I'm wholly convinced that the computing world is, in general, regressing. Audio has been a huge loser in this fight. Today, many modern phones don't ship with 3.5mm jacks. If you want lossless audio, you literally can't find it, even though there's zero reason companies like Spotify couldn't stream it when available (even if it costs extra) (Spotify literally asks artists to upload the masters when they publish, they have that data and then throw it away). Many artists don't even publish physical CDs anymore, so its a game of luck if they have a website where I can buy the FLACs/ALACs. And if you want the actual files to, you know, live your life in a completely legal way, those are gone.
Its more than just audio. Watching movies sucks; you now pay full price to effectively indefinitely rent movies, and have them taken away at any time. eBooks are the same and always have been; the world's oldest technology has been coopted by companies like Amazon to increase revenue, and there's practically zero competition. Applications suck; we're puking web and electron everywhere, eating up every conceivable megabyte of memory available literally only because developers are lazy, and now you're consistently asked to pay a monthly fee to access this functionality literally only because companies are lazy. Modern operating systems suck; restricting filesystem access, exposing proprietary application APIs which fundamentally make applications unportable and thus contributing to the rise of Electron/RN.
Somehow we took systems and workflows that were amazing throughout the 90s-00s and, in the course of a decade, completely ruined them.
Sure, Google can revoke my access to a movie at any time but I can watch on any of my devices and I dont have to worry about finding it in stock at the local store.
I can carry literally thousands of books with me in a device smaller than a paperback.
I can’t stream lossless music from Spotify but I can stream high enough quality that most people can’t tell the difference. Not to mention you get access to pretty much every song you want for 10$ a month.
Electron apps and the web are replacing desktop apps but they are also making it easier than ever to make a cross platform app, meaning we will get apps that we otherwise wouldn’t. This is especially good for Linux, which would be much further behind macOS and windows without popular electron/web apps available like slack, Spotify, etc.
It does nobody any good to have 1000 books on a single device if the whole thing is subject to revocation, especially when you paid full retail price for the privilege of being allowed to read it. This is regression.
Previously you paid your $10 and received a paper book. You could read it, re-read it, lend it, sell it, or burn it for warmth. You owned it for as long as you kept it dehydrated. The $15 you now pay per book gets you one of these rights, temporarily.
Whether most people can tell the difference between 320k and lossless is irrelevant-- the retail price is the same for a technically inferior product. This is a regression. And again, for your money, you own nothing.
And for apps, the cross-platform compatibility comes at the expense of consumers, who have to continuously purchase and maintain newer computer equipment to do the same damn word processing, email and shopping tasks that used to be possible on a 486. And of course, since everything is a subscription, it's a double punishment for the consumer-- they have to maintain hardware to run software they don't own.
The entire premise of modern technology has become a new vector to extract the most money from the consumer while delivering the least amount of value, power or control.
When I buy movies I generally buy the Blu-Ray with digital download. If it’s a kid’s movie I usually just buy the digital download. I almost never pull out the Blu-Rays, but I know I’ve got them. They usually come with the DVD as well, for even more compatability in a pinch.
When I buy books I generally buy the Kindle version first. I generally only take time to read on planes, trains, and travel/vacation. I’m good for maybe one a month. If I really like the book, I’ll buy a hardbound copy for my library.
Music is the part where I have internal consistency issues. I love music. I love all kinds of music. Motown, classic rock, hard rock, EDM/Electronic in general, classical, folk, rap. I have music on ALL the time. Probably 6-8 hours a day on average. I own no music. I pay for Apple Music because it’s convenient to share a subscription with my wife. I last bought physical album in probably 2008-ish. I buy an album or two on Apple Music a year. Where I really spend my music money is concerts. I’ll pay hundreds of dollars without thinking twice to see my favorite artists up close and in person.
So yeah, I agree that all the convenient ways of purchasing media are nothing but a long term lease and I would not consider anything I’ve bought through those channels as something I own. But if I flip it around and consider that I’m paying some third party to host a copy of the content in a convenient way, I feel okay about it.
If what you really care about is reading and the knowledge you get from it, as opposed to the opportunity to take some totally unrelated stand, then yes, it really does do you some serious good to have thousands of books in your pocket!
My camera can save images as either raw files or maximum-quality jpeg's. I know for a fact that I will never need to edit these photos later on. Which format is superior?
Useless data is of no value to anyone, and data we cannot perceive is useless.
If you're worried about license revocation, you should focus on obtaining DRM-Free digital media instead of killing trees. And make backups, of course. DRM-Free is standard for downloadable music nowadays. DRM-Free eBooks are less common, but they do exist, e.g. https://www.kobo.com/us/en/p/drm-free
That about sum it up?
