Welcome to Paul & Penny's Music Page
We have a rather large collection of MP3s that we got by ripping our CDs and recording from our Vinyl LPs. Obvously, you won't find any of these files available for download or online listening, because we don't want to violate any copyright laws.
Our tastes run mainly to classic rock, however we also enjoy oldies, folk, traditional and modern country, dixieland jazz, blues, and even easy listening. The things you won't hear playing at our house are opera and rap. Don't understand the language of opera and don't like the message of rap.
Our music is housed on a PC dedicated to serving the music. The output from the sound card is plugged into the auxiliary port on our main stereo receiver. The receiver allows for to output zones, and the second zone runs to an old JVC stereo amp with dual speaker outputs. This allows us to listen to something besides music in the house and music in the back yard. When the old JVC gives out, I'm going to get a multi-channel separator and run music to the garage too.
The software I use to manage the collection and serve it is called Media Monkey. I used Musicmatch Jukebox for years before Yahoo bought it and destroyed it. I keep my collection sorted by Album Artist\Album Name\Track Number - Track Name. To get this view in Musicmatch, I had to apply custom tags to each track. The custom tags were in the database, not the individual MP3s, which was very inconvenient. Besides that, the software crashed way too often. Media Monkey has the view I like build in, so no more worries. And it does so much more and does it so much better! I've got a link to Media Monkey on the navigator. I'm so impressed with this software that I bought the lifetime subscription. Now if they just don't sell to Yahoo.....
Some of the features that I really like about Media Monkey include:
- You can set it to "party mode" where others can choose and play music, but can't delete anything or make any changes to the system. Party mode can be password protected and a command line option lets you start in this mode everytime (great if you have kids accessing the PC).
- There's a logical set of keyboard shortcuts for navigating the library and playing the music. For instance, to jump from Jimmy Buffett to ZZ Top, with the cursor in the navigation tree, all you have to do is type ZZ to jump to the bottom of the tree. You can expand or compress levels with the right and left arrow keys. And it's FAST.
- You can use Windows Scheduler to schedule events in Media Monkey such as playing a particular playlist at a predetermined time.
- Media Monkey is expandable. You can write scripts (or download them) and then add them as custom commands with keystroke short cuts. There's a link in the navigator to all kinds of scripting help and examples.
- Managing the library is a breeze. You can rename files based on their tags, or tag files based on their names. You can arrange your collection on the hard drive anyway you want (I use Album Artist\Album Name\Track Number - Track Name)
- The best thing about Media Monkey is the way it just does things right. When playing a playlist, it will fade from one track to the next with no long pauses at the end of the track. Volume leveling actually works. In the Now Playing view, you can rate the a track by pressing Alt-1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. Also, it's easy to import and export playlists. It also syncs to iPods and most other MP3 players. And ofcourse, they have a free version that lets you see for yourself before spening $20 for the full version, or $80 for the lifetime subscription.