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It might seem complex …. 2

Posted 7 years ago

One of my readers commented that “it sure is easier to just put a record on the turntable and play it” in response to trying to understand the complexity of sending music out of a computer. Well, sure it is – just as it’s even easier to put a CD into a CD player. But […]
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Switches and routers oh my! 0

Posted 7 years ago

With all these crazy packets running around our network, like web page traffic, email and music files, how do the attached devices (like our DAC or our computer) know which of these packets are intended for them? And how do we connect everyone together? There are three elements we need to lightly understand to answer […]
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Jigsaw puzzles 0

Posted 7 years ago

If you’ve been following along you now understand that music files are first broken into smaller identically sized pieces of data when they leave the computer. The data are placed in a capsule called a packet and addressed just like a letter with the address of where it’s supposed to be going and where it […]
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Finding your way home 0

Posted 7 years ago

When we stream a music file from our computer, NAS or even the internet to our DAC over USB or our network, that music file is first torn apart into little tiny bits and each of the tiny bits of information is then placed into a capsule, called a packet, and sent along the route […]
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The packet racket 0

Posted 7 years ago

We’ve been learning that computers and computer traffic are shared experiences. Gone are the days when we directly connect devices together and the reasons for this are fairly simple: too many devices need to be connected to too many people over the same roads – there are only a limited number of data highways that […]
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Sorting apples 4

Posted 7 years ago

If you’ve been following along with our series on networking you now understand that regardless of how data gets out of your computer to your DAC – USB or over a network – the path it takes is a shared one used by more than just the music we want to send. In fact, USB […]
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Telephones, CD players and frogs 4

Posted 7 years ago

Yesterday we began our look at networked audio – connecting a DAC to your computer through a network rather than a fixed length USB cable (or S/PDIF cable). The advantages to connecting over a network are many, including the ability to put your DAC anywhere you wish and the possibility of as many DACS as […]
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Networking 0

Posted 7 years ago

This’ll be the first of a few posts where we delve into networking and computer audio systems. In prior posts we looked at what I would refer to as a closed system: a single computer with a DAC attached to it. This works fine but has a number of drawbacks, many of which are not […]
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What's a Windows user to do? 2

Posted 7 years ago

I was going to jump into network audio players, networking and all that’s involved with that, but due to a rash of requests I will postpone that for another day and answer some questions. We learned a few days ago that without a lot of hand work, iTunes does not play tracks in their native […]
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Summing up USB DACS 4

Posted 7 years ago

In the last days of posts I have been covering what it takes to play music to a USB connected DAC. We’ve learned what the various formats of music we can play are and how they work – as well we’ve learned that the player itself contributes mightily to the sound quality of what we’re […]
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The trouble with iTunes 15

Posted 7 years ago

Through our mini series on streaming audio we’ve learned how iTunes finds and plays a track on your hard drive but we haven’t yet learned why programs that circumvent iTunes, like Amarra, Pure Music and Bit Perfect exist at all. If you’ve managed to keep up with streaming audio in the magazines, you may have […]
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Conversions 0

Posted 7 years ago

My parents always wanted to convert me from anentrepreneurto a guy with a job working for someone else. My mother, in particular, was terrified I wouldn’t be able to feed my family working for myself. Moms. When it comes to streaming audio, however, we have no choice but to agree to be converted or we […]
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Dizzying array of formats 0

Posted 7 years ago

We’re progressing nicely through what it takes to stream music and we’re still focusing on what it takes to play a track on your computer and get it to your DAC via USB. We started this section on streaming with an observation: when you stream audio through a fixed cable connection between your computer and […]
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Connecting the music 4

Posted 7 years ago

Yesterday’s post showed us what happens when you press play in iTunes (or any music player program) and we’re in the middle of a series on streaming audio that I hope you find interesting or, at least, informative. The track title you see in iTunes is really just a memory location and when you press […]
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Where it plays matters 0

Posted 7 years ago

The two means of getting streaming audio to your DAC is via a direct cable tethered to your computer or a network solution. With a direct cable you’re always in close distance to your computer, with a network solution your player and computer can be miles apart if you want. While this is a fairly […]
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Driving the music 5

Posted 7 years ago

When we think of streaming audio we probably gloss over all that’s involved – and there’s a lot involved. You’d think streaming audio should be as easy as selecting what you want to hear, pressing a button and getting it to play. In some cases it’s that easy, such as using Apple’s Airplay option, but […]
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Expressing 4

Posted 7 years ago

Yesterday I promised to tell you about an extremely affordable streaming device that is super easy to connect to. The unit has both a built in WIFI and Ethernet port, a digital S/PDIF output capable of 96kHz 24 bit audio to connect to your existing DAC plus an internal 96kHz 24 bit Wolfson DAC and […]
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Streaming 1

Posted 7 years ago

I got a request from one of my readers to post a few columns on streaming audio and so this will be the first of several that cover that much talked about subject. First let’s cover what is streaming audio because there’s a lot of misconceptions about it. In its most fundamental definition streaming audio […]
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Addicted 5

Posted 7 years ago

I try and run each morning before work because it helps my energy levels stay up during the busy day. Sometimes it’s a real struggle to get moving and stick with it, but music helps keep my mind somewhere other than with the effort of the run. I tried using my phone and a pair […]
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Trade offs 8

Posted 7 years ago

I miss the routine of choosing an album, removing it from its sleeve, washing the record, cleaning the needle, placing the tone arm just so and hearing the first contact in the groove and the subsequent ticks and pops just before the glorious music plays from the speakers- this is something I almost never do […]
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It's the least I can do 6

Posted 7 years ago

We’re ending our series on separates with a bit of a summary and a cautionary note. We’ve seen that when you set out to design a separate, whether its purpose is one of added functionality or improved performance, that separate must stand on its own in a world of unknown connections and situations – thus […]
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Here's the dilemma 8

Posted 7 years ago

We are right in the middle of designing products for 2013 and among those products is a pet one of mine: an integrated. I believe today’s Audiophile wants fewer boxes without sacrificing performance and I intend to provide that to them. In that integrated I want basically everything I need to run a system – […]
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Swiss army knives 7

Posted 7 years ago

When you buy a Swiss army knife your expectation is greater functionality and utility in a single package – it is not that you believe you now have the world’s best screwdriver, knife or saw blade. The miracle of a Swiss army knife is how much they can pack into a single package not how […]
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My first separates 18

Posted 7 years ago

In 1973 my system consisted of a Kenwood integrated amplifier and pair of Phased Array loudspeakers (precursorsto the Dahlquist brand). The Kenwood had very little power to drive these loudspeakers, sounded pretty bad, and I got convinced by one of my buddies to move to separates and get rid of the integrated. Soon I had […]
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Functionality or performance? 6

Posted 7 years ago

You can break the need for separates into two neat categories: added functionality, improved performance. If, for example, your system is CD based and you decide to add a turntable, you’ll need a separate phono amplifier if your preamp doesn’t already have one built in. Or, perhaps you are not happy with the performance of […]
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