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Ben Gramain

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About Ben Gramain

  • Birthday January 1

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  • Headphones
    commute / travel: W4 & SM3 / JH13 | winter earmuff commute: Bose AE2 | living room dust collector: HE90 | office dust collector: HD650 | pc: G35, MMX300, T1 | & others
  • Headphone Amps
    ant: emerald-proto | fiio: e7 | headroom: max/dac | senn: hev90 |
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    Scarlatti stack, Prism Orpheus, RME Fireface 800 / 400 / UFX / Babyface, etc
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  1. Hmmmm. What about being a CCNA (yes I know iOS - I employ enough CCNA/CCNP's) is directly relevant to a Windows-based home network? In fact, that kind of makes it worse - if you can't troubleshoot what was quite likely a pretty simple issue in your instance, it means that you either have no knowledge of basic Windows use (which is e.g. fairly typical among programmers who think that being able to develop gives them all IT knowledge) or pretty much managed to pass your Cisco exams through rote.
  2. You're doing it wrong then - at least, if we're going to compare with OS X. Assuming you want to be helped, what sort of problems are you having?
  3. No. Apparently I don't. Which is why it works all the time. Woe is me, eh?
  4. I've just edited the post above, but one of the big differences with Zune and Windows is that Zune will pick up library changes made by other clients. This gives you much more flexibility in terms of being able to use anything you want. e.g. I can listen to my Zune Pass media in jRMC if I want, with no handicaps at all (unlike Fairplay) for example. If I make a change to the tags in my library with jRMC, Zune picks that up. That basically opens you up to be able to use the optimum audio tool for a particular task without worrying about how you get the media in and out of your setup. And we're not talking hyper-nerding here: Most of it works like this pretty much out of the box. The key is in the combo, for which a reasonably stable combination obviously is far easier to sleepwalk into with OS X. And as for the examples you listed, don't blame the OS. Blame the user who can't be trusted around Windows for really simple stuff. Really. Simple related case in point, there are a lot of DIY'ers who'll blame Windows for a problem which lies in their rig. If I'd just slapped together my new rig without cooling testing, you can see for example that there's a lot of backed-up air which would have cause cooling and stability issues down the line. You don't get this in OS X (or a slightly cheaper Windows pre-built) of course, but it's just one of those things where the ego of the user overrides the actual cause of the problem. I find, as the owner of an (actually pretty Mac-heavy) tech consultancy - among others - that people like this usually tend to start with 'I've been an IT professional for xx years'. My question to that would invariably have to be "How many of those years have you been actually good?"
  5. Why not? I hear a lot of this from committed Macheads who haven't even tried to rig up an equivalent setup. It works a hell of a lot better for me, I have to say - and it's not that complicated in the end. But yeah, there's different problems for sure. And skin choice? Wut? That could only come from the committed Machead referred to above. FYI for anyone looking to make their media life actually sightly more 'it just works', with some initial investment of time: - I've transcoded all of my FLACs and ALACs to WMA Lossless. In terms of idiology many prefer FLAC, and I still have the original FLAC library archived, but I don't really see any practical issues with using WMA-L in my setup. - The lossless library now sits on my Windows Home Server appliance. This serves up the music to all the connected PC's and can also stream outside the home net as well (although I don't) via Windows media integration and also via DLNA. Incidentally the centralised backup is also a hell of a lot more reliable than Time Machine. - TV recordings and videos on PC's that do import this type of stuff are automatically uploaded to the WHS, so a consolidated copy is kept on the server at all times. - Zune, like iTunes, can automatically transcode media that falls outside a certain bitrate criteria - so I have the software set to transcode above 256K source material. Transcoding speed, despite not being hugely multithreaded is not too bad on the (admittedly) fast PC's I've tried it with. - Playback is thru j.River Media Center. - HTPC plays with jRMC through the Prism Orpheus to the dCS stack. - In addition to Windows Phone 7 as my actually used phone, I have an Android handset floating around and I use it with Gizmo ( http://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Gizmo ). - Rather than buying another workstation I've built a new PC (last time I built a PC myself was like 5 years ago) to be my main home PC - this is also the sync PC, which sits alongside the remaining Pro (which is now divorced from any media consumption duties). It has Zune and jRMC installed, and will play out thru a Fireface UFX. - Some of my laptops which are used outside my home are classified by jRMC as MP3 players thru shared drives and they get a playlisted subset of my library. They also have jRMC installed. - I can see/listen to the library on the XBox if necessary.
  6. I dunno how many computers you have, but I've just completed the process of moving completely back to Windows for my home setup. The lack of versatility and efficiency of Apple-based solutions for home media consumption is something I found really restricting. The problem is that I was pretty much wedded to the iPod and iPhone, so moving away wasn't an option especially as the OS X iTunes allowed a mitigating degree of customisability. However I recently took the leap to Zune and Windows Phone, and this has allowed me to completely free myself of anything iTunes related, which in turn has allowed me to pick the better platform for home media consumption duties - which is, despite much Apple hype, still Windows. You can consider a totally new build - if you are actually a competent builder it's still possible to build a machine in the iMac's ballpark pricewise that's significantly superior and practically speaking, not any noisier. If you're buying the iMac, you'll need to specify the SSD + HDD as factory-fitted options as the hardware to retrofit is not supplied if you don't order it. So you're looking at $2900 for a 27" 2.8 i5, 4Gb, 2Tb + 256Gb(SATA3)SSD. Here's a competing sample $3K build I put together. Of course there's endless permutations but it's an idea of what you can get for the same. If you pitch jRMC15 vs Amarra (even Mini I'm thinking, which I haven't tried), unlike the somewhat preposterous Goodsound article conclusion, there's a further price/performance gap.
  7. Yeah - I had this attached going for a while but ended up abandoning the Pico as it was really getting no use in that configuration. I'd usually carry a decent outboard interface for recording only - only occasionally do I get a jonesing for listening through an outboard on the move. But when I do I was wondering if there was an elegant solution to hold everything in one lump. I bought the Fiio as a disposable standby last year in case I wanted something similar - but it has yet to get any appreciable use.
  8. Ah. It's been ages since I headphone'd an Air - the Pro's defo have it tho, which is kind of ironic.
  9. If we're talking a recent unibody, I'd be pretty surprised you couldn't hear the interference. TBH the sound from my regular daily, the Lenovo, isn't bad but there is the odd squeap. Dunno. Perhaps I'd be better off popping the Fiio in the bag and some velcro, or looking at one of the better mini dacamps again.
  10. Yeah, so does the Babyface. And yeah on the later point as well. I guess unless I decide to whip up something really fancy there's no 'aha' solution really, is there?
  11. No interest for the RME? You'll get e.g the multiple outs you wanted.
  12. Since a convertible is one of my main carry's these days, that's at the 4.3lb mark - which is slightly beyond the heaviest I'd be normally prepared to carry since, well, a long time. With a >5lb leather case (e.g. my Swaine Adeney is actually 6.6lbs with the shoulder strap), that's already ~9lbs (even though I don't carry PSU's, and these days usually no spare batteries either since most of my machines will last all day) before you put anything else in the bag. I've always carried machines like Sony's flagship subnotebooks.
  13. I still have one, but I think she would draw the line at following me around with a tray.
  14. Just... something more elegant than fishing individual stuff out, having to find somewhere to balance it especially if you have only your lap to balance stuff on, spaghetti junction of cables, etc. I guess a simple way to put it is as close to plugging in a headphone directly into the laptop as possible in terms of general usage. I have once thought (not very hard I have to say) about a chassis or some sort, but I use different notebooks, so... sigh
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