A friend of mine bought a new amplifier but he wasn’t pleased with the sound. He likes the aesthetic of older things, so he called me and asked if I could recommend a good old amplifier that could drive smaller speakers. The first one that I could think of was the venerable NAD 3020B. When I was young, this was the first affordable amplifier that actually sounded good. It’s not a power house by any means, putting out a (very conservative estimate) 2 x 20 watts. But the phono stage which is switchable for both MM and MC pickups is good, and the sound quality is excellent. So he scoured the used market and finally found a NAD 3020B. Unfortunately when he got it home, there was a loud hum from the output. So I told him to send it to me so I could fix it.
So I gave Apple Music streaming a try. Being able to just search for music and add it to my playlists sounded like a good idea. After a while the recommendations becomes rather good as well, giving me some tips of other bands I might like. But here’s the problem I have with Apple Music. When you sync your music via iCloud, you can no longer sync music via iTunes! And to be able to download music locally from Apple Music to your phone, you must use the “in the iCloud” solution. Catch–22 anyone?
John Meyer may be making really expensive loudspeakers, but when it comes to high-end audio, the audio engineering pioneer prefers free. FLAC, the open source audio format developed by Grateful Dead fans to trade bootleg recordings, is “the perfect format” for music aficionados looking for higher-resolution audio, Meyer told me during a recent interview. And to him, any company pushing trying to make a buck with selling upsampled music is just out to sell snake oil. “It’s tricking people who don’t know enough about technology,” he said.
I couldn’t agree more. We don’t need more formats. FLAC handless lossless compressed music without an hitch. Been using it for years and have my entire record collection in FLAC. I’m working on having my FLAC-encoded music in my car as well! Whohoo!
I’m working on a Raspberry Pi as a music player in my car. I’m putting all my music on a SSD disk in lossless FLAC. I’ve already got hold of a 2×16 character LCD with six button from Adafruit that only uses two pins for communication with I2C. It’s easy to program and it has four different background colors.