CD - a dated format???

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DCarmi

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tsaoandy

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I grew up from the CD era, if I didn't give most of them away due to moving countries, I probably have around 2000 CDs by now. Years ago I bought Esoteric CD/SACD player(about 18 years old), it's still sitting on the hi-fi rack. After I played around with external DAC which made my aging Esoteric sound less detailed, I'm using it as transport only now. Since my DAC is connected to both stream and the CD player, I can compare them (although digital out from CD player is coaxel and I use USB for the streamer, however they are both audioquest carbon cable) Esoteric as transport has better sound stage, feels a bit more analogue, but the sound signature of the DAC seems to have the major impact on the whole presentation. In case you are wondering, I am talking about 5% difference here, and I don't have a fancy streamer or DAC either, it's just Bluesound Node N130 through external DAC (Topping D90SE) Software and hardware is improving in an unprecedented fast speed, put it this way, I love the Esoteric/TEAC technology with the transport, but I won't be buying Esoteric again simply because the price they're offering. CD is still very good, and for me it makes sense to own a physical copy, but kids today(gosh I'm old) don't have the concept of owning something forever because they are aware of new thing just keep coming out, the same with phones, computer even cars, but that also means stuffs are made to break or limited lifespan but that is a whole different discussion.
 
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Dom

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I grew up from the CD era, if I didn't give most of them away due to moving countries, I probably have around 2000 CDs by now. Years ago I bought Esoteric CD/SACD player(about 18 years old), it's still sitting on the hi-fi rack. After I played around with external DAC which made my aging Esoteric sound less detailed, I'm using it as transport only now. Since my DAC is connected to both stream and the CD player, I can compare them (although digital out from CD player is coaxel and I use USB for the streamer, however they are both audioquest carbon cable) Esoteric as transport has better sound stage, feels a bit more analogue, but the sound signature of the DAC seems to have the major impact on the whole presentation. In case you are wondering, I am talking about 5% difference here, and I don't have a fancy streamer or DAC either, it's just Bluesound Node N130 through external DAC (Topping D90SE) Software and hardware is improving in an unprecedented fast speed, put it this way, I love the Esoteric/TEAC technology with the transport, but I won't be buying Esoteric again simply because the price they're offering. CD is still very good, and for me it makes sense to own a physical copy, but kids today(gosh I'm old) don't have the concept of owning something forever because they are aware of new thing just keep coming out, the same with phones, computer even cars, but that also means stuffs are made to break or limited lifespan but that is a whole different discussion.
You have an impressive sound system.
 

Rodolfo

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It is very simple.
Of course audio CD or data CD use exactly the same technology. Be it the disk or the optical drive. As they are identical, they use EFM (eight-to-fourteen modulation), CIRC (Cross-Interleaved Reed-Solomon Code), etc., etc.

The only difference is that an audio CD uses all 2352 bytes per block for samples, while CD-ROMs use only 2048 bytes per block, with most of the rest going to ECC (Error Correcting Code) data. The rationale is that audio data literally disappears into the air. No need for 100%. I bet none of us has ever heard our CD player interpolating instead of delivering the real bits.
In case of distribution of data or software, a bit error is "fatal" as it will corrupt our data or software hence the distribution media must be "bit perfect".

So by design bit perfect reading of an audio CD is not guaranteed (and not needed either).
In practice audio CDs are ripped "bit perfect" most of the time.
We know this because the AccurateRip database tells us so.
I use MusicBee to manage my digital music on three Windows machines, and to play it mostly on one of them, my phones, and a DAP or two. MusicBee also offers AccurateRip-rip options for the more worried/compulsive/demanding types. Such rips take longer than my regular (careless to some, care-free to me) one-or-two-minute rips. I rip regularly to FLAC or 320kbps. On rare occasions, I note an error in a listen and I'll re-rip. A minor rare inconvenience -that's all.
 
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Rodolfo

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@jy999 ...a dated format???
YES, but you ask or note it as if it's a bad thing: I am too, thankfully. Your "dated" is my tried and true, known to be worthy, proven gratifying.

I own 4 CD/SACD/DVD players -they all spin tried and true CDs, though one is only a boxed backup to my main music CD player. And that's not counting a blue-ray player and a 6-CD in-dash unit in my car.

Next question. ;)
 
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Leon74

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From Wikipedia
--Due to the weaker error correction sector structure used on audio CDs and video CDs (Mode 2 Form 2) than on data discs (Mode 1 or Mode 2 Form 1), C2 errors are not correctable and signify data loss.[104][105] Even with uncorrectable errors, a compact disc player interpolates the data loss with the aim of making the damage unhearable.[106]


Then what's the problem? All this "bit-perfect" talk you hear all the time nowadays is just nonsense as no-one can hear the difference between a perfect CD and one with a few errors. The difference between 320 mp3 and FLAC is MUCH greater bit-wise and yet an overwhelming majority won't hear a difference.
 

jy999

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I agree with your assessment that we quite unlikely can't hear the difference. I guess that's besides the point. It's also expensive.