What? You can still buy the paperback book, tons of my kindle books are $10 or less, and it very clearly benefits me, which is why I buy tons of Kindle books.
They have revoked licenses in the past and deleted books from people's devices. I know you have a physical file that contains the book, but that file is secured with DRM.
To be blunt: Who really cares?
I care that I can read it. After I have I don't see further use for the ownership.
Others can claim they can revoke my access before the read event occurs but the chance of that is so low that I imagine it rounds to 0%.
I'm not going full RMS here and saying DRM is evil. I'm just saying that: I should be able to loan digital content to other people. I shouldn't be afraid that Apple will, one day, just say "I know you really enjoyed spending $200 on all that media, but its all gone. See ya." Maybe that means they need to offer downloads of the content, or maybe it means we need legislation which says we can sue the hell out of them when they try it. I have no preference. But consumers need more protection.
Also its worth clarifying: I don't hold subscription services to the same standards. That's a different business model.
This isn’t some “normies”/“audiophiles” thing. 256kbps mp3 is acoustically transparent to human beings in ideal listening situations.
The bad rap mp3 got was from 128kbps that was more common pre-broadband.
Also, using lossy compressed sources (even 256-320kbps) in derivative works (eg dj mixes, samples, et c) that will be later lossy recompressed (podcast, satellite radio, spotify, et c) is a good way to make your production sound crappy, which is why lossless is important. Any audiophile who tells you they need lossless for final listening simply hasn’t tested it. It is religion, not engineering.
(They possibly use MP3 in their webplayer according to some sources)
You can really notice the difference on the high end and the width of the soundstage.
However above 16 44.1 I can't hear a difference.
If you listen to mainstream shit where the artist does not have enough control of their work to opt out of the scam that is the pay scale for streaming music.
I have had to resort to ripping vinyl and CDs from my collection to get digital versions of tracks that Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Music do not have. If I had to do it all over again, I'd keep the vinyl and CDs in the box and just grab the music from somewhere like REDacted instead.
I stopped buying albums for a while, because I have a Google play music subscription, but a couple albums I really liked were deleted from the service recently. I had "added them to my library", understanding that I didn't own them, but I never expected them to get pulled from the service.
I'm getting pretty sick of Google Play shenanigans altogether. I'm probably going back to ripping my own music because the streaming services suck, and oink/what are shut down.
The option is not well advertised. After you purchase a digital download, there's a tiny arrow next to the 'download' link that allows you to switch the download to flac.
I always download flac and consequently spend a lot of money at Bandcamp!
I love Bandcamp.
They also have an app that offers streaming and a bunch of social features so you can make a page for yourself where you show off the music you like and make playlists and interact with others. It's probably a great feature, but the thing that really sets Bandcamp apart is that you can just ignore the fuck out of it and pay money for some files that you can download using a browser and put on your own drives and devices.
Of course there's no need for a separate OGG download; no matter how transparent the MP3 encoding is, one thing at which MP3s suck and lossless codecs, by definition, excel is re-encodeability. If you've got FLAC, you're not far from OGG, AAC, and any other format you like.
This is a separate issue though from the usually high output noise floor and poor isolation from other components, e.g. many complaints about many makes and models where CPU/GPU or even disk activity will induce audible pulse noises in the heaphone outputs or speakers.
Those External Audio Cards receive the signal in digital form, thus free of any noise they could pick up in the process. These are decoded inside the external DAC which then feeds audio to the speakers. since this part of the signal path is analog, any interference picked up by these cables is gonna appear on the speakers, which is why the good gear usually supports BALANCED SIGNALS so that the speaker can reference the signal and weed out noises added while in-transit.
My gear is a pair of YAMAHA HS8 speakers and a YAMAHA AG06 external audio card. Both support Balanced audio so that's what I'm using regarding cables between the audio card and the speakers.
A replier said something about a brand called "Schiit Audio", but I've researched them and they only offer stuff with RCA outputs which are sadly not balanced at all.
If you're on a budget you could get the AG03 which is the same interface, but with less input channels.
Also, the DSP is totally optional on those, If you don't use it you'll bypass it totally, not coloring or changing your signal in any way.
Btw you mentioned your speakers are Mackie, right? Before buying, research if your speakers actually support balanced input (they use XLR or P2/TRS "stereo" (2 black bands) for that, because each speaker is actually receiving 2 polarity-inverted copies of the signal). If all they have are RCA inputs (mono), you're out of luck.
Hope I could help!
EDIT: I have researched your monitors and they do have all three types of input: XLR and TRS (balanced) and RCA (unbalanced). yay \o/
Now go get yourself a nice audio interface with support for balanced output and go make yourself some nice XLR cables.
