Thanks to the magic of standards, nearly every computer CD player can also mount and play a standard music CD. Macs that come with a CD installed almost always have the CD wired to the sound circuitry, so that you can listen to a CD while still being able to hear other system sounds. Make sure that the Audio CD Access extension is installed, otherwise your Mac will complain.
Once you pop a music CD in your drive, you may be challenged to recall the title (especially for those of us prone to AM surfing) of the CD, and more likely the title of each song on the CD. But since this info isn't stored on the CD in digital form, you must resort to primitive techniques like reading the CD insert, right?
Never fear! A clever chap named Ti Kan developed a concept called CDDB (CD Database) which assigns a unique ID to each music CD, and introduce a client/server system which can both collect and distribute title and track info based on this unique ID.
NetCD from Toby W. Rush combines a basic Mac CD player with the ability to read from and write to the CDDB database. If you insert a CD that is already part of the database (very likely), you will be shown the artist name and CD title, as well as the title of each track.
The big fun comes in when you insert a CD that CDDB doesn't know about. You will be prompted to enter the artist, CD title and song title information, which will then be submitted to the database. This is an excellent example of the Internet community coming together for a common goal, namely being able to know what is on the CD that is in your drive.
If you do any amount of CD playing on your Mac, you'll enjoy NetCD. You'll be able to navigate among your CD collection with ease, and have a chance to contribute to the CDDB system to keep it current. If this were shareware I'd insist that you buy it right away, but since it is free, a note of thanks to Toby for this contribution to the Mac community is certainly in order.
NetCD Offers Both Snazzy-Looking CD Controls and Title Information
Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.
John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at