Listening tips for the DVD - Audio format

The Ramayana Audio on DVD features 75 hours of compressed audio on one DVD. This format is ideal for transfer to your computer hard drive, and then optionally uploading to your iPod or other MP3 player. The recorded material on this DVD is in the form of MP3 audio files, so you can also listen to this format on your computer (virtually all computers will play MP3 data files).


1. DVD drive on your computer
2. Four gigabytes of space available on your hard disk

To transfer this DVD to your iPod or other MP3 device, copy the files to your computer hard drive from your DVD drive, and then download to your iPod or MP3 device as you would any other MP3 files. Because of the large amount of material, you may need to download to your MP3 player in sections. Note: Your computer can also play MP3 files directly from the DVD, without copying to your hard disk.

With few exceptions, most living-room DVD video players will not play DVD's with MP3 audio, so you will probably NOT be able to play this on your home entertainment system directly, but there are some exceptions.

A few DVD players that may be able play this DVD audio format include Panasonic DVD-RV31K, Koss DVP2161 Compact DVD with MP3/CD Player, Apex AD-1165, plus many other recent models. Be sure to confirm playback of MP3 from DVD before buying a new player for this purpose. Some DVD players will play MP3, but only from a CD.

DVD Organization

The material on the DVD is organized with a separate track for each chapter (canto) of the Ramayana. Each chapter (MP3 file) is named with the book number (kanda), followed by the chapter's number within that book.

Listener's Guide

The DVD also includes a Listener's Guide in its own file, separate from the audio files. This e-booklet is in PDF format. It presents an annotated guide to the entire contents. You can view it on your computer or print it out for easy reference. The e-booklet is also available on our website on the Listener's Guide page.

Any problems using your DVD?  Please e-mail us at, or call toll-free 1-888-867-4396, international callers: 1-641-472-8697.

Listening Tips for MP3 CD's

The Ramayana audio on MP3 CD's features 75 hours of MP3-compressed audio material on six MP3 CD's. This format is ideal for playback on all MP3-capable CD players. Most recent CD players can play MP3 CD's in addition to conventional audio CD's.

This format is also suitable for transfer to your computer hard drive using your computer's CD drive. You may also download the content of the CDs to your iPod or MP3 player. Of course you can also listen to this format on your computer. Virtually all computers today will play MP3 audio files.

Don't have an MP3 CD player? MP3 CD players are now very inexpensive and are a readily available commodity (for $25 to $50) from various sources, including Wal-Mart, Best Buy, J & R Audio to name just a few.

Any problems using your CDs?  Please e-mail us at, or call toll-free 1-888-867-4396, international callers: 1-641-472-8697.

Listening To MP3 CDs In Your Car

Most recent car CD players can play MP3 files. If yours cannot, you will have to connect your portable MP3-Capable CD player to your car audio system.

There are two ways to connect:
1. Purchase a "cassette adapter," which looks like cassette with a cable and miniplug attached. The adapter is inserted into the car's tape player, and the cable is plugged into the headphone jack on your portable MP3 player.
2. Purchase a "FM wireless adapter," which also plugs into the headphone jack on your MP3 player. The wireless adapter connects to your vehicle's sound system through the automobile radio.

Both adapters are available from retail outlets like Radio Shack, as well as car audio dealers.

Audiophile Notes

The original Ramayana audio production was recorded to audiophile standards using an all analog process. The masters were recorded on a Nakamichi DR-10 deck using minimal lengths of premium cable and a battery-powered mike and preamp custom-built by Tim Britton of Pied Piper Productions. No signal processing of any kind was used during recording. During mastering for duplication, only an absolute minimum of processing was used (selective compression) and the signal was never put through a mixing board. This "purist" approach richly captures the natural subtlety of a sacred text such as the Ramayana.

The original analog recordings were re-mastered to digital in Sony Sound Forge with MP3 compression by LAME. Instead of CBR (Constant Bit Rate) encoding, VBR (Variable Bit Rate) was used, yielding a much higher-quality sound without significantly increasing file size. The material was compressed at a 14:1 ratio, which typically would correspond to a medium quality
sample rate (96 kb/s), but with VBR the effective sample rate is comparable to 256 kb/s or better (very close to CD quality).

Digital re-mastering by Allen Cobb of Timbre Productions.

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