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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

03.14.2002

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get into the groove how to plan party music to get your guests dancing 1 2 3 4 5
continued from page 1

planning the music
Good party music provides plenty of variety Ė thereís little more boring than listening to the same three bands on repeat for the entire duration of a party. Compilation CDs are an easy way to get a mix of artists, but personally, I have yet to find a compilation on which every single song on the album is actually listenable. To avoid having to constantly hit the skip button on your CD player come party-time, make yourself some good party music mixes instead.

CD mixes are best, if you can get your hands on a CD-burner, since thatíll let you throw a handful of discs into your disc changer at the beginning of the party and not worry about musical matters for quite a few hours. (Naturally, you can go low-tech with good old-fashioned tapes if thatís your only option). Most CD burners will come with some basic software, like Adaptec Easy CD Creator, to let you make audio CDs. One thing to be aware of is that if you want to be able to play the CDs on your CD player, youíll need to convert any songs you might have on mp3 into wav format (you can do this easily in Winamp, and there are many other mp3 rippers available out there as well).

Look through your own CDs, borrow CDs from your buddies, scour your internet music source of choice for inspiration. I generally make a list of songs that I think will work, then assemble the audio files on my computer so that I can shuffle songs around, play with order, and listen to the whole mix before actually committing it to disc. To get a song off a CD and onto your computer, youíll need some sort of ripper software Ė I use MusicMatch Jukebox, but you can find a whole bevy of options at mp3.com. Generally, this software will let you create an mp3 of the song to store on your computer. Youíll still need to convert the mp3s to wavs before burning your CDs, but since wav files are absolutely gargantuan in comparison to mp3s, I never convert to wav until I know exactly which songs I want for my mix and am ready to start recording. (Some programs will let you make the wav files directly from your audio CD, but like I said, I prefer to take the intermediate mp3 step so that Iím not cluttering up my rather small hard drive too much.)

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