Archive for February, 2011

Equalization for Audiophiles – the easy way

A new product has just been released by Ear Machine. It’s called iQ (as in “I equalize” I guess), and it makes EQ easy – fun even! (See video.)

You don’t need a real-time audio analyzer. You don’t need Golden Ears (but you do need yours). And you don’t need to read a lengthy manual.

But you do need a computer-based audio, because iQ works as a plugin to your favorite music playback software (iTunes, Pure Music, Fidelia, etc.).

Installation is Easy. Mac or PC. 14-day free trial available.



PS  If you’re on a Mac, you may want to try Fidelia….

Sunday, February 27th, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, Music Server, News 2 Comments

Still More on the Music Industry

Based on comments, members want to see the gross (not per-capita) revenues of the music industry. Here you go:

Again, all the data is here.


Friday, February 25th, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, Music, News 2 Comments

Light Peak – Overkill for Audio Interfaces?

This week, Intel and Apple announced the first incarnation of Light Peak – on the latest iteration of Mac laptops. Apple calls it Thunderbolt.

Cheesy name aside, the 10 gbps performance is staggering. It’s more than an order of magnitude faster than Firewire 800. Want to move a Blueray movie? Less than a minute. USB 2.0 and 3.0 just got leap-frogged, big-time.

For those of us with terabyte+ music libraries, moving these and backing them up just got easier. This interface has 3x the transfer rate of a high-performance SATA drive!

Is Apple positioning this as the successor to firewire? Probably. Will it lead to better fidelity in music server systems? Who knows.

But I want one…




Thursday, February 24th, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, News, Technical 2 Comments

Sambora On Audiophiles, Vinyl, and Compression

Bon Jovi songwriter and guitarist Richie Sambora voices his views on the modern music scene in this CE Pro article.

Highlights include a general ambivalence (in an honest way) about formats, claiming that the ear can adapt to digital and compression. For him, it’s really all about the music and the touring.

Given the gift of some LPs, he now wishes to buy a “record player.” He adds: “You have to be, what, 40 to know what analog was even, and then to actually remember it?”




Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, General, News Comments Off

OK, I’m hooked…on Black Dub

Black Dub is a relatively new musical collaboration brought together by accomplished producer Daniel Lanois (think Joshua Tree). The result is a Simply Red-esque powerhouse of New Orleans soul, Jamaican charm, and pop-level power.

Black Dub in Concert

Click here to learn more. I love the Kimmel vids, but find the KCRW livecast even more impressive. Be sure to listen to the production notes at the beginning of the latter.

As Daniel says: “…there’s an appetite for authenticity.” Indeed.

Edit: Unfortunately, I detect an unnatural sheen and greyness to the CD recording itself. I would say its sound quality is above-average, but by no means reference-quality. Interestingly, the streamed media sounds, in several ways, better. Go figure.

Lots of good music here too.



Thursday, February 17th, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, Desert Island CDs, General, Music 1 Comment

The Rise and Fall of the Music Industry

Edit:  The original chart was misleading at best (thanks, Aaron!). Here’s the new one (adjusted for inflation and per-capita):

The Real Music Industry Data

Note: These are stacked charts. For example, in 1973: 8-tracks = $12M, vinyl = $34M, and cassettes = $2M.

At peak:

  • 8-track = $13M
  • Vinyl = $43M
  • Cassettes = $34M
  • CD = $63M
  • Digital = $10M  (and still growing; illegal activity not shown)

In their first 6 years, CD went to $24M and Digital Downloads went to $10M.

Here’s a great article with even more. Hint: the death of the music industry is highly correlated with the death of the album.

Every picture tells a story, don’t it?   – Bob

Old graphic:

Music Industry Sales by Media Type

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, General, Music, News 9 Comments

Bay Area is a Hotbed of Music Discovery

The old way: talent scouts, record labels, music critics, DJs.

The new way: technology, technologists, and specialized human help in the background.

In a NYT article published this morning, Paul Lamere of Echo Nest delivers the money quote:

“We’re living in a world where technologists and programmers are becoming the new gatekeepers for new music.”

How would you like a job finding and listening to new music, especially on vinyl?

You live in the right place….


Monday, February 14th, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, News Comments Off