Dumb vs Smart


It seems in many ways dumb devices are better than smart devices:

Why? Security, privacy, and quality.

Anything with a network connection can be hacked: smart TV’s, cars, streaming boxes, appliances, routers and every other smart device, or IoT device, …

Forgotten Audio Formats: MP3

The year was 1994.

Music was as popular as ever, with rock bands like Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins, pop artists like Ace of Base and Mariah Carey, and soul artists like Boyz II Men and Janet Jackson selling millions …

Movie Lovers Coalesce The Vapors Around Streaming

It’s not just music lovers realizing that streaming has a long way to go to match physical media.

Film lovers see the same issues:  degraded quality, no extras, no ownership, unknown/ temporary access.

We give up a lot for …

The Problem With Experts Indeed

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Interesting take over on RealHDAudio taking shots at a music producer.

I read and replied to his post but it’s not publishing over there, so here is:


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Timing, timbre, and room sound.
Timing, timbre, and room sound.
Timing, timbre, and …

That iPhone is Outmoded

Shout to Squagles!  Square Bagles!

The iPhone won’t make it to the future.  Sure it’s Apple’s cash cow right now but I see it going away in importance over the next couple of years.

Think about Apple current main product …

Android vs iPhone – behind the scenes

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From the front, the user space, this argument is tired. Both smartphones do whatever you can imagine at this point. Both are amazingly thin and packed full of sensors and features.

Behind the scenes though…. things are very different. Why …

Anti-Audio Tech Sites, Pt. II

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I’m an A&K and I take sound quality very seriously.


To followup on my rant against american tech sites like Ars Technica and how they completely ignore hi-res audio, I found some proof.

Check out Crutchfield, an american stereo catalog …

Humanity Becoming Pixelated

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Oh the humanity of a hand puppet, fake blood, and animal entrails.


The tech takeover is something we’ve been watching for decades now, and with regards to audio production and socializing I get preachy about how much we’ve lost.

Here’s …

The Power of Labels

Degrade -d  

  • treat or regard with contempt or disrespect
  • lower the character or quality of
  • reduce to a lower rank, especially as a punishment

Synonyms: demean, debase, cheapen, devalue, shame, humiliate, mortify, abase, dishonor, dehumanize, brutalize, lossy

 


Original   

  • present

Lossy Is Hurting Us

 

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Summer fun in full resolution: Cedar Point, Ohio looking out over Lake Erie.

 

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If you stream music or buy lossy files, here’s your version of summer fun. Close enough, right?

 

If you own a ponoplayer or another …

The Logical End of Social Media

Tribalism based on opinion and politics. It’s inevitable.

It could abolish the economy. It could crush the democracy. It could trample on the constitution and bill of rights.

woman-holding-flag


30 years ago I was fascinated by the internet and what it …

The Art of Recorded Music

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A canvas. A monitor. A block of clay.

Human imagination is more fertile and expansive than all of them.

Human imagination is where the soundstage of recorded music is rendered.

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Creating sound for a recording takes planning. Even a …

Apple Is Fighting For Our Digital Future

The FBI is doing a criminal investigation on a mass murder committed by americans. Some call it a terrorist attack, some don’t. Either way it’s a high profile case for the Obama justice department.

The couple that committed the crimes …

Streaming’s Shortcomings

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If everyone got their music from streaming?  That’s a big problem.

Streaming…

  1. has no cross promotion with local events or the local economy.
  2. has no cross promotion with local unsigned bands.
  3. has no direct connection back to the artist.

  4. completely

Time for Apple Watch?

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Here’s a nice write-up from someone that has lived with the Apple Watch for half a year. He feels it’s in a similar place as the first iPhone iteration – not essential, highly flawed, yet still leaning into the future …

How To Best Close Up The Internet?

If a President Trump decides we need to “close up the internet in some way” like Candidate Trump wishes, is it even possible?

[Someone not to ask is Sarah Palin. She’s gotta be steaming mad that Trump stole her act.]…

Only Stream If You Also Buy Music

If you stream and don’t buy anything ever, you are hurting us all.

We all do it, or know those that do. Since about 1999 (the early Napster era) the idea of actually paying for your music collection has been …

A Tale Of Two Setups

I was in my new all-analog studio last night with a simple task – dump from the 4-track tape machine to something digital so I could share the tracks just recorded with the artists.


 

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First I needed to do …

Trapping Ignorance

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I’m generally against tracking and monitoring of innocent people, and I support the 1st amendment (and the rest of the amendments, and the constitution) so I’ll probably argue with myself about this one, but….

It would be so easy

Headphones or Speakers

One thing I think is lost during audio debate and discussion these days is whether we are discussing listening on speakers or headphones. I find them to be very different.

Music is very complex vibration. When it is made by …

Social Media?

= listening to music with other humans.

= watching movies with other humans.

= watching television with other humans.

= discussing the news with other humans.

These are social exercises.  Sorry internet, you really aren’t social. You are anti-social in …

We Will See What The Digital Age Has In Store For Us

joe-walsh

Records, record stores, record sales … it’s all gone.

