yes, and when you look at it in a larger perspective, red book CD itself is dying, compact discs sales are dropping each year by 20%, CD players can't play SACD's or FLAC files, so it's very possible people are moving to music servers and high resolution SACD players
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It seems to me that the niche would be a good SACD player with a "digital in" that could properly handle a usb signal from a computer.
I don't know the specs of every SACD player w a dig in but I don't think there's one out there properly converting a usb signal. Right now, one would have to utilize a converter (ie.: Hagerman HagUSB USB to SPDIF Converter, a Empiracle USB Off-Ramp Turbo 2 USB to S/PDIF converter, or a Trends USB converter).
It would be nice to have a one box solution for Redbook, SACD and computer.
I'm a superb "getter outer" and a terrible "putter backer".... and considering some of my challenges, that is a mess waiting to happen.
Add to that I'm also a perfectionist with a poor track record, and there's yet another obstacle.
having ALL my music at my fingertips is a really attractive prospect for me, especially if I don't have to keep onto the orgainization of them all.
The sound quality however was the issue for me. I'm also not opposed to investigating something new or different in audio performance. I found over this past year and most recently via the addition of a decent DAC that music files can and do correlate to great sounding events.
I vasilated over whether or not to go all in and sell my Sony xa777 for a good while too. Ultimately I AB'd lots of CDs & files in various formats, with various media players, and with the CD players I had on hand and kept coming up with only marginal diffs overall. Albeit the DAC being the bottleneck or main influence throughout.
consequently, given organizational appeal, readiness, varieity, all being on the upside, I'm going all in now on the magnetic arena. The sole downside I've found thus far is this: "Depth of the sound stage" isn't as deep as it is with disc players in general.
Apart from that lone aspect, the resolution and details are improved upon by and large, tonality is as keen, and imagaing is great. Ambient venue retreval is improved upon more often too.
.... and it sure beats finding and then putting the little silver goobers back up, or even burning compilations time and time again.
So does that mean I'll sell all my discs once ripped and backed up?.. or that I'm 100% done with CDPs?
No. Probably not... not until there is some major breakthrough in Disc player tech.
I went with a Squeezebox3 and Benchmark DAC, and do enjoy it but it doesn't come close to either redbook or SACD on my Esoteric. (I even bought a Lacie Firewire CD burner for my PC to get the best possible rips). I am eying a higher end dac (Esoteric or the Berkley) for the squeezebox but won't get rid of my esoteric. The SB3 is a convenience thing - the esoteric is a "I want to really listen and have my mind blown thing" - kind of like playing vinyl.
In the 80's I built an entire classical music collection from the LP's people were dumping in exchange for CD's. Now I'm building an entire CD and SACD collection from the silver discs people are dumping in exchange for hard drive systems. I'm sure glad people feel compelled to move on to the next big thing.
well, 6 out of 10 responses agree hard drive based music equals or surpasses compact disc levels.... so I'd not say the responses are all over the place at all.
I will say I think there's far more to it than what you are asking for here.
Albeit even a few dozen hits here wouldn't protray an accurate view. Go over to the pc audiophile web site and ask there. Still it's doubtful an accurate indicator will be revealed.
Music servers per se are not the only way to utilize hard drive music ssystems or even optimize them IMO. they're merely for those seeking plug and play solutions that have the money to acquire them. I'd be suprised if manufacturered 'ready rolled' music servers indeed did surpass the MAC or PC music generated systems.
Personal confuser use does involve a learning curve but is cheaper with more flexibility. in my own case I feel I've attained another level of performance and ease of use for sure, and it's not limited to merely my own system that I account for this with... I've heard much more expensive gear than my own with which to make that claim.
Change is a tuff thing for many people too. Never mind the results may yield a better level of performance. Add to this the current level of investment in CDs & their CDP too, and another obstacle is represented. Namely, the economic hurdle represented as the current investment on hand.
If i had six or eight grand wrapped up in a CDP, my ego would likely prevent me from even investigating for a good long while some other path. I'd sure hate to find out that a notebook/laptop, network drive and a DAC could either equal or improve upon my mega buck player. Especially if I was satisfied with what I was getting already.
I do feel it's going to become more than a 'niche' market and very soon. Around here however, the largest key will be the performance level of it, or so I would hope.
I have replaced the CDP with a Logitech Duet hooked up to an Altman DAC and the sound is very good (very close to my Modwright modified CDP). The convenience of having all the music at my finger tips is incomparable. The key is getting a good DAC with good jitter control if you are going the computer route.
The future of hi-rez music is downloads or DVDs with data files. Either way, PC playback is what you will need, and why not? This is not like CD "replacing" LP. It's the same software format, it's just the storage medium and/or distribution method that's different.
Ir recently dawned on me why PC audio is such a no-brainer. Think of this: say you can download a favorite artist's new album or you can purchase that exact same software burned via mass production manufacturing onto a silver disc. At best, the latter is as good as the former.
Dodgealum: strictly speaking, those people who are ripping their collections to hard drive should not be selling or even giving away their CDs. Illegal and unethical, but widespread, I know.
After a few more modes that aren't on the books, you realize that the playback system can be improved by 1/3 in every piece of audio gear.Mechanical vibration plays a huge part in how sound is resolved and recreated in ones sound room. I feel no need to switch to a computer based system, especially when XRCD are my primary vehicle.I know that my sound is amazing in it's own right and a new format will have to evolve through time.
