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Are CD transports obsolete these days? - Page 3

post #31 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alu
That's why I shut it before the horse can get out...

Well, I hope you know what I mean.

I prefer to use CDs nowadays, even though I have the option of using my PC as source, with the same music. There's something magical about shiny discs.
We just have different thoughts bore through different needs.


Although a PC as storage(more than being a source in my case) I think is superior to regular CDs!
post #32 of 144
Quote:
I think is superior to regular CDs!
Superior in terms of what? Not being argumentative just want you to elaborate as its certainly not empirically superior. COmputer are definately more convenient, but i2s transports are techically superior and as Alu said, theres something very nostalgic and exciting about those shiny discs. What I am most worried about though is the death of the "Album". As you stated CDs are a dated technology, but with the evolution of music downloads (both legal and illegal), and the ability to put 1000 songs on one platter is a bit disconcerting. I don't want to see the idea of releasing a collection of music that flows and shares themes to dissappear, nor do I want lossless quality to dissapppear. The idea that fit One Album on One Disc, I think is pretty special and even though CDs have succeded vinyl they maintain that concept.
post #33 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akathriel
Superior in terms of what? Not being argumentative just want you to elaborate as its certainly not empirically superior. COmputer are definately more convenient, but i2s transports are techically superior and as Alu said, theres something very nostalgic and exciting about those shiny discs. What I am most worried about though is the death of the "Album". As you stated CDs are a dated technology, but with the evolution of music downloads (both legal and illegal), and the ability to put 1000 songs on one platter is a bit disconcerting. I don't want to see the idea of releasing a collection of music that flows and shares themes to dissappear, nor do I want lossless quality to dissapppear. The idea that fit One Album on One Disc, I think is pretty special and even though CDs have succeded vinyl they maintain that concept.
Superior is the wrong term. My argument, for purposes of discussion, is that uncompressed, error corrected, hard drive storage should be as good, sonically, as any CD transport. I don't care about the "ooh, shine-eeeee" factor. The convenience factor favors the hard drive, but I don't care. Just sound.

By the way, what is "i2s"? More importantly what group argues that it is technically superior. I haven't seen any consensus anywhere about what is superior technology.

Unlike CDs, vinyl holds more information, no translation is necessary, and simply sounds better-IMHO. Vinyl is actually making a comeback.

As to themes, with hard drives, not only can you keep original sets together for reference (music software like iTunes is a database) but lets you group music anyway you like instead of having someone else do it for you.
post #34 of 144
Quote:
By the way, what is "i2s"? More importantly what group argues that it is technically superior. I haven't seen any consensus anywhere about what is superior technology.
Considering that you don't know what i2s is, I am not surprised you havn't seen evidence its a superior technology.
First I would like to quote you here.
Quote:
I am not an engineer, but CDs are a series of 0s and 1s. Uploading uncompressed files, and permitting the computer to use all the time necessary for error correction, should give you a perfect file. Trying to do error-correction in real time, time after time, means that your CD transport must be both sturdy and expensive.
Oh wouldn't that be wonderful! Then we would not need expensive transports or digital cables. Unfortunately digital technology is prone to a problem called jitter, where the receiving end of the data and transmitting end are off sync by nano or picoseconds. This is especially a problem with Spdif, a pretty horrible interface designed by Sony and Phillips engineers in the 1980s to get data off old hard drives. It was not designed for audio applications so its a little perplexing how it ended up as the digital audio standard.
Every DAC that you input with spdif or aes/ebu or usb, converts to I2s. I2s is the native interface of DACs, and subsequently has far lower jitter than SPDIF. THe worst digital inputs are USB-SPDIF-I2s, found in most usb dacs, although a trend has started to introduce USb-i2s converters into dacs without spdif in the middle. Far better than the former but it ain't clean i2s. So what's wrong with USB? USB was not designed as a digital audio interface either. USB has a lot of potential but asynchronous reclocking has yet to be developed for it. In addition there is a dead 5 volt dc powerline shooting through the cable which DACs dont use. That CANT sound good. Which group argues that I2s is superior? The engineers. You can find proven data that I2s interfaces have lower ppm jitter than spdif interfaces.
Quote:
Unlike CDs, vinyl holds more information
Thats just not true.

Quote:
no translation is necessary
OK but analog is subject to vibration which is just as big a problem as jitter.

Quote:
simply sounds better-IMHO
Cant argue with that like u said its your opinion.

