Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by gentlejax, Apr 18, 2017 at 5:20 PM.
Will you be scouring the thrift stores to re-buy them in 20 years? ;-)
Probably will. Then transferring them to said servers, again, to listen to them for another 20 years. Rinse, repeat!!!
All these streaming services and 95% of the music they offer doesn't sound as good as the CD's. American listeners are trading convenience for quality. But that's nothing new. Remember 8 tracks and 1/4 track cartridge players. For me cassettes fell into the convenience group, too. As much as we cried when CD's were first introduced about distortion and quality, the format did improve. SACD came along and I was hoping DVD-A would be the final solution, but alas American listeners chose convenience again. I have only thrown out 4 or 5 CD's over the years since 1983, and that was because they were damaged either by others mishandling or my own clumsiness. Then there are other issues. I have some CD reissue of LP's that are terrible for the most part. I can dub an LP to to CD and except for a little hiss and an occasional click the resulting CD will sound much better than a studio reissue. And some of the stuff on the streaming services is just as bad as poor LP reissues.. So I look for quality first. Right now I'm frustrade because the President's own Marine band is going to release every Sousa march ever written in concert. Why would I be frustrated? It is because they chose the MP3 format for the free release.
Remember, without that physical media, you are just one electromagnetic pulse away from losing it all. An EMP will not harm your vinyl or CD.
There is this long standing concept in the world of computer technology called a backup. It is an identical, offline copy of the original data. Back in the 70s, the most common media used was tape, but today hard drives, USB flash drives and cloud storage are all used. I think you'll find that to be a common practice in the world of data processing.
Since it is so inexpensive, I maintain about eight backup copies of my digital library, some of which are offsite.
Unless of course you use Tidal High Fidelity which is CD quality FLAC.
Broadly speaking there are three different approaches:
1. Use your existing universal Blu Ray player such as an Oppo to play directly from a USB flash drive.
2. Use your computer's sound card to drive the amplifier directly or a digital out to feed a DAC attached to your amplifier.
3. Use a separate renderer like a Squeezebox Touch, Raspberry Pi, microRendu, Sonos Connect, etc.
Actually, I do all three although option #1 is rarely used. For around $120, you can assemble a Raspberry PI computer and connect it to your network via standard ethernet or Wi-Fi to a computer that stores the library. The latter is my preferred approach since it allows common access from about six different players to the same source without having to duplicate anything.
They are more than good enough for background-music type listening. And its a great low-effort way to discover new music (a foreign concept to many on AK but believe it or not there is such a thing).
As far as the MP3 release - what did you expect? High bitrate MP3 is just fine anyway.
I listen to CD quality FLAC or better. I even have DSF files. I spent about 100 bucks for a small PC, not a rasberry Pi, but a 64 bit Intel compliant PC and I loaded Daphile on it. Daphile is a small Linux compliant OS which uses LMS to play audio files. It is a headless system.
Could you please explain the advantage of this setup? Very interesting.
Well, Daphile is a small footprint system. It can run on ANY Intel/AMD X-86 system. It takes about 500K of memory and has one of the best SQ I have heard from any OS using LMS. I can play any file even DSD, if the DAC can decode the,. Since the OS is based on Linux, it doesn't need any drivers loaded. Even better the OS is free and it can be booted from a USB stick. If you boot your computer from the USB, it will not overwrite anything but run from memory.
I have the Daphile computer plugged into my home network. It has an IP and I can control it from a PC, using a web browser OR I can use any of the Android/iPad apps that are out there. So far I have close to 22K songs and it has no problem dealing with that many songs. Some do, ROON has a max of 30K.
Hell, I'm still collecting records.
But, I do use my iPhone into a MONITOR, or AUX into a vintage receiver with a 1/8" stereo male to RCA cable. It sounds pretty darn good IMHO. Usually using iHeart, so I imagine any streaming service would be as good in audio terms.
ChromeCast looks pretty interesting, too, as dose a dedicated music server, but I have a lot more research to do before I jump into that pool.
I went down this road recently, ironically to an adcom GTP 500. I started by considering a basic device, found myself looking at a device with a dac the audio engine product at about $189, then to a separate dac connected to a dedicated laptop. After realizing I did not know enough about dac nor wishing to spend, I chose an Esinkin Bluetooth streamer from amazon for $22. First I must say that within the 20 foot area I am using it I have never had any drop out of signal or music stoppage so that's a good thing. I compared the streaming to a cd and the cd definitely sounds better. But as an amazon unlimited user with just about everything in the world available to me I will be chasing the dragon shortly. The Esinkin is definitely a gateway drug. And as many people here stated it is convenient.
As I learn more the future will be to include a dac in this process, maybe try the airport or audio engine or go the full route when money permits.
In the meantime though, the Esinkin and the extra pair of audio quest cables I hooked up is a great start. Tis current set up will never replace my CDs but while I can tell the difference, my girlfriend, kids and dog can't. Neither would the casual listener. And at $22 it certainly is not a waste of money when I upgrade.
Ok I hear this all the time but I just have to ask.
How can ripping from a CD, regardless of how it's done, result in quality better than the source (CD).
I just don't get it......
In truth the ripping process can't have greater quality than what was put into the CD when it was made. At best it can be a 100% accurate copy.
What happens is that the rip is then fed thru software, a different DAC, and possibly other devices to be played. That results in a maybe better, but definitely different, sound.
Also, many on this site, use older CD players which while fine, but are not the same as newer DAC's. Many older DACs sound sterile and lifeless compared to newer DAC's. The other thing is, it is a great backup for CD's, in case they have problems with the medium (separation, etc).
Perhaps what he refers to is the ability to also play higher resolution downloads as I do. My digital library includes a mix of a few MP3s (where content isn't available any better), CD rips and quite a few 24/96, 24/176 and 24/192 downloads.
Computer based renderers aren't limited to a single format.
I agree that it is easier to access recordings off an organized digital library. But please don't toss the source material. One day, you just might think it's a lot more fun to spin the discs on a beautiful old CD machine you found at a thrift shop. The hardware has its charms, too. Besides, we really don't know what the automatic online upgrades of the future will do to our access to what we suppose to be our files. I've already begun to see some horror stories in that regard.
Completely unlikely in my case.
I have every confidence that WAV, AIFF and FLAC players will continue to be available, regardless of any OS changes. Horror stories? What I find is a greatly increased number of playback platforms, not fewer.
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