Thanks,everyone, for the advice on the Brennan JB7.
I tried reading the notes - all 14 pages of them, and the results were what I usually get when I read on-line customer comments. Whatever it is - audio equipment, hotels, resorts, restaurants, etc., one person loves it ("Best resaurant meal I've ever had", or "Rude service, food tasted like utter garbage", or "Best vacation I've ever had" or "Roach-infested dump").
One point, though, many people criticized the unreliability of the unit. A good thing for meto note - I have no desire to have to crate the thing up and fly it to the UK every time something doesn't work right.
I suppose that what I am looking for is something onto which Icould plug one or more, if required, flash drives to record the CDs, and then play them back through my amplifier, as my playback deck now pays a CD. I suppose that this has not yet been invented.
And, oh yes, what do these units do about SACDs? Just record the non-SACD level of a hybrid, and ignore the rest?
I've come to the conclusion that the only way I can get what I want is to rip my CDs on computer, where I can choose decent ripping software and set it to do exactly what I want. And make sure each CD is correctly tagged.
Then I can either stream it to my player, or, as you say, if I had a player that took USB, I could play the music that way. Maybe someone else will recommend a player that will play music files from a USB drive.
Many people these days recommend storing music on a NAS unit. You can then stream it without having to have a PC on. I've seen NAS units that accept USB drives, but as I've not ventured into that area, I can't recommend any particular one. I did notice one called a Vortex Box Appliance (http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/networking-and-wi-fi/network-attached-storage-nas/vortexbox-nas-appliance-710154/review) which rips CDs, but it's expensive and also seems to be complex.
Not easy to know what to buy these days.
I looked at the website for the Vortex unit and found it interesting with, as usual, a few reservations.
One is that I cannot find a dealer in Canada that sells it, or a service facility that could any problems that might arise. I would have to undergo the trouble and expense of shipping it to the UK for servicing.
Another is that they seem a bit vague about playing the stored CDs.
It is too bad that it seems to include only 1 terabyte storage. This would evidently hold about 3,000 CDs, which, for some people, might be a bit tight.
And Vortex, like, it seems everyone else, is silent about storing and playing SACDs.
I believe that Brenanas are just an expensive hard drive particuarly the top of the range one.My parents own one and i think it was a bad purchase we have apple mac laptops already and one windows laptop and i dont see why they could not do. This point is strenthened even when a laptop is not owned as some good purchases would allow one to have a laptop and a whole house fit speaker system at a price of £600 offering a much better quality of music and more fitting for parties etc..... Also then you could stream music of spotify or use your itunes libary which if like ours is already amounteed to a substantial amount of money at 79p a song or £6.00 an album with ease thanks to the use of an AUX cable. This is my opinion and still my parents after many discussions still disagree with the above and maintain it is easear to load CD's on a Brenan than on our laptops..... er NO.
If anyone does decide to buy a Brennan, I notice Richer Sounds are now selling them. I'd advise anyone to buy from RS rather than Brennan, as in my experience the people at Richer Sounds have always been very helpful, whereas I found the people at Brennan not very helpful at all. Only my own experience, of course.
Brennans advertising sinks to new depths in Private Eye 1321 24th August 2012.
'Introducing the World's Very First Super-Dock' - ' The Incredible NEW 2012 JB7 from Brennan'
It's a USB socket. The ad shows a neat little iPod dock but neglects to mention that this is a standard PURE iPod dock and is not supplied with the JB7.
This is illegal advertising - numerous other misleading comments in the ad.
Their website continues this misleading advertising.
As ever the Gramophone editor remains silent - obviously a big cash incentive somewhere down the line.
Avoid this useless piece of kit - Martin Brennan is insulting buyer's intelligence.
Seems to me it's a small step in the right direction for the JB7. One of its big drawbacks has been its lack of network access. If the new dock facility allows users to download music and record it to the JB7's hard drive, that's at least an improvement, from the user's point of view.
I only recently acquired a Brennan JB7 (2012 model, 500GB) at Richer Sounds. So far I'm quite happy with it, it rips my CDs quickly and flawlessly (unless the CD itself has flaws) and it does everything it says on the box. I bought it after having ripped my entire collection to FLAC before, but like so many "collectors" I ended up listening to the actual music less and less. So I wanted a new start on a more modest level, which would encourage me to edit less and to listen more.
What I cannot make to work properly(!) is the USB to HDD upload. I put 35 albums, each clearly identified in the ID3-Tag, on a USB stick and connected it to the Brennan. While it DID import all of them, they all ended up as a SINGLE album called "USB", with tracks "01 - A....", "01 - A..." etc etc. useless. I had to delete them all. Am I doing something wrong or do I have to add USB uploads one by one?
Despite Brennans best efforts to make any simple task difficult, you should be able to do this:
I have a lot of MP3s on my PC what is the best way to get them into JB7 so that they are organised into albums?
You need to use a USB memory stick or a USB drive as a go-between. There are three ways of transferring MP3s from the USB device onto the Brennan.
You need to have each album within its own folder on the USB device.
Good luck - you will need it with a JB7!
Thanks for the reply!
But now I'm having a different issue: When playing back the albums through my headphones output I notice a WHIZZING/WOOSHING sound to come from the tracks (not in stop mode, just play). It does not affect all albums, but many, and increasingly so. What could this be? It occurs once the disc has been ripped, even before compression to 320k. In every case, all the tracks in the affected albums (which were ripped from CDs in perfect condition) have that whizzing sound.
I am afraid that you are probably stuck with this.
Backgound noise has been an ongoing problem with the JB7 for a long time.
Get rid of it and invest in a basic spec laptop, iTunes for free and a Logitech Squeezebox setup to suit you.
You can also use the excellent Libra software to setup multiple iTunes libraries.
Anyone considering whether or not to buy a Brennan may want to check out the latest reviews on Amazon. As one of the reviews states, it's a clumsy and dated concept.
I am surprised that so many people are happy with the brennan given that I thought it was behind the times. I am looking at a vortexbox myself and playing it through a NAIM uniti of some kind- with a decent iPad app you can see what you're playing. But its so difficult to find rebiwes that arent all about what rock music sounds like, as if I care...
Well spotted MusicMusic.
I have been banging on about this useless product for a while.
They are still advertising in the weekend colour supplements with an endorsement from The Gramophone - why is this allowed to continue?
You call it dated, but for so many people to be satisfied with this product, they really must be seeing somthing you guys dont its a niche product, what would a technophobe rather use a simple piece of equipment, or a piece of a equipment that does a million things confusing to use and has a million buttons.......