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Thread: How do I burn a cd of random mp3s?

  1. #1

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    How do I burn a cd of random mp3s?

    Actually the question might be, "Can I burn a random cd?"

    For years I've used Musicmatch Jukebox's burner and shuffled playlist to create data cds of random music from my collection to listen to in my car's mp3 cd player. Unfortunately Musicmatch was bought by Yahoo and they immediately removed the shuffle playlist feature.

    If I were to buy the dbpoweramp player and burner could I do this? Can I shuffle my entire library and then pull however much will fit on a cd and burn it? Will the program rename the files for me (for instance numbering them to maintain the random "order")?

    I currently own dbpoweramp music converter and just love it.

    Cheers,
    Alan Evil

  2. #2
    dBpowerAMP Fan Wayne's Avatar
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    Re: How do I burn a cd of random mp3s?

    You can use the Random Selector function within MMC (dBpowerAMP Audio Player) to select a random set of tracks based on time/space/number of tracks. Once highlighted the tracks can be used to create a playlist that I think you can use as input to dCW.

  3. #3
    Avid Avocationalist xoas's Avatar
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    Re: How do I burn a cd of random mp3s?

    Your best bet is to download the beta of the dBpowerAMP Audio Player (dAP) (a free program) and the r2 standard version of CD Writer. Please note that if you are using r12 or later of Music Converter, these programs will need to be installed to a different folder and any codecs you need will need to be downloaded from Legacy Codec Central. The newer codecs for the current version of Music Converter will nOT work with dAP and CD Writer r2. Likewise, the Legacy codecs will not work with Music Converter r12 or later.

    I tried using r12.3 and the beta 3 version of CD Writer (which does use the new codecs and is compatable with Music Converter r12+). The current beta r3 of CD Writer is limited in terms of its ability to move tracks around and it lacks many of the abilities that the r2 version of CD Writer has (it still works well for many things however). For the purpose of this discussion, the most important current limitation of the CD Writer r3 beta is that it does not appear to be able to work with playlist files. CD Writer r2 will do this.

    To add to Wayne's instructions, once you create this random set of tracks, create a palylist from them. These will be listed in order. But you will see this playlist shown in the dAP Playlist Editor. Right-click on the Playlist, select Sorrt and select Random. This will randomly sort your playlist. Then save the playlist. Then you can open CD Writer and work on your mp3 CD.

    There is a certain learning curve to all of this, but once you get used to these programs I think they will come to seem natural to you. But feel free to ask for help if you run into any obstacles along the way.

    Best wishes,
    Bill

  4. #4

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    Re: How do I burn a cd of random mp3s?

    Thanks! I'll give this a whirl here soon.

    One thing I'm not sure about, though, is once I've got the playlist (say 150 songs) can I ask the burner to rename the tracks so they play in the "random" order? Just adding "001-" etc. to the front of each file name would be perfect. Some of my albums (ripped by those other than me) have all the files named "artist-**-title-album" or like that so if I get, for instance, three Jimi Hendrix songs on the cd if they are not renamed or divided into multiple folders those songs will play back to back.

    Also, since I am burning a data cd full of mp3s would it really matter whether or not the burner can read the codecs? I have several programs that will create an audio cd from mp3s for me (Roxio, Nero, etc.), my only desire is to pull a cd-r full of random cuts from my 150GB library and then have them play back in a random order.

    Thanks as always,
    Alan Evil

  5. #5
    Avid Avocationalist xoas's Avatar
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    Re: How do I burn a cd of random mp3s?

    One thing I'm not sure about, though, is once I've got the playlist (say 150 songs) can I ask the burner to rename the tracks so they play in the "random" order? Just adding "001-" etc. to the front of each file name would be perfect. Some of my albums (ripped by those other than me) have all the files named "artist-**-title-album" or like that so if I get, for instance, three Jimi Hendrix songs on the cd if they are not renamed or divided into multiple folders those songs will play back to back.
    Someone might know the answer to this right off the back. I did note in my experiment that while CD Writer appeared to arrange the tracks from the random playlist in their random order, the burned disk did arrange the tracks on the mp3 CD in a given order, as you describe. Since my auto's CD/MP3 player has a fairly robust random play feature, I can still end up with a good random disk (even though the tracks, while chosen randomly, are not arranged randomly).

