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Having read Ars' review of the Pono player (answer: not a bad player, but with distinct flaws, and 24-bit audio is pointless for distribution), I was curious to find out what the reality is with regard to good quality lossy encoding, versus plain CD quality. And lo, the same guy had indeed run such a test. (Interestingly, in both tests, respondents were 98% male) Here, the sample sets were FLAC, and an encoding similar to 320kbps MP3 - so as not to reveal lame's usual low-pass filter in a spectrographic examination, they were encoded to 350kbps, with the filter disabled; the methodology is described in detail in the article. The results are interesting. ^_^

I'll likely be trimming the friends list a bit in September, removing dead accounts. If you're around, but haven't updated in a while, wave a paw, and I promise not to badger you too much about updating. =:)

It's not really a track for me, but the video for Le1f's "Koi" is some appealingly odd eye candy. ^_^

Oo, that turned out particularly well! First, two portobellini mushrooms, sliced up, a few halved cherry tomatoes, and some finely diced lean beef, a good sprinkle of fish sauce, plenty of freshly ground pepper, and a tiny spot of hot smoked paprika. A little later on, some sliced asparagus, and a carrot chopped into halved discs, some garlic paste, some oyster sauce, a little basil, a good bit of chipotle paste, and a teeny bit of Dijon mustard. All that, on a bed of pilaf rice. =:9

I think I'll suggest friends as folk you might consider as worth looking into following. ^_^ Probably only one or two at a time, now and then.

I do apologise for linking to BuzzFeed, but, there is all too realistic amusement to be found in their 21 Pictures That Are Way Too Real For Every Introvert. ^_^; 9 and 10, very, very much so. Thankfully, about the only person I use the phone for is my mother, who remains completely off the web, despite my best efforts. =:/

Up at the University of Manchester, one project's looking at a particularly large array of processors, toward furthering our understanding of how brains actually work - the SpiNNaker machine. From a tech perspective, it's rather cool stuff. Each card holds 48 processors, each being 18-core (864 per card), and they can stuff 21 cards into a (tall) 19" rack case, for 18,144 cores per case, with five cases per rack. They currently have one rack fully populated, with another nine to come. Despite the high number of cores, consumption remains relatively modest - as noted on the architecture page, the entire system will consume around 90kW for about one million cores. That's 90W for 1,000 cores, or 90mW each, including seven terabytes of RAM. =:D And for additional geek bonus points, the video stars Professor Steve Furber, one of the principal designers of the BBC Micro and later, the processor they developed for Acorn's Archimedes next generation computer, the Acorn RISC Machine, aka ARM. =:)

It's a ridiculously long shot, but has anyone read Lore of Leporine? "This fantastically sublime heroic fantasy novel follows one especially sly and candid rabbit hero after he awakens from a fourteen-month coma. It is then he realizes that the world has changed forever. As Perduxi Warren, a contentious group of rebel rabbits led by Queen Scela, holds him captive without cause or provocation, he learns that humans have been wiped out and intellectually mutated rabbits rule the earth. It is further unveiled to him that he is the key to an insidious plot that threatens to wipeout his own species."

A fun competition (UK residents only): Dream It, Do It, offered by Expedia and Marriott, with the winner receiving flights up to $2500 and accommodation up to $1000 for themselves and a guest, to your choice of seventy destinations around the world. ^_^ I'd recommend scrolling down the list completely first, so you get to see all available, before making your selections. It's possible to remove choices made, though, so it's not critical.

kfops might find this woodworking project handy, when the newcomer's grown a little. ^_^ (It starts about 1/3 down the page, with the design profile in pencil. It's shown here, completed)

And here's a bun from the other day, carefully grooming themselves, whilst also keeping an eye on me. I am delighted to be considered unthreatening. ^_^

 
 
 
 
 
 
