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Journal acroyear's Journal: Hitting digital limitations? Go Analog! 1

In reply to this weblog entry on hitting DRM limitations, I wrote

There's one way they can't stop you, though there's a minor loss in quality (give or take...most heavy-compression audio formats already are lossy, so it really can't get any worse): run it through an analog mode on the way into a computer. Music won't really be "CD-quality", but for spoken word, who's going to notice. And this works fine for me when I'm making (personal use only) CDs from DVD and VHS concerts (that I own -- no piracy here you RIAA jackasses).

Basically, what you do, requiring either 2 computers, or an intervening high quality tape recorder or the phillips cd-recorder thingy, is wire one computer's "speaker" jack (not the headphone jack, as that's amplified and will distort) into the input (again, not the amplified "mic" jack) of another computer, play with the volume and input settings 'til you don't see red, then with appropriate software (n-track studio works for me on my win98 laptop @ home) record it into .wav files. With something in .wav mode, you can do anything you want. Remember to record into 16bit, 44.1 stereo to match the CD rating.

If you don't have 2 computers handy, you can use a tape recorder with Dolby-B to have a temp copy that you play back into the computer, or a digital tape recorder will suffice even better, but again, using the analog i/o lines instead of trying an all-digital solution. Keep in mind that an audio cd holds 650-700 (74min or 80min) plus of space, so you'll need a lot of free disc space, on a single partition, to make the .wav files.

Mind you, with any CD already cut, you can copy that independently, so the whole "you can only make one cd out of this" is a stupid and useless. But I read and noticed you already noted that flaw in their logic...

It really comes down to this: any one audio package by itself isn't enough to do all the audio you want to do, in order to stay DRM compliant, but the right combination of tools, and the willingness to pass through an analog mode on the way, will allow you to do anything.

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Hitting digital limitations? Go Analog!

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