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Topic: Old MP3 on retro computers (Read 874 times) previous topic - next topic
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Old MP3 on retro computers

Hi there,

I have started to rip my cd's on my PowerMac G4-Cube with OS9.0.4 and iTunes 2.04.
I use MP3 encoding with 160Kbit VBR and high quality. The files that are generated
are about 170/180Kbit. I am not sure if this is the best option. Die Music sounds good
to my ears. The playback device are the G4-Cube Speakers (HarmanKardon) it's a fully
digital setup.

I recently found that Audion is a good alternative to the very early iTunes for OS9.
Audion offers more encoders and more options. Like mp3pro and lame.

I need a small fileszize but good quality. Do you think I'll have to change my setup?

Thx
Doc

Re: Old MP3 on retro computers

Reply #1
The only thing you could do to improve it to use XLD for ripping instead of iTunes, XLD uses LAME for encoding which showed a better quality in many listening tests on this site. Otherwise I see no issues, whould be a nice retro setup.

XLD is also nice because the developer is still supporting PowerPC Macs.


Re: Old MP3 on retro computers

Reply #3
Stylish computer there.  LOL

Re: Old MP3 on retro computers

Reply #4
Rip to lossless - if necessary on an external hard drive.

Then encode to whatever.
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: Old MP3 on retro computers

Reply #5
Stylish computer there.  LOL

Beautiful and silent. That's why I use it. Performance in OK with G4-450 with R128pro AGP.
The sound solution is excellent. With the special 10watt USB-driven HarmanKardon Speakers. Fully digital setup.

The 160K VBR MP3 sound really good.

I have decided that there will be only music before 2000 released on this machine, this excludes (LoudNess-Remasters) from the original Albums.

For normal usage I use iTunes and the 256Kbit VBR's bought from iTunes-Store but on this machine there is no option on AAC within OS9 and the latest iTunes Release. So I went for MP3.

Doc


Re: Old MP3 on retro computers

Reply #7
Just FYI, the M1 Mac mini is also okay appearance, even if it is the same old mini form factor they've been using for over a decade now. And it is deathly quiet, since even at full utilization, its temperature profile doesn't call for running the internal fan at any higher than the totally silent base speed of 1700 RPM. The internals show that it's half empty, even, but I guess that does allow for it to continue to use the same old internal fan, albeit kept much quieter than any of the Intel machines ever were.

Oh, and UTM can run macOS 9.2.2 on it at about or better than the speed of any real PowerPC machine, using TinyCodeGen/TCG mode of Qemu, with the Screamer audio patch applied for system audio with the virtual Mac99 machine type.

Good on you for keeping the classic hardware alive, though. Has it involved any capacitor replacement over the years?

Re: Old MP3 on retro computers

Reply #8
No, the machine just runs. Looked at the internals yesterday. Capacitors are still in great shape.
Should be good quality caps they have used for the g4-cube. I love that machine.

Re: Old MP3 on retro computers

Reply #9
No, the machine just runs. Looked at the internals yesterday. Capacitors are still in great shape.
Should be good quality caps they have used for the g4-cube. I love that machine.

I have replaced thousands of capacitors in broadcast gear and quite a few old computers. If a cap looks bad, it is.
If it looks good it may still be bad. If you measure with an ESR meter (Equivalent Series Resistance) and it reads bad
in circuit, it is BUT in many instances a small value ceramic cap may be in parallel with the elctrolytic which will give
a false reading. The only test that is 100% is to remove the suspect and measure the ESR out of circuit. Once I get
that far I replace anyway since the work has been done to get access and re using old parts is a waste of time.

Some motherboards are NOT expected to be repaired. The internal power/ground planes (layers in the board) might
not have 'thermal relief' pads at the holes. A thermal relief pad is a circular pad with 'spokes' to the ground plane.
Electrically it is connected but it won't allow the heat of soldering to 'leak out' to the remaining metal. The lack of
'thermal relief pads makes repair more difficult but the performance without thermal relief is slightly better. During
manufacture the entire board is heated so there is no problem soldering at that time. Regardless of the quality of
your soldering tool, you will NOT get it hot enough to melt the solder all the way through. IF YOU PULL OUT A
'PLATE-THROUH' you have pretty much destroyed the board as you will not be able to connect the inner layers that
may have been connected with the 'plate-through'. You CAN use a hot air tool to help you along. You set the temp
of the air tool just below the solder melt temp so you don't 'blow off' any surface mount parts nearby. Use BOTH the
soldering iron and the air tool to heat the pin and you will get it cleared without damage. I usually use the air tool
15-20 seconds around the wire/hole. My soldering iron is a Metcal with an STTC-126 tip which is excellent for both
surface mount and through hole parts.

If you're afraid of trying cap replacement, a little fear is good. Find an old board to practice on until you're confident 
you can do the job.


Re: Old MP3 on retro computers

Reply #10
As long as it "just runs", don't ...
Capacitors may last long enough.
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: Old MP3 on retro computers

Reply #11
Never touch a working system.... :)

Re: Old MP3 on retro computers

Reply #12
Never touch a working system.... :)

Hear, hear! Why would anyone go desoldering and replacing capacitors in a working system?! Don't touch it until you need to.


Re: Old MP3 on retro computers

Reply #14
Search for "Xbox clock capacitor"
Some old capacitors are ticking time bombs.

I heard about the original Xbox clock capacitor a while ago, that one is pretty bad and should be replaced.  A lot of electronics suffered premature deaths because of the capacitor plague.  For most stuff outside of the capacitor plague, don't touch it unless you need to or are advised to by someone who regularly repairs said item and sees a lot of failures involving capacitors.

 

Re: Old MP3 on retro computers

Reply #15
I have a 20 year old K6III+ system.  Fired it up a couple years ago.  Still works. I've only had issues with capacitors in cheap power supplies.

 
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