4 February 2013

Where to buy music in lossless formats

The last CD has been ripped. I now face the problem of finding out where to buy lossless audio files. Criteria for stores: Must sell something I’m interested in listening to, i.e. not just folk and jazz. Must sell to the US. Must have more than a token number of releases available in lossless format. Must sell music by someone I’ve heard of already. I know there are lots of talented unsigned artists out there, but I’m viewing that as a separate problem. ... Read more

22 January 2013

CD bronzing

If you’ve never seen factory-pressed CDs decay, or think it’s a myth, well, I have some photos to show you. Here’s an overall view of the label side of the CD. Notice the strange swirly patterns. That’s not a camera artifact; the label part of the CD seems to have some separation from the metal layer, resulting in the interference patterns. Here’s another view, showing that part of the label embossing has caused brown patches. ... Read more

21 January 2013

Memo to music corporations

If you don’t offer lossless downloads, you’re leaving money on the table. Here’s why: People who are serious about music and buy a lot of it tend to be serious about sound quality. In my own tests, I’m able to distinguish lossless files from even 320kbps MP3s. Therefore, I’m very reluctant to buy anything but lossless music. Right now, the CD is dying. Amazon is full of people selling their old used CDs. ... Read more

15 January 2013

Ripping redux

A while back I wrote about double-blind testing various MP3 bitrates in order to decide what format to rip CDs to. The short summary of my testing was that I could easily hear the difference between 320kbps MP3 and lower bitrates, but that the difference between 320kbps and lossless was tougher to hear, at least under the circumstances of the test. However, as a result of what I learned, I decided to rip everything to lossless FLAC files. ... Read more

31 December 2012

Game review: Uncharted 3 (vs Uncharted 2)

Naughty Dog have always had the best game engine technology on the PlayStation. Back in the PS1 days, Crash Bandicoot used algorithmic textures to get around the console’s lack of texture memory, true 3D levels so big that they took hours to compile on the development systems, and a Lisp-based game engine. On the PlayStation 2, Jak and Daxter kept the use of Lisp, and was the first game to have one huge free-roaming world with no loading screens. ... Read more

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