It’s up to the young musicians to try an’ figure it out.

There’s no money in it. There’s no record companies.

It’s free! You can download it. Nobody gets paid, so …

How You Hear Music

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Listening 101

1. Directionality – Where is that sound coming from? Where exactly is that hi-hat sitting in the mix? Is the band in front of me or all around me?

2. Delay/Roomspace – Am I in a large room, …

Dawg Gone Analog

It’s happening. I’ve considered and planned and anticipated this for 15+ years. But always compromised.

I’m going analog at the studio. Direct to tape. Outboard gear. No DAW. No computers needed at all.

The real deal. Why wait any longer?…

Cliff Notes on the Loudness Wars

With master quality HD audio getting into people’s ears and getting more buzz every day, I think its important to look into one of the related issues in recorded music: The Loudness Wars.

It really does get to the core …

The Danger of Perceptual Coding

Perceptual coding is responsible for data loss that is greatly misunderstood and perhaps even dangerous to society.

What is perceptual coding ? It’s a data compression concept used in audio, video, and streaming technologies.

 


 

send-to-zip

ZIP is a lossless

You Are Not Alone

Quality of sound is not a joke. It leads to quality of life and quality of mental state.…

Spotify Wants Your Profile For The Highest Bidder

While Pono makes news with their righteous promise to give you free content upgrades for life, Spotify is making news with an update to their privacy policy that informs the users of their service – particularly the free subscription tier …

Appreciating HD Audio

Good article by Bob O’Donnell posted at Engadget. Engadget is usually anti-audio quality, pushing the standard line of lossy is fine, smartphones are fine, buy new headphones and shut up.  But Bob pushes through with a nice summary of …

It’s Bandwidth, Stupid

Everything digital boils down to bandwidth

  • how much you have
  • how much can you use
  • how fast the data can move through it

Bandwidth comes in several forms. The network connection is the obvious one because we already use …

Bad Advertising

There’s a lot of bad advertising, especially in the consumer tech world. Here’s some tell tale signs of bad marketing:

  1. Insinuating that users of other products are idiots, especially if it’s a wildly popular product
  2. Naming your competition, especially with

Audio Quality & Music Love

…is now a channel on Disqus!  If that’s one of your hangouts online have at it.

https://disqus.com/home/channel/audioqualitymusiclove/

 …

Progress Being Made Towards High Definition Audio

Finally! The recording and music industry is discussing standards and practices for proper high-resolution audio, which will hopefully lay the groundwork for mass acceptance by consumers.

This is 20 years past due. Better late than never.

All of this vibration won't compress to 256k.

All of this vibration

Fix Your Playback

Best Musical Enjoyment = Proper Playback.

Here’s how to fix your music making machines:

  1. Rate the quality and identify the weakest link in your signal chain
  2. Research the prices and ability to upgrade the weak links
  3. Purchase the most sensible

Why Apple Music (or Spotify) Doesn’t Matter Much

There will be no saving the music industry.

There will be no new radio.…

Why Are Tech Sites Anti-Audio?

One side story to my debates about audio quality is how the mainstream tech press – the people who cover gadgets, phones, TV’s, laptops, etc. – always seem to have their head up their asses when it comes to audio …

Tidal Shows The Ghost In The MP3

This is a good start. Here’s Tidal trying to explain simply why MP3 sounds worse than CD quality. They want $20/month the stream CD-quality to you, so they will strongly market against lossy compression.

How great can music sound? from …

Apple’s Upcoming Music Announcement

Will it have anything to do with sound quality?  I doubt it.

Apple likes to roll out new products with slick presentations touting all of the improvements in the product, or how the new product improves upon an existing solution.…

Loudness Wars Research

I’ve really been exploring my music collection lately* and along with the playback quality of the PonoPlayer, I’ve learned some things about the hated concept of “loudness wars”:

 

  1. I can really hear it start up in the early 90’s

Recording Quality Rule Of Thumb

Allow me to speak some truth about the recording arts — the overall quality of music production has been going down since before I started. I’ve done nothing to reverse the trend ;-).

This is due to multiple factors not …

Breathophile

I love air. I really enjoy breathing, and I do it everyday.

It’s what drives me and is perhaps the most important thing in my life.

I don’t want it constricted or contain some odor of unfamiliarity.

Chiang Mai Open Sewer

I won’t accept …

Just For You – Not Too Late To Save Yourself Musically

The more stuff I put on my PonoPlayer, 16/44 and higher, it is sounding so amazing that I’m discovering things in my own CD collection. Things I haven’t heard before!

In some cases it’s parts, instruments, & entire background melodies …

Extended Playlist Mentality

So I prayed on it a bit, and I am starting to like the idea I’m calling “Extended Playlists” to organize my digital music library v2.

The idea is simple – develop several playlists 30-50 songs deep. They can be …

Best Thing Ever

Lofty headline, no?

Music is life. Perhaps we should all play music to each other, that might be a better world.

