Friday, February 11, 2005

i-tunes, i-pod, i-don't know about this

My i-Tunes doesn't work. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself. First let me say that I was initially very skeptical about i-tunes. The idea of 1 computer company selling all the music is even scarier then 3 entertainment corporations. But that never really happened, so many copy cat and competing services have popped up, that Apple market dominance again seems fleeting. Hell, wall-mart is selling MP3s.

Ok, speaking of Mp3s, they suck. They sound bad. I've said it all along, they sound better now then they did 5 years ago, but they still sound bad. Who would have thought that a digital format that is worse then CD would come along and replace it. It's a well known and held fact that they are a step back in sound quality, but, people are willing to give that up for convince, so, oh well, I decided to jump on board.

I happen to own a Macintosh G4. Some people who know me will be giggling right now. I have used PCs just about all of my life, I own 3 or 4 of them currently, that are strewn about my house performing their own little duties, but when buying a used digital recording system I acquired a Mac. It's rather an amazing little thing. Though I have not really experienced the worry free use that Mac zealots talk about. I have had several spooky glitches. But I still run Windows ME on one of my boxes, I've had the same install on there for 5 years, so I know how to roll with the punches. Speaking of these glitches, MY I-TUNES DOESN'T WORK!

Here's the irony, this particular Mac runs Protools, the industry standard for digital recording and makes and plays back high quality digital recordings, but i-tunes sounds distorted and flat. I have a $800 audio interphase, which I use to monitor protools sessions, and when I set the i-i-tunes to use that, still sounds like shit. This machine is in my recording studio, it is not the power amp, preamp or JBL studio monitors. It's the software.

I have heard other people's i-tunes, and they sound ok. Normal MP3s. I have listened to the same MP3s on another machine, sounds ok. I have
made new MP3s with the i-tunes, sounds like crap. I have had local Mac recording guru Chris DeCato come over and check it out, fool with the settings, click this, click that. Chris has been doing digital recording since day one on his Amiga, and switched to Macintosh soon there after. He has recorded and/or mastered 500 CDs, he has been know to be in a studio and shame the on-hand digidesigns consultant by figuring out the problem before they can. His conclusion, "I don't know, man, I've never seen anything like that."

So, my i-tunes sounds like crap. And I honestly can't figure out why. But I have been itching to make low quality copies of my CDs and pack them onto my laptop hard drive and have some geeky fun. Take it to work, in the car, make playlists, maybe even buy a portable MP3 player. The i-pod certainly seems like a barrel full of monkeys. It's still a little pricey, and I won't be getting one soon.

In conclusion I am still waiting for the one. I am waiting to recapture the feeling I had when I walked into my friend Matt's home office 6 years ago and heard winamp playlists pouring songs out freely, and thought, wow, I've gotta do that too. Oh well. I think I'll go fire up the Technics SL-1800MK2 through my tube stereo and listen to some Steely Dan records.

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