Oatmeal’s for kids
If I mistakenly turn the television channel to a standard definition broadcast I am instantly aware of the low-resolution picture and switch to the HD version—which has now become standard for me.
That same degree of difference is not so obvious in audio. CDs sound so good these days that I am hard pressed to tell the difference without a direct AB. A testament to how good it’s gotten.
I could live with CD quality playback without batting an ear.
There is another definition of high-resolution audio—the resolving power of the system itself—the ability to resolve fine and minute details in the same way we see through a magnifying glass (and unlike the murky resolution of many systems).
I have fielded arguments both for and against audio system resolution. On the one hand, it can be said low-resolution masks recording and system defects homogenizing music into a more palatable oatmeal. On the other hand, oatmeal misses the revelatory bursts of concentrated flavors in the same way the rough cut highs and lows—the raw energy—of music are smoothed out of notice.
For me, I’ll take the excitement and the mistakes magnified in full high definition resolution, for it is the bumps and dips that make both music and life interesting.
Oatmeal’s for kids.
A music server? What is a music server?
Most people refer to their physical copies of music as collections, for that is what they typically are.
Very few large collections of music are well organized. Take my own, for example. In Music Room One I have 6 shelves of vinyl and 30 of CDs and SACDs. Vinyl is organized by the amount of play each album gets: the most popular discs are on the top shelf and the least near the bottom. CDs and SACDs are loosely organized in a similar fashion: Paul’s favorites occupy an entire row in the middle, SACDs huddle together on another shelf, Reference Recordings on yet another, and the balance of more than 1,000 discs find homes where they were placed without regard to order. Specific media not in the first known groups are almost impossible to find.
My collection is not a library. A library requires some serious organization along with a system to reference, cross reference, and locate discs by multiple means: artist, genre, album, composer, works, and so forth. There is no way to organize physical media that can then be found by multiple metrics in one step. Which is why, in 1876, librarian Melvil Dewey invented an organizational system that bears his name. Originally built around massive notecard catalogs, the Dewey Decimal system relied upon numeric classifications for books that made it possible to find the literary works within the hundreds of thousands of physical copies on library shelves. Good for libraries, but not much use in our homes.
I have seen some massive musical collections in my time, but none were organized to any degree other than alphabetical and even that turns out to be rare. Truth is, most of us have the location of music within our collections memorized. Fine for us, but woe to the next person looking to find something to play. And what of all the untouched media you don’t often think of?
Which all points to why a music server is so appealing. A proper music server takes a tumble of tracks and albums and turns them into a delightful library. The improvement servers bring in enjoying one’s wealth of music is extraordinary.
PS Audio has been hard at work on building our own music server and music management program that we will launch sometime in late 2018.