As I was exploring ways to increase my library with high quality sources, it just struck me as unneeded to have a system in this day and age that requires spinning (read: increased break chance), and struggles for a bit-perfect rendering. And you don't have the aesthetic qualities of going to LP - the ritual, the characteristic sound people like, etc.

But why would a person, say who has no CDs now, invest in this tech? Unless you are looking to collect cheap CDs on the used market, why bother? I can't see any redeeming qualities in this case. It particularly seems unnecessary to drop serious money on CD transports, for those who have good DACs already, just to try and compensate for the format's failings.

For those looking for high quality audio without the hassle of home network servers, etc., and like the idea of cases and booklets and art, etc., it strikes me as strange that we haven't had an audio flash format standard emerge by now.
 

Leon74

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I agree with your assessment that we quite unlikely can't hear the difference. I guess that's besides the point. It's also expensive.

As I was exploring ways to increase my library with high quality sources, it just struck me as unneeded to have a system in this day and age that requires spinning (read: increased break chance), and struggles for a bit-perfect rendering. And you don't have the aesthetic qualities of going to LP - the ritual, the characteristic sound people like, etc.

But why would a person, say who has no CDs now, invest in this tech? Unless you are looking to collect cheap CDs on the used market, why bother? I can't see any redeeming qualities in this case. It particularly seems unnecessary to drop serious money on CD transports, for those who have good DACs already, just to try and compensate for the format's failings.

For those looking for high quality audio without the hassle of home network servers, etc., and like the idea of cases and booklets and art, etc., it strikes me as strange that we haven't had an audio flash format standard emerge by now.
As far as I understand it, CD is (much) more durable than flash memory.
And I think that's one of the great advantages of CD: You throw it in the device and you can start listening. It's quicker and easier than starting a record. No needles that need to be exchanged, no static charge as with records, no cleaning needed (in general) and not a myriad of problems that can occur with streaming.
The problem now is that streaming is getting quickly more expensive and .you are left with nothing if you cancel your subscription after say 10 years and thousands of euros. If it weren't for that and streaming would be technically more mature, nobody would use CD's or Vinyl or any other physical media anymore I guess. But ownership is baked into the genes of people.
On one hand yet I think we will one day fully move to streaming, while on the other hand this "need" for physical media will always stay with us and who knows, one day we will buy something similar to flash "records".
 
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Friesiansam

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As far as I understand it, CD is (much) more durable than flash memory.
And I think that's one of the great advantages of CD: You throw it in the device and you can start listening. It's quicker and easier than starting a record. No needles that need to be exchanged, no static charge as with records, no cleaning needed (in general) and not a myriad of problems that can occur with streaming.
The problem now is that streaming is getting quickly more expensive and .you are left with nothing if you cancel your subscription after say 10 years and thousands of euros. If it weren't for that and streaming would be technically more mature, nobody would use CD's or Vinyl or any other physical media anymore I guess. But ownership is baked into the genes of people.
On one hand yet I think we will one day fully move to streaming, while on the other hand this "need" for physical media will always stay with us and who knows, one day we will buy something similar to flash "records".
Flash memory needs to be plugged in and powered up from time to time, to refresh the stored data. If it is left unpowered for a long time, it will eventually lose all the stored data. Some devices will do better than others however.
 

manicm

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I agree with your assessment that we quite unlikely can't hear the difference. I guess that's besides the point. It's also expensive.

As I was exploring ways to increase my library with high quality sources, it just struck me as unneeded to have a system in this day and age that requires spinning (read: increased break chance), and struggles for a bit-perfect rendering. And you don't have the aesthetic qualities of going to LP - the ritual, the characteristic sound people like, etc.

But why would a person, say who has no CDs now, invest in this tech? Unless you are looking to collect cheap CDs on the used market, why bother? I can't see any redeeming qualities in this case. It particularly seems unnecessary to drop serious money on CD transports, for those who have good DACs already, just to try and compensate for the format's failings.

For those looking for high quality audio without the hassle of home network servers, etc., and like the idea of cases and booklets and art, etc., it strikes me as strange that we haven't had an audio flash format standard emerge by now.

Why bother? Well young people who never owned any physical audio mediums started buying vinyl. People want something tangible.

It's also why CDs are taking off again because they're much cheaper than vinyl.

Why flash format when many streamers have USB ports to plug in sticks? I don't fathom your idea for flash memory. CD players have flash memory as buffers.
 

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