I've become a "computer audiophile"!

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by jh901, Jun 19, 2021.

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  1. HIRES_FAN

    HIRES_FAN Forum Resident

    It is what i had in hand (a 10 yr old 950W psu). A 950W psu does not mean it is sucking 950 watts from the wall all day long. It just means that it has the headroom. As i mentioned on my earlier post, it is a streaming htpc that i also use for "gaming" on a big tv at times. A single graphics card will suck 10 ish watts on idle load (during streaming) and 300 to 350 watts under full load during gaming. The xeon will use 30ish watts when streaming and 140ish Watts during gaming. Power usage will drastically vary depending on the application, but, it will be quite low during streaming. One can also undervolt the chips to further reduce power consumption on a "streaming only" optimized pc.

    Of course, newer hardware will be more power efficient to begin with than older hardware (i.e. you start with a low tdp chip, etc).
     
  2. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Central PA
    I think we're both correct, for different reasons. Radio was always going to be a mass-media satisfaction device, and there were always going to be individuals who could not be satisfied by that. I've always been the latter...even though I worked in it.

    I had the most enjoyable 2-hour drive home yesterday, with a Kindle running VLC on shuffle, plugged into my dash. The file had 551 tracks in it.

    I also had 3 flash drives in the car, with about 45 tracks on each; but, every time I'd plugged one of these in on any given week, and hit the "random" function on the dash radio when I played them...I'd still get this feeling of, "oh no, THIS one again...?" So even if that totals approximately 135 tracks, the variety isn't there, because when I have one flash drive plugged-in, I know it's going to be the same 45 tracks for days...even on "random" function.

    The surprise is...most of these 153-odd tracks, were among those 551 tracks on the Kindle, being shuffled! But, encountering the same ones I've perhaps been "burnt out" on in another context, seem perfectly fine, when I have it in my subconscious that, the next one isn't likely to be AS predictable!

    This is the magic of "oh wow". Your loss of control listening to a good radio station, still is tempered by your loss of assurance, that you can predict the upcoming track.
     
  3. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    What kind of flash drives are you using?

    The last time I moved digital files to a flash drive must have been at least years ago. It seemed to me that about 100 CD's fit on a 32GB memory card. This is with 256kB AAC.
     
  4. Night Version

    Night Version Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas
    Too lazy to rip and maintain a digital library although Roon is really good. But I basically only use it with Tidal and the small number of CDs I’ve bothered to rip
     
  5. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Central PA
    Pretty much the same 32g size. I only fit a large handful in any drive, because the player in the Mini Cooper can't seem to see more than about 50 titles on one in the first place. :shrug:

    Ever have one of those lives, where everybody else can use a door, but you can't seem to do it without the knob coming off in your hand...? I went to a Chipotle last night, and not only were they out of chips, but...they were sorry but "they couldn't accept cash this evening because they're changing over to a new system, and they can only accept cards right now..." :wtf:
     
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  6. CDV

    CDV Forum Resident

    That what I said above: several hundred tracks are or to shuffle in "station" mode. Several dozen tracks are better be rigidly sequenced like an album.
     
  7. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Central PA
    Actually, that's exactly not what I was getting at. I was saying, the tracks already on flash drives, I had "partially burned out" on, even though they were already shuffled in +-45 tracks at a time before removing from my player to be replaced by another flash drive, also existed within this 551-song folder I was shuffling...but, the tracks I had "partially-burned-out" on, sounded fresher, because of occasionally being selected within the context of what amounts to 420-or-so tracks I was not used to hearing played in this car.

    What I was saying was no, not only does a rigidly-sequenced album structure work in a long drive, but being presented with several unfamiliar songs, along with several more-familiar songs, makes the more-familiar songs sound fresher...particularly when you really don't know what's coming up next, be it a more-familiar, less-familiar, or a completely-unexpected track. This is what a well-programmed radio playlist can do, because it not only uses "power" rotations (and I admit, often too much for the audiophile - which is different from the "casual" listener), but "current" ("top 40") rotations, recurrent and gold categories designed to be progressively-less-and-less exposed, depending on the length of the list in that particular category.

    An audiophile/high-use listener doesn't have a problem with rotating songs, or "shuffling" songs...it's the length of the list which is more irritating to him, because he gets exposed to rapidly-rotating songs more frequently than the casual user. Driving is the perfect example of how the "shuffle" experience can be better than at-home, more-focused listening, such as an album being played in its' entirety. On the average/in the aggregate/overall, a driver concentrating on whether the sequencing of the album is exactly what the artist intended, is not as good a use of his time as what "surprises" await his experience, both from the radio, and from the guy in front of him who just lost the refrigerator he had bunjeed onto the back of his truck.

