Thursday, January 03, 2008

About five minutes after....

....I blogged about the point of CDs here, when it's so much easier to download (legally) music, I finally worked out how to connect my Ipod to my not too bad hi-fi system.

Wow! I now know why I should still buy CDs. Funny how the Ipod is ok in the ear, but not when run though a quality amplifier when the sounds lose their richness. It's annoying that with the Ipod you are a bit stuck with the Itunes system, which only allows a maximum sample rate of 192 bps. My older, clunky Iriver, which did not take kindly to being taken on a run, allowed an almost double sample rate (and even complete copies, taking up huge amounts of memory space). It was also much easier to load and manage.

The problem with sound is confirmed by Robert Levine here [on the Rolling Stone website], when he says that sound quality is getting worse and worse - and in an age of Ipods no-one complains (until they do what I did...). He complains about music being made louder and louder, which can't be good for people's ears; in addition the technique results in a compression of sounds, taking out much of the excitement of music. On the other hand, listening to classical music on a European Ipod in a noisy environment, you'll miss the quiet bits. European Ipods are set not to exceed a certain sound level; hope onto an Austrian Airlines Dash 8-400 with it and all you can listen to is baroque music, which does not do dynamics that much. Schnittke/Kancheli? Forget it.

Ipods are obviously not made for classical music - not even the Ipod classic. But for those of us who travel a lot it's a godsend. As memory is reduced further in size, I hope that soon we can enjoy a higher bitrate very soon!


Helene said...

I just got some noise-cancelling earphones. I mostly use my iPod on flights and got fed up with having to have it on max volume to hear anything. Even tried a pair of Bang and Olufsen hitech earphones, but really no wow factor to justify and no noise cancelling either.

But I tried the noise cancelling on the way to Ljubljana and what a difference! At first, it seemed I could still hear outside noise (a low hum from the plane, voices behind me) but then I turned the noise cancelling off. Suddenly at a low volume there was no music much just noise. I quickly turned it on again and realised just how much noise it cut out. Now I can really enjoy my listening on planes.