The Yamaha AG03 AG06 output balanced TRS signals, but for that extra "click" factor no the monitors I have built a custom cable that is TRS on the DAC and XLR to the monitors. That way it stays put :-)
Have a good one mate!
> make yourself some nice XLR cables
Intriguing. How difficult is this?
this is the kind of cable you are looking for if your audio card can only output balanced audio via TRS plugs (like mine, Yamaha AG06).
EDIT: Found the schematics for you!
In that regard, the AG06 is much cheaper than any of the offerings i'm finding from Schiit.
At least with 320mp3s I could only get it right with certain songs and not too consistently. I'd say my room treatment has a far bigger impact.
(but regarding hardware I'm totally with you and haven't found the source of my rather high noise floor either)
That said, switching between Spotify and Tidal on the same track, I hear a pretty big difference. The lossless music has a depth that just isn't there on the compressed streams
It's fun to think that I might be able to distinguish between uncompressed audio and 320kbps MP3. I didn't think it was possible. I had a hearing test recently, and they did say that I have better than average hearing. But yeah it was probably just random.
I just did this test and got the first two right: https://www.theverge.com/2017/4/5/15168340/lossless-audio-mu...
The third one was really tricky so I had to guess. But the first two were a really clear difference. Uncompressed kind of sounds "fuller" and sharper, and MP3 is a bit flatter. It's a tiny difference but I think I can hear it.
The first sample surprised me on how much of a difference it was, on the 2nd I was wrong, on the 3rd completely lost, but I guess that's by design.
The 128kbps was of course very easy to pick out.
I'm of the opinion that 320 vs lossless is meaningless enough to not really bother, but I know for some tracks it was trivial for me to tell the different. Mostly it was the very complex/atmospheric tracks, Mind In A Box being a good example, where 320 lost a notable amount of quality. Probably others like Ne Obliviscaris as well.
The biggest problem with Spotify is that not all of their library is available at 320kbps.
Spotify uses 3 quality ratings for streaming, all in the Ogg Vorbis format.
• ~96 kbps
• Normal quality on mobile.
• ~160 kbps
• Desktop and web player standard quality.
• High quality on mobile.
• ~320 kbps (only available to Premium subscribers)
• Desktop high quality.
• Extreme quality on mobile.
The thing that gives it away for me is the extreme highs and lows, both are clipped when compressed usually. I should note, I wasn’t picking which “sounded better”, but rather which “sounded uncompressed”. Several of the tracks sounded better at 320k than they did uncompressed to me. Despite being rather close to 40, I am still able to easily hear sounds well over 20kHz.
The difference is usually very, very subtle (my description for it is "soundstage differences", like slight differences in audio imaging) and if you are in the situation you are 99% of the time where you are not in a critical listening environment, you probably won't be able to even hear this. But if you are absolutely gung-ho about preserving the full spectrum of the recording, MP3 won't work. It's not an archival format by design.
> we're puking web and electron everywhere ... literally only because developers are lazy
No. This is done because developers are slow and expensive. Reusing most of your web app as a desktop app, same for every platform, saves a lot of money to companies.
> you're consistently asked to pay a monthly fee to access this functionality literally only because companies are lazy
No. This is because companies want recurring revenue, not one-time sale. It's vastly easier to get you into ("only $3.99/mo" vs "only $199.95 for lifetime of use"), and it keeps dripping every month.
There's not a bit of laziness here, only business shrewdness.
Let's say Dow Chemical wants to start dumping chemical by-products into the Mississippi River. Thankfully, we have the EPA and strict laws which make this impossible. The only other force which would stop them from doing this is consumer outrage, which only works in some situations and even then tends to be very fleeting.
Now, let's say Slack wants to build their app in Electron. By doing so, they are collectively forcing their 8M users to burn more CPU cycles and purchase machines with larger memory footprints, all of which literally waste resources and cause pollution. Not to the same degree as the previous example, but the comparison is very valid.
What audio could you get lossless before that you now can't that you're claiming there has been a regression?
> Watching movies sucks; you now pay full price to effectively indefinitely rent movies
You can buy most movies on physical disks. The old physical copy ownership option still exists. There has been no regression, just new options you personally don't like.
> Applications suck; we're puking web and electron everywhere
Clearly the market has decided that the heavier versions are just as fine. Also, in pretty much every case there's also lightweight non-electron alternative. There has been no regression, just new options you don't like.
> Modern operating systems suck; restricting filesystem access, exposing proprietary application APIs which fundamentally make applications unportable and thus contributing to the rise of Electron/RN.
