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jazzfan
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The iPod and Audiophile - A very worthwhile article.

Here's a link to a very nice article on the ExtremeTech.com web site about the problems of trying to stream lossless encoded music from one's computer to an A/V system. It's well worth the read.

The iPod and the Audiophile

WonkoTheSane
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Re: The iPod and Audiophile - A very worthwhile article.

In all honesty, the idea of a central media storage server really turns me off. Without delving into the simple annoyances of home computing on a network, or the near neccesity of regular hard drive formattings to keep my pc running as clean as possible, the fact of the matter is that I like my music reproduction to be simple. More cables, more circuits, more crap, is my motto. I love my ipod for dog walking and airplane riding and squalling nephew attenuation, but I don't see it as a new source componant for my main stereo.

It could be, it would just take a total bithead and a patch cable, but when I own all the music I can rip lossless on cd or vinyl, why wouldn't I just play the cd or vinyl on my stereo? Although I now want to a/b an ipod with a bithead vs my cd player, I'm pretty sure I already know which source is going to win.

Everytime I think of a media server, my mind jumps to Matt Damon explaining why he couldn't take a job with the NSA in "Good Will hunting." My version goes something like this:

So I ripped all my music to a lossless format, which took five days, and then my computer slowed due to a bad piece of software that intended to bridge the signal gap between my computer and my amplifier, but my girlfriend was playing World of Warcraft, and so the CSO had to pause for hard drive access times, which put me into such a rage that I hurled my computer off the deck, forgetting that my neighbors were having a bar-b-que, and it landed on the propane tank rupturing it and setting the building on fire. Now I'm homeless, since my girlfriend didn't get to finish her game I'm single, and I never got to hear the third movement.

I think I'll stick to having a computer, a tv, and a stereo, none of which talk to each other.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: The iPod and Audiophile - A very worthwhile article.

I have no problem if others want to create the 1 million gigabite music server. That is there right. It is the cd/lp file transfer time I would not waste. I'm 58 and the sand is quickly leaving the hour glass. "The EMTs found him slumped over his external hard drive, the last CD firmly in his grasp. He almost made it! Poor chap. I wonder if the relatives are going to be fighting over his computer or his SME 30?"

I still wonder why 2 or 3 300 or 400 cd music changers run through a BenchMark, Gracd, Lucid, or Apogee DAC would not make more sense. At least time wise it would for me. Use a computer keyboard to input the disc location names and be done with it, but, I have no problem with those who choose that route.

I hate it when I change all the music in my 20 gig U2 IPod and it takes a while with full format files. I leave about 23 hours of music in it for about 2 months and then change it all out. I still get why it was a Stereophile product of the year. It is an amazing device.

bobb
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Re: The iPod and Audiophile - A very worthwhile article.

Wonko,

The use of music servers can be summed up in this way: ease of use and access to music libraries. For me, I have found it to be a killer app given that the sound quality of a good soundcard vs. a CD player is indistinguishable (assuming lossless rips.) Within seconds I can dial up a pleasing multi-hour program of music without having to swap out 2, 3 or 4 CDs. Or, I can just as easily play a single album. The flexibility is nice.

I appreciate your comments about networking and PC crashes. However, I don't have those problems. My music server is pretty much dedicated to just that. I use a Dell notebook to an external soundcard to my system. No interference from networks or other users when the music is playing :-))

Bob

WonkoTheSane
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Re: The iPod and Audiophile - A very worthwhile article.

Bob,
I see your points as to the convenience of having hours of music in a custom designed program, but I just don't have hours to listen, nor can I plan what I will want to listen to for more than one album in advance. I have never seen a music library set up that was easier to use than a play button on a cd player, but I am willing to grant that they do exist. I'm also a jaded techno-nerd, and the thought of a forced firmware upgrade to a soundcard changing the way my music sounds scares the crap out of me. Is this your everyday setup, or do you use a different system for "intense" listening?

I had a couple of questions about your set up. Is your laptop fanless, and if not, doesn't that sound drive you crazy? Second, what software are you using where it is easy to access a large library? I always find my music on itunes gets "lost" and I have to search through thousands of files looking for the right track. And lastly, what kind of sound card are you using? I am thinking my laptop / ipod / grado combo + a headroom headphone amp could be the solution to the number of trips I have scheduled this year, but I am very open to suggestions here. After all, I'm going to be in Flint MI for a week because of business, and good tunes might almost help me enjoy it.

Thanks in advance for your help.

RGibran
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Re: The iPod and Audiophile - A very worthwhile article.


Quote:
The EMTs found him slumped over his external hard drive, the last CD firmly in his grasp. He almost made it! Poor chap. I wonder if the relatives are going to be fighting over his computer or his SME 30?"

I have to go with Jim on this one. The chore of it all is just too daunting. I do it...some...one day I'll get it all on there, but it had better be soon or my wife says that box of CD's is outta here!

Give me a nice rack, eye level, and let me stick my face in there and do the motorboat WHAO, sorry...we were talking about what, oh yea, let me pick em and play em one at a time.

Oh my god, I'm starting to sound like the vinyl contigent.

I spend enough time on this computer, I don't want to mix my favorite pastime, musical enjoyment, with creating some playlist that's boring the very next day.

Yep, I'd rather get up from this machine, go over there and select a nice little diddy, load it in the machine and let the magic begin.

