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Mp3 support at last!

July 14, 2010 Leave a comment

VocaTalk now supports importing mp3 albums in addition to ripping CD music.  This will allow users to download thousands of free mp3 music on the internet to use in the background.  To give you an idea, here’s how it works:

You just click on the musical note icon to select background music (or select background music for an episode in the podcast manager).

Select background music

Then click on “Import an Album” link at the top panel.  This will display the mp3 album importer pane at the bottom of the music selection view.

Import an album

Select mp3 files as music tracks for the album, and png/jpg/gif files for album art.

Select mp3 files for music and jpg/png/gif files for album art

After you select the tracks, the album import panel will display the tracks and the album art and will also set the album name to the directory name that you selected the albums from.  You can keep adding more files by clicking on the ‘plus musical note’ icon.  You can change the album name if you wish, but you must make sure the name is not already in your library.  Otherwise, you will get an error message and will have to rename it.

Create album

Once you’re done, click on the ‘Import’ button to create the album in your library.  That’s it!  But there’s more…

From this point on, the mp3 album is in your library in mp3 file format which takes much less space than uncompressed wav files.  However, VocaTalk actually uses raw uncompressed files rather than decompressing mp3 files each time you generate an episode.  mp3 files are used for album archival, meaning it’ll take less space on your file system.  So, when an album is created it’s automatically marked as ‘archived’ and grayed.  This means, the album is archived and not active when ‘use all music’ is selected, but will still be selectable and be used if you pick the album directly.

If you want to unarchive an album and make it active as background music when ‘use all music’ is selected, you must right click and select ‘Unarchive’ in the context menu.

Unarchive an album

After an album is unarchived, it will take much more space (7-10 times) on your hard drive, but it will be used when all music is used in the background.  When you have a large album library, this will be an extremely useful feature to save space.  For example, you can just keep 20-30 albums active, archive the rest and change such active album sets as you get bored.  You could archive 5 albums today, and unarchive another 5.

Unarchiving an album

VocaTalk will soon support an automatic scheduling of such sliding active album sets.

There are a number of free music download sites that you can already access today and download free mp3 music.  My favorite is Jamendo.  I’ll make a list of such music download sites and provide it on VocaTalk’s home page.  If you have any recommendations, please leave me a comment.

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