back to article Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams

The Ripper has returned. I never imagined such a thing would be possible after all these years. Who's the culprit? Who's the 21st century Prince Albert, Walter Sickert or Sir William Gull on whom to pin the blame? Well this time, it's hipsters. And audiophile bores. It appears that having spent all their money on rebuilding …

  1. Mike Brown

    Minidisc is the past. Minidisc is the future. . Minidisc is forever.

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      MiniDisk? Bah!

      Wax cylinders is where it's at! =-D

      1. Stumpy

        Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

        What about my 78's?

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

          I recently ripped a few of my old shellac 78's (parents and grandparents collection) using a new USB turntable and Audacity - no problems at all and most of them sound great. One of the interesting things about the physical 78 format is that it's a lot more rugged than 45's and 33's.

          1. MGJ

            Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

            Dont get Shellac records wet, they dissolve, leaving you the metal inside

            1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

              Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

              Spike Jones (not that one) goes metal?!

          2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

            Unless you drop them! As kids, we found my dads old 78's and would play them on his old gramaphone. Very few survived - drop them onto a hard floor, and they shattered like china.

            1. Martin

              Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

              Or the Blue Peter flower-pot - warm them up, and push them round a vase. Voila - an "interesting" flower-pot, complete with a hole in the bottom for drainage.

          3. Mage

            Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

            Almost all of those create very noisy results. The stylus is totally wrong for 78s.

            1. gfx

              Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

              My grandpa had a stylus that could flip between 33 and 78 rpm records and the turntable could do 16/33/45/78 rpm but he used it with an newer Ortofon stylus.

            2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

              Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

              You can still get 78 styluses for several well known cartridges. I was surprised when I found that Ortofon still had a 78 stylus for many of their removable stylus cartridges in their catalogue.

              Many BSR decks that used to be in 60's and 70's record players (like the popular Dansette) and phonograms had a dual purpose stylus with an LP stylus on one side, and a 78 stylus on the other. You could rotate it to select the one you wanted to use, and there was a plastic tab attached to help you rotate it, and display which was currently in use.

              78s encode the sound vertically. Mono LPs encode the sound horizontally, and stereo LPs had the left and right channels encoded separately, one on each side of the grove, with the walls of the grove at 90 degrees from each other, 45 degrees from the verticle.

              Playing a 78 disk on a stereo cartridge generally means poor quality sound, where the wider profile of the grove means that the narrower stereo stylus drags long the bottom of the groove, where the dirt and dust accumulates, whereas on a stereo LP, it sits touching the edges of the much narrower groove, and does not touch the bottom. Also, for a low arm mass LP turntable, the whole arm would go up and down, rather than the stylus moving relative to the body of the cartridge.

              1. hoola Silver badge

                Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

                MiniDisk,. wax cylinder? For years there was an ornate box sat at the top of our stairs that was a Polyphone.

                It had a clockwork motor and played metal disks about 14" in diameter. The disk had small rectangles punched out that were bent down. These then pushed against some small toothed wheels that plucked steel things causing them to vibrate. Hey presto, music (of sorts).

              2. martinusher Silver badge

                Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

                >78s encode the sound vertically.

                Er, no. They're side to side just like long playing records (and 45's). They just use a very wide groove. There was an attempt to market 'hill and dale' records -- I think it was Edison's company that pushed it -- but it never caught on. Another feature of 78s is that each company had its own compensation curve rather than the standard 'RIAA' curve used with LPs so if you were an early audiophile you'd have either extra controls over the compensating filter or an adapter for your favourite brands.

                (The original name for LP format was 'Microgroove'; its an example of the prefix 'micro' predating our modern world. Its actually older than 'transistorized'.)

                BTW -- You can get away with playing a mono record with a stereo needle but not the other way around. A mono stylus has a round tip, the stereo one is elliptical; the mono stylus won't fit in the stereo groove properly so is likely to damage the record.

                Another BTW -- If you're a true 78 lover then you won't use steel needles on your gramophone but rather wooden ones -- the thorns of a prickly pear cactus sharpened before each use with a gadget that's driven off the turntable. (No -- I am not joking....I knew a fellow that was a serious collector who used one of those pencil sharpener type gadgets.)

        2. illuminatus

          Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

          Gram-o-phone, gram-o-phone. Nah, don't have any of these around here, granddad...