    CD Writer offes a lot of possibiliities for arranging tracks, but this all deals with arranging tracks in different ways based on defined tag categories-none of which are random. Separate folders for each track would be one answer but even then they would be arranged non-randomly according to other features (Artist name, Album Name).

    The other possibility you mention would be to be able to assign a track number based on Playlist order (after you have randomized the Playlist). But this would seem to require some type of re-tagging before transferring to CD Writer for burning and then making sure that you would use this track number as the order for burning tracks. I'll have to do a little fooling around to confirm whether this can be done.

    On the other hand, if you have a burning program that can already burn a random playist in order, then you can certainly use dB Audio Player (I'd still recommend using the deta version) to create a random playlist.

    Also, since I am burning a data cd full of mp3s would it really matter whether or not the burner can read the codecs?
    My other comments had to do with the relative merits of the different versions of CD Writer. The whole matter of codecs is pretty much academic if all your files are already mp3 format and if you already have a burning program in mind for use. If you were looking for a burning program that might work better, then the relative merit of dB CD Writer r2 is that it is able to handle playlist files directly whereas the r3 beta of CD Writer does not. You can download and try out the r3 beta version of CD Writer for free in the beta section of this forum. You can download a fully functional trial version of CD Writer r2 from the Products page I believe.

    In my case, I have audio files in many formats and the advantage of CD Writer is that if I wish to create an mp3 disk (for example) it will convert files that need to be converted as it is preparing the CD for burning.

    I'll post back with more about the issue of whether and how easy it would be to retag playlist tracks in random order so you can preseerve that random order through the burning process. (Of course, if someone already has a solution for this your input would be quite welcome also).

    Best wishes,
    Bill

  6. #6
    Avid Avocationalist xoas's Avatar
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    Re: How do I burn a cd of random mp3s?

    Ok. I've found out what I can find.

    We've established how to generate a randomly selected playlist using dB Audio Player (dAP) and then arranging the tracks randomly using dAP's Playlist Editor before saving the playlist.

    We've established that dB CD Writer r2 can handle burning the Playlist to disk but the questions were: can it preserve the random order of the tracks and if so how?

    The answer to the first is Yes.

    The second part is that there are at least 2 ways and possibly a 3rd.
    The possible third possibility is that if your car's changer can handle playlists then it might be the case that by selecting the option to copy the tracks and the playlist that you might be able to play the playlist in its original random order. My car's mp3 player does not have this capability and therefore I cannot test it.

    The other 2 things you can do are fairly simple and automatic and will definitely work however. Both strategies deal with CD Writer's flexibility in arranging tracks for burning.
    Both of these measures deal with the way you set up your mp3 disk for formatting and in both cases these measures MUST be taken before you add your tracks.

    The prelude in both cases is to open CD Writer r2 and click on the button that says New CD. Select the option to Create New CD. Select mp3/wma CD and select the capacity of the blank CD you will be writing. Select mp3 for the format and set the bitrate you want the mp3 disk to be. You can select Smart Conversion so that you will not upconvert files above or below a given bitrate.

    The key to keeping the random playlist random has to do with the File Naming Options. The default option is (artist)-(track) which will result in a single folder on the disk with tracks being placed in alphanumeric order based on the artist name and track name (which is not the original random arrangement).

    The easiest way to preserve the order of the tracks within the playlist is to click on the Set button next to File Naming and switch (artist)-(track) to (unique number). This will assign each track a multidigit number which will progress one number up for each track further on down the playlist, so that if the first track is 000000150, the next track will be 000000151, the third track will be 000000153 etc (or so it appears to work for me. As long as this unique identifier is the first variable in the file naming scheme (you can add others) the playlist will maintain its order.

    If you want to display the artist and track name and don't want your changer showing the unique identifier, this can be done the same way. Here you want to create a separate folder for each track and arrange it so your display will show the artist and track name. To do this, you set the File Naming option to: (unique number)\(artist)-(track). CD Writer will automatically create the file structure based on the unique number assigned to each folder/track.

    Hope this answers your question. If you have not already tried CD Writer r2, you should be able to download a fully functional trial version for free before you decide whether you want to purchase it.

    Hope this helps.

    Best wishes,
    Bill

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