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Testing audiophile claims and myths

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by prog rock man, May 3, 2010.
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  1. bigshot
    At least 80% of cable channels are basically the same. And many of the ones on certain subjects are only on tiny bits of that subject like the History channel, which should be called the Hitler channel; or the exact opposite of what the subject is, like the Learning channel having series about ignorant hillbillies and the science channel having documentaries about UFOs. Cable sucks. It isn't even close to what it was promised it would be. It's just a bunch of commercials and shows that aren't even good enough for broadcast TV that you pay $100 a month for.

    Subscription music is fine for what it is. I subscribed to XM for a while and it had a few stations I was interested in. But after a while, the playlist became apparent. They never got down to the songs I wanted to hear. They were too busy playing the ones I'd already heard a million times. That is comfortable for most people, but for me, it's deadly. I want to hear things I've never heard, not things I've heard over and over. I've had Spotify and it could never figure out what I wanted to hear. Amazon Prime Unlimited music is OK, but the other day I was looking at latin big band and 70s Disco 12 inch singles and the only way to hear what I was looking for was to buy a CD. I keep Amazon because it's handy for previewing things before I buy. I also use it for looped background music that plays through my Alexas. It's handy for that. But my music server is how I listen to music most of the time.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  2. 71 dB
    1. I have been able to fix CDs without scrubing in a circular motion with a soft cloth. Maybe this method helps with the more extreme cases?

    2. Or people who prefer physical media. My father collects stamps. He could collect jpg-pictures of stamps on his harddrive, but he prefers the physical stamps. I prefer physical CDs and I don't need to justify it to anyone. It's my business how I consume music. I use streaming to explore music (recently Charli XCX's new album which I didn't like as much I predicted so I won't buy the CD and Raphael & Kutira new age stuff which isn't so good to justify the huge prices these albums go for), but I don't trust it so if I like what I hear I try to get the CD.
  3. bigshot
    There are always collectors who collect like stamps. Some people collect headphones like that. I don't fill lists myself though. I chase down branches of the tree looking for relationships between performers and styles. It isn't as organized as stamp collecting- more organic.

    I tend to explore particular subjects in bursts... for instance, I heard a Buddy Rich song that I liked, so I bought a few Buddy Rich box sets and devoured them. When I listen to a bunch of a particular kind of music, I can get a feel for the overall shape of the subject. That is what I'm interested in, not specific songs.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
    Steve999 likes this.
  4. KeithEmo
    I'd have to say that I fall firmly on BOTH sides of this one.

    I personally NEVER read the liner notes on CDs.
    If I'm curious about the details I generally just Google them.
    Therefore, when I acquire a new CD, it immedlately gets ripped, and the plastic gets tossed into the closet in a box.
    However, of course, some people do enjoy that aspect of collecting music.

    That said, I do also have somewhat of a "collector mentality".
    Because of that, I have certain groups and artists who I 'collect", and I do enjoy knowing that "I have all their discs".
    I also enjoy knowing that I will never lose access to any of their albums due to a licensing dispute or something like that (which might result in its becoming unavailable via streaming).
    Therefore, I will always buy a copy of their latest album when it comes out, and keep the CD and the album notes in my permanent collection.

    However, that only applies to a small percentage of all the music I listen to.
    For a much larger majority of it, I am quite satisfied being able to simply punch up a song from a streaming service.
    It saves me the aggravation of finding a CD that I rarely listen to, and, if one specific song were to become unavailable, it wouldn't be a tragedy.
    (If I feel that way about one or two songs then I'll buy the CD they're on - or buy a download copy - or find a copy I can back up some other way.)
    Also, to be honest, my main concern is that I not lose access to the music, so a full quality file I can download and back up on a hard drive is about as good as the plastic version.

    I'm currently in the process of sorting through the remainder of the rather large collection of CDs I've acquired over the years.
    I plan to rip and keep the ones that I consider "my favorites"... and the rest will go to a friend of mine who still has a CD player and enjoys handling the plastic.
    (Those are the ones that never come out of the closet now anyway - because they're easier to stream.)

    I should also point out that the whole ecosystem of tradictional physical discs has some serious drawbacks than many people seem to ignore.

    First, there is the whole absurd notion about licensing and ownership.
    A long time ago, I purchased a vinyl copy of Dark Side Of The Moon; at the time I was told that most of the $15 I paid was for the license to listen to the music.
    Then I purchased the MFSL "audiophile version" (which is mastered very differently and sounds quite different).
    However, not only did I pay for new plastic and new mastering, but I didn't even get a discount because I HAD ALREADY PAID FOR THE MUSIC.
    Then, when it came out on CD, I was expected to pay full price again (even though they insisted that the plastic was only about $1 and the license was most of the price).
    And, when the dog ate my disc one day, instead of simply "replacing the plastic for a service charge", those crooks expected me to pay full price again.
    Many people complain that computer software companies are unethical.
    However, as long as you retain a copy of the license, most of them will allow you to download a new copy of the actual software for free, or sell you a replacement disc for a few $$$.

    Second, there is a trend with many record companies these days to issue multiple different copies of their physical CDs.
    There may be "the regular copy, the deluxe copy, and the special copy they sell at Target"...
    Or there may be different copies that are ostensibly targeted to different countries or continents.
    While they have various ways of justifying the need to do so I personally find it to be highly unethical.
    It means that, if I really want to buy "all the songs on their new album", I am forced to purchase multiple copies of the disc (different versions).
    (Instead of being fair and saying: "You already paid $15 for the disc; we'll sell you the extra deluxe track for another $1".)
    (I see no problem with having a "deluxe version" that has more songs than the "cheap version" - but, if I purchase the most expensive copy, I should get ALL the songs.
    Don't tell me that there are two songs that are ONLY available on "the South American version disc"... but two other songs are only available on the US version.)

    Not only do I personally find this highly unethocal...
    But, from a practical point of view, it means that, EVEN IF I BUY THE ACTUAL DISC I AM NOT ASSURED OF HAVING ACCESS TO THE ENTIRE ALBUM.
    (To me, this completely eliminates one of the main reasons for owning that disc, which was to actually be assured access to it.)

    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  5. bigshot
    Your collector's mentality has butted up against the real world.
  6. KeithEmo
    I don't get your comment.

    At least so far, I can stream all the music I want, AND own actual copies of the stuff I really care about.
    If you're referring to the fact that we always seem to get screwed by somebody, at least if they can figure out a way to make a few extra bucks... that isn't likely to go away any time soon.

    In all fairness, I do believe that, when it comes to different versions of discs, many music producers really do believe that it makes sense to have "customized versions for different audiences".
    And, in fact, at least one group I like did eventually release a whole separate album, containing all the "bonus tracks" from various copies of their other albums.
    By doing so, they enabled all the collectors to actually collect all their work, AND managed to sell another album... which seems like an intelligent solution to me.
    Alternately, these days, we can often purchase individual songs, via discs or single downloads, which also solves the problem nicely.
    (Unfortunately, you are quite correct, and we are stuck in a world that quite often caters to "the lowest common denominator", or "strictly the best way to make a buck".)

  7. marsza11
    Thanks for the info
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