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A Lark Ascending

Death of the iPod (Everyone's buying vinyl)

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I have never been able to get over how tedious it is to load albums onto one of these things. Best I managed was a small $30 type of thing that held about 50 albums. It took me hours to load it up and I never bothered with it again.

That said, I do use my phone to stream music on Spotify very occasionally.

Must have been using the previous version USB. I can currently load 50 albums on my iPod Touch in just a few minutes. I could even do it wirelessly in about 5 minutes.

xybert, and don't forget the Apple TV option! Streaming music via wi-fi from my iMac at one end of the house to my main system on the other end is how I listen to the majority of my stuff. And I use my iPad as the remote control for it.

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Music becomes more and more accessible and the sound gets worse and worser. I wonder where it will end. (Not that I really want to find out.)

That was true about a decade ago. But sound has been improving since then with the advent of ALAC/FLAC, which are indistinguishable from CD/.wav.

And from I've seen most folks challenged cannot tell the difference between a .wav file and a 320kbps AAC. Hell, I'd challenge anyone to correctly pick out a .wav file from a 256kbps VBR AAC.

The biggest downside now is the horrendously shitty production methods in modern studios. Loudness War in end stage. But digital files have improved immensely over the last decade, and seem to still be on an upward trend. iTunes guarantees all their music downloads to be no less than 256kbps, after having 128 as their standard for years. And Emusic has played the catch up game. This tells me that people were complaining about sound quality, or else they wouldn't have changed anything.

I've even heard whispers that with hard drives getting larger and larger, and storage getting cheaper and cheaper, that iTunes will eventually offer ALAC downloads. And at that point, you've got the same thing they pulled off the original disc.

That sounds pretty good to me.

When I made that statement, the discussion was about people listening to iPhones and iPods on the go. And, unlike years ago, the vast majority of people don't care about sound quality at all. That's all I was saying.

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And I'm not one to completely disagree with that, but I really think a corner has been turned in that regard. And let's also be perfectly honest in that portable music has never been ideal.

I saw a recent study, though for the life of me cannot find it online, where younger people were starting to prefer better sound quality. I think it was done in Japan.

And of course now you have the "mastered for iTunes" section in the iTunes store that remasters everything in 24bit sound.

And more and more you hear people say they're ripping their CD's to ALAC/FLAC rather than the bigger space saving MP3.

That actually has me kinda hopeful that sound quality bottomed out with the 96kbps MP3, and is now on a sustained upward trend. I think people were initially blown away by the convenience of the digital file format, but now codec's are becoming more advanced, and sound quality is finally on the rise. Which I feel will continue.

Now, maybe I'm completely full of shit. But, it's a trend I'm at least appreciating as it's happening. :)

Edited by Scott Dolan

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And I'm not one to completely disagree with that, but I really think a corner has been turned in that regard. And let's also be perfectly honest in that portable music has never been ideal.

I saw a recent study, though for the life of me cannot find it online, where younger people were starting to prefer better sound quality. I think it was done in Japan.

And of course now you have the "mastered for iTunes" section in the iTunes store that remasters everything in 24bit sound.

And more and more you hear people say they're ripping their CD's to ALAC/FLAC rather than the bigger space saving MP3.

That actually has me kinda hopeful that sound quality bottomed out with the 96kbps MP3, and is now on a sustained upward trend. I think people were initially blown away by the convenience of the digital file format, but now codec's are becoming more advanced, and sound quality is finally on the rise. Which I feel will continue.

Now, maybe I'm completely full of shit. But, it's a trend I'm at least appreciating as it's happening. :)

You're certainly right in certain aspects. And the Japanese have always been more appreciative of good sound (and good jazz) than most other people. I hope you're right and that folks will want to hear better music with better sound quality. I guess I'm just not hopeful about that.

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You know, to be perfectly honest I don't even think the format itself is the problem. I think the biggest problem is what passes for production "value" these days. So much music these days is plagued by WAY too much loudness and the digital clipping that follows.

You know when I think things first turned the corner? When Metallica released their Death Magnetic album, and even their own fans were rather angry about how loud and distorted it sounded. Hey, when even Metallica fans can't take it anymore, that's a good sign! ;)

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My Classic froze up recently and I haven't replaced it.

