• Can you recommend a good USB drive for backup?

I bought a Western Digital WD Elements 500G drive on 30th June from Currys for £59 and it worked straight out of the box.

Every 3.5" USB drive we have bought on the High Street has worked when tested - although a Philips drive required formatting with FAT32.

Avoid 2.5" drives unless they have their own power supply because they need too much current from the USB port. One USB drive purchased on the internet used an unbranded drive enclosure and did not operate at 12Mbits so didn't work.

  • Can you search for an artist or composer?

Yes - by convention the artist or composer is appended to the album name (or to the track name for compilations of various artists). So for instance if you use the Search Albums function and search for "beet" you will find all albums with Beethoven in the name.

  • Can you feed JB7 into an amplifier?

Yes - about half our customers use JB7 with an existing amplifier. You can either use the JB7 line-out or the headphone out. (Both use 3.5mm stereo jack connectors.) The advantage with using the headphone out is that JB7 detects the headphone is being used and turns off the internal power amplifier. Also the main control can be used to adjust the volume of the headphone out - the line out has a fixed level.

The JB7 power amps are happy to run without any speakers connected.

  •  Can you update the album database?

We update the album database quarterly and you can order a copy on CD from us. Update the database from the settings menu. You are free to share the database with other JB7 owners.

Any CDs that you loaded but weren't found in the old database can be looked up in the new database. Use relabel in the album menu. 

  • Does JB7 have a WiFi connection?

No - JB7 doesn't have a network connection. If you have a lot of MP3s from the internet JB7 will play them from your favourite MP3 player. Or you could transfer the MP3s to a USB hard drive where JB7 can play them. Finally you can load them into JB7 from the USB hard drive so you have an additional copy of the MP3s for safe keeping. 

  • Why do you need to update the album database?

If you bought JB7 today then it would know about almost all the CDs published before 1st Jan 2008. So if you inserted a popular CD that was published in December 2007 then JB7 would almost certainly know the album and track names. (Its hard to believe but this information is not actually stored on the CD). 

If a band like the Hoosiers was to release a new CD next week and you bought the CD then JB7 would not recognize it. You would then have to give the album a temporary name – say “Hoosiers” – when you load it onto JB7.

In a few months you could purchase the latest album database CD from us and load it onto JB7.

You can then use JB7 to re-label this album from the new album database. Its in the manual - but you select the Hoosiers album either by scrolling through the albums or doing a text search then select “Re-label Album” from the menu. JB7 will then rename the album and all the tracks from the newly loaded database.

If you have a large pre-existing CD collection and its not growing that fast then you may never choose to update the album database. If there are particular tracks on new CDs that you want to find easily then you can edit the name on an individual track.

  • I heard that your product supports lossless storage but I cannot find anything on the website.

JB7 is about convenience and accessibility so we tend not to focus on compression types and bit rates – I design the low level software that deals with inverse cosine transforms, Huffman codes, psycho acoustic masking and all that kind of stuff but when I listen to music I don’t want to deal with all that – I just want my music easy to get to. 

JB7 uses MP3 compression so it can fit more CDs on a hard disk – but MP3 is a lossy compression technique and must result in a loss of quality. For some people and/or for some music this is undesireable so JB7 provides the option to enable/disable MP3 compression on a CD by CD basis.

This is lossless storage of the original CD but it is not compressed so it is there is no lossless compression format like FLAC involved.

We do have a simple in-house high speed lossless compression algorithm that provides a modest level of lossless compression that can be performed on-the-fly as CDs are loaded. We decided against using it in this product because it wouldn't  deliver any real benefit to the majority of our customers.

  • I have a lot of MP3s on my PC what is the best way to get them into JB7 so that they are organised into albums?

If you drag and drop the MP3s onto a USB drive and use the same directory structure that JB7 uses to backup - then you can "restore" the MP3 files from the USB drive into JB7 and the MP3s will all be arranged in the right albums.

"Restore music" is a menu option in the "USB functions" menu on JB7.

Basically the MP3 tracks are stored as files in subdirectories corresponding to their albums. The MP3 filename will become the track name and the subdirectory name will become the album name when they have been restored into JB7.

All the albums should be stored in the subdirectory hardfimusic so that JB7 can find them. A good idea is to to use the JB7 backup command to backup some tracks to the USB drive. Then take a look at the directory structure on the USB drive.

  • Please can you tell me if the Brennan JB7 supports Windows Media Audio (wma) format audio files?  I've got tons of files in that format.

JB7 doesn't play WMA but a customer in a similar position recommended using a program called Switch to batch convert the files to MP3. Once you have them in MP3 copy them to a USB drive/memory and plug that into JB7. You can download Switch here.




  • How many CD's can you store at the various bitrates and what about lossless or uncompressed?

               40G     80G     160G

128k        600    1200     2500

192k        400     800      1600

320k        250     500      1000

Lossless     50     105       210

N.B. 192k is the default setting - normal compression. 


  • How do I format a USB drive to use FAT32?

Windows will not format with FAT32 if a USB drive is bigger than a certain size. JB7 needs FAT32 to work so we use a free utility program called Swissknife to to re-format USB drives. You can download Swissknife here.


  • Can I have a copy of the instruction booklet?

Instruction booklet download


  • Do you export?

Yes we have exported JB7 to lots of countries as far away as Australia. We do not export loudspeakers because it is not economical to fly them. Delivery usually takes two or three working days. We do not have mains plugs for countries other than the UK but the AC adaptor is universal and has a detachable lead with a small figure eight connector.

The e-shop needs to be redesigned for variable delivery charges - until then the delivery charge for outside UK must be paid for as a second purchase. At the bottom of the e-shop there is one button for European delivery and a second button for the rest of the world.