That is absolutely your own fault if your OS restricts FS access. Applications are just as unportable as they have been. There has been no regression, just new options you don't like.
You're just looking at the past like it was some gold standard and a wonderland of software, development and user freedom (of choice or of software), it's ridiculous.
Compact discs. You should look them up. :-) Lots of music out these days that you can't find on a CD.
(1) Til The End - MitiS
(2) Dear Me, - Borgeous
(3) Ultraviolet - 3LAU
(4) Mau5ville Level 1 - Deadmau5
(5) Sleeping With Roses - Chelsea Cutler
I could go on, because I literally didn't skip a single song. I started at the top and went down. On this playlist of 300 songs, I would guess that fewer than 20 have physical albums widely available. In some cases, the artist will sell one on their website (ironically LPs are even more popular nowadays).
And why should they? CDs suck. But they do two things really well: they have clear ownership, and they're pretty close to a master recording. Digital does not have to remove these advantages; we can improve instead of regress. Products like Bandcamp do an excellent job of replicating this experience digitally, but few artists distribute on there, because consumers-at-large demand music on Spotify/iTunes/GPM/etc. Tidal also does a really good job of getting masters, but doesn't have the "you own it" advantage.
In other words, consumers have ruined music for both the artists and audiophiles by changing the rules of the game and forcing the markets to adapt in a way that isn't backward compatible with how things have worked. Artists make shit money on most streaming services, and people who actually care about the audio quality also get shafted.
All lossless. All digital. Most of them available at several stores. You're welcome.
The quality of streaming services is also a far cry from BDs.
While I agree with your general thoughts, I have to disagree with this particular point. In my opinion there's never been a better time for lossless audio.
My collection is made of digital, lossless material only. I buy a lot of music - about 5-10 releases a week - and I have no problem at all finding everthing I want in a lossless format. I understand that this may differ depending on what you listen to and ironically obscure, niche music might be better served by lossles music stores, but I just wanted to provid a different perspective.
If I don't what I'm looking for at Bandcamp, Boomkat, Bleep, Qobuz or various label stores chances are that it's a physical-only release, in which case ripping it myself is always an option.
If you like electronic music, Bandcamp and Beatport (thankfully) sell stuff in lossless.
Bandcamp is arguably the best: largest cut for the artist; large range of format wth no extra cost for lossless.
> literally only because developers are lazy
I think management has a lot to do with this, or priorities in general because at the end of the day working with electron and web everywhere is on a superficial level just as difficult as working with other languages-- it's a matter of training and hiring the right people for the right jobs.
These ports pick up some lint and dust after a few months and it packs in pretty hard. Eventually it will give you connection issues.
I don't think there's anything modern about this.
There's POSIX which is pretty great because it at least allows to write somewhat portable networking & io code. But for pretty much anything else, you'll have to write separate code for every OS, and it's always been the case.
Motherboard audio and soundcards are just terrible.
Sure but that doesn't mean the default Apple audio jack is high quality.
I have a cheap USB DAC (bought from monoprice) to power a set of Beyerdynamic headphones. The DAC beat a macbook I was using for work hands down on quality of sound.
Specifically, I noted the DAC had better definition of sound meaning that I could pick out details better. It also had better spatial attributes as well, meaning that I could pick out instruments in 3d space.
To be fair, doing a D to A conversion in a laptop is hard, and while Apple does it relatively better than average, it's still probably better off done outside of the macbook itself.
* the DAC and AMP were Schiit Magni/Modi
I'm not an audiophile either, but there is something about having listened to a track over and over again on an average pair of headphones and then listening to it again through a DAC and the DT770s I have. It's like hearing it for the first time again. Details just pop out and I really began to appreciate the engineering that went into some of the 80's songs I listened to on crappy car speakers when I was a kid.
BTW, the tracks I used to test the spatial qualities of my macbook was "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues" on the O' Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack, and "Blackbird" by the Kings Singers.
With the DT770's alone using the Mac jack, the Mac smeared the audio on both tracks. The first one especially because the mic used for recording introduces a distortion.
With the DAC, spatial on both were clear and came from point sources. Phenomenal.
If almost every device has poor audio quality, maybe its not the device but the headphones that are your problem?
Neutron Player on Android > USB OTG cable > HiFimeDIY USB noise isolator > HiFimeDIY USB DAC > Beyerdynamic DT880
Although I don't use all that any longer, for convenience sake I just use a wireless Audiotechnica ATH-DSR9BT which supports aptX-HD and produces "good enough" quality with no hissing/noise.
