To really get gapless playback, do not use local file sources with Spotify. (more…)

Use your iPod with multiple computers

Written at lunch time in English • Tags: , , , ,

Okay, you can use an iPod or iPad with more than one computer, which is good news for me. Just set the device to Manually manage music and videos on its home iTunes computer first.

Unfortunately there are exceptions to this rule: the only iPod that can be freely connected to both Mac OS and Windows computers is the iPod Touch. The iPad allows for this as well.

For more information: Using iPhone, iPad, or iPod with multiple computers

Being on the road is a challenge to my music listening habits: no Squeezebox and no Spotify. I’ve managed ok with my iPods and Last.fm streaming. However, there’s been no good reason to miss Spotify, though, even when running Ubuntu on the laptop. Just follow the instructions to install and run Spotify under Wine.

Porcupine Tree

Written late in the evening in English • Tags: , ,

Probably about two weeks ago Artsi told me I might like In Absentia by Porcupine Tree. So I got it uploaded to my iPod so I could listen to it on the train. Indeed, I liked it. I didn’t think progressive rock was made anymore, but apparenty I was wrong (you could search for “neo prog”). In Absentia is an airy and happy album — I kept it playing while I walked from the train to the office, and it went well with the cool breeze of that day. Of course, as always, there is a price for finding new music: I now own five Porcupine Tree albums already.

A new album was just released a couple of days ago and is called Deadwing. It has a much heavier rock sound. I’ve only listened to it twice, so I can’t yet say too much, other than that so far I seem to like it.

However, I’ve been more drawn to their older material. Right now I’m listening to the Stars Die double album, which is a compilation of their music from 1991–1997 released under the Delerium label. From what I understood from the biography this material is mainly solo work by Steven Wilson in tribute to the 60’s and 70’s music that insipired him. I really want to make note of my favorite songs and look up the albums on which they originally appeared.

The Shadow Internet

Written late in the afternoon in English • Tags:

Slashdot had a pointer to a very interesting article on Wired about the pirate distribution networks. It included a quote which reflects how I and many of my friends have felt about MP3’s for quite some time: they are the modern version of cassette tapes used for evaluating music, and eventually leading to album sales.

In fact, [Bruce] Forest believes the scene will eventually go legit, and he’s even started a company, called Jun Group, that uses the topsites to promote movies, musicians, and TV shows. “The topsites don’t care where their files come from, as long as no one else has them,” he says. Last summer Jun Group dropped a collection of live videos and MP3s from Steve Winwood on the topsites. “We got 2.9 million downloads,” says Forest, “and album sales took off.”

Source: The Shadow Internet by Jeff Howe, Wired, Issue 13.01, January 2005

The 30 second samples offered by online CD resellers are a very useful feature, but their quality does not compare to the real album. For me the recommendations of friends lending their purchases for some quality listening in my own home are the number one reason for getting into the music of an artist new to me. Imagine if you could just visit the artist’s website to listen to a “best of” collection or other samples.

Entech 203.2 Number Cruncher

Written late in the morning in English • Tags:

I’ve entered the next stage of serious Hi-Fi by purchasing my first outboard Digital Analog Converter (DAC): the Entech 203.2 Number Cruncher. It is indeed a great enhancement to the AudioTron I added six months ago.

Encouraged by the promises on the AudioTron mailing list of greater sound from using the optical digital output of the AudioTron, I started to look for an affordable DAC. My receiver has no digital inputs, and I didn’t want to upgrade it now, as it would undoubtedly lead into wanting a 5.1 (or 6.1) system and new speakers and … (more…)

I have made my Archos MP3 player much more user friendly by installing Rockbox, an Open Source replacement firmware. My favorite feature is resuming a stopped playlist where I left off — so my evening commute selection will continue where the morning one stopped at Grand Central.


Written late in the afternoon in English • Tags:

Being under the weather, I’ve been catching sleep, drinking hot tea and listening to Internet radio. I actually just learned about WOLF FM on the AudioTron mailing list today. They play a refreshingly well varied mix of the last three decades.

Highlights from this afternoon include Owner of a Lonely Heart by Yes, Goodbye Stranger by Supertramp, Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey and Money for Nothing by Dire Straits. Then throw in artists such as Glass Tiger, Laura Branigan and Rod Stewart. That’s true variety.

Turtle Beach AudioTron

Written early in the evening in English • Tags: ,

I added a Turtle Beach AudioTron to my stereo system this week. It’s an MP3 / WMA player that fits comfortably in a rack together with all the other hi-fi gear. I have already been storing the best parts of my CD collection on the home network as MP3 files, so I can listen to my favourites on the train (just copy files to a portable MP3 player) and while working on the computer. With the AudioTron all those files can be played on the stereo system. (more…)

Shawn Colvin: Whole New You

Written early in the evening in English • Tags:

Another melancholy smooth album from Shawn Colvin. Excellent for those evenings of headphone listening.

I can put on Whole New You any evening and listen to it from beginning to end, and it always ends too soon. My favorite songs are Another Plane Went Down, Bonefields and A Matter of Minutes.

Another album from Shawn that has gotten a lot of play time here is A Few Small Repairs. I just love those train whistles on Wichita Skyline. This is actually the first album that I heard from her — so for me it has that original Shawn sound to it.