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Re: [ARSCLIST] Internet audio: What do you expect of it ?
On 17/12/2007 you wrote;
RaAK> A number of recent threads here,have caused me to
RaAK> question just what people expect of internet audio in the first
RaAK> place.There are some people,and I won't name names,who seem to
RaAK> expect audio either streamed,or downloaded from the web,to be
RaAK> the equivalent of listening to a record,CD,or even a reel
RaAK> tape,on a fine audiophile system.
I doubt there are many like that here.
That said, there is a very large section of the listening public who
are perfectly happy with MP3 files - as witnessed by the fact that
on-line music sales are increasing rapidly.
RaAK> Uh-uh.I'm sorry,but that's the wrong way to approach
RaAK> it.If this is your intent,you are bound to come up
RaAK> disappointed.Internet audio,is more like FM radio was,back in
RaAK> the days before corporate consolidation.
My experience of FM (in the UK) was obviously totally different from
yours. For us, it was like lifting a blanket off the audio source.
The quality was truly excellent.
RaAK> I clearly recall,as a kid in the 70s,listening to taped programs
RaAK> aired on FM radio,that were so garbled,and distorted,as to be
Not in my experience they weren't. I did many taping sessions off BBC
FM (mainly R4 and R3 - they were the Home Service and the Third
Programme in those days) and they are still good today.
RaAK> Downloading a bad sounding file,is no different from
RaAK> making a cassette off of the radio.I think it's very fitting
RaAK> that the iPod should look so much like a cheap transistor radio.
I don't think a decent 128 bps MP3 file sounds any worse than a
cassette tape on a Walkman and it certainly has many advantages over a
tape based system.
No matter what it might look like, the iPod inherently has a lot
better quality than a cheap transistor radio (and quite a lot of
RaAK> Which is why I applaud a product like the Fatman iTube.
I fail to understand where you are going with this. Basically the
iTube is a 13+13 watt stereo amplifier, specifically designed to
interface with an iPod. It's also very expensive for what it is.
No matter how good the amplifier might be, the quality is limited by
the source - and an iPod simply doesn't compare with a CD in those
terms. The iTube is not going magically *improve* the quality, merely
make it louder.
Let's look at a bit of the spec for this thing:
Frequency Response 20Hz ? 20KHz (±1.5Db)
A decent CD player will be around ± 0.2 dB
Harmonic Distortion 0.5%
A decent CD player can easily exceed this figure
Signal-To-Noise Ratio 86Db
A CD is capable of 96 dB, most players get very close to that figure
RaAK> I view it as an important step,towards such a product that can
RaAK> work independently of an iPod,and will connect directly to the
RaAK> computer/sound card.I plan to contact the manufacturer,to see if
RaAK> the thing can be run this way.
Why would you want to run a 13+13 watt power amplifier into a computer
soundcard? Sounds like a good way to blow a few components up.
RaAK> I see it as a latter day version of the all-tube FM
RaAK> tuner,rather than the CD/phono amp.
I see it as a bit of audiophile nonsense for those people who have
more money than sense. £295 - who are they kidding? Not me, that's
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