TuneTracker™ QuickTip

"Prepping" for the Holidays

If you're just getting started at creating a Christmas music collection for your station to play, or if you're still adding to it, you ought to think about giving yourself a little Christmas present first that will make the whole job a lot easier and more fun.

The new version is just awesome. I know I'm prejudice, but honestly, I can't imagine anyone not wanting to use it as their tool for ripping and prepping music for broadcast. Nothing else will do it as automatically. You slide in a CD, it detects the tracks, looks them up online, lets you adjust each track's information if you like, then rips, silence-trims, normalizes, and encodes to your choice of many different file formats, bitrates, and settings.

In advance of the release, and to prepare you to be able to take advantage of it when it comes out, here's a quick preview. First, you might want to click this link so you can view a screen-grab of the new interface:


Using that graphic for reference, let's start in the left corner. You'll notice the nice clean list of song titles. Without all the path information cluttering it up, it's much easier now to see what you're ripping. Just below that, yes, that really is an editor that lets you change/fine-tune the attributes of each song prior to ripping. You can also adjust the attributes of multiple files simultaneously. So when ripping songs, there absolutely are no other steps required anymore, not even using Army Knife.

"Audio CD Device" allows you to choose the CD or the CD drive you want to rip from. The title of the CD is displayed.

You can opt to have the status window close after ripping is done, or leave it open for your review.

You'll love this one. You can opt to have CDs auto-load, auto-list in TunePrepper when you insert them. Be sure you have your Haiku® mount settings set to auto-mount as well. And when you slide a CD back out, it is auto-unmounted, and the list of cuts disappears from TunePrepper so it's immediately ready for the next CD.

In the next column of the interface, a nice new layout shows the three stages of song ripping and prepping:

In the "Preparation Stage," you can adjust the threshhold and sensitivity of Peak (normalization) and Trim (silence removal), and can also toggle one or both of them off if you need to for any reason.

In the "Encoding Stage" there are many presets you can use as they are, or customize to your liking and save for future use. You can also create your own preset "from scratch" using the encoder of your choice, selecting the bitrate and mono/stereo, and even manually inputting command switches if you're really into the technical nitty-gritty of it.

In the Output Stage, you can select how you'd like the files saved to your hard drive. You can have TunePrepper save the files as-is, or create folders and sub folders for you. You can tell TunePrepper to include multiple items in the filename. There are many preset layouts to choose from, and again, here, if you have an idea for a layout you'd like even better, you can customize your own exactly as you'd like it. Here are some examples:

/Artist/Year/Album/Track - Title.mp3

And as before, you can choose a destination folder into which you want all files and/or subfolders to be placed, but now the folder (shown here as /boot/home) is expressed as a clickable link. Clicking the link opens the folder.

If you need some quick, on-the-fly assistance, just pass your mouse over an item. For every item in TunePrepper 2, context-sensitive help will appear in the lower left corner of the interface.

Do yourself a favor. When it's time to rip songs for Christmas, or any other time, get TunePrepper. It should be on every broadcaster's wish list.

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