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

            gramophone, adj.: Describing a region where, or a population among which, metric is spoken. Contrast poundophone.

        3. RobHib

          @Stumpy- Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

          Yeah, OK! It may seem incongruous but a large percentage of my smartphone audio files originated from 78s. Several reasons: (a) eliminating recordings from the first half of 20th Century just because they're on lower quality 78s is stupid; (b), most early 78s are now copyright-free and thus easily accessible; and (c), there are some unique performances on 78s that are not available on later media. (It's a no-brainer if one's musical tastes extend marginally beyond rap and hip hop.)

          Always remember the long-held recording maxim: the quality of a recording is always secondary to its data content. (For numskulls, that simply means only listen to recordings of higher technical quality if the performance is actually better than that of the lower quality one.)

          So there....

          1. Rol

            Re: @Stumpy- MiniDisk? Bah!

            Of all the uses for AI, I think the creation of a perfect recording using multiple references of varying quality, would make all the effort seem worthwhile.

            Imagine your old 78 with it's scratches, hiss, rumble and poor studio recording being used as the primary data source, and then add layer upon layer of data, such as what a double-bass sounds like when it is recorded in a 1930's studio and what it sounds like in a 2019 studio.

            Throw them all together and let the AI produce a pure audiophile experience of the original version, as it would have sounded if the artists had quantum leaped into a 21st century studio.

            Ziggy thinks there's a 94% probability that someone has already perfected the means to reissuing yesteryears music to a new fan base. Sadly it involves messing with it until it is barely recognisable.

            1. DavCrav

              Re: @Stumpy- MiniDisk? Bah!

              "Sadly it involves messing with it until it is barely recognisable."

              Phil Spector asks when you want him to pop over to help out.

            2. MacroRodent

              Re: @Stumpy- MiniDisk? Bah!

              Didn't someone already scan old 78 rpm disks into pictures, and then convert into sound? With optical scanning one could reconstruct how the groove squigled before scratches and dust.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

        That explains the muck I just cleared out of my ears. Must have been hearing a lot of wax cylinder noise.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

        My wax cylinder player has blue tooth.

      4. bish

        Re: MiniDisk? Bah!

        It's all been downhill since the reproducing piano went out of fashion. I'm not really joking, either - the early 20th Century tech let you listen to note-perfect performances by world-renowned musicians on your own instrument, in your own home, at much higher fidelity (ie - actual live acoustic sound) than most of the music that's 'consumed' nowadays. Sure, no one bothered with the effort and hassle of dragging one around on public transport - it really wasn't a portable option - but if they had, even out of tune and crashing madly on every pothole, it would've still sounded a lot better than the distorted hiss of an overdriven iPhone speaker at the back of a bus.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      The vast majority of minidisc players were also recorders, something that never became the norm on MP3 players - though iRiver's H series had mic and line in inputs, and iPods were well supported by 3rd party microphones through the 13 pin socket. It's also possible to solder an audio input onto a SanDisk Clip in place of its integrated microphone (designed for voice memos).

      Until recently, Sony phones boasted an extra ring on on their TRRS 3.5 mm socket so they could support stereo mic input at the same time as stereo output - handy for phone-based active noise cancellation as well as audio capture on a budget.

      1. Mage

        4 pole 3.5mm Jacks

        Nokia and Sony had a sensible pinout. Ground was closest to cover.

        Apple chose a different pinout. Mic is closest to cover. I suppose they thought OV between audio outputs and mic was good, but it's only the connector.

        Now the STUPID laptop makers put an Apple style 4 pole 3.5mm, so no stereo input. Just as Apple have stupidly removed the jack socket. Now there is DAC for on board speaker, BT Codec delay & artefacts and earbuds to charge.

        At least you can still buy separate stereo in & out USB sticks. They do work on Kindle Paperwhite 2015 AKA PW3. Older Kindles had a socket and speakers. They also work on Android. In both cases an OTG microUSB to USB host socket is needed. No idea if they work on iPhones.

