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Everything and Nothing / Re: It's a new year... let's introduce ourselves
« on: January 14, 2009, 05:41:14 AM »
Hey ya'll.  Jim Zachary here.

I'm a 52 year old ambient music nut and physician.  I moved to Austin, Texas a couple of years ago after Katrina destroyed my old hometown, New Orleans.  I had lived in N.O. for 26 years, but basically after K, N.O. was not the city I had signed up for.  My job, my home and my life suddenly became all hypothetical.  I decided to move to higher ground, literally and figuratively.  Austin is a great place to live.  It rocks...literally.  It's a nice mix of urban life and quirkiness.

I run the.zzzone which has been streaming ambient music on Live365 for 8 years now.  My website contains no advertising; therefore I do this as a way of spreading the gospel of ambient music and sharing my extensive collection of music with the world legally.  Some artists and labels give me deals or donate promos which I appreciate, of course.  I have music from every artist that has posted to this thread.

In my profession, I treat infectious diseases and HIV in folks who have no insurance.  I work for the City of Austin's community health clinics.  At my HIV clinic we treat about 2000 patients.  It is interesting to note that our patients get better care in many ways than I do from my own physician.  I am the medical director at the clinic.  We deal with quite a bit of addiction and substance dependence.

I live 5 minutes from the clinic.

I hope 2009 is a great year for everyone.


Everything and Nothing / Re: Organizing large music collections.
« on: January 12, 2009, 05:44:25 AM »
It's difficult to say the least.

The best way is also the most time-intensive.

I am systematically ripping all my music to lossless format (.flac) and storing it on a music server which naturally makes finding and accessing the music infinitely easier.

Hence my "adventures in ripping" thread in which I detail my problems with CD-Rs and CDDAs.

Everything and Nothing / Re: CD-R Deterioration
« on: January 11, 2009, 08:53:08 AM »
The latest title with fairly extensive errors is a CDDA title which was new: Robert Rich - Calling Down the Sky.  As on most CDs, the error-prone tracks are the last two.

It had about 130 errors on it.  As it take 5-30 secs for each to be re-read, it will be sometime before I find out if the error-correction process was successful.

I'm sure it will play fine in a CD player.

Several of Mathias Grassow's CD-Rs were so error-prone on the last track or two, I had to use an alternative ripper that apparently ignores errors and just plows through.  While those rips will not reflect what Mr. Grassow intended exactly, at least they can be accomplished.

The reason I am finding so many of these errors is that I am systematically going through my entire collection which consists of approximately 15,000 CDs.  The overall problem rate is actually fairly low.

As I am ripping the tracks to .flac, I am also converting the files to .mp3 for use on my stream at

Everything and Nothing / Re: my extended holiday season
« on: January 04, 2009, 12:01:16 PM »
Congrats Jim.

My partner and I have been sober for 7 years now.

Many of my patients suffer with the disease of addiction.  It's a tough one.

Take care.

Everything and Nothing / Re: CD-R Deterioration
« on: January 04, 2009, 11:57:50 AM »
I use dBpoweramp to rip.  It uses the Accuraterip database and C1 error reporting from the CD/DVD-ROM among other things to produce a precise copy of the music files. . . . . I placed the Baghiri disc in my crappy home stereo CD player, and it seemed fine.

Do you have access to another CD/DVD-ROM that can rip your discs? I'm wondering if you current DVDrom is the problem and not the discs themselves, especially if they play fine in your regular CD player. If the laser is going bad you would probably get lots of errors, using a different DVDrom device to rip with would probably eliminate one or the other.

Thanks for your reply. 

I am using a brand new computer with 2 drives.  Both get the same errors.  And it's not on all discs.  I'm getting the errors on probably 5-10% at most.  In many cases the software will correct the problem by reading and rereading until it acquires the "data"; however, in some cases, the data just is not there anymore.

I suspect the CD player does okay by interpolating.  I have very cheap hi-fi equipment.

However, as I mentioned, a couple of discs are totally unplayable even on the CD player: the Matthew J Harris "Blind Cinema" and the Robert Scott Thompson - "Blue Day" discs.  Both are CD-Rs with clear deterioration.

Unfortunately as I rip my large collection of CD-Rs by Mathias Grassow, I am getting quite a few errors.  Dang again.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Unknown Ambient CD-R
« on: January 04, 2009, 09:51:21 AM »

It takes a detective to figure out this disc.

I went to his discography and looked up any discs with "INS" as the first 3 letters.

The only match was "Insights 10 x CD-R"

The "g" got me but I realized that it could be a "9".  However, disc 9 only has 3 tracks and my disc had the silent first track.

However, although not exact, the times for disc 9 all match the times for tracks 2, 3, 4.

I'm not sure how the extra 30 sec blank track fits in, but this is Insight disc 9.

Thanks Jim.

Unfortunately, after I located the rest of the set, I am getting some frame errors as I rip the discs.  See my other CD-R deterioration thread.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Unknown Ambient CD-R
« on: January 04, 2009, 09:34:21 AM »
I concur.  I have received a bunch of CD-Rs from MG.

I'll check to see if it fits in with the rest in terms of brand of CD-R and labeling.

Thanks so much.

Everything and Nothing / Re: CD-R Deterioration
« on: January 03, 2009, 05:25:41 PM »
Squeezebox is actually a family of players which are linked by Wi-Fi to the server computer.

There is a high end receiver (Transporter) and low-end (Boom).

I have one Duet and one Boom, and I plan on more.