I can plug them into an analog output device and they work perfectly. I'm talking about digital, and the only digital devices that work are a Vizio TV (possibly others, didn't really test against TVs), iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
This has always been the case, even when you "owned" the physical media. Owning a CD, DVD or even vinyl copy of audio/video did not mean you owned the content. It was always just a delivery mechanism. It always came with legal wording to state you didn't own the content, and were only allowed to listen/view in a private setting. You were not allowed to take the music and play it in public, you were not allowed to show the video to large groups of people (including in your own home).
Your OS is the same way. You don't own the software. You only pay for a license granting use of it on one computer.
Think of it as an underlying Windows OEM license that allows you to run Windows. If you want to hook computers together with an AD, you need client access licenses.
(Bear with me, This is the first time I’ve used Microsoft as an example to clarify a license issue.)
Point is, there’s a distinction between a public and private performance. I believe that different stakeholders get paid for each.
The last few decades have shown a preference for accessibility over "quality":
- concord high speed luxury air travel >> cheap but slow mass air travel
- pentium >> netbooks >> raspberry pi
- professional international newsrooms >> amateur blogs
- CDs >> MP3s >> streaming
- steel cars >> plastic and aluminum
- handcrafted oak furniture >> ikea
- durable hand-me-downs >> dispensable chinese products
The trade-off is generally positive in my opinion.
I'm not saying open source is bad and everyone should prefer free software. It's just a good example of the difference between the two in practice rather than in some debate about licenses and the abstract principles behind them.
https://www.google.com/android/uncertified/ just need to register here as of earlier this year apparently
Generally hardware warranty will remain if it's purely a hardware issue - you can always flash back anyway.
Android is free software in the sense that you can make and distribute modified versions. If app vendors choose to discriminate against those versions that doesn't make it unfree any more than software supporting windows and not Linux makes Linux unfree
I don't think that's enough to make it free software, and "free software in the sense..." is nonsensical. Free software would guarantee the continuance of that freedom. Since that guarantee doesn't exist, Google could place limitations on the Play Store at any time. The fact that they haven't makes the example less clear, but it doesn't make Android free software. Even Google doesn't claim that it is.
Play store isn't open source at all.
Amazon was able to take Android and put it on their extremely popular devices with 0 support from Google, no play store. That's what I call freedom
It is extremely well integrated into it, by design.
Isn’t the entire point of Google’s certification process to encourage app vendors to make that choice?
Some years ago I had Samsung S2 where unlocking the bootloader was an offline activity. I don't remember how but doing that was quick and easy. Now I own a MotoG4 where unlocking means going to some website, entering my email address and then receiving unlock code in my email. If Motorola knows my email address, or can link the (supposedly unique) unlock code to my phone, what's stopping them from voiding my warranty?
I have a hunch that newer versions of some mainstream phones do not allow unlocking the bootloader, and this is going to become more and more common.
It's not GNU/Linux that's not free, but it makes it hard to use a GNU/Linux system that is free.
Unfortunately most people consider the play store to be a necessity, so its non-free nature is a problem.
I'd say it's a bit of a different situation, since the two are not being designed to work together and aren't even being developed by the same people. If the Ubuntu developers made your proprietary app key to the useful running of the system, which is the more exact analogy, then I'd say yeah, they would have made it non-free.
on the later you submit patches, they will be included in the next 2 to 3 versions of public release (if they dont't add any feature that impacts google's ad bottom line, for example, adding any sort of referrer control to chrome), then you have to hope that in those 2-3 version cycle your device is still supported, now you just have to wait for the convenient over the ait update provided by your telco or phone manufacturer (in most cases you actually need both entities to take part)
there's a very good reason the "supported device list" of all forks is always very, very small (even with the outlandish claims on most of them such as "supported. touch screen and modem still not working" )
just becuase the build steps for your fork project automates some of that driver/kernel lifting, doesn't make it any better.
I enjoyed reading this. The whole time I thought however: that’s not an issue on my Apple devices. Then I read:
> If anyone reads this post I'm sure loads of people will tell me that my problems are all my own making and if only I invested in an iPhone all my problems would go away. Well you know what? APPLE IS A SYMBOL OF PRETENTIOUSNESS AND IGNORANCE - YOU DO NOT EVEN KNOW HOW YOUR PHONE WORKS - I DO NOT HAVE TO PAY A TAX TO APPLE TO LISTEN TO MY MUSIC.
Well, at least it usually simply works.
Meanwhile, Apple produces things that work comparatively well, doing what you expect and then, claims that reasonable functionality is premium. And then catches shit for being pretentious.
So, let's step through that once more:
- garbage is normal
- functional and interoperable is premium
- premium is pretentious
- also, add $1,000 for the name brand
We can have nice things because that's for babies, and also too overtly glamorous and bougie.
