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European Unix Platform (EUP): Book Review: MP3 - The Definitive Guide

May 20, 2000, 12:07 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tim Hemel)

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"MP3 is without doubt one of today's most popular crazes. Because not many companies are enthousiastically promoting MP3 (it might be or become illegal) there is hardly any book or no book at all about it compared to other crazes such as Java or Linux. It was therefore a surprise to hear that O'Reilly published an MP3 book."

"Of course one can still question what the book will be about. As with most crazes one can write a whole book full of trivia of all kinds, without really offering interesting information. Especially about MP3 there are a lot of rumours, which are not always true. Because I myself am professionally engaged on digital audio and MP3 files, it would be interesting to write a critical review about this book."

"The book consists of nine chapters, and deals with quite a broad number of subjects in not even 400 pages. One would think at first that the book can never have enough details, but that is not really true. The author knows what he is talking about and gives good advice, from a real audiophile's perspective. There is a lot of useful information in this book, for both the beginner, and the more experienced MP3 user. Real MP3 professionals will find a few nice things in this book, but the real 'gory details' are not dealt with. The author however gives enough pointers to technical papers and stories for the really interested."

"In short: a well written book, for a broad audience. The author is clearly an audiophile and knows what he talks about. Unfortunately some information that one would like to see together (like MP3 quality or the features of a particular piece of software) are sometimes spread out over different chapters. The list of software and hwardware products will obsolete the book quite quickly, and to be honest, I am not really interested in discussions about Windows and Mac software. I would recommend it as a very good starting point on MP3."

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