this is what I often ask WHY you are attempting to do a specific task
when someone says WHAT they are trying to accomplish.
Often people get fixated on the specific method they are employing
(that they are having a problem) without considering "detours" of methodology:)
You want to "preserve" audio books, preserving them as "wav" is, as you agree, wasteful.
It all SOUNDS far more complicated than it actually is.
My neighbor is an electrical engineer (power oriented) for a metals refining company and while very computer literate in regards to word processing was not exactly "up" on playing with audio files.
the program of education took all of an hour (in two sessions) with copies of the correct (free) software.
I use WMP9.0 for home playback, but only because of it's ability to organize mp3 tracks based on the exsisting metadate (the id3 tags)
OR with data that's manually edited with WMP.
I can play by the "rating" I've given a particular song, by artist, album, Genre or even by which tracks I have chosen to play at a particular time of day in the past.... it's actually kinda neat...
I use WMP9.0 (instead of 10.0 or 11.0) because I'm still operating on a Win2000 system. (P4 2.4 computer)
My process for creating mp3's is:
Step 1: I use EAC to "rip" the track from the disc to my HDD as
Step 2: I create a compressed mp3 file with the "free" trial version of a commercial program NCH's "SwitchSound"
Step 3: Edit/add id3 tags witha program called TagScanner (fre downloadable)
Only then do I have WMP "search" the specific directory where I have placed the files in question.
ALL the files my WMP can play are located on my F drive as that drive ONLY contains mp3's for playback on my computer.
I actually do all my Ripping, compressed file creation and tag editing
on a small (20gig) drive because that drive defragments fairly quickly after I have created the compressed files, copied them to the proper "archive" drive, either archived the wav files or deleted them
and generally deleted the no longer needed files on that "Scratch pad" drive.
Organizing by directory "Tree structure" isn't at all difficult nor complicated.
For example if you want to stors the AC/DC song "Hells Bells"
You'd first have a directory called "Music", either as a "root directory"
(to shorten the path) or as part of "My Documents"
Next you might want to seperate your wav files from your mp3's
Personally I also seperate my mp3's by bitrate
So let's assume that you do too and you have a 320kBitSec mp3 file
so the file path would be:
D:\Music\mp3 320k\AC-DC\Back In Black\01 Hells Bells.mp3
It's not at all a complicated method.
My issue with using WMP to create mp3's or even to create/edit mp3 tags is because WMP doesn't use the best compression algorythm (LAME) offers fewer choices of compression rate, is "compromised" because of microsoft's penchant for bowing to the idol of "Digtal Rights Management" (if they didn't create it in the first place)
And finally because WMP will edit some id3 information the FIRST time you change it, but if you make a mistake and change that info through WMP the displayed info within WMP changes but the actual embedded information in the file's id3 tag DOES NOT ACTUALLY CHANGE".
Add to this the fact that I have never actually gotten WMP to create the title in an id3 tag....
Funny thing is if you have a file that WMP has already "searched for" and plays and you then edit the tag info and play it again with WMP
the SOME of that alered information will change when that particular file is played again.... other items will NOT display different until you edit them within WMP.
Another "odd" thing that WMP does if it "knows" a file and you remove it from one hard drive and move it to another,WMP will
STILL play that file and change the file adress in WMP to reflect the correct adress... WMP actually puts it's own identifying "Tag"
on every file it plays... your wmp KNOWS what you have....
I find this slightly disturbing.... but again, it's utility on playback makes this a minor point.
I still use WMP, but... it bothers me that I can move and HIDE a file on another drive and it still finds it...