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    by Published on 03-23-2009 02:57 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Bits & Bytes,
    3. Downloads / Streaming


    This afternoon the Postman dropped off the latest 24/176.4 HRx albums from Reference Recordings. I'm now the happy owner of all seven RR HRx releases. It's really great to see RR expanding its HRx catalog and setting the sound quality bar so high. The latest releases are Thinking About Bix and the Grammy nominated Arnold Overtures. Read more for additional details ...

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    by Published on 03-17-2009 04:01 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Wireless,
    3. iTunes,
    4. Network Audio,
    5. Hardware

    In the second part of this series I discussed pushing music from a music server to another location in a residence using Apple Airport Express units. These work wonderful for playing the same music in every location as the Airport Express only follows the lead of the main music server. Playing different music in each location of a residence is a little different story, but it can be accomplished in much the same fashion. Substituting AppleTVs for the Airport Express units allows a listener to either push music from the main music server, the exact same way as an Airport Express, or pull music from the main music server independently of what's playing on the server. Plus, using an iPod Touch or iPhone this can all be controlled from a single location. ...
    by Published on 03-11-2009 02:59 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Wireless,
    3. iTunes,
    4. Network Audio,
    5. Hardware

    In part two of the wireless music distribution series we get into the actual configuration of an Airport Express and iTunes to distribute music from the music server to another zone / room with AirTunes. Unfortunately the word configuration has a bad connotation when it comes to computers. Much of the time when people read the word configuration they immediately tune out and look for a canned solution that's plug n' play. Fortunately when working with most Apple components and applications the word configuration really means putting a check mark in a box and clicking OK. I'm happy to report that this is the case when enabling AirTunes. Here are some instructions and a video showing exactly how to complete this simple configuration. ...
    by Published on 03-08-2009 11:09 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Wireless,
    3. iTunes,
    4. Network Audio,
    5. Hardware

    Music distribution throughout a residence has been around as long as I can remember. This may say more about my age than the longevity of whole house music, but nonetheless we are not talking about a new concept. Traditional music distribution used a couple amplifiers and long analog cable runs that frequently suffered signal degradation. While this old-school method worked virtually every time it produced less than stellar sound at a less than stellar price. Today music distribution can be accomplished via ubiquitous wireless home networks and a couple Apple Airport Express units. The cost is greatly reduced and the sound quality is greatly improved when compared to the traditional music distribution systems. The convenience of having a complete music library accessible at the tap of an iPod Touch icon is an improvement over many systems available in the past. Plus it's even possible to turn the music on and off in individual zones from a single iPod Touch. This is the first part in a series of articles about distributing music throughout a residence. Part one provides a diagram and basic explanation of music distribution with a computer based music server. Subsequent articles in this series will show exactly how to configure iTunes and Airport Express units for music distribution as well as Apple TVs for selecting different music in each zone of the residence. ...
    by Published on 03-01-2009 08:19 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Speakers

    Immediately upon arrival the Focal Electra 1007 Be loudspeakers transformed my listening room into a mini Louvre Museum. OK, maybe that's a stretch but the Electra 1007 Be bookshelf speakers are truly a thing of beauty. Quality endlessly oozes from the 1007 Be's design before a single note is even reproduced. These substantial two-way speakers not only look fabulous they reproduce music as veraciously as the source material and components can supply it. The external structure of the Electra 1007 Be speakers will add glamour and color to any room while the inside components won't add glamour or color to any music. As Paula Abdul articulated so well back in 1989, opposites certainly do attract. ...
    by Published on 02-28-2009 11:37 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. iTunes,
    3. Software,
    4. Basics

    Sharing a single iTunes Library among several users is not difficult to setup if you know what you're doing. If you're a newbie it can be an exercise in frustration when error messages about read only directories pop up. The term Sharing in the context of this article does not equate to the built-in iTunes library sharing feature. Rather, sharing in this situation means using a single iTunes library and music folder location for several different users of the same computer. (Note: This will also work for several users on different computers if the appropriate files are placed on a network drive visible by all computers.) After setting up the shared library all users should be able to sync their individual iPods with their own personalized settings as well. Here is a video showing how to setup a single iTunes Library for use by several users, followed by some basic instructions that go along with the video. ...

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