      2. CountCadaver

        I still have an Iriver H320 around here....somewhere

        I remember being in Dunedin and having lost my USB Host cable for it (this being back in....2004), popped into an high grade audio store and asked the sales guy if he knew about Iriver and could he get me the cable - he gesticulated towards the sales display which I'd walked past, which has the full Iriver range, he looked quite impressed that someone actually owned one, rather than an another ipod (the audio quality is a lot nicer than an ipod of the same age, albeit UI is terrible in comparison, I'll give apple something the Ipod was far more usuable vs the Iriver)

        I also had Korean firmware on mine to bypass the EU mandated decibel limit (which made the lineout port too quiet for one)

    3. Warm Braw Silver badge

      If you're looking for a challenge...

      ... try reintroducing these!

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: If you're looking for a challenge...

        Nah, the true audiophile hipster wouldn't have anything less than a 12-piece orchestra residing at home for the true aural experience.

        Really old school - baroque and roll...

        1. Captain Hogwash

          Re: baroque and roll

          I should rococo!

        2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

          Re: If you're looking for a challenge...

          Ooooh rock me Amadeus....

          1. TheRealRoland

            Re: If you're looking for a challenge...


        3. tony2heads

          Re: If you're looking for a challenge...

          Of course for baroque the orchestra will need to use gut strings and retune to A=415Hz (instead of 440Hz for classical and romantic)

          1. MonkeyCee

            Re: If you're looking for a challenge...

            "will need to use gut strings"

            A chap I knew was a professional hunter, doing pest control.

            One of his sidelines was selling catgut and ratgut strings that he'd made himself. Apparently skinny feral cats and fat rats produce the richest sound.

            He's also got a decent answer for "how many ways can you skin a cat?" :D

            1. Spamfast

              Re: If you're looking for a challenge...

              One of his sidelines was selling catgut and ratgut strings

              I'm willing to be corrected but I suspect he was having you on. So-called catgut instrument strings are made from much larger animals' intestines.

              A cat's might be long enough for a small musical instrument but I doubt a rat's would be.

              And it's quite an involved, time-consuming process - you don't just strip them out and wind them on.

        4. MJI Silver badge

          Re: If you're looking for a challenge...

          Sod that I would be happy with the 5 piece HWOBHM private concert for me.

          Yes, I did have one, they were friends and they were pricticing for a short tour.

      2. 's water music

        Re: If you're looking for a challenge...

        I dreamt of owning one of those and escaping the limitations of compact cassette recording. Was gutted when the format didn't take off

      3. CAPS LOCK

        Not this the?...

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Not this the?...

          Check out a YouTube channel called Techmoan for all sorts of obscure audio formats, presented by a laid back northern bloke whose voice reminds me of a late night Radio DJ from the '90s. Trust me on this one.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Not this the?...

            DO ye ken John Peel?

          2. cat_mara

            Re: Not this the?...

            Second the recommendation for Techmoan. Someone actually asked him on Twitter once what obscure audio format he'd like to see resurrected and he half-jokingly replied, "a commercial release on Elcaset"... and some nutter went and did it!

          3. Joe W Silver badge

            Re: Not this the?...

            Te: Techmoan

            You bas***d. Archive binging is bad for productivity and other things! Actually a quite entertaining chap, that one.

            Have a beer or three...

          4. bleargh

            Re: Not this the?...

            Techmoan's great. I never even knew Elcaset existed before watching his video and I really want one now.

        2. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Not this the?...

          By the time the DCC arrived, consumers were used to the convenience of being able to instantly skip tracks, a la compact disc. The minidisc couldn't record or playback (Lossy ATRAC compression) in as good quality as the DCC, but worked in a way consumers were used to.

          I would have been happy if my minidisc recorder could be used for data storage - at a quid a disc it was cheaper and more reliable than Iomega ZIP discs - but Sony was still weird about copy protection at this time. Sheeeeit, Sony's first released iPod-like device didn't even play MP3 files and had consumers use the wretched SonicStage pc software.

          1. D@v3

            Re: SonicStage

            Was bloody awful, wasn't it. I had a Sony laptop with a swap-able drive, one of which was a mini disc drive, which was great and in theory made making new discs a lot easier, but the software was atrocious.

            Looking back, maybe that's why I seem to be one of the only people that thinks iTunes isn't that bad.

            Also, yes to data storage on mini disc, I thought for years that would have been a great idea, but of course we have usb sticks these days, i guess everything gets supplanted eventually.

