't (usually) on removable media that's played directly, and therefore there's no media to wear out, it seems that they designed it with absolutely zero thought given to how the player handles a "messed up" song file.

It's so annoying especially when it's a download that I paid for, but there's no way to make it function properly again, reguardless of how much you played it before this happened, or even if the download didn't work right in the first place due to a hiccup in the internet connection. Basically your ability to use a product that you paid for relies one hundred percent on your computer never ever having any type of problem while reading the song file, moving it to different folders, transferring it between computer and walkman, or ever having a single bad sector pop up in the hard drive. If there's ever any type of problem anywhere in this long chain, you can kiss "pump it" goodbye, or buy it AGAIN, even though you just bought it a month ago and meticulously maintained the drive that it was on!

Here's a potential fix for those with this type of problem. Basically how this works is you go online to this website, where you select the song in question that is not working properly. To speed up the process, you can enter the name of the download site if you still know where the song came from. The software on the website confirms that the song is really what the file name says it is, to prevent potential pirates from naming a random file after a certain piece and attempting to turn it into the song they refuse to spend $1 on even though they like it enough to have it on their walkman. How it does this is that it will go to the music artist's download site or whatever the song came from, grab a "good" copy of a song of the same name, and "play" them side by side. If some amount of the song matches (with the obvious exception of the messed-up bit you want to "fix", and it will also check what's left AFTER the screwup if anything) then it will allow you to re-download the song for free, erasing the "broken" file, and then telling you to listen to the "new" one all the way through on your computer, to make sure the download made it through and everything. Then, you just click "confirm" if it works, or "retry" if it gets stuck again. If the file is really messed up, it will attempt to confirm that what's left of it is an MP3 file. After all, there's no worn/damaged media to repair or replace here unless you're hard drive is screwed-we're talking about a digital file here! If the file isn't even close to ever having been a music file, or if the song does not match whatsoever, it will simply stop and say "This file does not appear to be a music file. Make sure that you have selected the right file and try again. Unfortunately, if a music file has become corrupt to the point where it cannot even be recognized as a music file, we cannot confirm that what you are sending was actually a legitimately acquired track. If entire files are totally disappearing, this may be a sign of a failing hard drive, and you should back up what you still have. If anything has been totally lost or accidentally erased that you really want/need to get back, we suggest seeking professional hard drive recovery service."

Another potential way to do this would be for each user account on a music download website/software program to keep a permanent record ON THE INTERNET SERVER of what the user has downloaded. That way, if something gets messed up, a user would only need to enter their password, then request a re-load of the file. It will search the computer and over-write the "broken" music file with a working one, free of charge. This could even be used to restore a totally wiped music library as long as the user still had the password or whatever is needed to download.

Dickcheney6, Nov 26 2009

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       I suspect it's a lot easier than that. Decent software like ProTools can read and play back dodgy mp3's. Try downloading a copy of ProTools LE (I think you can still get a free trial version), import into that, see if it plays, then export as mp3. If we're going to be nit-picky about it, then your file will be double-compressed which isn't good, but it should at least play fine.   

       An online tool would of course be better - a stripped down version of Cleaner that converts mp3 > wav > mp3, or even better, just corrects the mp3 without the decom-recompress bit. It can't be that hard.   

       [+]
wagster, Nov 26 2009
  
      
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