The new Mix Club Process - PLEASE READ

Exchange mix CDs with each other.
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The Fish
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The new Mix Club Process - PLEASE READ

Postby The Fish » 12 Mar 2014, 11:54

As most will be aware there has been a general consensus to move to an electronic transfer of the mixes each month, thus cutting out the requirement to post a physical disc. I know some have adopted this approach unilaterally and indeed I both sent and received by this method in December.

I have looked at the pros and cons of different methods and as a result I am proposing the use of sendspace. The main advantages in my view are that this means the whole process can take place within the walls of BCB and I will not need to be asking for Email addresses etc to add to any share. This may be straightforward for the few current members but I am keen that future joiners can "hit the deck running" without any further set up required. Sendspace will also preserve (or should that be reintroduce) the anonymity factor which is supposed to be part of the fun and has been lost with some fairly obvious postmarks, as the download url gives no indication of the account holder.

I used sendspace to send mix to Nick Danger in December and fould it really straightforward. The only downside I could find was that you cannot upload a folder. This simply means you need to create a zip file and then upload that. Having assembled your choice of tracks the entire process should only take about ten minutes or so. I have therefore outlined the process from start to finish below.

Two things to note

1. This is entirely voluntary, but hopefully everyone will at least give it a go. I have no problem with anyone breaking the anonymity code and arranging a dropbox transfer if you so wish, although at risk of repeating myself I hope everyone will at least try this method as it would be good to have some uniformity.

Also as a last resort I am prepared to accommodate any request to either send or receive postally

2. What follows relates to the real Windows world. I believe Rayge is a Mac user. Anyone else ? The process may vary slightly for Macs. Please let me know if you have any problems and do feel free to add any revisions to the instructions if you have found you need to change anything slightly


=======================================================================================================================

Create a sendspace account.


just click on "sign up" and follow instructions. I can't remember if there was any "bundling"going on so I'll leave you to be savvy enough to uncheck boxes if required.

https://www.sendspace.com

When I tried this out in December, my evaluation copy of Winzip had expired (Does anyone actually buy it?). Anyway I found this which is an entirely free open source alternative. This is 100% compatible with WInzip so you can upload with one and extract with the other. Examples from here use 7-zip but use Winzip if you prefer.

http://www.7-zip.org/download.html

The first part of the process remains unchanged i.e. selecting tracks for the mix. In the examples below I have put these into a separate folder.

As we are now sending MP3 files rather than burning to a CD the first step is to remove all identifying tagging. Right click on each file and select properties (or MAC equivalent?)
You will see pop up panel as shown.

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Change name to 1, 2, 3 etc depending on the mix order you require

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Click the "summary" tab at the top, to show panel below (If you see "advanced" rather than "simple" click "advanced to show as per below).

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Remove all items in the value column. Click on each in turn and remove contents

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tracks are now ready to upload. In windows explorer, right click the folder and if you have installed 7-zip you will see it selectable as shown. Select this and "add to archive" You can change the name of the zip file here if required

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This creates zip file as shown. Note in this example I have changed name as mentioned above from MC to Test1

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Log in to sendspace and select upload. Browse to folder containing your zip file and select

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Once uploaded you will see confirmation screen as shown. Click on the copy Link button for download link (I have already done this here as it shows "copied" rather than "copy link".

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Paste this into pm to me, remembering to add the URL tags.I would suggest you do this straightaway as you cannot see this under your sendspace account login, although if you need to subsequently refer to this you will receive an Email when uploaded. I will then inform recipient and send them the link. Once downloaded you will obviously need to use Winzip/7-zip to extract the MP3 files.

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By way of one last request, although this method removes time constraints, I think total length should aim for CD length still i.e. under 80 minutes.

There seems a lot here but most of this is instinctive and most of you would know how to do much of this in any case, but I'd rather cater for all levels of techiness and aim to make it Belgian OAP idiot proof.Obviously I am prepared for discussions etc but please try it first, it's really a doddle.
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Re: The new Mix Club Process - PLEASE READ

Postby TG » 14 Mar 2014, 13:21

I use a Mac and I'm pretty sure these instructions are useless to Mac users. I have absolutely no idea how to accomplish this on a Mac. I use a program called Zipeg to un-Zip files but really have no idea how to accomplish this Mix Club task. Any help?
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Re: The new Mix Club Process - PLEASE READ

Postby The Fish » 14 Mar 2014, 15:32

Well I did say that I had no idea of variance to the above in the Mac world, although I'm sure it can be done. Hence the invitation to post any help from Mac users. I think the basic steps are pretty much the same as above, it's just how you achieve them.