    This is also true for the most part in "boudoir listening", as your partner is usually more interested in either your own performance, or just getting songs that will help getting to sleep. "Rigid sequencing" in the bedroom, is best left to one specific task. :p
     
  8. CDV

    CDV Forum Resident

    After I bought an HD radio receiver, I discovered HD2 and HD3 channels with less long-in-the-tooth stuff, like 1980s alternative or modern alternative or dance/EDM (always presented as a sort of stuff that only non-cis people would listen/dance to, huh), hard rock/metal, etc. But I quickly found out that their rotation is way too short. Well, some stations are better, the hard rock channel promises a whole day without repeating. But the 1980s alternative was my biggest disappointment. They play all the songs I used to listen 30 years ago, I give them that. But there is no alternative to alternative. If it is A-ha, then it is Take On Me. If it is Alphaville, then it is Forever Young, if it is The Cars, then it is Just What I Need. C'mon, people, A-Ha wrote more than one song! One time I turned the radio on, and it was playing an obscure tune by Tangerine Dream, well, obscure to me, I haven't heard it before. I was elated - wow, finally they got to their senses and widened up their horizons. Well, in ten seconds they faded it down, realizing it is something outside of their format, and to add insult to injury they put on Take On Me right next. Garbage.

    So, I have got disillusioned in commercial radio. I do listen to stations like KCRW because they play something new (or old) and do not have a heavy rotation.

    On the other hand, my own short playlist is where I expect a specific order, like on a regular album. No shuffle. No surprises.
     
  9. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Central PA
    Again, radio isn't for the specific listener, such as the audiophile who has put a lot of thought into his immediate gratification...and for that matter, even started a thread about it.

    Whether the station is called "deep cuts" or "the best hits", these are all designed as "mass media", catering to more than the intense music listener, and really only satisfies once it reaches the critical mass of a large enough listenership to justify its' existence. No matter how they pitch it, be it "no-repeats-all-day-long", or "a better variety"...if you are the sort of person who cares deeply about your experience, you are not their target audience. You are their first-priority audience to satisfy, but...they have to grow beyond you, to also reach people who just want to hit "play" and get wallpaper for their office drone job. That's why your experience fails to satisfy.

    You want a specific order and no surprises...why are you even wanting radio to give you what you crave. They cannot do that for you, AND do that for the dental hygienist/soccer-mom in the lane next to you, going down the same highway for different purposes. Stop complaining because you ordered the veal, and got scallopini. They said "veal"...and it's IN the scallopini. And the rest of the customers like it just fine. Try a butcher.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
  10. CDV

    CDV Forum Resident

    Are you telling me that the target audience that expects a "wallpaper for their office drone job" waits for Take On Me every time A-Ha plays, and would not be satisfied by Hunting High And Low or Manhatttan Skyline or The Sun Always Shines on T.V. or Crying In the Rain, or a dozen of other big hits by A-Ha? Seriously? They will be triggered by a song they've never heard? Instead of the joy of discovery they will be hit by a ton of bricks? Bollocks. I am telling you, those who use radio as a wallpaper won't care at all as long as the format is more or less the same. Even if an occasional song goes beyond the format once in a while, they will accept it as a nice change. This rigid less-than 100 track rotation simply tells about lazy radio producers and DJs (if they still have DJs, I don't think so). They make a tasteless porridge for the masses not because the masses crave for it, but because they tolerate it for the lack of better alternative.
    I want a specific order in my own playlist, this is how I create them and curate them. Radio is different. I listen both ways. These are different listening modes.
    Not true. Never is it said, "Only the best and finest 50 tracks every day, all day". Never is it said that they are limiting their selection just for a listener, because the listener wants a limited selection. They are simply being lazy and they try to get away with as little as possible before the listeners drop out en masse. Thankfully, now there are many other alternatives to a local FM station, so they've become irrelevant. Good riddance.
     
  11. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Central PA
    No. An audience expects a consistent experience...and most of them, like it or not, have lower expectations than people who hand out on a music and audio board all day.

    This should not be news to you. That's why you and I are both here and not IN an office, droning-away, right?
     
  12. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Forum Sciolist

    Location:
    Tri-Cities TN
    Yeah, even before my renewed interest in vinyl. The current hi-resolution streaming availability just confirms my digital proclivity. Ah! but to hold the album in my hands...
     
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  13. showtaper

    showtaper Concert Hoarding Bastard

    I couldn't agree more........
     
