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Advantages and Disadvantages of Computer-as-Source

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
What do you all think are the biggest advantages and disadvantages of Computer-as-Source, can it compare to dedicated sources? Discuss...
post #2 of 13
Quality of the rip for one. Theres so much crap floating around especially on Kazzaa, etc that you never know what kind of music quality you're going to get. Personally, I try to get Lame encoded- ape.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Borky
Quality of the rip for one. Theres so much crap floating around especially on Kazzaa, etc that you never know what kind of music quality you're going to get. Personally, I try to get Lame encoded- ape.
Well not so much with downloaded music, but from the same source material (say CD).

Scott
post #4 of 13
I listen to both sources and while I notice the drop off in quality when listening to mp3's, I love the drag the play convenience. My whole music library can be accessed at the click of a button
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gswpete
I listen to both sources and while I notice the drop off in quality when listening to mp3's, I love the drag the play convenience. My whole music library can be accessed at the click of a button
Try lossless codecs then


Scott
post #6 of 13
Main advantages (to me) are convenience and control. By control, I mean you get unprecedented control over the digital data that comprises the music, and can manipulate it endlessly in the digital domain (with various sorts of software). Nothing like this sort of potential flexibility is available with dedicated hardware, except maybe exotic pro mastering stuff. If nothing else, it demystifies digital audio and makes you aware of a lot of things you'd be in the dark about just sticking a CD into a player.

Convenience and 'power' both, with very good sound (even if not ultimate-fi) is very appealing to me... much more than just sticking a disc into a player that other people (and the sticker price) say is good. I'm willing to trade off a bit of sound quality for the advantages of PC-based audio. There are so many bad recordings anyway that recording quality is usually the most limiting factor.
post #7 of 13
Main disadvantages:
1) Noisy power for the audio circuitry
2) RF/EM Interference from the computer circuitry and nearby monitor.
3) Audible noise from the whole thing (fans, hard drive, monitor, etc)
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsaavedr
Main disadvantages:
1) Noisy power for the audio circuitry
2) RF/EM Interference from the computer circuitry and nearby monitor.
3) Audible noise from the whole thing (fans, hard drive, monitor, etc)

All of these disadvantages can be nearly eliminated.

The main disadvantage I see with computers as a source is the technical knowledge limitations (and/or patience) of the user. Also the ceiling for consumer level sound cards is pretty low compared to dedicated sources. Now factor in professional level sound cards, and the cost and ceiling goes up.

When comparing redbook audio dollar to dollar (labor excluded, heheh) computer sources win hands down.

More work is required up front for computer sources. Installation, ripping, encoding, organizing. But once the work is done, everything is instantly available at your fingertips.

Less work is required for dedicated CDPlayers. Power up CDP, put disc in, hit play, finish listening, get another disc, put in player, hit play, rinse, repeat.

-Ed
post #9 of 13
Quote:
3) Audible noise from the whole thing (fans, hard drive, monitor, etc)
my mobile 2400 athlon runs @2.13 with panaflo running @7v (could go higher with lil more cooling if i had a reason to do so) seriously, i cant hear a DAMN thing, excpet for the noise from the PSU fan which isnt that big really... even that could be minimized if i slap on some 120x25 panaflo (alas, only spares i got all come in 120x35 variants)

dont most standalone CDPs have cooling mechanism of some sort? bet they make at least a slightest amount of noise... if anything you could just get cordless keyboard/mouse setup to place the computer case as far as possible from the user... there are many things you could do if you are more comptuer savvy
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Plus with programs like foobar and winamp you can do crossfeed in a plugin (I really like the crossfeed plugin in foobar, suble effect, but you notice when it's not there).

Scott
post #11 of 13
Didn't mean to bash anything btw, but people had posted advantages only, and the thread title asked for both advantages and disadvantages, so I posted some of the disadvantages. Technical knowledge/learning curve needed to setup things properly indeed another important one.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsaavedr
Didn't mean to bash anything btw, but people had posted advantages only, and the thread title asked for both advantages and disadvantages, so I posted some of the disadvantages. Technical knowledge/learning curve needed to setup things properly indeed another important one.
oh, dont get me wrong. hope you didnt take an offense in my reply, just trying to provide a counterexample
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikoLayer
oh, dont get me wrong. hope you didnt take an offense in my reply, just trying to provide a counterexample
Not at all, cool to balance the pros and cons which is what I was doing as well About cooling on standalone CDP's, I think most have no cooling other than normal heat sinks inside. The only audible noise coming out of most standalone CDP's is usually the mechanical spinning of the transport. Power supplies are usually very clean and silent, and fans are rarely if ever used in standalone cdps.
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