            1. juice

              Re: SonicStage

              > Also, yes to data storage on mini disc, I thought for years that would have been a great idea, but of course we have usb sticks these days, i guess everything gets supplanted eventually.

              Back in the day, Minidisc could have been a good contender to replace the floppy disc.

              The original discs could hold 160mb, which was competitive with Iomega's Zip Drive (launched 2 years later with a capacity of 100mb) and they were far smaller, more robust and reliable - Sony's early marketing campaign featured a band's demo-disc being thrown out of an officeblock window by a grumpy music executive, and then being ran over by a kid on a skateboard, only for the kid to pick the disc up and slap it into his player.

              Alas, Sony again hamstrung it: the PC drives couldn't read or write "audio" data, and were hugely expensive.

              Given that the tech was cheap and small enough to cram into a walkman, the only logical reason I can think for this is that Sony were deliberately pricing it out of the consumer market to minimise the risk of it being used for piracy.

              A quick bit of digging threw up a slashdot article from 2001 bemoaning the platform limitations and lack of affordable hardware (one comment mentions that MD-Data drives cost $750, whereas the zip drive launched at $200), though it also notes that there was some hacked firmware which let you access audio data...


              As ever, it's interesting to think "what-if" - if the minidisc had managed to get a decent foothold in the PC market, it might well have slowed the adoption of USB thumb drives - after all, these only appeared around 2000, and initially only offered 8-16mb of storage, and minidiscs were cheap, robust and small enough to be easily pocketable.

              Quite what impact that would have had on the computer industry in general is anyone's guess, though!

              1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

                Magneto-optical disks

                What ultimately pissed me off about minidiscs was the limitation of 3 digital recordings pro disk.

                Magneto-optical disks were around for many years before the mini-disc and they looked quite similar. A coincidence, I wonder?

                1. Mage

                  Re: Magneto-optical disks

                  I'd assumed they are the same?

                  3.5" MO disk was about 250Mbyte uncompressed. Very very reliable too. Zip drives and the Travan tapes were terrible.

            2. cat_mara

              Re: SonicStage

              Was bloody awful, wasn't it. I had a Sony laptop with a swap-able drive, one of which was a mini disc drive, which was great and in theory made making new discs a lot easier, but the software was atrocious.

              It was, wasn't it? I didn't have one but my brother did. The late 90s/ early 00s skin-tastic abortion of a user interface was vomit-inducing enough as it was but I'm surprised it didn't actually have a "Clippy" style avatar of a Sony lawyer in the bottom-right hand corner of the screen going "it looks like you're trying to infringe our intellectual property! Are you? Are you really? Go on then! We dare you!" I swear the room used to fill with the odour of sulphur when he used it as it was. Never have I seen a piece of hardware and software so ruthlessly compromised by its own manufacturer as MiniDisc.

              The day the "actually makes stuff" part of Sony goes "right, that's it" and rises up against the "intellectual property" arm that's hamstrung them for decades and guillotines every last rent-seeking parasitical one of them can't co-- oops, wrong forum, sorry.

          2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

            Re: Not this the?...

            The wife bought one. Sounded better than an ipod but dear lord....soundstage made iTunes look like a well thought out, coherent functional piece of high quality software.

            I think we've still got it somewhere. Also had a removable battery and could use my mini disk remote as small pro's

        3. Mage

          Re: Not this the?...

          I'd have loved a portable Elcaset and a portable Philips DCC, as well as my Portable Cassette, Portable CD and Portable Sony NetMD

          As well as Uher portable reel to reel and the 1949 approx spring driven battery valve tape recorder. Actually an early Sony transistor reel to reel, about same era as Grundig Cub, used spring drive tape transport to save batteries. The Grundig Cub was hard on batteries.

          I have an Archos 505 PMP, with 160G HDD, sadly I never got the microphone & camera options for it. My current phone is rather handier and has a better screen, though only 32G SD Card. Maybe a larger one would work? Except Google might know what I play from the SD card?

        4. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: Not this the?...

          A cassette? Too convenient. For playing vinyl elsewhere you get out your Dansette (upgraded to stereo and battery power) or an authentic portable record player like the Lesa Mody. And if you're going with magnetic tape anyway the True Hipster would not be seen with anything but a Nagra, although an Uher Report could be considered passable.

          The one with the oversize pockets, thanks

        5. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Not this the?...

