There was some stuff there, I don't recall the various models but suffice to say there wasn't an abundance of gear oriented towards computer storage and playback. Lots and lots of turntables though!
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I spent my time at the Venetian and T.H.E. Show, I didn't bother with the LVCC where the consumer stuff is kept. You're interested in convenience, there's plenty of consumer-grade products to pick from that cater to that side of the market, Apple's webpage features some examples that compliment the iPod. Theta announced a gadget, and B&W have released the Zeppelin to cater to the 'pod crowd. This is the "industry" you value, that's fine with me.
The people on this site are interested in sound quality first and foremost, compromised source material is of little interest to us. And there's nothing lame about the sound of a well set up analog rig, but there's plenty lame about consumer digital. I suppose that's a different part of the "industry", I'm thankful it's still alive and kicking.
You know, Hack, that elitist attitude of yours is contributing to the death of high end. There are quite a few here that are interested in a very high quality music server. The OP did not say anything about mp3s or Ipods. And not all source material is available on vinyl. There does not seem to me to be any technical reason that a quality recording ripped from CD to a hard drive, and played back through a high end DAC cannot sound great. Some of us here are interested in a way to integrate computers into this process. The physical media is only a means to an end.
I don't have a problem with any media, and I use it all so I'm not an "elitist". I do think you ought to match the media to the appropriate gear, the gent mentioned iTunes and I just don't see how that plays well into a high end system. I have yet to hear any digital system match analogue, which implies the digital content is best used for either convenience or budgetary reasons. This is a site for audiophiles and music lovers, I don't see how preferring a more musical format would be considered out of the ordinary. Hey, I work in electronics (semiconductors) so you won't find anyone more interested in advancing the state of the art. That being said I'm not interested in going backwards, I love music.
Hack- Fair enough but
I read there was going to be a lot of new computer/hard drive/memory audio stuff at the SHOW and CES, like Wavelength, new VRS stuff, new USB DAC's,I don't see anything here that mentions I-pods or lossy compression. I've never heard Wavelength but it is supposed to be pretty darn good. I guess you touched a nerve because I am thinking of going the music server route for my digital, which IS the bulk (2/3) of my software.
I have compared lossy and "lossless" compression to WAV files, and I can hear a difference (but I'm picky, no doubt). I ripped all of my CD's to external hard drives as WAV files and use them on my iPod when I travel, it was VERY time consuming (this was a year ago, haven't added the other 100 CD's I bought since). My biggest concern is the time it takes to rip all your music and make sure there's no errors, and hard drives do fail so what do you do? Have a back up set of drives ready in the event of failure?
I did wander into a room at T.H.E. show where there was earnest discussion going on with a media server company and some zealous enthusiasts ($7k digital music system), but I didn't stay as there was no music playing at the time and I didn't get around to going back to listen. There's also Kaliedascape (sp?) for those who like such things, seems like a good solution for the most part.
Wdrazek, I am sure my ears are older than yours, but I still can hear lossless and WAV differences. I am always perplexed that others cannot.
Hack, I have known colleagues who still fail to backup their hard work on computers, so I am not shocked that people would fail to backup their music. I have always used Macs and have never experienced a hard-drive failure but will always backup everything.
...and hard drives do fail so what do you do? Have a back up set of drives ready in the event of failure?
While it is true that hard drives fail, there shouldn't be any issue if you place all your music on a large hard drive, purchase an identical drive, and run the pair in a RAID 1 configuration. So to answer your questions, yes you should have a backup.
Those who claim to hear differences between lossless and WAV, can you please describe the circumstances where you discovered the difference? Where did you source the music? How did you convert to lossless (what software)? What equipment did you play both back on?
The reason I ask is that I have heard other people claim to hear the difference between lossless and WAV and when asked to answer these questions, we discovered that there were other variables or factors that were responsible for the difference.
Davemitchell, I largely take this on the advice of others I respect, but I heard a cd burned in lossless and WAV played off a server. The WAV was clearly better with both a cleaner top end and a better sense of the soundstage. I had thought that lossless was as good a WAV up until that time and until recently had found cd servers to be inferior in music reproduction.