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Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: November 02, 2013, 01:50:30 PM »

Total Tracks: 200,482
Total Albums: 19,846
Total Artists: 15,594

We got a foot of rain this week.  Beautiful and cool right now.  Great Saturday.

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: October 26, 2013, 10:15:36 AM »

Total Tracks: 199,054
Total Albums: 19,686
Total Artists: 15,522

Beautiful weather here in Austin.  Drought has actually eased a bit.

now playing: Patrick Cowley - Primordial Landscape

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: October 06, 2013, 08:46:35 AM »

Total Tracks: 197,493
Total Albums: 19,519
Total Artists: 15,453

The hardware/players that I use for my music server work very well.  I have instant access to all my music in several rooms of the house; I can sync playback throughout the house if desired.  Unfortunately Logitech has dropped the Squeezebox line of players.

The good news is that the Squeezebox community is made of hardware and software developers who now are making open source hardware for the now open source server software.  This product will compete with Sonos but will offer two big advantages: lower cost and the playback of hi-res files.  Additionally Sonos uses internal memory for its database; that usually fills up at approximately 65,000 files - there are no plans for that to increase that anyone can discern.  The disadvantage will be that the new players may not look as good and they will be initially headless without a display, using iOS/Android/computer apps to control the players.  They may also require an external DAC which could be an advantage.  For those of you contemplating trying out a home music server, this might be an inexpensive route to go.

I'll keep you posted.

Now playing: 2.0: Chad Hoefler - Orchard Of Stone

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: September 30, 2013, 03:25:27 AM »

Total Tracks: 196,491
Total Albums: 19,415
Total Artists: 15,396

The process of bagging my CDs (going from jewel boxes to poly bags) is nearly complete after years of work.  I have probably 400 more to go.

Now Playing on 2.0 : Bengalfuel - Mr. Crow

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: September 15, 2013, 07:12:18 AM »

Total Tracks: 195,688
Total Albums: 19,326
Total Artists: 15,364

I had to modify the Logitech Media Server to use a 4 GB RAM disk on the server laptop as the database for the server was getting too slow due to large size.

The laptop also serves up my 24/7 commercial-free ambient stream.

My last live ambient stream ended abruptly 8 years ago when Katrina hit New Orleans and cut the power to about the only thing I left going, the ambient server.  Here's a list of the last 100 songs played on that stream, left eerily hanging in cyber space.

Now playing: Jack Hertz - To Raise The Dead (alt studio mix)

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: August 17, 2013, 03:46:56 PM »

Total Tracks: 192,004
Total Albums: 18,919
Total Artists: 15,041

np: Jori Hulkkonen: Nitewalking "ambient house music"

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: August 04, 2013, 06:57:25 AM »

Total Tracks: 190,789
Total Albums: 18,801
Total Artists: 14,950

np: David Parsons - City of Spirits on 2.0

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / NY The New Audio Geeks
« on: July 28, 2013, 12:48:50 PM »

Points I would like to make:

1.  MP3s may usher a lot more people into the hi-fi world but many people with iPods could care less
2.  Digital or analog is fine as both have pros & cons
3.  The laws of diminishing returns applies to audio equipment probably more than any other area of technology or entertainment
4.  I think the article should have focused more on lossless versus lossy files
5.  No one can hear the difference between $10 and $1000 interconnects
6.  Vinyl, although I have had an addiction for it, is not the gold standard of audio formats


Edit:  Here's one of THOSE interconnects: at over $5000!  and another at almost $7000.  If I had money to throw away, it certainly would not be on that nonsense. 

PS If you want a monthly laugh, check out in paper format.  The equipment is described in highly subjective terms and NEVER tested in blinded settings to demonstrate that there is an objective reason to throw away 10 grand on a particular DAC, or cable or CD player.

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: July 26, 2013, 03:14:06 PM »

Total Tracks: 189,795
Total Albums: 18,681
Total Artists: 14,888

now playing: 2.0

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Bandcamp
« on: July 26, 2013, 01:48:50 PM »
Hey Mike.

Did you consider having your store on Bandcamp?  If so what made you decide to NOT do that way?


Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Bandcamp
« on: July 12, 2013, 03:56:13 PM »
I was an early adopter back when Bandcamp got started.  I love it, they know how to treat artists, and buying music through bandcamp is dead easy.  I also like the way they handle physical sales, as I have to box it up and mail it myself, not depend on cdbaby or a different distribution platform.  This makes the artist and listeners feel more connected, and I like that.

I'm just listening to Gramophone Transmissions on Bandcamp right now and really digging it.  My cup of tea.  Proves that rapid gratification can be good.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Bandcamp
« on: July 12, 2013, 03:41:58 AM »
Bandcamp seems to be setting the standard for the distribution of digital music.  The variety and amount of music that is available is mind-boggling, and much of it can be had for "pay what you want" or free.  I'm tickled pink about the availability of my precious .flac files.  Entire labels have set up their own camps there.  Limited edition CDs are also available in many cases.