          Ooh that looks good.

          And from my favourite format maker!

          Yes I do have Minidisk, CD, BluRay, Betamax,a loan Video 8, DV, HDV, SACD.

          Other formats not from them erm compact cassette vinyl and DVD-Audio.

          I love the hi res musc as they really work hard on the production quality, and I do find rock sounds bad on MP3

      4. CountCadaver

        Re: If you're looking for a challenge...

        DAT being another one

        Heck lets bring back 8 track.....

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Let's bring back 8 track.....

          RCA Sound Tape Cartridge, Grundig C100, Minifon, 3M Revere, Audiopak ...

      5. Mage

        Re: If you're looking for a challenge...

        I wonder what the head and transport life was on DCC?

        I nearly bought one years after they were "gone" as a bargain remaindered stock. I didn't because it was playback only of Analogue CC and DCC.

      6. gfx

        Re: If you're looking for a challenge...

        Techmoan on youtube reviews some stuff like this, very interesting video about open-reel tape.

        As a kid I wanted a Revox or a Nakamichi flipping tapedesk never got one.

      7. Fading

        Re: If you're looking for a challenge...

        I still have a DCC player connected (a Philips DCC900 as shown on the home page of your link)..... (BTW it also plays normal cassettes) . Nice sound but no better than a half decent CD player.

    4. juice

      The Minidisc was awesome!

      Back then, Sony's hardware division was capable of producing some amazing and innovation technology. Unfortunately, it was instantly slapped with artificial limitations by their media divisions, who were horrified at the implications of digital copying - this were the same guys who later thought it was a good idea to hide a rootkit on legally purchased CDs.

      (And later, their software division proved pretty hopeless, too - anyone who's muttered darkly about iTunes has obviously never had to deal with SonicStage!

      Still, my first Minidisc player (a single-speed Sharp model) served me well as I chugged across the country on the train, back in my student days - and when I passed it onto a friend, it lasted a good few years longer.

      My final Minidisc model was a Longplay Sony model (possibly the MZ-R500 variant, looking at Google), which crammed up to 320 minutes onto each disc - and in LP4 mode, managed a frankly astonishing 48 hours playback from a *single* AA battery[*]

      That'un is still in a drawer somewhere, along with a load of discs. I may have to dig it out at some point, to see how much my taste in music has changed in the last 20 years ;)

      [*] All the more amazing when you consider it used spinning magneto-optical media; I don't think there's any modern hardware which can come close, even with advances in CPU and battery technology!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      '.. Minidisc is forever.'

      Forever?, just wait until the magneto-optical head of your favourite recorder/player fails and you try to repair it/get it repaired...having a quick look on fleabay I note that they're relatively cheap on the used market so maybe it's not the problem now that it was when mine went fubar.

      (RIP Minidisc, my portable music player format of choice for the better part of a decade..nowadays it's a Sandisk Clip Jam, 8GB onboard, 64GB microsd, so far proven to be nearly indestructible..)

      1. juice

        I'm still using an 120gb iPod Classic I picked up from Cash Convertors, seven or eight years ago.

        The drive sometimes makes a ticking noise, but it still works, and still gets around 20 hours playback from a single charge.

        Overall, it's been one of my better tech purchases - it's definitely been value for money, at least!

        I occasionally debate buying a new battery and one of the SD adapter hacks (or, more likely, buying a pre-upgraded one off Ebay), as that'd probably keep me chugging along till the heatdeath of the universe...

    6. Mage

      Re: Minidisc

      NetMD and Minidisc in the Vaio: An example of Sony Electronics losing the plot courtesy of Sony Media:

      1) You lose the recordable disk and you can't transfer album again, because you have have to "check in" and erase the track(s).

      2) You make your OWN recordings: Interview, own music, own poetry etc. You can only transfer via headphone socket on NetMD and can't read electronically from minidisk.

      I was shocked that my Digital 8 camera let me transfer analogue or digital recordings to the PC via firewire, or even composite inputs.

      CD ripping? Because there are no optical drives on laptops now and anyway people using phones & tablets.

      Last year and year before the high street shops full of cassette & record players with USB. Some with "ripping" to SDcard built in. Don't know why the record players have a 78 rpm speed, because they don't have a suitable stylus.

    7. Ohb1knewbie

      Death to Videodrome.