And yes I'm well aware you can organize albums on hard drive but if music continues to be distributed throughout the internet, I'm afraid the concept of albums will dissappear w/o a physical need for it. Besides singles are more profitable
post #35 of 144
there will always be a need for vinyl. there may not always be a need for redbook CD, just as cassette tapes died out. the day that HD can contain information as good as any other PORTABLE format out there (including CDs) the world will shift to HD (or flash, or whatever the digital format ends up being).

Analog = vinyl. tapes are/will be dead, other than to draw masters of old recordings from.

Digital = whatever it will be in the future. all older formats will eventually croak.
post #36 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahn
Analog = vinyl. tapes are/will be dead, other than to draw masters of old recordings from.

Digital = whatever it will be in the future. all older formats will eventually croak.
Maybe, its hard to say w/o 20/20 hindsight. CDs have been around for 25 years now and Vinyls have been around for 60? CD's were not replaced by SACD/DVDA so its hard to know how long they will last. And cassettes were pretty horrible, but considering they were analog you could just as easily say Vinyl survived cassettes not CDs. but both Vinyl and CD technologies seem to be very good formats.
post #37 of 144
Since my primary home listening rig is PC based with EQ and all, a CD player is of little use to me these days (mine doesn't quite sound as good as the sound card I use anyway, even if it was a vast improvement over the one preceding it). I don't have a lot of CDs anyway (but do have lots of radio recordings), so the ones I'd actually want to listen to have long since been ripped and FLAC'd. (Needless to say that I'd never knowingly buy a non redbook-compliant audio CD with "copy protection".) Even when using speakers, I'll either play back some radio stuff or put on some oldschool vinyl.

EDIT: BTW, Windows should be as stable as anything these days. If it does crash, it's usually crappy drivers and/or flaky hardware.
post #38 of 144
Bloody Hell, it was a joke Akathriel.


Its superior to me in terms of storage. It much more convenient without a shadow of a doubt.
I listen to music in the albums that come off the CD. So I put thought into my listening, I rarely put a new album on my playlist until near the end of the present one, so I have no idea what I'll be listening to when this album ends...heh, I'll be going to bed.
I know plenty of people just open up a huge chunk of music and hit shuffle.

It is sonically superior to me. None of my CDPs come anywhere close to my DAC/Amps sound.
post #39 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chri5peed
Bloody Hell, it was a joke Akathriel.
Hehe Chris I was worried it would come off that way, thats why I said not trying to be argumenative. But still I apologize for being a stickler.
post #40 of 144
Mine neither, but then again; i build my own pc,s!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senn20
I've never had a cd player give me the blue screen of death, so no.
post #41 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senn20
I've never had a cd player give me the blue screen of death, so no.
...but the player of music on your PC isn't responsible for blue-screens. Thats like blaming CD players for a solar eclipse where you can't see to change the CD.
post #42 of 144
In my case it is. Foobar's ASIO drivers combined with a poorly encoded mp3 will cause a BSOD on my computer. Not to mention that when i throw a modern CD in my cdplayer I can listen to it with ease regardless if it says copy controlled on it or not
post #43 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akathriel
Considering that you don't know what i2s is, I am not surprised you havn't seen evidence its a superior technology.
Still, I'd appreciate your saving the sarcasm and simply providing a link to a reasoned argument. . I'd also like to know what products are commercially available that incorporate this technology. I have heard, I believe, mention of rewiring or customizing DACs (or input devices?) to incorporate i2s. I also recall seeing at least one post arguing that it was either unnecessary, or not great. It would be nice if I could just admit to needing information and then just receiving it?

Quote:
Which group argues that I2s is superior? The engineers.
Really. "The" engineers? No dissent? No differing opinions? Great, then actually providing a link to some information should be easy. So Apogee, benchmark, ManleyLabs and anyone else who manufacturers DACS would agree? And that agreement would be that the transport should connect to the DAC with this technology, or that DACS should use it internally?

I may be confused. Why would this only work with a redbook CD player (by the way, do all high end CD players do this?) and not with a computer based system? There are plenty of stand alone CD transports, what output(s) do they generally provide? Isn't coax popular? Toslink? If it is superior technology, is there a reason I2s couldn't be incorporated into a computer based system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akathriel
Oh wouldn't that be wonderful! Then we would not need expensive transports or digital cables.
Yes, it would be wonderful. Isn't that the question? Gosh, all those makers of $4000 and up CD units, losing sales and being replaced by equipment we already have. One hard drive sending five different songs to five different rooms. Very sad.

