We think Steve Jobs might even want to give MMCSI a call.
The 3-year-old company—Multi Media Conversion Services, Inc. (MMCSI)—specializes in converting all types of analog into digital. But not just converting them to MP3, but making the file organization as easy as possible to then load into a digital music library program such as iTunes.
That’s not a simple task, as getting all that metadata straight so it’s as well organized as a giant iPod, takes a meticulous nature.
MMCSI shared its process with EH to shed some light on how it can tackle your old analog collection:
Any audio file, regardless the medium on which it resides (33 rpm, 45 rpm, 78 rpm, reel to reel, cassettes, micro cassettes, 8-track, CD, Flash memory) is first transferred into a database on a computer hard disk, where it is edited to remove all extraneous noises like scratches and pops, says MMCSI’s Serge Ciregna. Files are then converted into an MP3 record using a 44.1 kHz sampling rate (the same used to create CDs).
After that, each record is coded to include the metadata used in MP3 players to display the names of the composer or artists, the album and song titles, its genre, its year of publication, etc. Each song or music piece is also analyzed to make sure that the names of composers or artists are normalized, which means that a same author will always have his name spelled the same way, says Ciregna.
“For instance, an album from Chopin will always be filed under Chopin, Fryderyk and not Chopin, Frederic, or Chopin, Federico,” he says. (Or perhaps in Apple’s filing universe, with the first name followed by the last name so we can all have fun scrolling through our Bobs, Johns and Stevies).
Once processed the resulting music database is a shoe-in for transferring it to any MP3 based music system. Only two mouse clicks, says Ciregna, are required to have Apple’s iTunes program accept all music stored on the hard disk.
You can go to MMCSI’s web site to get in contact with them for cost estimates of your collection, so start dusting off those records.
When the order is completed, you’ll receive two copies of the external hard disk—one to be used as the Master and the second one as a backup copy (recommended to store in a different location, like a bank safety deposit box, to act as a protection against calamities, fire, flood, vandalism).
You also get two complete listings: one by composers, artists, albums and music titles; and the other a special listing of all the main interprets (e.g. in an opera, the main singers, the tenor, soprano etc.; in a jazz ensemble the principal instrumentalists like trumpet, trombone or drums). “Together they serve as a personal reference catalog for the entire collection,” Ciregna notes.
Now that’s music to our ears.
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.