      Long live the New Flesh!

    8. MJI Silver badge


      Great format, but killed by the lack of digital transfer.

      I still use it for portable listening as the makers of said device and the headphone manufacturer know more about audio than whateter shite Android phone manufacturer I get lumped with each year.

      Got home deck, portable and a currently unused car deck.

      Junked the in ears dor some on ear Sennheisers.

      I tend to go for the less used better formats. My VCRs take nice paperback sized tapes and have a good SD picture

    9. J. R. Hartley

      Some day every house will have a MiniDisc deck.

      PS. I'm nobody's fucking bitch.

  2. chivo243 Silver badge

    Holding my breath turning blue

    Just waiting for the Laser Disc to make a come back! Remember those LP sized video disks? OK, showing my age now...

    1. Gonzo_the_Geek

      Re: Holding my breath turning blue

      Or even Philips CD-i, the CD sized Laserdisk killer which didn't..

      1. Mage

        Re: Holding my breath turning blue

        Or Kodak Portfolio CD. A script to control photoCD images and audio CD tracks with interactive. It was wonderful.

        CDi was almost just an early form of Video CD.

        I've a Philips PhotoCD player. Great Audio CD playback. Plays PhotoCD (Picture CDs are rubbish in comparison). One Portfolio CD demo.

        Kodak killed PhotoCD with high Bureau costs.

        They killed Portfolo CD by massive charge for authoring tools.

        I use an external USB DVD/CD reader/writer to rip my CDs on my laptop. I only buy CDs. Thus I have a pressed archive copy. Home written CDs & DVDs are unreliable.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Holding my breath turning blue

      I've still got quite a few and managed to digitise a few others before laser rot made them finally unplayable. Doesn't really matter if it's analogue or digital if the glue is dodgy...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Holding my breath turning blue

        I had the same issue with several of my LD discs. I've supplanted most of those discs with digital rips from newer formats, but some of those director's cuts were never re-released.

        On an unrelated note, I found that LD players make excellent audio CD players. Mine will often play damaged or degraded discs that no other player or drive can handle. Just run the digital out to your PC and you can rip them at 1x speed.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Holding my breath turning blue

      How about video vinyl?

      1. Ceiling Cat

        Re: Holding my breath turning blue

        Upvote for the Techmoan link. Also, Have one ------>

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge

        How about video vinyl?

        Well, those and the Telefunken TP1005.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Holding my breath turning blue

      It was turning the thing over in the middle of the film that impressed me (a guy I worked with had bought one and had the one demo film for it)

      1. ButlerInstitute

        Re: Holding my breath turning blue

        I used to work for Quantel, developing video editing/post-production gear. Back in the mid-90s we used video disks as our source of test video, piped around the R&D lab. It meant getting to see half a movie in a random order for several weeks and then someone getting fed up with it and turning it over so then seeing the other half for a few more weeks. Every so often someone would get even more fed up and change the disk. I have yet to see all of Back To The Future in the correct order.....

        (or Outland, though that tends to be rather dark (ie in the sense of lack of lighting, rather than subject matter). Those were the two that were on most often; there were a couple of others - I've a vague recollection of Bo Derek in Tarzan).

    5. CountCadaver

      Re: Holding my breath turning blue

      My school had one, still in use around 1994-1997 or maybe it was one of the later philips iterations...

      Still LP sized

    6. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Holding my breath turning blue

      You can pry my CLD-D925 out of my dead cold hands. I found it much more pleasant to watch than DVDs. Shame about the bit rot. I'm rather apprehensive about checking how much of my collection is still actually watchable.

      Vinyl is making a comeback, maybe just maybe LD could make a comeback (without bit rot...). Well, one can dream.

  3. cmrayer


    I think the typos and other errors are there to filter out recipients with a modicum of awareness, leaving only the foolhardy to click on the links and give all their information to the scammers. They wouldn't want to waste their time with security aware people...

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: ZpulNg

      Yep, I think this has even been demonstrated in scientific papers. The scams aren't that much different to those used selling knock-off gear on street markets. Or, for the well-heeled, pyramid investment schemes. Terry Pratchett's conman Moist von Lipwig nails it in "Going Postal": "You can't fool an honest man". The point being that there are no honest men.