I just want shit that works out of the box sometimes. I also don't need X-Files alien logos and red backlit Hunt For Red October themes everywhere. And oh yeah, let's not get started on OEM spyware masquerading as harmless adware. (Cough! Lenovo!  Cough! Intel Management Engine!  Cough!)
Will someone other than Apple please step up to the fucking plate and not just dump trash onto the shelves at Best Buy?
I recently got a £20 Havit Bluetooth receiver and connected it to a pair of £70 Sony MDR-7506 headphones. The receiver drives the headphones louder and with less distortion than my iPhone can, and the battery lasts for a few days of intermittent listening. Whatever loss is introduced by the aptX coding is invisible to my ears.
I'm blown away by how good this setup is given the price and there shouldn't be any dependency on an expensive source device to run it.
Absolutely not true.
I... don't. His write-up doesn't inspire confidence either - I have no idea how he has performed the measurements.
I know enough to know that audio measurement is a very tricky endeavour, and most other measurements put the lightning adaptor's output at a few dBA worse in SNR and dynamic range than the iPhone 6S' jack output (but otherwise similar). Both are easily worse than a good external DAC. Certainly not "better quality" than the inbuilt option as Rockwell claims.
It's good enough for almost everyone, and is likely to be capable of higher fidelity than most source material, but most agree that it is objectively a worse DA.
I got my first Mac when the Mac mini came up. It was a little more expensive than same-generation PCs but besides being OSX it was a PowerPC that never made any fan noise, and was small. I've subsequently had three Macbooks and two iPhones - but I can't afford this somewhat-better-somewhat-more-expensive racket anymore. Prices have risen too much; to boot, the quality gulf between Macs and garden-variety Dells and Acers has pretty much crashed. Macbooks have had multiple problematic years now; iPhones did away with headphone jacks; and OSX peaked at 10.6.8, where it indeed was five years into the future - but Windows 10 is decent now and even has the whole Unix toolkit with WSL.
- I agree Apple pricing has gone out of control. I should not have to shell out 1500 EUR for a 256GB phone with a bigger display no matter what (XS Max). I mean okay, it's probably the best phone out there but come on. It's a mobile computing device, not a life's insurance bill.
- I fully agree MacBooks and desktop Macs haven't had good years in a while. IMO the MacBook Pro 2015 15" was Apple's laptop peak. They haven't produced anything worthwhile in the laptop departments ever since.
- Desktop Macs are a horrid mess where greed trumps everything else so much that even I who spent 6 figures on tech during my life cannot justify paying 5000 EUR for an iMac 27" 5K with maxed out specs (i7 CPU, 64GB RAM and 1 or 2TB SSD). Right now your only viable choice for a future-proof machine however is either the iMac 27" or the iMac Pro, and both are expensive as hell.
- macOS version, not sure, I started actively using it only a year or so ago so it feels quite good to me and is tons more predictable than Windows 10. You have to fight with Windows 10 to make it your own and not be barraged with popups. macOS in comparison stays out of the way.
To summarize, Apple has peaked, including in the smartphone and tablet departments. Upgrades are very smallish and iterative while the price tags remain huge.
The way I see it, Apple has been coasting for a while. They need to get back on track because inevitably somebody will try and displace them.
(As a random example, Xiaomi phones are probably the best physical designs and software experience I ever had. But I still don't trust Google's binary blobs and the general baseband processor stuff so I stay away from Android.)
Yes, we're lucky that a lot of people in the world are not in a position to fight for higher quality of life for the resources coming out of the land near them or their labor, nor do we have to pay for environmental damage from manufacture and disposal of our devices, otherwise it would be much more than 1,500 EUR.
Why do you trust the Apple ones then? At least on android you can get rid of most Google code with Lineage + microg
...as far as we know. What about the baseband processor that has access to everything at any time?
> Why do you trust the Apple ones then?
Becase they took a stand and refused to introduce a security backdoor in the FBI San Bernardino case. And because iPhone hacks cost more on the net compared to Android ones. This to me indicates that iPhones are harder to crack -- so the demand is higher, suppy is lower and thus the prices are higher.
All circumstantial evidence of course, but it's what we have to go on.
Maybe it means they are finding more bugs and fixing them, or maybe it means Android is basically security Swiss cheese. my money is on the latter.
I am a former flashing-ROMs fanboy but the truth is, you are either stuck on ancient kernels or sometimes part with functionality you prefer to still have (like rooting).
I gave up, eventually.
The "premium" only applies to new products. The author here tried using a CD player, so the storage (and novelty) requirements are pretty low. A $5 used iPod would work just fine.
If the standard is garbage, then functionality is premium.
