With the resurgence of good Hi-Fi, where more and more people buy good headphones and listen to a lot of music thanks to streaming, it’s sad to see the things the mastering engineers (and in the end the artist) do to music. Yet, the recordings are getting worse. Even old records that gets the “Remastered” or “Expanded” treatment doesn’t sound as good as the original. Why?
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?
My Raspberry Pi Car Audio Player
A lot of people are using the excellent linux micro computer Raspberry Pi and install it in their cars. Usually they use a color screen that is touch sensitive, being able to play back video and music. But I’m only interested in high quality audio playback, being able to have all my CDs in lossless FLAC format for optimal sound quality. So a 16×2 LCD display with some buttons is plenty. I now have a working system (but not yet installed in my car.) here’s a description on how it’s built. Most of the installations I’ve seen uses the audio out from the Raspberry Pi, but it’s only 11-bit and sounds like crap. I want to use an external DAC and you can get that to work in XBMC, but only menu and music output, not films. There are some HDMI to audio converters, but I’ll rather use a quality USB DAC.
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 love my music playback setup that consists of a couple of Squeezebox V3 players in different rooms so I can listen to music in lossless format wherever I am in the apartment. With the iPeng HD app on my iPad, I have a nice interface for controlling the players with album art and other nice features. But the best part is that I can playback high resolution audio directly on my iPad using the Camera Kit USB adapter and an HRT HeadStreamer DAC portable USB headphone amplifier. But I wanted a small, cheap and eco-friendly server for hosting my music files and wondered if I could use the Raspberry Pi. And here’s my findings.