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Playable mp3/zip archives


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#1 Alchemist

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 03:06 PM

Every now and then you download an "MP3" file and find that it is really a zip with many MP3s inside it. Yet, it has the .MP3 extension and most media players can handle it. I wanted to do that myself and have had some technical problems. I ripped & encoded the whole "Well-Tempered Clavier" by JS Bach from CDs that I own and then tried to make a zip to contain all those 48 files in one place. It plays fine until it comes time to jump from one track to another, and then there is a disturbing CHIRP before it starts playing that next track. Now why have I never seen this happen with downloaded files? What is the trick to make a truly playable MP3 archive?

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#2 petewills

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 08:53 AM

Hi Alchemist

How are you creating your zipfile with the mp3s inside.
What is the file extension of your new file.
What player are you using to play the file.

Is there any advantage;
an mp3 is already a compressed file and the difference in filesize would not be that great, IMO.

On the other hand, a properly created DVD mp3 music disk should not throw any errors.

#3 Alchemist

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 09:45 PM

The advantage is having 48 files reduced to a single file. A very worthwhile goal when you have a huge collection of MP3s. ;)

And you don't want the MP3s to be compressed. You must use only STORE because media players do not know how to decompress files -- other than parsing audio codecs of course. If the file is compressed it really ruins the playback. I've tried several different archivers, including 7-Zip, Jzip, and PeaZip. Just add the MP3s to a .ZIP archive using STORE and then change the extension to .MP3 and it plays. Even many hardware MP3 players can handle this. But whatever causes the CHIRP happens with all of them, so it's not one particular program doing something wrong with the format. Yet when I've downloaded .ZIP/.MP3 archives created by someone else there is no CHIRP between tracks.

#4 Platypus

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 03:08 AM

I can only think there's something the archiving utilities are adding in to mark the files for extraction - but generally you can expect the player to ignore any data that isn't defined as an mp3 frame.

I haven't tried that way of doing it, as running COPY /b *.mp3 destinationfile.mp3 from the command prompt in the relevant folder does me for the odd occasion I want to concatenate mp3s.

Have you tried using a dedicated utility like MergeMP3?

Edited by Platypus, 30 May 2011 - 03:08 AM.

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#5 petewills

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 09:02 AM

Hi Alchemist :)

Thanks for your reply; you've got my interest, but I have nothing to add on your particular difficulty.

On the subject of media players, the freeware Foobar2000 will play zipfiles containing mp3s, without errors between tracks.

Tried it by zipping up '48' mp3s, with Winzip (178MB) and loading the .zip file, i.e. no change to file extension.

Doesn't seem to affect sound quality at all, but I am no audio buff and only have basic speakers on my system.




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