  14. Rattlin' Bones

    Rattlin' Bones Grumpy Old Deaf Drummer

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Yes. This! I do use Tidal as my source, though.

    There is just something wrong about using the words computer and audiophile in same sentence lol.

     
  15. Rattlin' Bones

    Rattlin' Bones Grumpy Old Deaf Drummer

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I stream Tidal. I make playlists of my favorite albums and organize the playlists by artist. That way I can listen to many many pieces of same artists consecutively.

     
  16. stereoptic

    stereoptic Anaglyphic GORT Staff

    Location:
    NY
    The conversation has drifted from the subject presented by the OP. If you would like to discuss the benefits of smart shuffling, please start a new thread.
    Thanks
     
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  17. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Curious...

    Given the generalized title of the thread being "I've become a "computer audiophile"!".

    Would it not be logical to assume that reasons for becoming a "computer audiophile" logically include discussing the more specific benefits of digital listening over conventional linear analog?

    It would seem like the ability to use defined playlists and the ability to shuffle or random listen to music, would be a prime reason to move to some sort of intelligent listening?

    Noting that the discussion already includes other streaming intelligent devices/technologies besides a dedicated PC.

    Otherwise, what should the thread be discussing, bit rates or analog vs. digital? Just trying to get a better clarification.
     
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  18. jonwoody

    jonwoody Tragically Unhip

    Location:
    Washington DC
    I am not really a computer audiophile but I've been streaming for a little over a decade. When my last CD player died I bought a Squeezebox Duet and it was a revelation music at my fingertips. I was listening to Pandora and Spotify in those days then Tidal happened. Ditched the Squeezebox for a Sonos so I could have Tidal because I found Spotify unlistenable. Sonos only worked on the 2.4gHz band though and I was plagued by dropouts.

    About 5 years ago I picked up an Auralic Aries Mini as a demo and it's been a great device for me. I think the LDS app is excellent and Auralic has continued to update it I've been curious about Roon but can't see paying for something I now get free. Not to mention the hardware demands.

    Overall the learning curve was steep for me I knew nothing about this stuff or computers, I bought and setup a Synology NAS with 3.5TB of my files and I stream Qobuz mostly, still have a Tidal subscription also. I still consider myself a neophyte however and reading all that NUC stuff makes my eyes glaze over. But I love the convenience and I've done what I can to optimize my system for streaming and I think it sounds great.
     
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  19. CDV

    CDV Forum Resident

    You don't know where I am. Just because some people are "droning away" in an office or, even worse, in an Amazon warehouse, picking 100 items in 60 minutes having no time to read a web forum and reply, does not mean they would not appreciate better variety in the music they listen.

    I see why FM radio is garbage — because the execs think that their listeners have "lower expectations". This is why I switched to ShoutCast internet streaming twenty years ago, and then to streaming music providers including YouTube, where I can access the long tail of music.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
  20. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I can't help but wonder how many Roon users actually set up the Core on an NVMe SSD M.2 and store local files on a separate SATA hard drive. I suppose most don't invest much into their stereo and maybe it isn't necessary to do what Roon advises in order to optimize performance. Those who need little storage can buy a suitable NUC, some RAM, and a stick of NVMe SSD for not much. Install the free optimized RoonOS (ROCK).

    Tidal is aligned with MQA. No deal. Qobuz has been fantastic for streaming. I'd be hard pressed to discern from local storage, but I do have a rather ideal install. Also, they have good prices on downloads with premium membership.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
  21. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The mainstream gets the music, movies, fast food, "coffee", "beer", etc that they deserve. Full stop.

    Please stay on topic.
     
  22. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    That they "deserve" or that which is foisted on them? Spare us the entitlement. You are a product of the same. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
  23. Spy Car

    Spy Car Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    @jh901 The one part of you plan that seems questionable is ripping music files to WAV. WAV files are large compared to FLAC or ALAC with no acoustic advantage and have inferior metadata support.

    Might want to rethink before you get too deep.

    Bill
     
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  24. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    I think digital audio gets conflated with convenience for non-hobbyists.
    As a long time "analog or die" guy, I can hear certain benefits from digital (leaving aside whatever additional convenience non-analog is for recordists, mixers and remote collaborators). And, I'm nowhere near the level of my analog front end. Some stuff -say, bass tones that are deep and have tonality, combined with dead quiet (no other instruments playing)-- can sound amazing.
     
  25. stereoptic

    stereoptic Anaglyphic GORT Staff

    Location:
    NY
    The tone of the first post is more hardware oriented. Granted, the thread topic is ambiguous, yet it, IMO, veered off course into another completely valid topic. I'll let the OP decide if this thread has taken a random turn.
     
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