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April 28, 2005

"Digital Audio Essentials": Create, Record, Edit, and Share Music and Other Digital Audio

Sebastopol, CA--Digital music isn't just for techies anymore. Not so long ago, downloading music was slow and impractical for anyone but advanced users. But now, you don't need to have endless time, expensive equipment, and a technical degree to download music to a PC or portable player; rip tunes to digital format or burn CDs; organize, find, and create music; preserve LPs and tapes; stream music off the Web; or even create a web-based radio station. With a personal computer, an Internet connection, and a copy of the new Digital Audio Essentials (O'Reilly, US $34.95) by Bruce Fries and Marty Fries, anyone can join the digital audio revolution.

Today's digital audio technology "gives you an amazing degree of flexibility, convenience, and control over your music experience," observe Fries and Fries. "Bits that were once tied to a plastic platter can now flow without restriction over cables and wireless connections to different media, such as a hard disk, a portable player, or even a cell phone. A new digital music industry has emerged, and the underlying technologies have matured greatly since the pioneering days of MP3.com and the original Napster."

Both Bruce Fries and Marty Fries have been involved in bringing digital music to the masses since the late 1990s. The two self-proclaimed MP3 missionaries set out to teach consumers about the benefits of online music and the MP3 encoding format. As Bruce recalls, "In 1999, I cashed in my life savings and went on a hundred-city tour (it actually turned out to be a hundred and seventy cities) to teach people about computer audio and online music." One of their goals was to counter some of the misinformation being perpetuated at the time, such as the belief that MP3 was primarily a tool for music piracy.

Downloading and listening to digital music is much more common today, but it is still not enjoyed universally. "The online music industry is relatively new and still evolving. The flood of competing technologies and new products, along with the associated hype, makes it confusing for new users to take advantage of all the amazing resources," notes Bruce Fries. "With the introduction of the iTunes store and the iPod, online music has finally gone mainstream. But the 'late adopters' tend to have less computer experience and therefore need more handholding."

Digital Audio Essentials is a comprehensive, reader-friendly guide to the world of digital audio on computers and the Internet. The book explains, in everyday, understandable terms, how digital audio technology works--and how to make it work for one's individual needs and goals. Even audio enthusiasts and advanced users will learn about invaluable tools and tricks with the in-depth tutorials, reliable hardware and software recommendations, killer resources, and real-world advice. The book balances just enough history and theory for a solid understanding of digital audio with a wealth of practical advice, tips, product information, and references for creating the ultimate digital audio experience.

This compendium of digital audio expertise is for anyone who listens to or creates music, including those just starting to explore the Internet as a platform for digital audio. "Newcomers will learn how to download, play, and record music on their computers," says Bruce Fries. "They'll also avoid huge amounts of grief and frustration trying to figure out what software to use and sorting through the confusion of the competing audio formats and incompatible DRM systems."

From the digital audio tyro to those who are ready to immerse themselves in recording and editing audio or experimenting with Internet radio, Digital Audio Essentials shows how to:

  • Download and share music without breaking the law
  • Connect a PC or Mac to a home stereo system
  • Record and rip music from any source to a hard drive or CD
  • Pick the right online music service from downloadable music stores, music subscription services, file-sharing networks, and Internet radio stations
  • Get portable by taking music anywhere with an iPod, Rio, or other handheld player, and listen to downloaded music on a car stereo
  • Burn CDs and DVDs right the first time
  • Master MP3 and other audio formats
  • Organize music with jukebox programs and playlists
  • Create an Internet radio station
  • Digitize LPs and tapes
  • Edit audio like a pro: remove pops, skips, static, silence, and more
  • Understand copyright law as it applies to digital audio
  • With illustrations and screen shots throughout, Digital Audio Essentials is the comprehensive handbook for creating, recording, editing, and sharing music and other audio so readers can make the very most of their expanding digital music collections.

    Additional Resources:

    Digital Audio Essentials
    Bruce Fries and Marty Fries
    ISBN: 0-596-00856-2, 357 pages, $34.95 US, $48.95 CA
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

    About O'Reilly

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