• The Computer Audiophile

    by Published on 05-21-2015 03:16 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Editorial

    Without fail, every time I talk about the money to be made from streaming music services I receive feedback from people suggesting I'm an ignoramus to people such as Portishead's Geoff Barrow telling me to "wake the fuk up!" and "bore off you knob. (Link )" I stand by my opinion that there's plenty of money to be made by the music industry from streaming services and that artist's vitriol toward these services is misplaced and misleading. For example, Kendrick Lamar's newest album To Pimp a Butterfly was streamed 9.6 million times in its first 24 hours of release on Spotify. Based on numbers provided by Spotify (Link ), this earned a payout of between $921,600 and $1,290,240. Then how is it that Portishead made just $2,500 off 34 million streams when the math works out to more like $204k to $285k? As David Byrne said, "Same as it ever was." The rights holders, namely the record labels, are making the money. When artists complain that they're making little to no money from streaming music, it's more often than not explicit or implicit that services such as Spotify are to blame. As expected the artist's fans eat it up, retweeting and echoing the same misleading pseudo-facts that are really a disservice to the artist, the fan, and everyone except the record label. I hate to say it, but those who aren't making as much money as they wish from streaming need to look inward rather than outward. If you signed your rights away to a record label, you're getting that to which you agreed. It doesn't matter if the contract was signed before the advent of streaming. The contract was still signed and based on the long notable history of record labels' "terrific" treatment of artists, it could have been foreseen that when in doubt the label will come out on top. In other words, expect to get screwed if something unforeseen pops up. Don't get me started on artists who are still trying to hold back the hands of time and kill the streaming services. I get it that you used to make more money from CD sales. However, the free market has spoken. People don't want what you're selling, if you're selling CDs or lossy downloads. Getting back on track, it's the rights holders who are making plenty of money from streaming services and who stand to earn much more as more people enter the streaming music fray. ...
    by Published on 05-11-2015 09:39 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Software
    Article Preview

    The hottest thing to hit HiFi in recent memory is here. It's a software application / service called Roon from Roon Labs. Roon is unlike anything currently available for OS X and Windows in that it enables users to browse their music collections effortlessly and in an incredibly engaging manner. Rather than post screenshots I created a video showing the rich experience that Roon enables. A more thorough article with detailed tips, tricks, and information is soon to follow. ...
    by Published on 05-05-2015 01:00 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. CA Meet & Greet
    Article Preview

    The first CA get together went off without a hitch! Thanks to everyone who came out the Westside Cafe in Berkeley on Saturday. Also, thanks to Tim for sponsoring the event and to Dave for getting the ball rolling. Despite being sick I had a blast meeting everyone. The collective knowledge and experience of the CA readers is truly amazing. I know I learned more by talking to people over a few hours at the event than I have in a long time.

    I encourage all who attended to leave a comment about the event so those who couldn't attend understand what they missed :~) And, people in other locations can get an idea about hosting their own CA get together.

    I've received photos from CA reader Barr and those photos are attached below. If people want to share more photos let me know and I'll add them to the article.

    P.S. I went sailing for the first time in my life the day before the event. I now know what 25 knot winds and waves like a washing machine out in the Bay are like. Scared the hell out of me! ...
    by Published on 04-29-2015 08:52 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Network Audio

    Over the years I've researched countless software and hardware combinations, based on the Raspberry Pi, for use in HiFi audio systems. I'm not alone. Audiophiles all over the world have been trying to squeeze every ounce of audio quality from the device since its release in February 2012. During the early attempts it was "nerd city" with massive tweaking and lackluster results. Now, with the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, the right software, and a few optional add-ons, audiophiles have a simple solution for HiFi sound starting at around $50.

    After publishing the previous CA Geek Speak article with instructions for using a Beaglebone Black as a UPnP renderer, I noticed many user comments seeking additional features. Members of the CA Community asked for WiFi, Spotify, and different audio output options among other things. Satisfying these needs wasn't possible with the hardware limitations of the Beaglebone Black. Thus, I went back to the Raspberry Pi platform and pieced together three different solutions for bit perfect playback. ...
    by Published on 04-10-2015 10:01 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Disk Storage,
    3. Speakers,
    4. Wireless,
    5. Music Hub / Controller
    Article Preview

    Those of us who care about music and sound quality, and wish to stream music around our houses, finally have a product that fits the bill. We are no longer stuck with Sonos. The Bluesound ecosystem, consisting of storage, streamers, and speakers is a much needed upgrade over the whole house systems that became so popular over the last several years. Bluesound is a well designed system with components that work together or independently. The Bluesound Pulse is a loudspeaker with built-in streaming capability. The Bluesound Vault is a NAS with built-in CD ripping and streaming capabilities as well as outputs for both analog and digital audio. Control of the Bluesound components is accomplished from a number of devices including a very nice iOS app for iPad and iPhone. Over the course of my review I was very impressed by the entire ecosystem of components and applications. I pushed the wireless capability to its limits and found a couple fairly small quirks / bugs in the apps, but certainly no showstoppers. I highly recommend the Bluesound ecosystem for people looking to sack Sonos and move into something with superior sound quality and for those who are finally ready to jump into the streaming audio water for the first time. ...
    by Published on 04-03-2015 09:44 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes

    The first ever Computer Audiophile get together has been scheduled! Thanks to CA member petaluma for getting the ball rolling and keeping track of who can attend the event. There have been a few ideas thrown around since we first starting talking about such an event and I now have the firm details. The event will be very informal, without any presentations. Just a bunch of like-minded people getting together for an afternoon. I look forward to seeing everyone there! ...
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