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Comment Re:how can you not play an audio file? (Score 1) 440

The platter was introduced in 1894, and a turntable you can buy today will play a record made for it. However, as for longevity, I agree that properly archived and backed up digital media can last forever, I was correcting his statement that with analog you had to change formats every generation. You didn't.

I wonder how long that analog record on Voyager will still be readable, though?

Comment Re:A Plethora of Recording formats (Score 1) 440

Your "Edison" flat disks weren't made by Edison, he used wax cylinders, the gramophone was in existence in 1894 and a turntable you can buy today will play one -- the formats were all backwards compatible; a monophonic record player from 1950 would play a quadrophonic LP with all four channels coming from its speaker.

Until the '40s all records were recorded in one take straight to shellack or vinyl; tape wasn't yet good enough, and wire recorders were not useful at all for music. The grooved platter medium lasted for over a hundred years and hundred year old records are still playable on new turntables.

Likewise, monophonic tapes would play on stereophonic and quadraphonic decks.

Comment Re:why not a record then? (Score 1) 440

I'd have no idea where to get an 8-track player today even though it's an analog format.

You don't need a cartridge player, you can respool the tape and play it on a reel to reel. But 8-track tapes sounded like shit and cut songs off in the middle. I never owned one and never could figure out why they caught on, I'd already been using cassettes to record my albums for the car.

Comment Re:No Analog is not better... (Score 1) 440

I believe they do, quadrophonic records never sounded as good as their stereo counterparts on stereo equipment.

The way they did quadraphonic was to modulate the rear channels with a 40kHz tone and filter out all sound information above 20kHz as with modern CDs. They had the same unnatural sound. All channels were in the audible portion, which was mixed with the rear channels to remove them from the front channels on quadrophonic playback.

I've heard albums through good equipment that if you closed your eyes the band was in the room with you. I've never heard a CD I would mistake for a live performance.

Comment Re:No Analog is not better... (Score 0) 440

Sample rate: a higher sample rate allows for higher frequency representation. As in, if you have a sample rate of 48,000Hz, you can play back a frequency of 24,000Hz (already above the range of human perception). Higher sample rate = more high frequencies you can't hear.

The higher the frequency the more aliasing distortion you have. A fifteen kHz tone has only three samples per crest making a sine wave indistinguishable from a sawtooth wave. Tripling or quadrupling the sampling rate would greatly reduce aliasing.

Comment Re:"Digital recordings will be unplayable" (Score 1, Interesting) 440

Albini has no idea what he's talking about.

Considering that he's an engineer with decades of experience, that seems unlikely. You remind me of a 19 year old classmate in college who questioned the professor's knowledge of the subject, who told the kid "Son, I've forgotten more than you ever learned."

He's obviously done the math. Can you tell a 15kHz sine wave from a 15kHz sawtooth wave? A CD can't, because there are only three samples per crest and almost every teenager can easily hear 15kHz.

I do fault more modern engineers, though. Why does the Led Zeppelin "Presence" LP have more dynamics than the CD does? CDs have a greater dynamic range so someone must have screwed up the remix. Yes, I was disappointed when my brand new CD didn't sound as good as the old LP of the same album. Boston's was so bad the musicians complained. Zappa refused to release a digital version of their Fillmore East album until his deathbed because the quality wasn't good enough for him.

Comment Re:how can you not play an audio file? (Score 3, Interesting) 440

its not like the old days when devices were dumb and we had new physical formats for every music generation.

The "having new physical formats" is a relatively recent thing. From 1894 for the next hundred years phonographs changed little, and it was always backwards-compatible. When it changed from 78 RPM to 33.3 and 45, newer players would still play the old 78s. When stereo was introduced the new stereo records would play on old monophonic players with both channels playing through its one speaker. The design was engineered that way. A monophonic record had the up and down motions translated to sound, while a stereo record had both channels in the up and down motion and a single channel in the sideways motion, which combined with the up and down signal filtered that channel out through destructive interference.

With cassettes and 8 tracks (I never had an 8 track, I was using cassettes before 8 tracks were popular) most people recorded the record the first time they played it so they could hear it in the car. My old '02 has both cassette and CD. It was probably 1995 before I had a CD player. And a turntable bought today will play records from 1894.

Submission + - Google Speeding Up New Encryption Project After Latest Snowden Leaks ( 3

coolnumbr12 writes: In a new leak published by the Guadrian, New York Times and ProPublica, Edward Snowden revealed new secret programs by the NSA and GCHQ to decrypt programs designed to keep information private online. In response to NSA’s Bullrun and GCHQ’s Edgehill, Google said it has accelerated efforts to build new encryption software that is impenetrable to the government agencies.

Google has not provided details on its new encryption efforts, but did say it would be “end-to-end,” meaning that all servers and fiber-optic lines involved in delivering information will be encrypted.

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Journal Journal: The phone

About a year ago Amy drunkenly and absentmindedly walked off with my phone. She gave it back with the screen broken off. Which meant no internet, texts, voicemail, pictures, nothing left but speakerphone, which mean it could no longer live in my pocket. It was in essence a 1970s landline.

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