Amen Dodgealum!!! I scored tons of great RVG Blue Note reissues at a used CD store this weekend. I can't walk out of a used CD store without dropping $100, there is just too much coming in now. Keep rippin' those CDs and pray your hard drive doesn't crash or you backup fail. I have a RAID and external backup nightly (lost all the wife's email and family pictures once...I never kept really imporant stuff on the home computer) and I still do not trust it for my only copy of my music. I still haven't found a format I like, all MP3 sound like crap and FLAC doesn't work with Ipods.
When I bought my 'Whatever CDs' did I somehow agree I would never resell or gift them to another?
If it's illegal to resell CDs or any other disc, or album, preowned, why would this site or any others participate, and thereby endorse, such illicit activities?
From buying or downloading free tracks and used CDs I've spent more on new CDs as the result as I've been enabled greater familiarity with the artists work. The days of buying a 'pig in a poke' are near gone.
In fact, it is my understanding, any artist connected to a major lable makes his or her or their moneies by performances by and large, and not nearly as much as CD sales.
Didn't all this get decided some few years ago when lables found out copyright protection wasn't working anyhow??
These same labels as I recall also said they would lower the costs of CDs down the road... even after losing a class action suit over that aspect, they've not done it.... and won't. they ain't ever done me any favors... and they lied too, so I'll do as I please with that which I buy outright, or that which given to me.
It's only illegal and, especially, unethical, if you've made a copy, which is what you are doing when you rip a CD. Think about it. You get full benefit of the license and so does someone else, but the artist gets paid only once. Of course, if you no longer want the music, then you are free to sell or give away the license to someone else. But you can't make a copy first.
I opened a thread on this subject several weeks ago, wondering what the issues and ramification were of the computer audio age. I became convinced that I needed to hang onto my collection.
You get full benefit of the license and so does someone else, but the artist gets paid only once.
What if I have a vinyl copy as well as the CD? Do I get some license contributions back as I paid twice for the license? :)
I agree otherwise, it is morally in a gray zone to sell off CDs while keeping a hard drive copy. Even though the industry doesn't adhere to their own moral rules, this doesn't justify abusing the industry, i.e. keeping files around without at least one own copy.
Everybody that's either duped a CD and gave it as a gift, or went to the library and ripped that CD onto their PC.... Raise your hand... or not.
Also anyone that's bought used CDs... Guilty?
Why yes I am. So as Adlai Stevenson so aptly put it, "I believe in the forgiveness of sin, and the redemption of ignorance." as principles are easier to point to than to follow perfectly.
SS drive is included in new ASUS .......
like this one for around $400.
My buddy bought one and couldn't be happier. It isn't exactly MacBook Air but close....... considering that it was made by total screw-ups and runs on greed driven operating system.
SS drives are quite a leap forward but keep in mind that these are first generation models and you will never catch up with either software or hardware.
It is a loose-loose situation for customers .....as always.
As to SACD as a format............they come and go - who knows what will they come up with next to screw us again. As far as I am concern, "Red Book" and LP is my format of choice and will be for quite some time.
When I arrive in Hell, I will be sitting for eternity in front of a computer that has crashed, or has a back-up file that it can't read, or a peripheral that has suddenly stopped working and now requires a clean install of the system software on a machine with a failing motherboard. And I'll be on hold for hours and hours with an East Indian customer support person named Bill.
Give me a CD and a player that reads it and I'll be happy for a long time.
But, then I'd be in Heaven.
....within the next 12 months, I'm getting a Modwright modded Transporter and going all-in with a hard-drive system. The sound quality has improved to the point that whatever advantages a high-end cd player has will be negated by the convenience factor of a hard drive based system. I've already started to archive my stuff on a 2 terabyte hard drive. I have a Squeezebox and I love it. Sure, my cd player sounds better, but the Squeezebox is no slouch....which is why I'm stoked about getting Modwright Transporter. By this time next year I'm going whole-hog on a souped-up Transporter.
No more lost, scratched, damaged or misplaced cd's.....hallelujah!!
PCs do fail, but then, what doesnt?
And PCs only fail at the end of the month or right at the beginning . Just before bill paying time . And on holidays . And at one year intervals . And just after the service plan expires.
Thankfully the in home service plan enables the associated support team to shuffle through the entire gizmo, replacing everything within it as they dont actually know whats wrong to begin with hence you wind up with a new pc such is my case on the last 3, anyways. So Ive two more waiting in the wings . If needed.
My first one from 2001 still runs but I gave it away to a friend.
The only true big deal is if no backing up was done along the way and significant data was lost due to a failure.
I found one app I really like for keeping the pc and me safe. Acronis true Image. About once a year I have that app completely wipe and reinstall the os. It takes about 30 minutes. Then a couple hours to redo all my preffs, securities and themes, other apps, etc., as its back to the right out of the box way it came. Its Easy. If my mind wasnt so sieve like Id save an image of the finished reinstall, and simply mount that one instead of going back to scratch each time. Oil well, maybe someday Ill figure that one out too.
Using that reinstall app, I've only had to call support once in the last 3 years. It was my fault. I applied a uh, tweak to the front of the tower with my fist when it became hard to start. Apparently, PCs that fail to start up, don't react well to being struck with great enough force to dent the cabinent and break the front plate into pieces.