Like many here, I try to keep computer audio simple. My music library resides on a single external bus-powered Oyen firewire drive. Until recently, this was a 1TB Samsung HDD. I've now replaced it with a 1TB SSD, but what is of relevance here is what happened after about three years of constant, daily use. Like many drives (HHD and SSD), it started to fail. However, it wasn't obvious to me, at first, that the hardware was failing. I am still not certain. When I copied the contents of the
I let iTunes organize my music library. (In the "advanced" preference window, you can choose to let iTunes do this, or you can choose to do it manually. Manual seems too much like work, but I hate that I cannot customize how iTunes organizes things).
iTunes serves many functions, much to many people's annoyance. It is a bloated monstrosity, and gets more annoying and controlling and arbitrary by the year. But like any disfunctional relationship, one clings to hope like a gerbil on grease
The following settings help to hide some of the more annoying "features":
Uncheck Apple Music (if you don't want to use the streaming service) and iCloud Music Library (unless you use it). (iTunes Preferences > General)
Disable iTunes Store and internet radio (iTunes Preferences > Parental Control). If you leave the iTunes Store enabled, you might want to turn off the automatically fetch album art in the Store preferences. You can still fetch it manually with a
After about 20 years of snide comments and sneering dismissal, I dragged the wifey to see the remains of the Dead last Sunday (last week, in Santa Clara, CA). As they were tuning up, she asked me if it had started. I replied that it was about to, and it would be rather unambiguous. They kicked in about 20 minutes behind schedule with "Feel Like a Stranger" and about 79,999 of the approximately 80,000 in attendance of the 50th anniversary of the band that never had a hit were instantly on their
I think I am need of a bit of a break from here.
I enjoy a good heated discussion as much as anyone, but being repeatedly stalked in "cyber-space," having my photograph ripped off my employer's website and posted here without my permission, and being accused (falsely) of making "racist" comments against Australians (with not one shred of evidence ever offered), makes me realize my non-anonymous presence here could potentially harm my job, my personal and professional reputation, and may invi
There are (at least) three ways one can use an Apple TV to play music:
(1) Airplay streaming from a computer, iPod, iPhone, etc. This works in pretty much the same way as airplay to an Airport Express, or some airplay-enabled speakers like the Zeppelin Air. The streaming is done close to real-time, with a player application (like iTunes, or the player software on an iPhone) controlling it. (Recent versions of OS X with the right hardware can do this from the operating system level, both
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Before you Start ...
Take a look at the well-hidden Computer Audiophile Academy: Basics
Puddletag was developed for Linux, but it is easily ported to OS X. I made a fink package that enables you to install it automatically. If you have fink installed, simply issue the command
fink -y install puddletag
or, if you want to do this quickly with precompiled debian packages,
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install puddletag
and Bob's your uncle.
If you don't have fink installed, you can get a copy of mine, which w
I'm playing with a new remote control setup, the Logitech Harmony Smart Control system.
I initially purchased the system with the physical remote:
It lists for $130, but Logitech periodically drops the price to $99, so it is worth holding out (as I did) until the next time it goes on sale.
You can also buy it with an integrated keyboard/scrollpad instead:
This lists for $150. I have not seen it go on sale.
I hated having to make the choice, but now Logitech has ans
Here are two AppleScripts that turn write-protection on and off for your music library. If you want to add or edit stuff, run the script ResetWriteProtectMusic. If you want to protect your music files from accidental alteration or deletion, run the script WriteProtectMusic. These can be placed in the user's ~/Library/iTunes/Scripts directory, and they appear in the iTunes script menu item (here as the bottom two entries):
How to use iTunes on one computer to control Audirvana Plus or other third-party player software on another computer
I'm experimenting with using iTunes as a remote-control interface. It has always kind of bothered me that there is no desktop-based version of Apple's Remote.app (like the one on my iPad I can use with Bob Stern's script to control Audirvana). I found a way to trick iTunes into doing this for me, using a simple zsh shell script that you can obtain from this link:
I had been using Audirvana in iTunes-integrated mode since it became available, but have now returned to using it in stand-alone mode because the integrated mode is incompatible with Dirac room-correction software.
In the time that I have been using Audirvana in integrated mode, the plug-in that I hacked together (with considerable help from Bob Stern) stopped working; it is incompatible with the latest iTunes and/or OS, and I haven't been able to fix it.
I found a much simpler work-arou
I just got an application called EventScripts and its companion free iOS app. It has quite a bit of functionality. The two I instantly made use of are (1) the trigger function, so it can execute an Applescript or shell script in response to an event (eg: starting playback in iTunes), and (2) the iOS remote functionality, which gives you a simple interface to run any Applescript or shell script remotely, eg:
One of the best things about FLAC is that it contains an internal checksum, so you can see if the audio portion of the file has been changed (i.e., corrupted in some way, or has suffered "bit rot"). You can change the tags embedded in the file all you want, and it won't alter this checksum. The only thing that will cause it to change is damage to the audio content of the file.
Wouldn't it be nice if ALAC had the same feature? It turns out the Apple OS X command-line utility can do this fo
OK, I just spent $260 + tax on four light bulbs. Sue me. I've done worse buying metal halide lightbulbs for my erstwhile reef tanks (a hobby that makes audio look thrifty).
Here is what I bought:
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DigiPete inspired me to use one of my drawer-full of Powermate dials in conjunction with my Redeye Remote. (Sadly, Redeye has gone belly-up, but this would work with any remote system th
I've pretty much come to the conclusion that audiophiles are either a bunch of pathological liars governed by mass hysteria, or they must hear things fundamentally differently from the way everyone else does.
I wonder if this is a form of synesthesia. Maybe not the extreme forms, like people who smell colors, but nonetheless, the experience is neurologically atypical. This would explain a lot of the frustration on both sides of the typical arguments about perception.
The latest addition to my "listening room", which everyone else calls the "living room" and insists upon sharing, is my mountain bike.
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I bought a fluid tr
One of the low points of the Redeye Remote system (see Remote Control, Part II) is their clunky web interface software. In case you haven't noticed, impatience and irritability are my two most attractive and dominant personality traits. Waiting for the interface to load so I can turn down the volume or mute the system really annoys me.
The underlying IP/IR command system is actually quite fast. There is very little latency when I issue a url command from the terminal of my computer, so I d