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Bits ain't bits.


John
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Just catching up in the pub and, in particular, enjoying the brilliantly entertaining thread on file formats (which took a while on my mobile), when I wondered if the fact that bits really are not bits matters to audio reproduction. We casually think of them as ones and zeroes but thay are anything like that at all, right?

 

Certainly on a HDD there's a wide range of zeroness and oneness. A 1 that has been written to a specific physical location has a certain percentage of its atoms aligned. A 1 that has been repeatedly written to the same location has a greater magnetic polarity. A 1 that used to be a 0 is more confused; a smaller percentage of its atoms are aligned the same way. It still passes the oneness threshold (else it would cause the file of which it is a part to be mis-read) but it is not as strong a 1 as the second example.

 

Does this matter? Could it cause read time delays on well used discs? Could it contriute to jitter? Could this by why SDDs sound different to HDDs (because the identity of the bits is clearer on the former)? Just a thought.

 

- John.

 

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A one is a nought, with its atoms caught, and streched out in a line.

A nought is a one, with them all undone, no one there to define.

But if a nought got a little caught,or a one a tad undone,

How could I tell, if all was well and would be read back fine?

 

Well, in every hard drive cache there are spare atoms in a stash

and a lot of very tiny working men.

Who, instead of saying fcukit, grab spare atoms from the bucket,

and fix the little buggers there and then.

 

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