How can I listen to

Question

I have COX high-speed internet, and digital cable. I want to listen to the digital music on my laptop. What do I need?

Answer

This question was answered on January 21, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

You'll need a portable with one heck of a pair of speakers, or else a headphone jack I don't think you'd be too pleased with the quality of music you'd hear through the tiny speakers in your laptop PC

The term "digital music" can apply to CD's Windows media player installed on your laptop ought to get you where you want to go, assuming the machine has a CD drive.

You can copy digital music to your laptop's hard drive, or to a CD (assuming, again, your laptop has a CD drive), and play it that way.

In order to listen to the "digital music" coming over Cox's non-commercial music channels, it's easiest just to run a wire to a stereo, or perhaps to the input on your PC's sound card from your TV or VCR's audio output jacks.

If you want to listen to online music, you will need to network the laptop either to your other PC, passing the signal on to your laptop, or else into Cox Cable directly This is called "home networking", and what you are aiming for is called a “peer to peer network.”

Buffering online radio stations to your hard drive is a whole other issue Every time someone comes out with a program to record streaming audio, a whole other version of the Napster controversy begins, all over again

However, methods and programs to accomplish this feat do come and go Suggestion is to do a Google.com search, using "record internet audio" as a starting point There are various methods that change all the time, and I'd rather not get involved in the controversy, myself Besides, what's wrong with simply hooking a tape deck to the audio output jacks of your computer?

Best deal I've found is to use WinMX (which doesn't contain any spyware) to accumulate MP3's Use Winamp to play them back Winamp will produce playlists, which you can use to simulate the format of your favorite radio station, rave, or elevator

For some reason, this appears to be an accepted methodology, at least for the time being However, to be really ethical, only download songs that you have purchased at some time in the past.

Better get used to the concept of copy protection The days of free software, movies, and music are slowly coming to a close Time was, you could simply tap into the cable at the street, or copy floppy disks at will For good reason, people who own media content are slowly diverting people away from employing such pastimes Even so, what we have left amounts to one heck of a lot of programming available with even the most modest of subscriber connections I subscribe to Netzero, myself, for 10 dollars a month The inexpensive modem connection crams more content through a phone wire than I even have time for

RG

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Author

Posted by Robert of Mesa Community College on January 21, 2003