Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Alpharetta, GA USA
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I have used LAME at the old --r3mix setting, it creates large files, but it sounds pretty good. The MP3's will never sound as good as your CD. I especially notice it on Rock (aka., Melissa Etheridge/Lucky, usually heavy guitar) -- that's just one example. The Electronic, Classical, Latin, and Pop genres sound pretty good. I belive R&B also might suffer a little.
For the most part, it all sounds pretty good, just never as good as the CD via digital to your A/V receiver. The Entre does seem to have really good analog outs, so it's not too bad.
About 35% of my collection has been encoded using iTunes @ 320 -- it's just easier and this way I don't have to mess with a PC.
There are programs out there, like EAC (Exact Audio Copy) in conjunction with the LAME Encoder. This is what I used for the rest of my collection. Nice benefit, it's all FREE. Just google it.
The Entre will handle the meta-data just fine. It doesn't seem to complain. The trick, never use ID3V1 tags and ID3V2 tags, it'll screw it up. You will have to also remove any special characters in the tag information and/or file name (i.e., accent marks, question marks, etc -- you can put them back in after you've loaded them onto the Entre).
What's great about doing the encoding somewhere else, is that once you get bored with the Entre and the next great thing comes out, you'll be able to once again copy the music over to it.
btw, the Fireball is also much better with MP3's -- you can actually send digital out to your receiver. Unlike the Entre, which for some odd reason will only use Analog. hmmmm, I'm starting to convince myself to just continue to use the Fireball -- I just really need the rack space.
Also, the idea of using the Fireball's O/S on the Entre probably won't work. Even if it did, you'd lose DVD functionality. The Fireball doesn't support DVD, only CD.
Hope I've given you some good info.