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Hmmmm.. tough call. I actually copied my mp3 files over to linux becuase I didn't like digging through directories. (lazy) I don't think that was necessay though. I've never heard of Linux killing NTFS by only reading from it.. Someone correct me here if I'm wrong.
I once got into an arguement with a broadcasting teacher over whether or not mp3/wavs degrade in quality when they get copied from the master track repeatedly... but that's another story....
Edit /etc/fstab, adding your xp partition as read-only, so that it mounts at bootup, then set up your playlist in XMMS or whatever .mp3 player you're using. Once that's done, simply starting XMMS will automatically load and play your playlist(s)...
And, yea, rmartine, .mp3's are digital data files, unless they somehow become corrupted, they will never lose their original quality. That's the beauty of the medium, whether CD, .mp3, etc. they retain their original quality unless you further compress, or in the case of CD's, damage them.
One other suggestion, create a fat32 partition and copy your data from your xp partition to it. I have exactly zero data, including .mp3's, photos, documents, etc. on my xp or linux partitions. I have 2 HDDs, one totally NTFS with a data partition, the second with a backup of the data partition formatted as fat32 which xp and linux can read/write. It serves as a "swap" system as well as a "backup" system. Unless I get struck by lightning, my data should be safe...
yea paneless, that was the idea i had last night. my linux drive is huge, 80 gigs i think, so im just gonnna partition off 20 gigs of it for doing "swapping" as u said. seeems like the best idea b/c im really afraid of coming home one night in a drunken stupor and trying to save some files on my NTFS drive while in in RedHat and destroying all my precious music. Thanks all for the help,