Saturday, March 10, 2018

Music streaming services and sound quality

Back when I was a teenager I spent a whole lotta time on listening to music. I mean really listening - not just keep it running in the background while doing other stuff. First, I had a radio alarm clock with (cassette-)tape recorder. So I mostly listened to tapes which where recorded from radio. Of course the quality of those recordings and of the tape player itself would not stand any quality standards ;-) A little later I got my hands on my father's stereo equipment (SABA receiver and tape deck with a DUAL turntable and some nice Canton speakers). This caused my standards of sound quality to rise. I began buying records and copied them to tape. If I really liked the record it went on a "metal" tape, but usually I spent my money on "CrO2" tapes. Why the hell buy a record and then copy it to tape?? Why not buy the taped recording?? To all those younger folks: because those tapes didn't sound good. Copying the record to high or at least good quality tape would leave you with a much better sound on your way to school while enjoying the luxury of a Sony DD II Walkman. By the end of the eighties CDs made their way into my record collection. (By the way, my first CD was Depeche Mode's "Speak and Spell" album which I already owned as vinyl. I missed the "klick" sounds from my record to which I got used to over the years while listening to this album ;-) ) At first CDs where too expensive for me so I still got records but over time of course I got stuck on CDs - though I still think a good recording and high quality record sounds better than a CD of the same album. Since then quite some time has passed and today's music industry somehow made it's way to digital music downloads and streaming services - which I think is a good thing. However I really dislike treating lossy music formats as replacement for "real" non-lossy recordings. And I don't see the sense in them anymore. Low bitrate mp3 files of course where the only way to get music over the internet through your 56k modem - but nowadays? Really? Don't get me wrong, those codecs are fine while listening to music on your smartphone while you're on the way to work, but as soon you get some descent headphones this sound quality sucks.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Mobile Messenger apps & trust in general

The thing about trust is it's a very individual matter. For example I do trust Google (to a certain degree), however I do not trust WhatsApp or even less Facebook. There might be no logic in this, but fact is I always disliked that the latter had a copy of my address book whereas I didn't hesitate storing it with the former. Also, I personally don't trust Apple software due to the fact that their security bugs are not being fixed in a timely manner or their way of pre-configuring their OS's in an insecure way (i.e. at least with MacOSX 10.x the firewall is still disabled as default). As company storing my data I'd probably trust them. That of course is my personal opinion.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Manjaro Linux

Since I last posted about a Linux distribution it's been a while and it was all about Arch Linux. Well, four years later it's again about Arch - more or less: Manjaro Linux. This distribution is based on Arch Linux, is completely binary compatible with it's ancestor but maintains it's own repositories.
During the last couple of years I mostly kept Debian based distros running on my laptop (still this one :-) ), sometimes Debian itself and sometimes Ubuntu. I did not have the time to go through the Arch Linux installation routine which - by my last post you might have guessed - can be a little daunting. However, I do think that Arch's "pacman" package manager and their build system is one of the finest out there. This is where Manjaro comes in handy: it provides a live system with a GUI installer which doesn't take more than 10 to 15 minutes and it's all done.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

10 years...

...well, kind of. I've started this blog 10 years ago but I did not contribute a word during the last 4 years. Beginning last year I moved from Wordpress to Blogger but I completed the transfer just recently. Don't get me wrong: I think Wordpress is a very nice peace of software but I just didn't have the time anymore to maintain my own Wordpress installation, keeping everything updated and configured neatly. So I've exported the MySQL DB and somehow managed to import it's content to Blogger. To be honest, I don't really remember how... I think I found some kind of Wordpress-to-Blogger converter. However, it took some time until I got all files and images back right - hopefully I did not forget anything. Anyway, I don't want to abandon this blog and maybe I'll add some stuff in the near future again :-)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Arch Linux

Though I was tempted to switch to Ubuntu's latest release on my "main" computer I decided to give Arch Linux the promotion. Not that there's anything wrong with "Quantal" aka "Ubuntu 12.10" - with the exception of the newly introduced shopping lens - but I wanted something different again. I ran Arch Linux some time ago and liked it a lot. It then came to my attention that it was missing one (at least for me) essential feature: package signing. There has been quite some discussion about this matter and I think it was this August when package signing became default for Arch's package manager. Of course you can argue about the importance but I like to know that packages are as the package maintainer wanted them to be and that nobody messed with them while stored on all the different mirrors. However, I wanted to give it shot.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Debian Wheezy

Recently the Debian project released the first beta of it's to be Debian 7.0 aka "Wheezy" installer. Reason for me - of course - to check it out! So I grabbed the Beta 1 net-installer image and said goodbye to Fedora 16 on my Acer Aspire 5570Z. Fedora served very well but as soon as something works it starts boring me... ;-)

Monday, June 11, 2012

GTK G-Rays2: Debian/Ubuntu packages

Still I like to make use of my WBT-201 GPS logging device by Wintec. (I might have mentioned this before ;-) ). Wintec does not provide software for Linux and the latest version for Windows is from 2008. However, there still is this nice peace of software by Jonathan Hudson called "GTK G-Rays2". He recently released a 2.x version as source, now supporting GTK3 but doesn't provide packages for Ubuntu anymore. So based on his former 1.x packages I did my worst and built them for Ubuntu 12.04. I also built Debian packages for Debian Squeeze, but of course they are still version 1.x based.