RG

WonkoTheSane
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Re: The iPod and Audiophile - A very worthwhile article.


Quote:
I spend enough time on this computer, I don't want to mix my favorite pastime, musical enjoyment, with creating some playlist that's boring the very next day.

I can hear the arguement with my PC already.

"I wouldn't play that, Wonko"
"I know it isn't GOOD music, but I wanna hear "I yust go nuts at Christmas" by Yogi Yorgeson!"
"I'm sorry Wonko, I'm afraid I can't do that"
"Ok, how about "Ti Kwan Leap / Boot to the Head" by The Frantics?"
"Wonko, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye"
"Hiiii-YAH!"

jazzfan
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Re: The iPod and Audiophile - A very worthwhile article.

Gee guys, I just thought it was an interesting article in that it was coming from the normally quite full of s**t computer side of the fence and even they are having a rather hard time with the so called wonderful world of convergence.

Personally I just don't get what all the fuss is about over having a computer as your central music server. Let's take it from a purely practical standpoint.

I think it would be safe to say that most of us listen to music on your main or "big" rigs while seated in the "sweet spot" facing the speakers and not normally within arms reach of our equipment. I also think it would be safe to say that most of us when using our computers are seated in front of the monitor and within arms reach of the keyboard and mouse. So until they come up with some sort of virtual holographic keyboard, mouse and monitor (or more likely a massive remote control which just eats double A batteries) which can disappear once the music starts I, for one, don't want these things in my way when I'm grooving to Jazz at the Pawn Shop and imagining some Swedish waitress pouring me a vodka.

And besides, iTunes doesn't play vinyl so what is all the fuss about anyway

Hold on a minute I just had a brain flash, if we do end up using computers as music servers and the computers start streaming the music via wireless ethernet connections just think of the possibilities for snake oil and the reviews to follow.

Jazzfan's New Amazing Air Molecule Alignment Device - guaranteed to improve the transmission of ethernet signals within a 500 foot range. Improved transmissions means less errors and less errors means cleaner music! "I could swear I heard the vodka hit the bottom of glass while listening to JATPS!"

RGibran
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Re: The iPod and Audiophile - A very worthwhile article.

I've switched to artificial bait exclusivly, can't stand the smell of that live stuff!

RG

jazzfan
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Re: The iPod and Audiophile - A very worthwhile article.


Quote:
I can hear the arguement with my PC already.

"I wouldn't play that, Wonko"
"I know it isn't GOOD music, but I wanna hear "I yust go nuts at Christmas" by Yogi Yorgeson!"
"I'm sorry Wonko, I'm afraid I can't do that"
"Ok, how about "Ti Kwan Leap / Boot to the Head" by The Frantics?"
"Wonko, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye"
"Hiiii-YAH!"

Wonko, based on the fact that a) you talk to your computer and b) you can actually listen to Yogi Yorgeson (his music just leaves me cold), I've awarded you four stars.

Now if you can just explain to me what rgibran's last post means I'll gladly throw in the fifth star: I've switched to artificial bait exclusivly, can't stand the smell of that live stuff!

WonkoTheSane
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Re: The iPod and Audiophile - A very worthwhile article.

Jazzfan,
I do still have to talk to my computer. I can't afford a new super intel / macintosh laptop yet, but I hear that it will actually have both sides of a conversation for you.
I was thinking though, if a guy DID start to broadcast music over Wi-Fi, on an unprotected ip, filesharing in local areas could explode. Imagine a rock stream flowing over the East Village free for the ripping.
And now that my home internet is up and I have a few spare minutes, I'm off to loot the live music archive you pointed me to. Thanks!

bobb
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Re: The iPod and Audiophile - A very worthwhile article.

Wonko,

My notebook is on the other side of the room and, since playing music does not require much horespower, the fan barely runs. Or so I gather since I can't hear it. My soundcard is an Audigy 2 NX. Not "high end" by some standards, but nice sounding nonetheless. Good for now. If I decided to keep using the PC as a music server I may upgrade.

For now I use Windows Media Player and WMA lossless rips. I looked into EAC and FLAC, but too much trouble for me with plugins, configuring issues and whatnot. It's supposed to be a hobby, not work! It is not difficult to manage my library (about a 1,000 selections at this point, not done ripping just yet.) The interface sorts music by artist, album, genre, composer, etc. That makes management a breeze. Of course, the tags must be correct to make it work.

I should clarify one thing. I find the music server concept to be especially suitable for popular music. When ripping, I can cherry pick the songs I like and ignore the rest. I must say if I am in the mood to listen to a classical piece I am more inclined to pop the CD into the transport as opposed to booting the computer (besides, I have ripped very little of my classical collection at this point. Not sure where I am going with that yet.)

I did not mean to imply my PC will replace my CD player. Since I am just starting out with the music server concept I am not wedded to it. Still feeling my way. Time will tell. Some days I like it, some days I don't. Perhaps my "killer app" comment in my previous post was a bit over the top.

Bob

Jim Tavegia
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Re: The iPod and Audiophile - A very worthwhile article.

Rgibran:
"I've switched to artificial bait exclusivly, can't stand the smell of that live stuff!"

I think this is what my 11 year son, Nick, calls Gummy Worms. MMMMMMM, mighty tasty!

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