The Ads really got to me (see prior post). So, after an update with a bad UI, I moved my blog. I really didn’t WANT to host it myself, but if you want something done right…
Anyway, I’ll see anyone that cares to follow me at my ad-free blog http://blog.noivad.net/ now with slick push notifications! :) Oh, and if you care, I’ll soon have another media outlet, but it will be focusing on a different realm that I have written a bit about here and there. I would announce it now, but we are still setting everything up and I do not want to jinx it. I will say that we are reviving a production I did about 15 years ago that I greatly enjoyed working on. But perhaps I have said too much already?
Thanks for reading.
I got a ton of flack from people on Ars when I commented that CD quality audio lost a lot of information that greatly affected a listener’s perception, and MP3 and other compressed audio formats simply made a bad situation worse.
I over-simplified my argument to keep it approachable, and had some wannabe audio experts quoting the Shannon-Nyquist theorem. They must have read ahead or did not understand the geek-speak for what needs to be true for the theorem to be valid. I figure they didn’t even read the prerequisites needed, and do not understand music enough to know that pretty much no music falls into the prerequisite category — having a constant frequency.
Apparently, Neil Young agrees. I was unaware that his hatred of MP3s is probably greater than mine until he announced Pono. Young has been on the road showing off and evangelizing better quality audio. There has been a lot of buzz about it — not just because he is such an iconic figure in music, but because the 3 big music companies (Warner, Sony and Universal) will sign up to support the better quality format.
In my post: 44kHz is not enough. I decided that a good compromise between file size and quality would be 24bit, 128kHz. But Young has decided that the studio quality digital audio woule be supported which is typically 192kHz/32bit. (Apple’s ALAC actually supports up to twice the sample rate, but it is probably future-proofing the format.) My hope is that this will not be yet another failed better quality audio format. The reasoning is two-fold:
- I want higher quality audio than what is currently available.
- I want the influx of bandwidth consumption to wake up consumers, and have them apply pressure to the communications companies* to increase speeds so that even a slow connection could stream 1–2MB/s.
See http://techland.time.com/2012/10/01/pono-neil-young/ for an article and video of Young and Letterman talking about Pono. So all in all, this is good news.
Update: I have since found bandcamp for the lossless CD quality audio, which will have to do until more albums from artists I follow are available on HDtracks.
*The telecoms monopolized our internet access landscape about a decade ago, after G.W. Bush overturned the laws that prevented de-facto monopolies. The laws that were repealed forced the telecoms to open up their lines (the cost of installation was funded by the government in many cases) thereby flattening the bandwidth speed increase curve. This lead to many smaller ISPs dying and fewer jobs in every region of the country. In turn, since there was little to no real competition, there was little-to-no incentive to increase internet speeds. The same 6Mbps connection has been offered for $40 or more the last half decade. But that is another topic.
Tagalicious is great, but Gracenote is hit-and-miss though.
So, the last few weeks, in my spare time between installing a new WiFi system and reading up on various programming techniques and best practices, I have been re-ripping all my hundreds CDs into lossless because I finally have the space on my laptop. I am not sure how many CDs and LPs I have, but I would estimate between 600 and 800 CDs alone. This means that the upper limit of my CD collection would be 560GB uncompressed (assuming 800 CDs completely filled with 700MB of music each). I think the actual number will only be around 200GB though after accounting for compression which usually squeeze things into a third of the space, if you add in about ~60GB worth of Vinyl digitized. But I am not going to write about the numbers, since those are just enjoyable for statisticians and math geniuses and algorithmic fun. I might post the final stats for fun, and do something with the data.
No, instead I want to talk about the meta data my computer has been pulling down from Gracenote’s CDDB. Initially, when CDDB came to life I had to submit the CD names and track info to it more often than now. But I took the time, knowing it would help someone else out later. But as time went on more people used the service and less cared about the quality of submissions. So, I noticed I had to correct more errors.
If one is only ripping one or two CDs at a time, corrections are fast and simple. But when one is literally ripping hundreds of CDs these small errors add up to a lot of time and frustration—especially when I noticed the old tags on my MP3s and the AAC files were conflicting with CDDB’s tags, and my original tags were more accurate than the new tags CDDB suggested. So, I have continually had to correct quite a few things in order to have iTunes smoothly replace the lossy files while keeping the good metadata, including my star ratings and hard to find album covers. So, I now present to you my list of grievances with CDDB and people who submit info to it.