Author Topic: Computer capacity,  (Read 5109 times)

stretch622

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Hi every one. Not sure whether this should be in here or  beyond musicbee but some where in between. I am going to get a new computer (laptop)for my music, wont be used for any thing else. It will have windows 8 and musicbee on it. Files will be probably be FLAC, any suggestions as to processing power  or ram size ect. Also going from MP3 to FLAC, on average how much bigger are the files are likely to be? any advice would be appreciated.
Cheers and thanks.

Kaelri

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If all you're doing is playing and organizing music, your hardware needs will be pretty minimal. To be on the safe side, I'd look for a dual-core processor in the range of 1.7-2.0 GHz - maybe a little more if you want to output audio, e.g. to an entertainment system. (Even my USB headphones have caused cheaper laptops to skip a bit.) An Intel Core i3 or i5 would do the job.

As for memory, 2 GB (which is pretty standard for laptops) should do fine. Don't bother with any fancy graphics cards, and get the smallest screen that you're comfortable using - it will keep the price down. In other circumstances, I would suggest an SSD, but if you're dealing primarily with FLAC files, you'll be better off with a traditional hard drive.

FLAC is a "lossless" audio format, which means the files are quite big. In my anecdotal experience, they tend to be 30-40 MB per 5 minutes of audio, but someone else can probably give you a better rule of thumb.

(Also - you say you're "going from MP3 to FLAC." You probably already know this, but just in case, you shouldn't convert an MP3 directly to FLAC. All you'll get is a bigger file with no meaningful difference in quality. FLACs should be created from the original CD or WAV files.)

Zak

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* What is your budget?
* How many tracks are in your library?
* How quickly do you expect your library to grow over the lifetime of this laptop?
* Will you also be tagging/managing your tracks on this laptop or only playing them?

FLAC is a "lossless" audio format, which means the files are quite big. In my anecdotal experience, they tend to be 30-40 MB per 5 minutes of audio, but someone else can probably give you a better rule of thumb.
Sounds about right to me, but I can post some actual comparisons on the weekend.
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Zak

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It will depend what bitrate you're coming from, but here are some comparisons:

Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream - 62 mins
            192kbps CBR      320kbps CBR      V0 VBR       FLAC
            91MB             147MB            113MB        370MB
MB/min      1.4              2.3              1.8          5.9

Nirvana - Unplugged in New York - 54 mins
            192kbps CBR      320kbps CBR      V0 VBR       FLAC
            77MB             126MB            95MB         327MB
MB/min      1.4              2.3              1.8          6.0

Billy Joel - 52nd Street - 41 mins
            192kbps CBR      320kbps CBR      V0 VBR       FLAC
            56MB             93MB             68MB         227MB
MB/min      1.4              2.3              1.7          5.5

Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks - 62 mins
            192kbps CBR      320kbps CBR      V0 VBR       FLAC
            85MB             141MB            108MB        384MB
MB/min      1.4              2.3              1.7          6.2


I quickly checked some other albums and some were as high as 7.5 MB/min, but generally 5.5 - 6.5 MB/min seems typical.
Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 07:27:09 AM by Zak
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stretch622

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Thanks for the replies, i run a second screen with main library on it and the play list and player on the laptop screen and drag and drop into play list as I select tracks to play.  I use a external audio interface as I fine laptop sound cards not the best. I will be tagging and managing in the same computer, Current library is 17Gb   5223 tracks and is 11 days 6 hours 13 min. If I change  to FLAC those tracks would be reloaded from CD Even if possible to do I am not sure if I will because it will be such a big job. But the change to new system must happen. budget comes after performance within reasoned.  Cheers and thanks.

redwing

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Low performance machines with minimal hardware can do the job, but it would need a lot more processing time, emitting heat and noise even with minimal tasks, depending on the task and the size of your library. Even with a music player like MB, some tasks are CPU intensive, including volume analysis, format converting, editing tags and then rewriting multiple files, displaying wave bar for lengthy tracks, running milkdrop visualizer, caching album art and artist/movie backdrops for artwork view/compact player/theater mode. With the general technological advances, MB is evolving as well, for instance, supporting hyper-threading, multi-core uses, etc.

I would recommend at least 4 GB of memory and i3 or i5 Haswell level of cpu and graphics performance for a pleasant MB life (last year I made a transition from a Core 2 Duo to an i5 laptop, and that made a huge difference in every regard). USB 3.0 ports can shorten backup time to external HDDs, and installing OS and apps on SSD would boost performance significantly (but not for storing music files unless you can afford it).

For screen size and resolution, the bigger and higher, the better, since you could display more info/windows/apps on the screen. Note that if you're using higher than 100% of DPI setting, some part of MB panes might not be visible. With a machine with high-resolution on a small screen, your best option would be using bigger fonts with 100% DPI setting.