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Comment: Re:um.... (Score 1) 130

by rnturn (#48647309) Attached to: Can Rep. John Culberson Save NASA's Space Exploration Program?

Maybe, just maybe, if the USPS wasn't required to prepay the retirement benefits for employees who haven't even been born yet (and their children who may become postal workers), they'd be able to make a profit. That wasn't mentioned in the article you referenced. My guess is that providing the reader of that little tidbit of information would interfere with their "USPS = inefficient govt. agency" narrative.

Comment: Can't you just call it broken? (Score 1) 129

by rnturn (#48620933) Attached to: Research Highlights How AI Sees and How It Knows What It's Looking At

I mean an AI that looks at static and says it's a school bus 99.99% of the time seems to be about as broken as could be. The researchers have to be the most optimistic folks in the world if they still think there's a pony in there. I'd be seriously thinking about scrapping the software (or, at least, looking for a bad coding error) and/or looking for an entirely new algorithm after achieving results that bad.

Comment: Re:Mesmerizing (Score 1) 433

by rnturn (#48596189) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

Those were used on direct drive turntables to allow the user to fine tune the speed. Line frequency is -- in theory -- 60Hz (in the US) but can be off a bit. The strobe+markings were to let you compensate for that. I'm not aware of any drive-wheel or belt-drive turntables that had the speed adjustments.

Comment: Re:NO DRM! (Score 1) 433

by rnturn (#48596151) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

``Except for the fact that it will be worn down.''

Depends on how you take care of it. I suspect that someone buying vinyl today for the first time is going to subject it to a whole lot more abuse than those of us who've been listening to it for decades. After seeing my daughters drop their MP3 players time after time (after time) I wonder if an LP would survive a week. That doesn't necessarily make the format inferior. (Except for the use case or environment that a newcomer to the format may assume it can be used in.)

Comment: Re:Nitche Market (Score 1) 433

by rnturn (#48596035) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

I have to chuckle a bit when I hear people extolling the virtues of the higher dynamic range of digital recordings when those recording are typically heard while in the car or played through second-rate ear buds. Face it: you only get the advantage of that dynamic range when you're sitting at home in a comfortable chair. (When nobody else is around vacuuming the carpet or running the washer/dryer.)

Comment: Re:Nitche Market (Score 1) 433

by rnturn (#48596003) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

I realize you're talking about the vinyl recording industry but so much of what happens today depends wa-a-a-y too much on someone being able to make a killing on something. Not a comfortable profit but a killing. And you can see where that's gotten us.

When I think of the number of recordings that would never have even made into the record store bins if this idea became the sole reason for making a record, my head spins. It might be the entire thought process that someone like Simon Cowell employs when deciding to make a record but how many classic rock performers would have been able to make past that a**hole if he'd been around back in the '60s or '70s. "I'm sorry Janis but that was bloody awful!"

Comment: Re:Nitche Market (Score 1) 433

by rnturn (#48595933) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand
Not really. Modern, overly-compressed recordings sound louder because of the reduced dynamic range. Once you throw away dynamic range you can make things seem louder at the expense of detail in quieter passages or the emotional impact of quiet sections followed by louder. You cannot pull the same trick on vinyl. There's only so much room on the medium that if you tried making it louder you'd have to give up on duration. To make it louder by compressing the dynamic range prior to putting it on the vinyl, the only way you can make it louder is by forcing the listener to walk over to the amp and turning up the volume. On one point, I do agree with you: there would be awful recordings on vinyl today as there is no shortage of awful producers that want their records to sound "big". These are the same producers, though, that I suspect have been polluting the airwaves with overly auto-tuned pop garbage for the past decade or so.

Comment: Re:Sounds Better? (Score 1) 433

by rnturn (#48595759) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand
In the early days of CDs there were some differences that could be heard. The audio magazines were full of the pros and cons of analog/LP and digital/CD recordings. It often came down to a need to change the manner in which performances were recorded, changes in miking, etc. Early CDs often came across as too "harsh", "hot", or "bright" and clearly sounded different than LPs.

Comment: Re:Not really missing vinyl (Score 2) 433

by rnturn (#48595685) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

``There is great hope that once broadcast stations have adopted new loudness measurement standards like EBU R128 the problem will vanish over time.''

Probably not. Have you heard what's on most radio stations nowadays? It's 50% commercials that are mixed to sound louder than the next guy's commercials. Who's going to listen to a radio station that plays music with a high dynamic range only to have their eardrums blown out when the station switches to a five-minute long block of commercials? I've given up on the vast majority of radio stations because of the quantity of commercials. That and the constant playing of the same "hits" ad nauseum. The major exception is a classical station I can pick up that has announcer-read commercials. I can't imagine how bad that station would sound if some outfit like Clear Channel ever got its mitts on it.

Comment: Re:Speakers (Score 1) 433

by rnturn (#48595605) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

Most people who care about good sound reproduction will budget about 50% (or so) of what they wanted to spend for an audio system on just the speakers. High-end electronics plus cheap speakers are a terrible combination but we've probably all known someone who went for the crazy expensive amp with 0.00001% THD and then ran the signal to crappy speakers.

Comment: Re:Not really missing vinyl (Score 1) 433

by rnturn (#48595415) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

A higher sampling rate reduces the distance between the "steps" over time. Using more bits in the sample increases the accuracy of the measurement taken at each sampling instance, i.e., lowers the quantization error. I think there are studies that show that the human ear+brain combination is less sensitive to the errors in reproduction due to quantization error so recordings can get away with fewer bits (plus the digital filtering you referred to).

I still have the IEEE journal edition that came out when the CD format was finalized. Article after article about how and why the format is the way it is. Sounds like tracking that down might make for a good night of leisure reading.

Riches: A gift from Heaven signifying, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." -- John D. Rockefeller, (slander by Ambrose Bierce)

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