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1. Get a copy of EAC (exact audio copy) to extract the audio from CD's with absolute integrity and at 44.1k, 16-bit, 2-channel. It will read and repeat the reading of difficult spots on a CD until each data block and checksum match perfectly. Also, it is the best method for backing up your CD's perfectly then burning cheap copies to use in the car and throw around. It is a free (donations please) program. 2. Get a copy of GoldWave audio editor. It will likely do everything you need (minimal cost). 3. Shoot the person who invented the MP3 format/algorithm because I cannot stand to listen to music in that format. The songs always sound gritty, flat, and with a loss in the stereo field (on $1,000 decent to $10,000+ professional equipment anyway). 4. Support Neil Young in his movement to increase the quality of audio recordings! With 2TB and now 4TB HD units cheaply available, everything can be stored uncompressed compared to the olde days where 6GB drives were considered big.
For your purposes, and in general, MP3s at 320 kbps sound perfectly fine and suffer minimal loss in quality from CD. No one is going to jump up at your wedding gig and compliment you on the clean, lossless and gigantic version of "Brick House" you just played. Won't happen. And I agree with the columnist, invest in a nice PC that optimizes Media Quality and get a copy of Virtual DJ for your gigs. Have Fun!
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