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mp3HD Audio Format
As an alternative to other lossless audio formats such as Flac and WMA Lossless, Thomson have introduced the format mp3HD. The new format is special in the way that it is lossy backwards compatible, meaning that the created file contains both a lossless part, as well as a standard MP3 lossy part. The benefit of containing both formats within the same file is that playback is ensured on all devices that supports MP3 - the devices supporting the mp3HD format will play the lossless part of the file, while the devices that does not support it will still play the standard MP3 part, even though the devices was created long before mp3HD was invented.
The two formats also supports the standard ID3 meta-data known from the original MP3 format, which means that meta-data and embedded cover art will be displayed correctly also on other players.
Currently, the format is delivered with a plug-in for playback with WinAMP, and the lossless part is not supported by any popular playback device, such as Squeezeboxes, Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center or similar, meaning that these players will playback the files with the lossy MP3 quality. This limitation means that the format may not be a good choice for you, if you want lossless playback today, but it may be a good choice for users who can live with standard MP3 quality today, but would like to prepare their collection for lossless playback in the future.
Since mp3HD is not yet a popular format, My Movies for Windows Home Server is not shipped with the encoders and decoders for mp3HD. This means that while the support is prepared in the software, you will have to manually download and make the encoders available for the software.
Please follow these guidelines to add the mp3HD support to the software:
1. Go to http://www.all4mp3.com/. 2. Locate "mp3HD Software Tools". 3. Download the "Win32 mp3HD Toolkit" in it's latest version. 4. Extract the content of the download zip to a local drive. 5. Copy the "mp3hdDecoder.exe" and "mp3hdEncoder.exe" files to "Software\My Movies\Audio CD Encoders" share on your server. 6. Reboot the Windows Home Server. 7. The "mp3HD" option should now be available in the "Target Format" options in the My Music Disc Copier settings.
Being a lossless format, the original uncompress audio can be extracted from the mp3HD format, just as it can from the Flac or WMA Lossless formats - this means that if you decide to copy to mp3HD, and the format fails to be picked up by your favorite players, future versions of My Movies for Windows Home Server will allow you to convert an existing collection from mp3HD back to Flac or WMA Lossless.
Similar, if you choose that the mp3HD format may not be for you today, you can choose to copy to Flac or WMA Lossless format, and in future versions of My Movies for Windows Home Server, be able to convert your entire collection to mp3HD when it has been picked up by more players.
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