The new social media aspect (collections) is also fairly cool but clearly in its infancy.

I'm curious what other forum members and, in particular, artists and labels think about Bandcamp.

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: July 05, 2013, 04:19:35 AM »

Total Tracks: 188,521
Total Albums: 18,555
Total Artists: 14,806

np: False Mirror - Drift Towards Zero on

Everything and Nothing / Re: CD's and Paper Sleeves Do NOT Mix
« on: June 17, 2013, 04:06:59 AM »
This is one of my pet peeves.  If you're buying physical product. please don't make it necessary to to slide the playing surface on anything except smooth plastic.  While paper may not have the characteristics necessary to scratch a disc, any little bit of grit on the disc surface MAY scratch the playing surface if the paper/cardboard forces you to slide the disc out.

I have had to get replacements for two discs that were scratched/unrippable the first time I ever removed the disc from their cardboard sleeves in the past week.

I recently bought the Fleetwood Mac "Rumours" 3-disc set.  This had the same goofy packaging I've seen on other big name bands/record companies reissues, by groups such as U2, Led Zeppelin, etc., wherein the CD's slide in and out of very thin cardboard/paper holders from the top of the packaging.  The problem is the CD's get scratched by the paper packaging; and even if you remove the disc(s) carefully, often they are already badly scratched when removing them from the packaging for the first time, from when they were assembled at the factory.  I looked at all three Rumours discs under the light yesterday and they looked like they had been put under someone's shoe and scraped along the floor, and they're only about 2 days old!   

Can't these record companies design better packaging to protect the discs?  I like fancy packaging as much as the next guy, but to me the discs are the most important thing and should be secured properly to avoid damage. 

I've noticed this is a problem more in the pop music world rather than the ambient world.  Some ambient labels, like Darla, have been issuing CD's in the thin cardboard sleeve packaging, but if you remove them carefully enough you can avoid scratches.  Often what I'll do though is just put them in my own "safe sheets" so they don't slide around and get scratched.

I have to agree with your enthusiasm about Bandcamp.  The vast number of artists, the ability to hear samples/entire songs/entire albums per artist specification, the range of types of downloads, the new social media aspect, and the ability to get a physical product makes Bandcamp almost an ideal way to buy music.

I'm not sure what the stipulations and fees are for the artist but from the consume point-of-view, Bandcamp is the bees knees.

I much prefer physical CD's over downloads, but sometimes it seems the BS you have to go through with flaky or unprofessional sellers is not worth it. 

I generally have good experiences with mail order, but the occasional bad ("we forgot to send it") or slow (overseas) experience always leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Here is the physical/digital compromise that I've come to adore: Bandcamp.

A number of ambient, experimental, and minimalist artists and labels are now selling their CDs on Bandcamp. What is awesome about buying CDs via Bandcamp is that the artist/label receives an e-mail notifying them of the payment/mailing address. So the label/artist can send out the physical copy per the usual slow process. But, as soon as you make the purchase, you can immediately download the release in a number of digital formats--including flac if you're an audiophile--all of which are DRM free.

Thanks to Bandcamp, the physical CD vs. download option is no longer a mutually exclusive choice for the consumer. I think of this as win-win for everyone. For the consumer, you get the physical product, but, while you wait, you can enjoy the digital release and/or store it on your hard drive as backup. If you want to save some money, you can download the digital version only. Plus, when the artist is slow to deliver, at least you have something to listen to in the meantime. On the artist/label side, I think you get a generous portion of the sale price. Plus, since Bandcamp covers the hosting and sales end, it makes it ridiculously easy (I assume) to sell in a global marketplace with little maintenance, auxiliary costs, etc. Plus, exposure becomes more "natural": I've discovered a number of artists simply by checking the playlists of other people who bought things that I also bought. It is so much fun to see what other people with like-minded tastes are listening to. In addition, because it is often possible to hear an entire track or album before buying, the exposure factor is fantastic.

It is very rare for me to order physical releases from sellers that do not have a Bandcamp presence these days. I still do it, but, I find myself less likely to do so than in the past simply because I love ability to download the digital immediately and receive the physical CD later. Bandcamp makes the process so darn fun and rewarding.

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: June 16, 2013, 09:32:17 AM »

Total Tracks: 187,456
Total Albums: 18,432
Total Artists: 14,746

now playing: 2.0 [Media Form: Beauty Report Four]

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: May 23, 2013, 06:29:44 PM »

Total Tracks: 184,988
Total Albums: 18,189
Total Artists: 14,616

now playing: Claus Bantzer, Ryuichi Sakamoto - Asadoya Yunta

Now Playing / Re: FILE://Access/Rip/Play
« on: April 14, 2013, 05:53:27 AM »

Total Tracks: 182,652
Total Albums: 17,958
Total Artists: 14,474

I just added another 2 TB drive to total 8 TB of storage on the server.  Approximately 5-6 TB is in use.

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