That's generally fixable, ya' know: http://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/how-to-reset-or-unfreeze-an-ipod-nano-ipod-touch-ipod-classic-or-ipod-shuffle/

I should have said what freezes up is the car system. I know how to unfreeze the Ipod. But whenever I plug the 160 into the car system, the car system freezes up. Works fine with the 16GB Nano.

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Neal, have you tried restoring the Classic?

I'd back it up, and restore it just to see if that's the problem. Worst that could happen is nothing.

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Just to clarify that last statement, it's obvious that since your car system works just fine with the Nano, that it isn't the problem. Sounds like something went kaflooey in the Classic that's making it not play nice with the car system.

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Neal, have you tried restoring the Classic?

I'd back it up, and restore it just to see if that's the problem. Worst that could happen is nothing.

Thanks. Yes, I am restoring it right now. It wants me to reload the music, which I am doing right now. Hoping that will clear up the problem.

ETA: That seems to have worked! My 160 GP classic is working in the car again! First time I have had to restore it.

Edited by Neal Pomea

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In my 40+ years of record buying I'd say there have been four things that changed my listening world:

  1. Just having a record player (1970)
  2. My first CD player (1985) - no more snap, crackle and pop.
  3. The Web (c.1999) suddenly being able to access recordings across the world.
  4. The mp3 player/downloading (c. 2006/7),

With every other upgrade I've noticed a difference for a week or so and then the listening returns have been much the same as before. The above four made a stark difference.

For me - and I emphasise it is a personal preference - iPods fit my way of life (I nearly said lifestyle but I don't think there's much style). I spend a good 90-120 mins of the day driving. I live in a middle terrace house and get up early so to get a decent volume of music I need to be under headphones. As I'm generally moving about I can't be tied to the main system or a PC. Out walking, going on holiday, gardening etc - an absolute blessing to carry a large volume of music with you.

I have a lot of 160 iPods - they seem to fill up quickly. I found deleting stuff to make room for other stuff and then wanting the original again a pain. So I've gone for several. I know with the money I've spent on them I could probably buy a bulb for a tube amp but that side of things has never appealed. I'm cloth-eared.

I'm sure that with clouds and things I could probably drop everything there and pick it up on the iPhone - but given how the phone doesn't always work everywhere I've yet to be persuaded that I can rely on that method. I'm sure it's the future and as I have all the iPods backed up on a hard disc it shouldn't be that hard to upload them.

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The article seems to conflate the different flavors of iPad. Certainly, as music lovers, we approach the iPod Classic and iPod Touch differently. I recently bought a Touch for my 10-year old son, but mostly for its video and camera capabilities, as well as its Net access. A Classic has none of those considerations. I've owned many iPods over the years, and repurpose them as their batteries go. One is now in the car, one in the bathroom, one in the alarm clock (allowing us to wake up to New York radio in Houston), one in the kitchen attached to a boom box, etc. What I'm now hoping for is a whole-house solution, but one effected through iPods, not a Sonos.

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Never owned iPods, I am not a commuter and I don't like earphones, I prefer the natural soundtrack of life: unknown people chatting, byrds singing and bus approching crosswalk, BUT I admit that since I got the iPhone I appreciate the ease of hundreds of records during my rare car driving. Motorbike driving with earphones is against my religion, I want to listen to the engine,

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I have 2 iPods, a 60gb and an 80gb, a 2nd Gen iPod touch, an original iPad, an iPad 2 and an iPhone 4s. Most of my music listening is done on one of those devices, if not straight off my Mac. My music purchases are split maybe 60/40 digital files to CD. If it is a release I really put great value in (or is not available to d/l), I'll seek out and splurge on the CD. And now that I live essentially in Chicago, Jazz Record Mart is not far away; a dangerous prospect. I still need to venture to the brick-and-mortar Dusty Groove shop.

Anyway, that being said, even when I do buy the CD, I still rip it and put it on a device.

Also, with the advent of the Apple TV and other wireless streaming devices such as ChromeCast, its becoming easier and easier to enjoy the music we love anywhere.

Gone are the days of deciding what CDs to bring on a road trip. Bring them all. In your pocket.

Edited by Aftab

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Never owned iPods, I am not a commuter and I don't like earphones, I prefer the natural soundtrack of life: unknown people chatting, byrds singing and bus approching crosswalk, BUT I admit that since I got the iPhone I appreciate the ease of hundreds of records during my rare car driving. Motorbike driving with earphones is against my religion, I want to listen to the engine,

Porcy my hat is off to you. We think alike.