Instead we developed technology to record the music so we can play it on demand without musicians present.

After …

Rip 2.0

cdstack1

Hello old friends, it’s been awhile

Rip your CD’s again.  Do it right this time.

Most of us went through ripping phases where we created gigs of MP3 files and either traded back in our CD’s or hid them in …

The New Kid On The High Resolution Block – MQA

Well this is getting interesting. British company Meridian has come up with something that goes beyond just a format or delivery mechanism, and also involves lossy compression, yet it still looks like a potential future audio technology we need to …

Lots of Gadgets Are Spying On You


I covered it last week here. Samsung gets called out for their smart TV’s listening and transmitting everything we say to a third party. Very 1984. You might have thought ‘Samsung isn’t the only one doing it’ – and …

The Ghost in the MP3

Excellent work by Ryan letting you hear an approximation of what they are removing from MP3 files when doing “lossy” compression.

This is what the MP3 programmers deem unimportant in your music. You can play the video with it’s own …

The Office of the Future

Many of us don’t “go into the office” anymore. New cubicle farms are not spreading across the land.

 

 

The coffeeshop is the office, the extra bedroom is a command center, or you do your work while mobile through …

Samsung TV is Listening To You


Samsung Warns Smart TV Customers That Personal Conversations Will Be Recorded & Shared 

It sucks being right about this. As soon as the devices are listening to us and watching us at all times, there will be no shred of …

Word of the Day: Provenance

Provenance - Noun : originsourceplace of originbirthplace, fountrootspedigreederivationroot

You hear it on antiques shows and now you hear about it in digital music, and it’s …

Right, Natural, and Real

I’ve been telling you all about my snazzy new music player. And I’ve been fighting the good fight with online math geniuses that claim there is no such thing as hi-res. Here’s another review of the PonoPlayer, along with …

Pure Sound Quality

Quality:

  1. GoodMusic as MP3  =  sounds pretty good – get your jam on!
  2. GoodMusic as 16bit FLAC  or   CD  =  sounds better – damn listen to that bass! – time to dance – pure and clean and timeless
  3. GoodMusic as

Pono In Cars, Coming Soon

Pono and Harman announced they reached a deal to bring the Pono audio goodness into cars, and this could be the mainstream breakthrough Pono needs. The more people that hear it the better because it’s the best marketing possible. Hear …

Hi-Def Storage Space Explained

I did the math for you since there’s some confusion out there about how much space hi-def music takes. Here’s what you can store on 64gb cards:

Remember storage compromised? Mostly gone as 128gb cards are coming soon for <$100. That's over 1000 studio masters on your fingertip.

Remember storage compromises? Mostly gone as 128gb cards are coming soon for <$100.

Youtube’s Version of HD Audio – My Realtime Review

Oh damn, the internet generation strikes back against pono!

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I just fired up my old iPhone 4, hit youtube, searched for flac, found ihearttflac and flacsgreatesthits, and was forced to admit after a day of reflection and jamming on my …

Bring On The Competition

Can’t wait for that Pono?

Can’t handle the power of the triangle?

Here’s the Fiio X1 finally available in the US at around $100, and that ain’t too much to pay for some serious hi-res music playback. Pono’s are gonna …

When You Need To Pick From 36 Million Items

Check out this story about Amazon’s warehouse robots, pretty interesting:

http://www.cnet.com/news/meet-amazons-busiest-employee-the-kiva-robot/

amazon-kiva-robots-donna-7611

Lecture: Quality Sound Matters

Stop listening to internet experts and listen to real experts. Here’s a panel of mastering engineers talking about quality sound and consumer trends. Interesting, informative and correct!

Bonus fun is that they invited a guy from streamer Rdio who has …

Leo Loves Pono

 

High quality mainstream style review of the pono player covering all the issues around modern consumer audio. Good stuff!

 …

Desiderius

“Anyone who looks closely at the inward nature and essence will find that nobody is further from true wisdom than those people with their grand titles, learned bonnets, splendid sashes and bejeweled rings, who profess to be wisdom’s peak.”  –

Praise The Wire


In our rush to modernize and upgrade the conveniences in life we can forgo quality for convenience. Often times the better way gets out-marketed and replaced by the new way, and life goes on.

Wireless digital was the new …

Studio To Stereo

Here’s something really cool – a bunch of people are putting together an interactive event in London that details the process of creating music in the studio and then releasing it to the public, using iconic artists, classic albums, and …

Pre-CD Grandeur

Great write up on a classic opera recording finally being released properly in HD/Hi-Res audio:

Rediscovering Maria Callas in High-Resolution Audio

Internet experts continue to argue and debate about hi-res, but music lovers that consider themselves real listeners (not just …

Taylor Swift verses Streaming

Recently Taylor Swift made news by pulling her latest album from Spotify and other streaming music services. Her statement calls these new services “a grand experiment” and said she doesn’t feel comfortable putting her music into that system as it’s …

How To Spot Internet Pseudo Science

internet-expert

 

In regards to digital audio, there’s a few “tells” in a bad argument:…