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virtual CD changer man

Portable CD player + MP3 storage, rips as it plays.
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This is a user interface idea, not a technology idea.

Going through my PC just to hear music feels wrong to me. I don't want to have to turn the thing on and fiddle with ports and cables and drivers and file systems just to make a song I like available for later. This should be easier. This could be invisible.

Combine a portable CD player with an MP3 storage to build a single, portable CD player device that "remembers" (almost) every CD you've ever played on it, without any need for a PC, explicit "ripping software" on the PC, or data transfers from one device to the other.

The user interface is exactly like that of a normal portable CD player, except with another level of indirection if you want to play something: this device can not only play the CD you stick into it, but also past ones.

(Of course, you can also make the data accessible as a file system through, say, an USB port, but that's sugar on top.)

jutta, Aug 31 2001

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       I've seen CD/MP3 players, but don't think they remembered "(almost) every CD you've ever played".   

       I like the idea of ripping-while-listening (and that sounds like a technology idea, not an interface idea). Long term storage will get to be a problem though. Maybe the device can 'forget' songs you don't listen to very often?
phoenix, Aug 31 2001
  

       This set me off thinking about how crap the error correction is on my portable CD player. A similar system to what [jutta] proposes could be used to store a relatively low quality copy of a CD when it's lovely, new and unscratched.   

       Then when you're listening to the CD, instead of skipping or stopping when the error correction can't handle things, it fills in with the corresponding portion from the stored copy. The sound quality might vary a little as a result, but I'd rather that than disjointed music.
-alx, Aug 31 2001
  

       I'd better cross through this one from my "Ideas to post when I get 'round to it" list then. :o)   

       In the mean time I've found a compromise using an old PC, a network card, a big but old monitor, an infra-red keyboard, a superwoofer and an infra-red keyboard. Soon to follow will be the very big hard drive.
Disadvantages: Looks ugly, sound quality worse than a good stereo.
Advantages: Recycling, I can surf the web from my sofa.
  

       [oops - just noticed the the word "portable" below the title - I'd like to add a "matter reducer" and a "portable mains supply" to my list of future purchases]
st3f, Aug 31 2001
  

       The data storage for previously-ripped disks isn't a problem in terms of the amount of data. 160 kbits/sec = 72 megabytes / hour, so nearly 14 hours of music per gigabyte, and hard disks are cheap (the smallest you can buy now is about 20 GBytes). But hard disks would be a problem in a walkman-like device because of vibration. I wouldn't want to go jogging whilst my player is reading from the disk. This is less of a problem for an in-car device or something that people wouldn't run and jump about with. Of course, you could probably squeeze about a gigabyte of memory into a walkman without making it toooo expensive, and then there's no moving parts so the problem's solved.
Skinny Rob, Aug 31 2001
  

       If one is merely seeking to hedge against minor damage to a disk (rather than loss of the whole thing) it may be practical to store some extra error-correcting information for each sector on the disk; when a sector is misread, this information could help reconstruct it.   

       Perhaps this would be more useful for other media than for CD-ROM's, however, given that CD-ROM's already contain a fair amount of error-correction information; unless one were to double the amount of ECC that was there, it probably wouldn't do much good. And if one's going to store that much data one may as well just store an .MP3 and be done with it.
supercat, Jan 23 2002
  
      
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