She might be able to find headphones that sound better, but she has never found any that also are comfortable and have good industrial design. At least not in the price range that Beats typically sell for.
Yet the MacBook connects to everything on the first go with zero fuss.
So yeah, I am calling part of Apple's functions and devices interoperable. Why aren't you? These are observable facts in the wild and it happens every day somewhere around you as well.
I know my experience is anecdotal. So is yours. Just shared what I've observed 30+ times now.
You act like Apple devices do not contain IME?
> Although Android is Free Software, meaning I can modify the code, it would probably take me months to learn enough about music decoding and the Android-media-player-service to write a fix.
> APPLE IS A SYMBOL OF PRETENTIOUSNESS AND IGNORANCE - YOU DO NOT EVEN KNOW HOW YOUR PHONE WORKS
So iPhone users don’t know how their phone works, but Android is awesome because it’s open source and the freedom you get with that but it’s too complicated to learn how it works.
Even if you don't make a choice, having the option to is still empowering, because the absence of a choice tells you someone else made it for you.
For many, that could be the same choice they would have made. That doesn't give any condolence to those who would have made a different one, but weren't given the option.
It’s a different time today than it was 40 years ago when RMS modified printer drivers, and software is much more complicsted than it used to be.
I've made dozens of contributions to esoteric projects - from music players to game emulators to HTML template libraries. It does take a ridiculous amount of upfront reading of code to become comfortable enough with the environment to make the change, but I at least only try to fix problems I see as impacting more people than just myself.
Sometimes I wish it were easier to just sit down, take the highest rated bug on a project, and spend all the time it would take to fix it. Its a shame I wasn't lucky enough to be born into wealth so I could just do that all the time. So instead I hope to get there sooner rather than later, where I can amass enough wealth to stop wasting my time on CRUD apps for some business interest and actually do something meaningful.
This really hits the nail on the head.
Since I became a father of three, my time priorities have shifted quite a lot, and I’d rather spend it with my kids than nose in code that should work but isn’t.
A perfect example is trying to get Nextcloud or Lychee working. After literaly days trying to get it working right, I just gave up. All I want is to share pictures of my kids with my family, but due to bugs or config, I have to wade through someone else’s code?
Philantropy is for someone else’s benefit. If it was just at my expense, that would be one thing, but it’s at the expense of my kids too. And that’s something I can’t justify.
Not necessarily a bad thing, though, but in such case he might as well drop the complaining tone.
This also leads into his statement. I own an iPhone and I kinda know what's going on beneath the surface. I can open up disassembled binaries and anyone can look at the headers from google within seconds.
That in turn would lead into that 99.9% of Android users have no knowledge of how Android works, so his whole statement is kind of odd.
Is this guy for real? I don’t know the nitty gritty of how most of the things I use work, I’m only concerned that they work. Sounds like sour grapes.
Which, as you allude to, is not guaranteed no matter what it says on the tin. Samsung is my go-to for that point. Not that features were half-assed, or kinda worked. No, having an icon on a screen does not count when what backs that icon doesn’t even pretend to do what it says. (To be specific, their fitness stuff was literally laughable in how broken or, lets be honest, how unimplemented it was.)
I think what gets missed is that the “Apple tax” (the “M$” for the 2000s, indicating the writer is to be ignored) is actually the “not a broken POS, and does what you thought it would do” convenience fee. Oh, sure, there’s Pixel and the like if you don’t like Apple. Last I looked, you’ll still pay the “Apple tax” even if it goes to Google.
And I swear, the next neckbeard ranting about how people don’t how their tech works either better take public transit to work, be ready to rattle off the Otto cycle used by their ICE car, or STFU.
At least, it sounds like he just likes being contrarian.
Android or Linux is not helping him much in this case, that's for sure.
Would I be able to fix just the media player service, and make my smartphone use the fixed version? Without flashing it with a brand new OS, losing data, warranty, OEM drivers, and ability to receive security updates? Didn't think so. Android "open source" delivers only half of the expected value.
Judging by the awful 'random' I would suspect not. (I havent used it I some time so it might have been fixed, but you used to get clustering of tracks from a given album)
The HW-solution is a nice challenge, but I am sure, there are simpler ways to solve it.
On a sidenote: I would be surprised if the issue he has is systemic too Android devices in general. I am sure others would have noticed it if was that widespread that it occurred on all devices.
Except newer iPhones requiring a dongle to use headphones.
Drinking the Apple hate juice in particular.
I envy the people who have the free time to tinker but what they keep forgetting, time and time again, is that they are the minority. Many people have happy family lives and prefer to spend most of their leisure time with people -- or non-tech hobbies. I do enough programming already, thank you.