The disc you sent me in December was almost there, you just needed to do whatever was required to complete the detagging beyond a simple rename. Also I believe Rayge is a Mac user and he uploaded MP3s of his cup list, although obviously there was no requirement to detag.

There's bound to be a few teething problems with this, so a bit of patience may be required by all.

In the meantime, if any MAC users can post some pointers that would be great.
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Re: The new Mix Club Process - PLEASE READ

Postby Walk In My Shadow » 14 Mar 2014, 17:42

If you don't mind, Paul. This Belgian Oap isn't too keen on the new instructions. Read: he can't be bothered.

Just send me my recipient's adress and I'll burn the poor bugger a disc.

How's that grab ya? Me old coonhound yesself.
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Re: The new Mix Club Process - PLEASE READ

Postby TG » 14 Mar 2014, 23:19

Here is what I've figured out so far. A Mac lets you zip a file by simply finding that file (i.e.-the title of the song in ITunes).

I've created a file on my desktop called BCB Mix Club-Recipient's Name.

Then I open Finder -
My Computer (whatever you called your Mac when you originally set it up) -
Music
ITunes
ITunes Music

Now you can pick the Artist (or Compilation or whatever) you want and further drill down to the specific song.

Right click (or Control-Click) on the song and scroll down to Compress (Song Title). A zip file will appear under the already existing file. I drag that to the aforementioned Mix Club folder on my desktop and continue choosing, compressing and dragging songs until the folder is full.

That's as far as I've gotten. I'll try and figure out the renaming, etc. when I've finished the mix and I'll report back.

And, as Our Beloved Leader mentions in his antiquated Windows/PC instructions; this is pretty easy once you get started.
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Re: The new Mix Club Process - PLEASE READ

Postby Rayge » 15 Mar 2014, 00:09

TG wrote:Here is what I've figured out so far. A Mac lets you zip a file by simply finding that file (i.e.-the title of the song in ITunes).

I've created a file on my desktop called BCB Mix Club-Recipient's Name.

Then I open Finder -
My Computer (whatever you called your Mac when you originally set it up) -
Music
ITunes
ITunes Music

Now you can pick the Artist (or Compilation or whatever) you want and further drill down to the specific song.

Right click (or Control-Click) on the song and scroll down to Compress (Song Title). A zip file will appear under the already existing file. I drag that to the aforementioned Mix Club folder on my desktop and continue choosing, compressing and dragging songs until the folder is full.

That's as far as I've gotten. I'll try and figure out the renaming, etc. when I've finished the mix and I'll report back.

And, as Our Beloved Leader mentions in his antiquated Windows/PC instructions; this is pretty easy once you get started.


The way I did it was to open a folder on the desktop, then open your iTunes library and copy the songs you need direct to the folder (don't compress one at a time - this won't help). In that folder, physically rename each part track 1, 2 etc so that you have the running order.

Then comes the difficult bit, which is retagging. For various reasons I am too tired to go into at the moment, I couldn't retag in the normal way in iTunes (right click on the song, pull down to Get Info, click on Info, then clear all the fields – maybe give the album a title and fill in the track number so it doesn't disintegrate when the recipient adds it to iTunes) without a lot of kerfuffle (technical term), I spoke to some guys on a younger, techier forum, and the admin guy there recommended a useful piece of software, the ID3 Editor: www.pa-software.com/id3editor/
This is free for a month, costs $15 to keep forever and also works with windows, and is foolproof. Well it's proof against this fool, anyway.

Once you have retagged, compress the whole folder into a file: just click on the folder in Finder, pull down the File Menu and click on compress. This creates a Zip file which you can upload to sendspace
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Re: The new Mix Club Process - PLEASE READ

Postby The Fish » 15 Mar 2014, 07:05

Thanks for the updates guys.

The new process was devised following a general will to move to electronic transfer and obviously there was no intention on my part to make this difficult for anyone,so please hang in there and we can I'm sure collectively iron out the technical issues. I don't know how the Mac community feel about an outlay of $15 but that seems quite cheap if as Ray says it does the job.

I have actually had a couple of address requests which as I have stated I am happy to oblige with rather than lose anyone, but I'll continue to review as we go forward.

Hopefully no one has a problem with the receiving download/unzip/play part which will at least standardise one half of the process.

The upload from the examples above is simply a few tracks thrown together to test the process, but please feel free to click on the link and download this to check your ability to receive in this way..

http://www.sendspace.com/file/71j3z5

A note about downloading - You should only ever click on the blue "click here to start download from sendspace" box Everything else on the page saying "download" is an ad link you should ignore.