Quote:
Every DAC that you input with spdif or aes/ebu or usb, converts to I2s. I2s is the native interface of DACs, and subsequently has far lower jitter than SPDIF. THe worst digital inputs are USB-SPDIF-I2s, found in most usb dacs, although a trend has started to introduce USb-i2s converters into dacs without spdif in the middle. Far better than the former but it ain't clean i2s. So what's wrong with USB...?
So, accepting that it is the native interface, again I ask, do stand alone transports generally use i2s in their outputs?

I actually agree on USB. It doesn't sound as good to me The folks at Benchmark would agree. They don't seem to have the same problem with Toslink or Coax connectors. I use glass, but they argue that plastic is fine, and that either the connection works or it doesn't. But are we talking about USB or any computer based systems?

By the way, is the USB-SPIDF-I2s the system that Bel Canto is putting on the DAC-3? If so, what do you think?

As I said, I looking for information. It does seem to me that every time someone asks if using a hard drive and a distribution system is as good as a CD transport, the discussion gets hot. All I asked for was an explanation but it seems like someone's sacred cow is getting gored. I just want to hear both sides. I have no desire to spend megabucks on an unnecessary (doesn't change the sound) component if I don't need to. By the way, you don't have to be an engineeer to know what jitter is.

Quote:
And yes I'm well aware you can organize albums on hard drive but if music continues to be distributed throughout the internet, I'm afraid the concept of albums will dissappear w/o a physical need for it. Besides singles are more profitable
I'm glad you are well aware of the organizational capabilities of the computer. Based on your post, I hadn't realized.

While I'm not an engineer, I do know quite a bit about the record, music publishing and movie businesses, and their history. Perhaps you'd be kind enough to let me share a few thoughts both specific to the business and general?

The concept of "Album" is derived from how much would fit on a particular distribution medium, and not, initially, on some artistic judgment. Before records, music was mainly sold in sheet form, composition by composition, (or sometines as compilations). This applies to both vinyl and CD. There is nothing necessarily "special" about the format in terms of art. At least one could argue that vinyl came close to reaching the limits of its technology, where digital is clearly not there yet.

The economics of singles versus "multiples" is a bit more complex. I don't want to argue about profitibility, but I would suggest you consider the following:

1)With CDs or Vinyl, the cost of raw materials, pressing, marketing and distribution of singles is not significantly lower than it is for albums. They are attractive to some buyers because they are cheaper, or because the buyer only wants one song, or with 45s because they were ideal for dancing and for small players. There was far more money to be made with albums.

2)Making a single recording is always equally or more expensive , on a per song basis, than making an album (or recording a number of songs). Once you have assembled all of your material and human recourses, it makes sense to keep them working. This won't change because of the internet.

3)The artists, publishers, composers, authors (lyrics) and record companies make far more with albums than singles. All the parties make money by the song. Albums have more songs.

As for the internet, it should turn out to be an ideal distribution method providing that the bandwidth becomes available to allow downloading of uncompressed (let's leave the lossless argument for someone else) media. It can't do that now.

I'm sorry if you worry about losing the "concept" of Albums. We all have our little habits and our little collections. OCD is a real issue in these times of stress. But, the world tends to get what it asks for, and it isn't going to be CDs forever. Frankly, album cover "art" doesn't mean very much to me, but I respect your right to your own preferences. Sound quality being equal, I'll take convenience and the ability to assemble my own collections. I'm always happy to substitute my judgment for that of some marketing person, or even the performers, when my preferences are involved.
post #44 of 144
I think a really good transport built like a tank would be a great way to go because DACs keep improving. and this would at least keep you from having to change everything. I'm also not that crazy about computer transport based CDPs, they just seem to be a bit flimsy, and I would think this must have an affect on SQ.
post #45 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by swt61
I think a really good transport built like a tank would be a great way to go because DACs keep improving. and this would at least keep you from having to change everything. I'm also not that crazy about computer transport based CDPs, they just seem to be a bit flimsy, and I would think this must have an affect on SQ.
The actual drive may be flimsier, but in theory it doesn't matter. You only use the transport drive once, with each CD, to upload it by copying it or by using lossless compression. Since the drive doesn't have to play the CD in real time, it can repeat passes to correct any errors. What ends up on the hard drive (which is not flimsy) should be bit perfect. The hard drive can be backed up, perfectly. If the transport breaks, extenal CD drives are also cheap.

Hard drive storage is cheap. This way you don't have to waste a fortune on a sturdy CD drive which must read perfectly in real time, as you play the disk. What is played off the hard drive is, in theory, bit perfect. Just keep your library backed up against the inevitable drive failure, and life is easy. And, you still have the CDs if you need them.
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