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    by Published on 04-17-2014 11:33 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Downloads / Streaming

    Streaming audio is all the rage. Millions of albums at our fingertips from any Internet connected location on the planet. I'm a paid subscriber of Spotify, Beats, and Pandora. The convenience these services offer while I'm in my car or traveling to an audio show is well worth $10 per month. I also admit to frequently using Beats at home on my iPhone even though the MP3 sound quality is far less than my lossless collection of nearly 57,000 standard and high resolution tracks. When I want hear my lossless collection I pull the music from a Synology Network Attached Storage (NAS) unit through JRiver Media Center and on to a USB DAC. Or, I listen through the Aurender W20 with my lossless collection stored on its local hard drives. I've long thought it would be interesting to leverage cloud storage and stream my entire collection from the Internet rather than a NAS or local hard drives. I'm not talking about streaming this collection to a portable device or to another location when I'm away from home. I'm talking about storing all my music in the cloud. I want an app such as JRiver Media Center to pull the music from the cloud rather than a NAS. An oversimplification of the concept could be seen as JRMC pulling ...
    by Published on 03-18-2014 12:10 PM
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    2. Downloads / Streaming
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    Sitting in an oversized bulbous chair outside the interview room waiting for my turn to speak with Neil Young was surreal. I didn't grow up a big fan of Neil. I was introduced to his music through my favorite band Pearl Jam. PJ frequently plays Rockin' In The Free World as an encore at its shows. In addition, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam refers to Mr. Young as Uncle Neil. According to Eddie, Neil has provided much needed guidance to the band from the mid-nineties monstrous successes to the suicide of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and the band's decision to take a step back from the limelight. As I sat in the nice Austin breeze, several thoughts went through my head. I was expecting Neil to be tired of answering questions and possibly annoyed that a guy from Computer Audiophile was about to interview this vinyl loving rockstar. Let's face it, I'm no Ben Fong-Torres. Was I going to turn into Chris Farley interviewing Paul McCartney on Saturday Night Live? What if I said, "Remember when you were with Buffalo Springfield, that was awesome." My mind was spiraling out of control with endless possibilities. Fortunately my questions for Neil were on my iPhone and my Nagra ARES-MII recorder was in hand. All I had to do was ask the questions and listen to the answers. Then, Rick from Warner Brothers said, "Chris, you're up." ...
    by Published on 02-28-2014 01:29 AM
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    2. Downloads / Streaming
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    Friday, February 21, 2014 Beck's new album Morning Phase was released. Similar to many other artists and albums, Beck offered the album in three formats via his website, vinyl, CD, and MP3. In addition to Beck's site Apple offered the Mastered for iTunes AAC version and HDtracks offered the high resolution 24 bit / 96 kHz version. I downloaded the high resolution version from HDtracks. I really like the music. Beck is a great artist and it shows on Morning Phase. The sound quality of the high resolution 24/96 release is just OK. Considering the quality of the musical performance I can live with the underwhelming sound quality. I'd rather listen to this album on an old AM radio than listen to Scottish nose whistle recorded at 24/192 and played on the world's best audio system. I'll take content over quality any day, but as an audiophile I'd much rather have both good content and good quality. Thursday, February 27, 2014 I noticed the forum discussion heating up about a rumored better sounding MP3 version bundled with vinyl version of the album. Thus began my quest to find the best sounding version. In total I purchased Morning Phase six times and discovered five different digital versions of the album. Computer audiophiles may be surprised to read which version I prefer and highly recommend. ...
    by Published on 02-05-2014 10:55 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Announcements


    Since high resolution downloads began consumers have been clamoring for more information about each release. Audiophiles care about much more than bit depth and sample rate of their favorite albums. Important details such as mastering engineer, recording engineer, and the provenance of each download can be difficult to find. In addition to the facts, finding people's opinions and comparisons about musical performances and sound quality can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Wouldn't it be nice if we all had a single location to read and write reviews of our favorite, and not so favorite, music? That's what the new CA Music Reviews section is all about. CA Music Reviews isn't limited to high resolution or downloads only, but the greatest need right now is for more information about high resolution downloads. The Music Reviews section of CA is designed to be a win-win for everyone from the consumer to the online retailer to the artist. Credit should be given where credit is due. On the flip side, when readers discover a mistake has been made preparing a file for high resolution release everyone should have this information. In the long run the quality of the products should increase when people know it will be reviewed subjectively and possibly analyzed objectively in the Music Reviews section of CA. ...
    by Published on 01-21-2014 10:58 AM
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    2. Editorial
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    Apple's original iTunes model of selling music downloads per album or per track has been doomed since MOG and Spotify entered the music streaming space. Why would anyone purchase a $10 album or $1 track if they could only listen to it through iTunes or an iOS device? Because they don't know any better. That same $10 gets music lovers one month of unlimited access to roughly 15 million tracks from any computer, iOS or Android device using Spotify and the just-launched MOG replacement Beats Music. Limited access to one album or extended access to that single album plus 15 million more albums for around the same price. This is a no-brainer. Even a monkey would select a streaming service such as Beats Music. ...
    by Published on 12-26-2013 08:43 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes
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    I've been following loudspeaker manufacturer Magico for nearly five years. I was first introduced to the company's founder Alon Wolf through mutual friends in California's bay area. Soon after meeting Alon I visited Magico's Berkeley factory where the company was designing its then flagship M5 loudspeaker. I spent quite awhile listening to the M5s during that visit. At that time the M5 was the best speaker I'd ever heard. In late December 2009 I re-visited Magico's Berkeley factory to listen to an unknown speaker that I was told was something special. The experience was a bit like déjà vu as I spent hours listening to the newly designed Q5 loudspeaker. This speaker was far above and beyond anything Magico had previously produced, but I left the factory proclaiming, "The Magico Q5 loudspeaker is the best loudspeaker I've ever heard anywhere. There isn't a single product on the market today that's capable of this level of performance." Much has changed since that last visit including a new flagship Q7 loudspeaker, the introduction of Magico's S Series, and a new home for the factory. Fast forward to December 2013. It was time to visit Magico once again. ...

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