Re: 24 bit audio etc., xiphmont's got an interesting write-up here, too.
Yay, notifications are working again! For the last couple entries, I've been having to manually check the entries themselves - LJ wasn't saying anything about comments on my entries, though it was fine about replies to comments I left elsewhere. =:/

Yep! That's another I read through, in the course of reading up on real testing on the matter. As folk keep saying, by far the more important aspects are (a) what you're listening to the music with (in my case, a pair of Sennheiser HD25-1 II - not expensive, but with audio quality on a par with some much more prestigious models. They're not noise isolating as such, but they manage to keep enough of the outside world at bay to make them a good choice for enjoying music or films on the bus or train), and (b) the mastering of the track. I've got a rip from one of the CD releases of the Tron Legacy soundtrack, which is pretty good, but there are some places where it falls a bit short, versus the rip I found someone had made of a vinyl release. It's not a huge difference, but there's one track in particular where it's quite a bit better, able to keep the clarity of the orchestra nicely separate from the increasingly bitcrushed synth.

Oo, he's got an active LJ? Cool beans! Might have to add him (assuming the gendering's correct), though he might recoil at all the proprietary stuff I've been involved with. =:) (But I did decline to proceed further with one position's interviewing - a little later on, it emerged they were the bunch responsible for the infamous Sony rootkit. That would've been fun to have on the resume.. =:P)
Yeah, decent cans make a big difference. Though if they're very good, sometimes they have the unfortunate tendency of exposing errors that the producer didn't notice, especially with amateur/fan products. It's spoiled more than one pony track for me; or, well, perhaps not so much spoiled, but made little imperfections stand out that I otherwise wouldn't have picked up on.

ut I did decline to proceed further with one position's interviewing - a little later on, it emerged they were the bunch responsible for the infamous Sony rootkit. That would've been fun to have on the resume.

Well, at least you can put it on your resume that you declined to pursue that position! :)
I often rip CD's and You Tube tracks to a LAME MP3 format. Intersting article BTW.

Edited at 2015-08-29 07:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, absolutely! I've bought CDs in recent years, which go straight into the library, either as ALAC or 256k AAC. The CDs, meanwhile, occupy space. Which I'll grudgingly accept in special cases, like the signed DVD from all of the Studio Killers (way too cool =:), or Hazel O'Connor. I just don't stay in one place all that long, so accumulating stuff is a burden. (And even if I didn't, the associated link comes to mind..)

Do you tend to listen to music from CDs, or off the local network?
When i pick up up a new CD i first listen to it on the hi fi and then rip it to the PC. Most of the CD's i store away or if it is one where i just lie a few tracks i sell it again. Most of my listening is via the OC with headphones on or stream it via Spotify or other sites. I have started using the local network to stream music to the connected TV which has a five speaker sound system.
Ahh, multi-channel! Now there's something I'm still perplexed so very few musicians and DJs take advantage of. Surround sound makes such a huge difference in watching films - so it can also with music! I need to dig up my copy of The Altogether (or, TBH, download it =:) and see how it is in full 5.1, not just stereo.

Yet, even now, studios seem to have a terrible time accepting that, ultimately, people tend to support the music they like (other than just letting it drift past in an "ad-supported" stream).

I still wish I could find some trace of The Tanukis, out of Colorado (Boulder?) - I have an excellent CD single from them, and they simply don't seem to exist anywhere. Such passion, such energy! Ah, I must get my personal site back up sometime, so I can share oddities like that.
Music in full 5-1 stereo is just fantastic. Cousin is listening to Metallica live from Reading at the moment and i can hear it upstairs as well. Thank goodness we have accommodating neighbours!
*waves a paw* I'm still around. I just.. everything I've needed to broadcast have been done via FB or Twitter, so I haven't felt the need to post to Dreamwidth. And at some point, the crossposting from Dreamwidth to LJ broke, and I still haven't gotten around to fixing it.

