most of the concerts that i am sharing here are recorded in “flac” format (“free lossless audio compression”). the exceptions are when a show is only available in another format (e.g., i’ve demuxed the audio from a video), and are always provided in their original format (sometimes, i might also provide a flac version).
flac, well really any format, is easy to play these days — pick an audio format, and most audio players support it or have plug-ins that will allow you to play it. even car audio players are starting to support other formats (like flac, which my last car-rental could play from a usb thumb drive).
still, to help you out, here are links to tools for listening to, downloading or manipulating .flac (and other) music files
- listening & watching
- foobar2000 (play cd, mp3, flac, etc): my personal favorite – plays everything, loads fast, clean simple interface
- vlc videolan (play most types of video & audio files. can also do some conversions, and you can record clips from an existing video)
- winamp (play cd, mp3, flac, etc): newer versions of winamp support flac
- flac player+ (play flac on iphone): play flac on your iphone (and many other audio codecs such as mp3, aac, wma, rm…) on an iphone, the link should open flac player+ in the app store
- downloading & verifying
- biglybt (bittorrent client, for downloading ‘torrents’) (from developers formerly with vuze/azureus)
- trader’s little helper (decode, encode, create/verify checksums, create .torrent files for uploading)
- mediainfo (view technical and tag data for video and audio files and, i discovered, a lot of picture formats too)
- recording & editing sound
- audacity (free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds)
- transcoding & tracking
- ffmpeg (“complete, cross-platform solution to record, convert and stream audio and video”). great, but you do need to learn the syntax. i’ve moved almost completely to ffmpeg for any transcoding, demuxing, tracking demuxed video and creating short samples.
- mp3directcut (“fast and extensive audio editor for encoded MP3 and AAC. Without re-encoding directly cut, crop, split and join your tracks, create fades on MP3 and much more”) great. handles mp3, aac, mp2/mpa, mp4/m4a. i find this better than cd wave editor (which can use the same cue sheets, with minor changes like “wav” instead of “mp3”).
- cd wave editor (split .wav files into tracks) great. handles wav, flac, ape, w64 (anyone seen those last two lately?). more intuitive than mp3directcut, but not as powerful.
- track duration v.06.xls (an excel file that i use to calculate track durations from the start times & start times from the durations, for use in tracking audio demuxed from a video.)
- avidemux (free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks [link to sourceforge page, as homepage is just links])
- mediacoder (a universal media transcoding software – a.k.a. convert formats)
- tsmuxer (transport stream muxer. i’ve used this to pull the audio out of some video files [“demux”])
- dvd audio extractor (create audio files from a dvd or from video files, as flac, wav, mp3 or “demux” for original format)
- file system
- bulkrenameutility (powerful rename features; change time-date stamps; some other features; and a decent user interface)
- 1-4a rename (one of the best mass file renamers, and i’ve gone back to using this!)
- setfiledate (utility to alter the time and date of one or more selected files or folders. look under ‘freeware’.)
- cover design (does anyone still burn their music to cd for listening?)