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Article: The Importance of Aesthetics

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Hello Chris and All;<br />

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I have just discovered your site and have thoroughly enjoyed reading the articles. From my vinyl salad days of twenty years ago, sadly all now gone (the vinyl and the days!) I have moved to CD and EAC WAV rips of those CDs, which I have been looking for a server-based audiophile outlet for. I love the IPod format and see the ITouch as the first step of the way forward. However, having worked in IT support for over a decade, I hardly need tell anyone what the issue is here - HDD failure. Flash-based music servers are almost certainly the best way to proceed in this respect; I have read elsewhere on this site about the limited number of read / write cycles of these, but in truth this is only an issue in terms of number of pagefile writes (and even then, only when the numbers start to exceed 1 million writes - done almost hourly in a computer, but unlikely in a media server unless you're ripping an awful lot of music, and easily avoided by paging to onboard RAM) Anyway, supporting 300 + workstations I have replaced well over a thousand hard disks in my career and would like to offer the following for your readers consideration. While it is difficult to generalise about HDD reliability / failure (because a HDD is fine until it isn't), in my experience the best / least commonly failing HDDs were Seagates. Then, in decreasing order of reliability, Western Digital, Maxtor and Lacie. I have to say that that the least reliable of this group (and the reason for my posting here) is one to avoid. We have had about 30 external (USB mobile and powered) HDDs from them and every single one has developed problems, some from the off, and ALL within the first year.<br />

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I look forward to the increasing convergence in this arena - the apparent facility for digital out on 6th gen IPods, as revealed by the Wadia iTransport, is a huge step forward. However, if you're going to dive into media serving at home, be cautious of doing it with HDD technology - and be very wary indeed of putting your music on to one of these. The Importance of Aesthetics soon wears off when your HDD is in the bin<br />

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cheers,<br />

Dave P

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Thanks for the input Dave! We really value informed opinions on this site and it sounds like you have hands on experience with HDD technology. I can't wait for the day when solid state drives with high capacity are reasonably priced. This will be a huge step for music servers. I look forward to you comments on the site!

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