Here, have Byron Howard (director of Zootopia) hugging a bunny: https://twitter.com/byronhowardzoot/status/637756243902271488
You're alive! *Yay!*

Oh, wow. I should get in touch with the guy, if it didn't mean having to touch Twitter.. maybe I can try submitting an URL by proxy somehow. "Momentary" and Extraordinary Extrication, perhaps, demonstrating the incredible agility rabbitkind knows as routine. ^_^

I do sort of hope things resolve themselves in the coming weeks. It'd be quite nice to know whether I'll be commuting from near Glen Park or not. ^_^;

How's it been for you lately, anyway? ^_^
I suppose I could tweet on your behalf, if you wish?

Hmmm. Glen Park. Looks like it contains mountainishy things. *makes a face* Icky, icky, not-bike-friendly mountainishy things. XP

I've been relatively well. Just ran my first 10k.
True - those footpaths wouldn't be something to navigate on anything but paw power, although it could be done, with.. awareness of possible consequences. =:) (Here's one shot I took with the superlative Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8, before I understood the utility of ND and CP filters - a really fun lens, but I'm happy with what I can do with the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 =:)

Actually, there is one tweet that comes to mind - might you be able to drop @OhMeadhbh a line? I'd like to get back in touch, but her blog's dead/on autopilot, and similarly email. If she could get in touch by any means, here, email, or so, that'd be so welcome. ^_^

Woo, 10k! That must require some sustained preparation. FSM knows, I'm some way off anything like that, at present, but if things do indeed resolve in September, I'd have a much better idea of where I'm headed. As is, I still don't know if I need to get a flight arranged or not. All quite strange. =:/
Certainly. What should I tweet? "Hey @OhMeadhbh, @porsupah would like to get in touch, but doesn't want to use the twitters. Ping via LJ or email please?"
That's a wonderful rabbit picture. There are a couple of bunnies here that aren't intimidated by my presence, and even ignore the dog's furious barking at the windows (*get off my lawn - get off my lawn!*). When I walk out to shoo them off (to stop barky) they lazily hop only a few feet at a time per shoo.
Ha! That's wonderfully cool. They've accurately ascertained the risk scenario, and feel it's safe to chill. And for buns to come to that conclusion is something to be proud of indeed. ^_^

I really wish I could get out to them here more often, but prevailing conditions have so often been charitably described as grotty, with dull skies, and sometimes piddling rain - nothing severe, but not conducive to excellent photography, nor frolicsome buns. *sigh* Still, there seems to be a chance of sunlight on Wednesday.. ^_^; Though the forecasts can only be so helpful - often, I wind up having to consult the visible satellite and radar on the day, and inspect the trends during the morning.

Perhaps it'd be worth tossing out a handful of raisins on occasion? ^_^


Edited at 2015-08-31 10:45 pm (UTC)
I've been ripping music to MP3 for over 15 years now. I use the highest settings that I can get, producing the biggest files. For me, I don't care about lossless encoding. I have tinnitus in both ears, a measurable hearing loss in both ears, and most of my listening is done in my car. Massively inferior listening environment. So yes, the music reproduction is inferior to the source material. But even if I were playing lossless or original source, it wouldn't sound significantly better to me for the above reasons.

When I was young, yes, I could hear subtle differences. But not anymore. If people can distinguish the difference and benefit from lossless encoding, more power to 'em. I'm quite happy with MP3.


The first stereo receiver that I bought in the early/mid '80s was a Technics. I was very disappointed to learn recently that they no longer make component audio gear. Anyway, I was at an audio store buying a pair of B&W DM220s, they were having a two for one scratch and dent sale, and I'd put the speakers on layaway and now needed a receiver. They had a Technics at my price point, last year's model. They also had this year's replacement. So the salesman and I did A/B comparison between the two receivers and through DM220s. Eventually I decided on the last year model, telling him it sounded better to me. Fast forward a couple of weeks when I went to pick up my gear (the speakers were waiting for a replacement part). The salesman, whose name was Will Shakespeare (I kid you not!) said "I went back in and flipped back and forth between those receivers, and you're right -- the old one sounds better than the new one!"