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I have 2 iPods, a 60gb and an 80gb, a 2nd Gen iPod touch, an original iPad, an iPad 2 and an iPhone 4s. Most of my music listening is done on one of those devices, if not straight off my Mac. My music purchases are split maybe 60/40 digital files to CD. If it is a release I really put great value in (or is not available to d/l), I'll seek out and splurge on the CD. And now that I live essentially in Chicago, Jazz Record Mart is not far away; a dangerous prospect. I still need to venture to the brick-and-mortar Dusty Groove shop.

Anyway, that being said, even when I do buy the CD, I still rip it and put it on a device.

Also, with the advent of the Apple TV and other wireless streaming devices such as ChromeCast, its becoming easier and easier to enjoy the music we love anywhere.

Gone are the days of deciding what CDs to bring on a road trip. Bring them all. In your pocket.

Pretty much my thoughts exactly. Only exception being I haven't bought a cd in years.

I would be inclined to buy a really nice box set, but other than that the higher resolution AAC's now offered by iTunes are all but indistinguishable from CD these days.

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The iPod became obsolete as soon as the iPhone came out, nowadays people only want to carry 1 device with them that does everything. And downloading songs from your computer to your device is so 00's, unlimited streaming with millions of songs to choose from is the preferred choice.

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How much does streaming eat up your cellphone minutes?

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The article seems to conflate the different flavors of iPad. Certainly, as music lovers, we approach the iPod Classic and iPod Touch differently. I recently bought a Touch for my 10-year old son, but mostly for its video and camera capabilities, as well as its Net access. A Classic has none of those considerations. I've owned many iPods over the years, and repurpose them as their batteries go. One is now in the car, one in the bathroom, one in the alarm clock (allowing us to wake up to New York radio in Houston), one in the kitchen attached to a boom box, etc. What I'm now hoping for is a whole-house solution, but one effected through iPods, not a Sonos.

I know I've mentioned this here over the years, but I have a NAS that streams FLAC, internet radio, Spotify, you name it, to old iPhones, an old Logitech squeezebox, and a vortexbox appliance throughout the house and yard when I want it in the garden. Everything is controlled by app on the iPhone or iPad.

Still, in most scenarios, I find that reaching for an LP Or CD is less of a hassle and more enjoyable. Of course, I'm relegated to one room with that choice, but that's really how I prefer to listen anyway.

On the go, I just use my Spotify subscription at 320kbps. It's fine in my Honda Civic, which isn't exactly the most nuanced listening device.

Edited by .:.impossible

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How much does streaming eat up your cellphone minutes?

It doesn't, it comes from your data plan. I have unlimited text & data so it doesn't cost anything additional.

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And downloading songs from your computer to your device is so 00's...

Thank the Lord for that. At last I've got something I can use to bang on about how much better things used to be and how awful the modern world is.

Seriously, I'm going to have to experiment with Spotify on the move.

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Spotify on your tablet is where it's at (for the moment at least..)

Edited by sidewinder

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You can take tablets to hear music? Oh Brave New World!

doctor-pills.jpg

Take an Anthony Braxton before breakfast and a Webern (the really small ones) after lunch and you'll soon feel better.

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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And downloading songs from your computer to your device is so 00's...

Thank the Lord for that. At last I've got something I can use to bang on about how much better things used to be and how awful the modern world is.

Seriously, I'm going to have to experiment with Spotify on the move.

I only listen to Spotify at home using my wi-fi, or on the occasional Manchester Metrolink tram that has free wi-fi. For listening when I'm out and about, I have an iTunes playlist of about 120 albums (constantly updated/altered) which have been selected from my CD collection and transferred to my iPhone.

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I only listen to Spotify at home using my wi-fi,

It is proving extremely useful at the moment in sampling the Bobby Hackett Complete Capitol Mosaic for free as I pontificate on this one. Worth it's weight in gold.

Edited by sidewinder

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"And from I've seen most folks challenged cannot tell the difference between a .wav file and a 320kbps AAC. Hell, I'd challenge anyone to correctly pick out a .wav file from a 256kbps VBR AAC."

so am I to understand that I tunes is using the 320/AAC? Anyone do a listening test on a real system?

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