A big selling point of the Shinco range is their ability to play mp3 files. However Shinco's manual only explains how to navigate around an mp3 CD and how to play the tracks, but not how to create such discs.
There are a few points that you should be aware of:
- CD's must be ISO Level 1 (NOT Level 2), and can have secondary volume description using Joilet (but the Shinco will not read the additional information).
- If you use Joilet, the 8.3 filenames will be determined according to the way your mastering software handles conversion. [Nero converts any symbols/spaces to underscores, and truncates when it reaches the 8th character, so "01 - Track One.mp3" will be "01___TRA.MP3"... not that helpful!]
- Tracks are identified by their 8 character filename, and not by either their Joilet extended filename or ID3 tags. The player recognises all numbers/letters, but not symbols - underscores are displayed as O's!
- The CD label can be anything you want (keeping within ISO level 1) - the players don't read it.
- The mp3 files can be in the root, directories or both - it doesn't matter.
- Files are arranged by filename numerically, then alphabetically, so if you want an album to play in the correct order it's probably best to put all the files in a folder and give the tracks numerical filenames
- Both CBR and VBR mp3 files are supported in a multitude of bit-rates [CBR: 48-320kbs, VBR: 112-192kbs]
- You can put non-.mp3 files on the discs, so you can put .m3u playlist files and cover .jpgs on the disc - they will just be ignored.
- The last 0.5s is cut off the end of a small number of mp3s with certain firmware versions.
- Multisession compatible?.. I haven't tested this yet.
- I strongly advise that you use track at once (TAO) recording, rather than disc at once (DAO) because Shinco's seem to read discs recorded in TAO mode much better.
Many of the limitations / problems with MP3 playback can probably be resolved with a firmware upgrade from Shinco - whether they decide to include such fixes in future firmware remains to be seen.