I was pleased.

And since I'm blathering, a month ago or so I bought my first new piece of audio gear in 15 years, an Onkyo receiver with SIX HDMI inputs! The Technics receiver that I was using, also my Marantz that needs a new power cable (dog sampling), both predated HDMI and I needed a source switcher. This Onkyo is a freakin' computer! It boots up, has WiFi and Ethernet, and a microphone input to calibrate the speakers! Crazy stuff.
I'm sort of wondering, now, when I actually started using MP3 as an encoding format. =:) I think it was somewhere around 1997 - remember the wonder of IUMA? I was fortunate enough to be living in an @Home pilot area at the time - 500KB/s, imagine!

Indeed - the only setting where that kind of ultra-fi could make sense is at home, in a well controlled setting. I'd happily join in with a campaign toward better mastering, versus the industry's love of WALL OF SOUND, although perhaps that's settling down again now.

Tinnitus, ah yes.. such fun. =:P So, when do we get to upgrade to sleek cybernetic replacement bodies? (In my case, with properly tall ears =:)

I do recall listening to a Meridian 24-bit setup in 1996, which did exhibit subtle, pleasant improvements over the stock DAC, but for all I know, that could've been just better design. Similarly, I had the great pleasure of listening to some Helium Vola on audio DVD, on the setup of a friend of a friend - quite an audiophile, of the good sort. Whether it was the source, the mastering, the amp, the speakers, or all of it, I can't tell. But it was a listening experience unlike any other I've known, with uncanny realism, quite literally - it could've been happening right there. I have the same album ℅ iTunes, but it's nowhere near the same, sadly. (Still a very cool album, if you're up for multilingual vocals extending back to Middle German and Latin - Liod, especially the second track, Lucente stella)

I admit, I've been caught with ALAC and FLAC. =:) Not so much out of knowing I could tell the difference, but simply that storage is now cheap enough that it doesn't really make a huge difference. That said, I will be checking what I've got in the library that's lossless, and probably replacing it with 256k AAC. (Not to mention the old transcodings I made back in 2006 or so, when I had particularly useless headphones, and was evidently satisfied with 96k AAC.. true, they're perfectly listenable, but even I can tell they're skimmed, with the current 'phones)

I suppose it happens - a friend had one of JVC's early S-VHS units, and it was quite a solid performer. Well constructed, and with plenty of controls on both the VCR and the remote. A year or two later, and the VCR had lost almost all its controls, so if there was any problem with the remote, or you simply couldn't find it, you'd be stuck.

Six HDMI! That's doing quite nicely. =:D And now, of course, HDMI actually is a full interconnect - I was a little frustrated with the way that panned out with my previous MBP, which didn't support audio over HDMI, so I was stuck playing the video on the TV, but the audio only over its internal speakers. =:P Still, it worked. And calibration too? Hoo! I presume there's a means in place to allow for the mic's response?

It's a little odd, how long it took the industry to really come to terms with people's A/V requirements - consoles, cable box, computer(s), VCR(s), LD.. yet, for the longest time, they'd feel generous offering perhaps three video sources on a tuner.
This is the receiver that I got:
www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-NR626-7-2-Channel-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B00BLGUKDE/

I bought a factory refurb for $320ish, and thus far, it's VERY nice. I haven't gone through the full calibration: the manual is a 400some page PDF that you have to download from Onkyo! Allegedly there's an app for controlling it from a smartphone, but I haven't bothered with that yet.

After today's announcement of the new Apple TV, I'm quite excited! Amusingly, tonight the power supply for my Air died, so I'm going to have to jump on the Apple site and order a new one as I don't know when I'll next be near an Apple store.

Now *that* is a rocker!  It also seems less ambitious than the life-size walker I wanted to build.


The neighbours might be happier about that, too.