01 March 2006

A spoiled audiophile wines

I like the sound from LP’s better than from CD’s, and I have a large square black block of amplifier in a prime position of my living room. Speakers pose as furniture and their placement takes president over chairs and the artwork on the walls. This, just to set the stage for the commentary that follows here.

I have been searching the web for any sort of technical discussion of file formats for iPod music storage and computer based music fidelity. Maybe I have not looked hard enough or in the right places, but I have found very little.

I do know that having ripped nearly my entire music library to hard drive in Apples Lossless Encoding or AIFF format. They are captured via the standard drive on my Dual G5. They are transmitted via the network to the wireless network to the nice stereo downstairs. And, the quality is sub par. I can only conclude that there is some degradation via compression somewhere along the way. I am not an electrical engineer, an audio engineer or a computer hardware or software engineer. In fact, I am not an engineer at all (be thankful of this – I am barely tolerable as it is.)

My grand plan to cash in all my old CD’s now lies in ruins. I can’t stand the degradation and I suppose I will spend sleepless hours on weekends looking for the solution. The Wall Street Journal today discusses the new notion that people are settling for lower quality sound. I’d like to ask them, “where have you been?” Have you ridden in an American car in the last 20 years, been to a TGIFridays, or nearly any church or public auditorium. Sound QUALITY has rarely been anything but a low priority.

The new announcement of Apple’s audio box thing (is it even stereo?) is a measured step to capture more of the available dollars spent in the living room. We all know folks that have spent hundred for a plastic BOSE box that sounds like a radio stuck in a desk drawer. Do not expect excellence from Apple at every step unless of course, you are noting their ability to generate hype.