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October 26, 2006



I'm curious about your 4000 song collection? Without getting you in trouble I'm wondering what kind of monetory (and\or time) investment it took to get there?

I'm still under 2GB on a Nano Zen from Creative. All is from my neglected CD collection with much of Yuki's more contemporary stuff added in. It is used almost exclusively for running and travel.


I've been collecting CDs since college and I'd say 80% or more of the collection has been ripped from CDs. I made a big consolidation when I got my CDs out fo storage while home and traded in 10% of them and got rid of the jewel cases. So I've got three big binders of 500+ CDs(I haven't coutned-It's a significant investment of money, but not a down payment on a house like my old room mate Joe). A lot of the music I like is pretty esoteric can only be found on CD, so I'll continue buying stuff, but in the last 3 months I have been aquiring songs through other means, so probably 80% of recent music wasn't bought conventionally.


I may have missed the train on this topic, but here goes anyway. I have to say, I love the ipod and I love Itunes. I love the thought that I can organize my favorite stuff into different playlists to suit whatever mood I'm in, even though I've never actually done it. I also love the thought of carrying around my entire music collection wherever I go in a magical little white box. Sometimes I'll have it shuffle songs just to see what it comes up with. Then, when the song comes up I'm tempted to skip it to see what the next one will be. How can it shuffle me three Elvis Costello songs in a row? Is there something wrong with the algorithim? It's becomes a little more like gambling than listening to music for me.

As much as I love the little thing though, it is seriously flawed. I am not a headphones/earphones guy - never have been. I can't stand the thought that I might be missing out on hearing what the nutjobs on the bus are talking about. Life without eavesdropping is disorienting to me. Thus, what I really want my ipod to do is to travel with me from room to room or house to car or house to house or office etc. and play music through a stereo or ipod dock when I get where I'm going. The flaw in this brilliant plan is that it sounds like crap. I have a bose (I know, audiophiles, "Bose Blows") sounddock in my kitchen which produces marginal, though somewhat tinny sound. But the real disappointment came when I was talked into the $30 (instead of $5) "y" chord so I could play it through my home stereo's 1973 MacIntosh 1700 receiver. The guy at Magnolia Hi Fi told me the extra money would make a huge difference in sound quality even though it would still be playing compressed music. The MacIntosh receiver has the richest, warmest sound of anything I've ever heard, but when I plugged the Ipod into it rock and roll just sounded muddy, jazz sounded flat and classical, well I couldn't really tell the difference with classical because it was baby mozart and it sounds like crap wherever you play it.

Any audiophiles have a solution to my problem? I've been thinking about investing in the squeezebox by slim designs (though, I'd rather get their $2000 trasnporter or transformer or whatever it is), or the Roku soundbridge. anyone know if these will help?


PS: Hey MC, two new discs you might want to check out: Band of Horses, and The Long Winters. I liked them both, but I'm thinking you might like the Band of Horses more than the other one.


I can relate to the gambling metaphor, but I like it nonetheless, if it's not what I want to hear at the moment I just keep skipping until something comes up that I like. My latest obsession is adding artwork to albums, modifying sound levels for some older CDs, etc... I've noticed that this changes the alogrythym and songs with artwork pop up more frequently in shuffle mode.

I'll pass on your audiophile question to Jon Keen, the only guy I know who reads audiophile magazines.

I read an interesting interview with The Long Ryder's lead singer in The Believer Music issue last year and have been intrigued by them. I've also heard good stuff about Band Of Horses-they're both local (Seattle-based) bands aren't they?


Thanks. I was thinking J. Keen might be the man to direct this question too. Maybe he can tell me how it would sound hooked up to a '74 Camarro.

Yes both bands are Seattle based I believe. I saw the Long Winters the weekend before the wonder twins were born, so it will probably be the last show I ever see. I will remember it fondly. I'd try to describe them for you, but I've never been able to do that. You know, they sound like everything else, but good.


I buy more CDs now than ever. However now I just rip em and then throw it into a box. I need to hang on to the physical object because I still distrust the medium. If my external HD takes a dump I loose over 200gigs of stuff, half of which I got from a friend when we merged our iTunes libraries. Plus I prefer to rip my stuff at a much higher rate than is available via iTunes Music Store.

Oddly (according to everyone else's listening patters) I mostly listen to entire albums on my iPod and have very few playlists made. The ones I do have usually just aggregate all the albums from an particular artist. I do however listen to a constant shuffle while I'm at work.


I have to admit that I've a bit technologically challenged. Visaya had to show me how to make smart lists and those are usually what I listen to, especially "My Top Rated". I usually give my favortie songs 4 to 5 stars and then they get included on that list. Sometimes I make themed song lists (80s, pop punk, country, etc..) and time lists (compilations of my favorite songs from CDs I bought or songs I ripped at a particualr time).


Phatrick here's Jon's solutiontothe audiophile dilemma (nothing about 74 Camaro mind you):

I think Pat needs an outboard digital-to-analogue converter (DAC). They can be be a bit pricey new however, so check on ebay. His best bet for the money would be one manufactured by either Musical Fidelity, or Parasound. He could also check a consignment shop such as Hawthorne's on Roosevelt (God I hate those arrogant a-holes) where he might be able to demo or where they have an exchange policy if the product isn't too his liking. With a little luck he should be able to find a good one for under $300. Watch out models that might be sold directly from England i.e. that do not use the traditional 120V power supply.

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