(EDIT to add: and not everybody is in perfect health shape as well, so they use their free time to recharge -- not to work some more. Stress and overworking come with an army of health issues. Climbing a hill with a 50kg backpack, to give an analogy, is not as easy as it looks like from the side.)
I respect smart hardware technicians but he lost me as an audience with his Apple hate.
[P.S. "I do enough programming already, thank you." doesn't help as well. To get an idea of how sad it is to read, imagine if someone tells an artist "I do enough painting already, thank you.". People love to do different things, and that is okay.]
As for my programming, I actually do some small work outside of work hours on my own enthusiastic basis. But I have to tell you, even this minor 4-5h a week thing took me years of recharging and healing before I felt the passion for the first time in years and years.
(As an aside, we the techies need non-tech hobbies but that's just an opinion.)
It's not even keeping up with current music; as I go from my early to my late 30s, the pop landscape has gone from parseable to alien. But there's still good music coming out and older good music you didn't know about. Hell, I only discovered the gigantic German composer Paul Hindemith six months ago.
(My attempts to reproduce were with a PX80, S2PGFY-003, JBL Pulse and Bose Companion 50. I included the speakers because I couldn't get the headphones to do the trick)
I have not had any of the issues you are complaining about in Logic Pro X, FWIW, on multiple laptops and hardware audio interfaces over ~6 years of use.
This is inaccurate. Neutron music player bypasses Android's Media Player APIs and talks directly to your DAC and plays music without resampling (if the DAC supports it). Never had any audio popping or explosions using Neutron, and I've tried it on 6 different devices so far without any issues (LG G3, Nexus 6P, Nextbit Robin, OnePlus 3, Note 8, OnePlus 6). My headphones are a Beyerdynamic DT880.
HN is mostly engineering types, the poster clearly has that mindset, we should be filing or looking for a proper bug report for this instead of crafting hacks or talking about alternative products altogether right off the bat.
As if Google even considers reading any bug reports ... :(
(source: I work for Google)
Edit: would work out of the box with the Eee PC he has as well.
You've already got a real split supply with 2x 9v batteries. If you use that instead of deriving a virtual ground, you will save 9mA of quiescent current.
How purposeful is that whole low side duplicated circuit and why?  It seems like since you're using batteries, hooking signal ground directly to your ground and driving the output single ended would work fine. Or if you want to work towards being able to AC-power, then a differential input op-amp topology and still drive the output single ended.
Isn't there a vibrant cottage industry of external USB DACs and headphone amplifiers and whatnot? I'm more of a receiver+speakers type of a person, but I often see newly designed stuff for headphones.
 Driving both sides does get you the ability to swing the output a full 36 volts. But given that your goal is to cut the signal by 11 and also that by mixing both channels you can't actually do that lest you get crosstalk in the form of clipping, I don't think this is your goal!
Binding the central line between the two 9V batteries to GND would give you the situation you describe, indeed you could then drop the resistors but now you have a fairly high risk of ending up with an asymmetric supply voltage, which means one side will clip earlier than the other.
That the author used two batteries in series did not change much in that respect (and internally those 9V batteries are a stack of 6 cells anyway). The alternative would be to use the common rail between the two batteries as a ground and then two regulators (or simply a Zener and a follower transistor, same effect for less cost) to get say plus and minus 7 or 8 volts depending on how far you want to run the batteries down and what kind of specs that op-amp has.
Most op-amp circuitry would be +- 15V, but they usually work on much less than that. The circuit as presented here probably has a DC bias that is in the 100's of mV, there is no adjustment for it either so it is a bit of a kludge the way it is set up. There are better ways to do this, it all comes down to part variation and that should not be a factor in a good schematic.
There are single supply op-amps too, but in this case I suspect the voltage required to drive those headphones properly was the major deciding factor in using two stacked 9V cells.
Maybe it was the deciding factor for whomever designed the original circuit. But in this incarnation with the 11x attenuation, the input signal would have to be above 80V for this to matter! It's obviously modified from some folk audio design, I'm just trying to figure out how much of its oddity actually has some purpose.
There are some pretty good headphone amplifier circuits out there, most of them a little bit more complex than this but with what I would expect to be far superior specs.
If the batteries have gone that far south, they need replacing.
The liberated op-amp could be used to provide a stiff voltage reference from a 100K:100K voltage divider!
Of course, all that is unnecessary.
The virtual ground has a further flaw: It's a DC ground only. This designer forgot to AC-bypass those 1K resistors, or at least one of them.
Technically, also your THD+N adds in parallel instead of being chained, although I'm not sure there will be a discernable difference unless you uave some kind of phase delay issue (in which case you should fix that first...)