You can see my Boom review here:

Everything and Nothing / Re: Unknown Ambient CD-R
« on: January 03, 2009, 05:16:15 PM »
If you want to see if you can help me, check these files out:

I didn't include the silent 30 sec track although I will send it to you if you want it :)

Everything and Nothing / Unknown Ambient CD-R
« on: January 03, 2009, 04:25:50 PM »
I just found a CD-R in a plain white envelope.  There are no identifying markings on the CD-R.

The envelope is marked with "INS. g" on the back with a pen.

There are 4 tracks.

1.  0:30 - seems totally silent
2.  30:36 - lovely drone with some superimposed echoes and field recordings
3.  29:29 - a lower pitched drone
4.  15:13 - another slowly changing drone

Sorry, I'm not very good with these descriptions.

I tried using all the databases (AMG, FreeDB, MusicBrainz, GraceNote, etc.) and there were no matches.

I can send post some MP3s if anyone wants to try to figure it out.


Addendum:  I am uploading some .mp3 versions and will post links when they are up.

Everything and Nothing / Re: CD-R Deterioration
« on: January 03, 2009, 01:18:29 PM »
I use dBpoweramp to rip.  It uses the Accuraterip database and C1 error reporting from the CD/DVD-ROM among other things to produce a precise copy of the music files.

If it hits unreadable errors, it reports them as frame errors and it rereads them repeatedly at reduced speed until the data is obtained or not.

The Baghiri disc (brand new, never played) had like 700 errors in the last track with no visible scratches.  It slowed down more and more to read the errors but never could.  I canceled the rip.

The Robert Scott Thompson disc was unplayable and unrippable.

I placed the Baghiri disc in my crappy home stereo CD player, and it seemed fine.

My "beef": I am unable to archive and stream these unrippable songs through my new system that is designed to replace CDs.

It may be debatable if that is a legitimate problem or not, but CDs may be going the way of vinyl because of their susceptibility to damage/poor manufacturing and because it is much "handier" to be able to dial up whatever music than to physically get a CD, put it in the player, and change it out at the end.

Squeezebox (my music server) has allowed me to rediscover so much of my music because basically it's playing all the time now...without having to change CDs or change out a CD changer.

I now have 37,000+ songs in .flac format on the hard drive of my music server.

Everything and Nothing / Re: CD-R Deterioration
« on: January 03, 2009, 11:42:15 AM »

Two clinkers in one day.

The latest is a previously unopened CDDA:

Amir Baghiri - Ghazal

The 2 last tracks have multiple errors.

Everything and Nothing / Re: CD-R Deterioration
« on: January 03, 2009, 10:51:14 AM »
In my further ripping adventures, I ran across another CD-R that has no visible scratches, yet refuses to rip or play:

Robert Scott Thompson - Blue Day

It appears to have a paper label on it.  The plastic has turned a bright yellow color.

The CD-R problems totally outnumber the CDA problems so far (5:1 or so)

I've emailed Aucourant about a replacement.

Jerry and I both broadcast our ambient stations from New Orleans for years without knowing each other.

One day he was checking out my site and thought he recognized some pictures.

He emailed and we chatted a few times.

Subsequently we both survived Katrina but with significant life changes.

I moved away in late 2006 and had not heard much from him. Lately I noticed that he had not updated his station in a bit.

He will be missed as he no doubt looks down on us from an astral plane.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Now Watching
« on: December 31, 2008, 09:36:27 AM »
Blu-Ray: The Dark Knight - great film but went on for too long - Heath Ledger is a great Joker

Blu-Ray: Iron Man - another good super hero movie

DVD: Stop Loss - a compelling story about the backdoor draft of the Iraq war

DVD: The Brothers Grimm - Terry Gilliam movie with great visuals and pretty good story - lots of fairytale references starring Matt Damon and Heath Ledger

I finally got a Blu-Ray player when I found one for $150 on

Everything and Nothing / Re: CD-R Deterioration
« on: December 13, 2008, 04:00:57 PM »
I am converting my CD collection to .flac files for a home music server.

A conventional CD player would not suit this purpose unfortunately.

However, I will try the experiment and let you know.

Everything and Nothing / Re: CD-R Deterioration
« on: December 13, 2008, 08:54:45 AM »
The player rips other discs quickly and reliably with dBpoweramp. 

I have two players in the computer in question and neither reads the last track.  Both players are less than 2 months old.

I know this is not fool-proof evidence of a good player but it's the best I can do.

Everything and Nothing / Re: CD-R Deterioration
« on: December 13, 2008, 08:15:39 AM »
Yet another chapter in this super fascinating thread:

A CD-R this morning will not allow the last track to be read: Deep Chill Network - Dreams 4 - Why?

Inspection of the CD-R reveals no damage.

Is this some other problem with CD-Rs?

The list of non-ripping CD-Rs is certain growing with only one CDDA no-go.

My encouragement to try to avoid these things is also getting stronger.

Everything and Nothing / Re: CD-R Deterioration
« on: December 07, 2008, 10:57:07 AM »
I got an email from another person that informed me that his copy of "Blind Cinema" had gone to pot also.

Everything and Nothing / Re: CD-R Deterioration
« on: December 02, 2008, 04:35:15 AM »
It's there, Jim.

You didn't see your own name?

dBpoweramp put your name instead of "Rigel Orionis" as the folder name.

Look again.

So much for karma.
using the name "jim brenholts" is enough to ruin your kharma for at least the next year. that is why i use a recording alias.

Karma correction has been implemented at your request, sir.

I consider you the boss of your own music.

I clicked on the questionable folder name and took the trouble to type in Rigel Orionis.

I feel much better now, and I know you do too.

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