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Tech: Brennan JB7 :any experience?

Roger the Skiffler 08 Nov 10 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,Vivienne 09 Nov 10 - 05:29 AM
Fred McCormick 09 Nov 10 - 05:36 AM
SteveMansfield 09 Nov 10 - 08:35 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Nov 10 - 09:02 AM
Fred McCormick 09 Nov 10 - 11:17 AM
SteveMansfield 09 Nov 10 - 01:03 PM
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Subject: Tech: Brennan JB7 :any experience?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 09:14 AM

I keep seeing ads for this Brennan sytem that you load all your CDs (up to 5,000) and it names the tracks from its database etc. Apart from the cost it is tempting as Herself despairs at the piles of CDs everywhere which could then go in the loft until I wanted to read an insert.BUT how comprehensive would their database be? I have CDs from CDBaby and direct from bands and friends, some on CD-R & CD-RW, obscure jazz, blues,jug and skiffle bands. Would they be on their database? If I had to enter too many tracks by hand (even if Santa provided the hardware) it would be a drag. Also I think you still need speakers as well so there would be no space saving from getting rid of the hifi (and then I'd have to buy more kit to transfer the 78s, LPs & cassettes).
Does anyone have experience of using one?

RtS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Brennan JB7 :any experience?
From: GUEST,Vivienne
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 05:29 AM

I've had a Brennan for about 3 months and have so far loaded about 300 Cds. I've been surprised by how many, relatively, obscure folky cds are on the database. But about a quarter haven't been. So far I've only added the artist and the CD title, not the individual tracks. Yes you do need speakers. We plug ours into our existing set up but you can buy speakers from Brennan.

Vivienne


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Subject: RE: Tech: Brennan JB7 :any experience?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 05:36 AM

I know this isn't going to be much help, but somewhere recently I've seen an advert for a 500gb media player for £300. That, I think is bigger than the Brennan, and cheaper, and should be able to do everything the Brennan does in terms of reproduction and storage. How it would go on about databasing the tracks, I've no idea. But it certainly sounds worth investigating.

Would anyone have any idea what this piece of tackle is called, and where it can be obtained from.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Brennan JB7 :any experience?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 08:35 AM

I've got a JB7, and love it.

I found the internal database did have a suprising number of reasonably obscure English folk / trad CDs in it, but the failure rate on my collection of French, Italian and Scandinavian CDs was pretty high.

The solution I found was to rip the CD on my computer using Windows Media Player - the hit rate on the WMP database was considerably higher than the Brennan one, and when it does still fail to find a match it's exponentially quicker to input the details on a computer keyboard than it is using the Brennan's [otherwise excellent] controls.

Make sure you set WMP to rip the CD into MP3 format and at a reasonable (192 or higher) bit rate. You might also want to experiment with the filenames created by WMP until you get the best results in terms of displaying the album & track names on the Brennan.

It's then very straightforward indeed to copy the folders of MP3s created by WMP to a USB stick or drive, and then connect that to the Brennan using the USB port on the front and import the albums using the USB functions >> Transfer Albums facility (I think it's called that, I'm not in the same place as the Brennan at the moment).

Other systems are indeed available but I found that the Brennan IMNSHO provided the best features / convenience / sound match for our needs, and I've certainly not been disappointed with it (and at least one friend has heard ours and & bought their own!) Ours spends 99% of its playing time on the Random Play function, and just like the advert says we've rediscovered all sorts of wonders we'd forgotten we'd got ...

Two very minor niggles - the remote control button layout seems a bit random; and the system is supplied defaulting to 'blending' the end of one track with the start of the next, which is very annoying but also very easy to turn off in the system settings (and once turned off stays turned off). Other than that it's a brilliant bit of kit!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Brennan JB7 :any experience?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 09:02 AM

It's worth mentioning that if you have a very large collection of CDs even the biggest-capacity Brennan may not hold them all unless you set it to hold your collection at a quality lower than WAV. I vaguely looked into these things a few weeks ago - and found a few reservations in some of the reviews I found. Caveat emptor I reckon. I also think they sound pretty expensive.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Brennan JB7 :any experience?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 11:17 AM

sfmans. The hit rate on Windows Media Player probably is a lot better than Brenna, if the latter doesn't actually search the Internet for ID ifo. However, I've found that CDEX can often find information which WMP can't, and it's free. CDEX


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Subject: RE: Tech: Brennan JB7 :any experience?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 01:03 PM

Cheers Fred - good point about CDEX, I'd temporarily forgotten about them.

The Brennan stores the database internally, so you get the most up-to-date version when you buy the device and then if you want to can purchase updates from Brennan on a USB stick.


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