Also note that there is a file size upload limit of 300Mb but mixes should not exceed this. Typical size is 50-100Mb. There is an expiry of 30 days since the last download, but I will be having words if someone hasn't managed to grab it in this timescale :D
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Re: The new Mix Club Process - PLEASE READ

Postby TG » 23 Mar 2014, 13:53

Here's where my confusion lies - I start with a music file that is labelled .mp3 or something like that. I change it to a file labelled .zip. What is it I am wanting to send? Should it just be called 1, 2, 3, etc.? Am I to get rid of all extensions? Will the recipient be able to open it then?

I know this will become easier but right now I'm a little baffled. Any help?
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Re: The new Mix Club Process - PLEASE READ

Postby The Fish » 23 Mar 2014, 14:42

TG wrote:Here's where my confusion lies - I start with a music file that is labelled .mp3 or something like that. I change it to a file labelled .zip. What is it I am wanting to send? Should it just be called 1, 2, 3, etc.? Am I to get rid of all extensions? Will the recipient be able to open it then?

I know this will become easier but right now I'm a little baffled. Any help?


The crucial bit in the instructions above is to put the MP3s in a separate folder. Within this folder you will have your MP3s labelled 1,2 3 etc. Zip creates a single compressed file image of the folder, i.e make sure you zip the folder not the individual tracks. By zipping the folder you are automatically including the folder contents.

When you download the zip file, use zip extract to uncompress to a folder on your drive when the tracks will again be visible within the folder in MP3 format.
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Re: The new Mix Club Process - PLEASE READ

Postby hookfinger » 23 May 2014, 15:59

I'm pretty shitty with giving directions but I have been using sendspace and winzip for files on my jazz blog for years and it's not really that complicated. I suppose it involves a bit more when you want to keep the files themselves anonymous, but other than that sendspace is a breeze to use.
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Re: The new Mix Club Process - PLEASE READ

Postby The Fish » 08 Jun 2014, 20:00

UPDATE

So the process seems to work with varying degrees of success.

It would seem that tagging is something of a dark art and that seemingly removing the tags doesn't always remove the info. If anyone has anything to add feel free. In the meantime I have found a way to get round this that seems to work, although this may only be of use for Windows users (If MAC users have followed Rayge's advice and have software to do this then this might not be an issue for them anyway)

I did notice when clicking on the supposedly untagged MP3 file from my final selections, information was being displayed in Windows Media player (but not always), and similarly incoming files have sometimes displayed information but not always.

The answer I have found is to burn a playable disc (just like the old method) and then rip this as Unknown Artist/Unknown album. Before clicking rip however right click and edit each track to overwrite artist , title and composer (NB removing doesn't work as when you move to the next it reappears) you will need an explicit value. Obviously the title can be Track01, Track02 etc, but you can put "..." or somesuch for composer etc. You can edit info when ripping disc using Windows Media Player - I assume other software has similar functionality.

It seems that most of the tagging info that can't be removed is created at the rip process,so this prevents it being created initially.
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Re: The new Mix Club Process - PLEASE READ

Postby Nolamike » 04 Nov 2014, 03:00

I'm getting ready to rejoin Mix Club for January! But man, I do prefer physical discs. Oh well, I'll give this a go in a few months (I'm in the process of finally digitizing my whole collection, which will make this a lot more fun for me). :)
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Re: The new Mix Club Process - PLEASE READ

Postby TG » 05 Nov 2014, 17:40

Nolamike wrote:I'm getting ready to rejoin Mix Club for January! But man, I do prefer physical discs. Oh well, I'll give this a go in a few months (I'm in the process of finally digitizing my whole collection, which will make this a lot more fun for me). :)


I was all for moving away from mailing CDs around the world but this has been a bit of a challenge. I think I've finally worked it out for Apple computers but won't know until the latest mix gets reviewed. It's still a bit convoluted, for sure.

Anyway, looking forward to you rejoining!
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Re: The new Mix Club Process - PLEASE READ

Postby bhoywonder » 19 Nov 2014, 09:05

TG wrote:
Nolamike wrote:I'm getting ready to rejoin Mix Club for January! But man, I do prefer physical discs. Oh well, I'll give this a go in a few months (I'm in the process of finally digitizing my whole collection, which will make this a lot more fun for me). :)


I was all for moving away from mailing CDs around the world but this has been a bit of a challenge. I think I've finally worked it out for Apple computers but won't know until the latest mix gets reviewed. It's still a bit convoluted, for sure.

Anyway, looking forward to you rejoining!


I'd be keen to know how to do the untagging thing on my mac...