Sunday, August 21

the art of listening

Slate has a couple of Paul Boutin articles on how to make your music collection stored on your computer sound better. Now that I'm going to settle in San Francisco for a little while, and I'm going to be freelancing from home (= naps at will, music all day), I'm planning to invest in a new computer that can hold my 80+ gigs of music and make it sound good through my Cerwin-Vega speakers (not an audio snob's wet dream, but I certainly won't miss my tinny iBook speakers). Boutin recommends two ways of squeezing more out of your compressed songs:

1. Bypass the audio card of the computer, either using a digital output on new computers like the G5 Macs, or with a USB audio output. Link

2. Use a better compression program. He recommends aacPlus, a.k.a. HE-AAC, though it doesn't have wide support yet. It plays in Winamp and VLC media player. How long until it's part of iTunes? Link

P.S. This post is decorated with a drawing from Slate's slideshow on 19th-century biologist Ernst Haeckel, the subject of a recent film, "Proteus".


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