Bit banging

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I write today's post from a desk staring out from the 34th floor of the Venetian hotel in Vegas. It rained last night and it's beautiful this early morning. Getting here was a real pain. Low hanging fog had disrupted air traffic into Vegas. Our 9:30 AM flight out of Denver was cancelled. We rerouted 3 hours later to Orange County, then an hour after landing, on to Sacramento. We finally arrived Las Vegas at 7 PM, stood in an hour long line for our CES badges, another hour to get a taxi, and had a glass of wine and a salad at 10:30. Man! And my friend Andy sent me this link to the new Samsung 2TB solid state drive that's smaller than a business card, launched this morning at CES. That's amazing. A sold state drive capable of storing well over 2000 complete albums–and it's smaller than a business card. Bit banging. It's a term used by programmers to describe how data is thrown around, and I have been thinking of it as of late–and how it might apply to the sound of digital audio. The last few days of posts have looked at ripping and sparked much controversy. Do rips of data sound different? And if they do, why? We know, intellectually, that once data is lifted from an optical disc and transferred to a hard drive, solid state or mechanical, the data is identical to what was formerly on the optical disc. Many studies have shown bit perfect matches exist. And if the data are identical, and there is no timing information attached to that stored data (and there isn't), how could that data sound different? It's a good Sherlock Holmes problem. Right? I think the answer is that the data, if identical, cannot be different. Therefore, we are looking in the wrong place for our answers. Let's start discussing this over the next few days. I am here in Vegas and will be mulling this very question between handshakes with our dealers.
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Paul McGowan

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