      1. Alien8n

        Re: ZpulNg

        I've never really understood how those pig in a poke sellers get away with it. What they're doing is clearly fraud, whether it's selling something that clearly isn't actually being sold, or is just blatantly counterfeit. And yet the police do absolutely nothing about them and the council lets them get away with renting shops without closing them down.

    2. macjules

      Re: ZpulNg

      Want an alert whenever a new SftWS column appears? Click here.

      Now that has good to be a good example of ElReshing perhaps? Or phishing by El Reg? Never mind that your email details will be sold to Nigerian scammers, so that with every weekly reminder that Dabbsy has flicked off another column you get a multitude of AFF requests from President Donald Trump promising you a share of his latest business venture ...

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: ZpulNg

        Beware of what you say - I was looking at the Daily Mail in the staff breakroom over lunch (the only rag left available, in my own defense) and guess what today's "guess the meaning of the word" word was?

        Yup, Smishing (2017)...

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

          Re: ZpulNg

          Breakroom = Bog & the DM serves at least one function of usefulness.

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: ZpulNg

            the DM serves at least one function of usefulness

            Dirtying your anus?

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: ZpulNg

          Complain about smishing if you like, as it really is just phishing over SMS, but spear phishing is a useful term. It is very different than standard phishing, directed at one victim rather than a broad sweep, and demonstrably effective as it has been used successfully by many perpetrators in the past few years. I think that large a movement, and one that has seen results, deserves an identifying word. Similarly, I do not have a problem with the creation of such words as "ransomware" and "cryptojacking", neither of which existed before they became major trends in malware production.

          1. Omgwtfbbqtime

            Re: ZpulNg

            Yup, and harpooning is spear phishing aimed at the Whales such as C-level execs.

    3. smudge
      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ZpulNg

        Actually, I think you find it's not stupid people they are after, but rich old people with dementia and other mental fragility.

        The reason for this is the story they weave captures these kind of people, and it is made with deliberate mistakes so to not to waste the time on someone who is going to rumble the scam at some point.

        I take issue with the 'stupid' people tag, it is deliberately targeted at people with Mental Disabilities that will fall for it. They are not stupid, just old and ill.

    4. bish

      Re: ZpulNg

      Yep, it's entirely deliberate, and actually just good social engineering: on the one hand, you don't waste time on anyone tech-savvy, and those who you do catch are often too embarrassed to ask their technical friends and family for help, and on the other, you allow the techie types to think you, the criminal, are far too stupid to concoct a convincing phishing scam, which makes them far more vulnerable (through misplaced confidence) to spear phishing. I wish no ill of Dabbs, but I'd be very surprised if he could correctly identify a well-executed spear phishing attack: the good ones can be incredibly hard to detect, and aren't even necessarily about getting you to hand over a password. Sometimes they simply want your correct email and signature, so they can convincingly spoof a message as you to someone else.

  4. muddysteve

    Two words

    Eight track.

    1. James Anderson

      Re: Two words

      Many years ago on the long bus ride from London to Edinburgh and back I used to stare out of the window and wonder about the strange ethereal clumps of brown shiny tumbleweed that would appear on the side of the motorway.

      A couple of years later I was in a car with a mate who was attempting to play Hendrix on his 8 track, as the horible cobination of white noise and mechanical crunching was clearly not the guitar genius he ripped the offending cassete out of the player and through it out of the window with a ritual "f*k*ng eight track" curse. Another clump of brown shiny tumbleweed and another mystery solved!

  5. Robigus

    New phrase. Thank you.

    same old shit + infantile spelling = disruption

    I see this, you see this, my colleagues see this. Very few of us say this.

    I will use your form of the phenomenon from now on.

    Have a beer.

    1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Re: New phrase. Thank you.

      My toddler is disruptive. I can't say that anyone is better off for her screams and loud protestations that it isn't fair. She was never going to get a second ice-cream. In retrospect, I shouldn't have given her the first one in the first place.

      Metaphor for Silicon Valley perhaps?

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: New phrase. Thank you.

        Depends a little if you've followed the trend of burdening him/her a weird and wonderful semi-phonetic variation on spelling their name (Aymee, Joolie, Andru, Krystofer, Konner, Jaxson and such like) which rather than making them distinct just makes them look like the offspring of either dyslexics or morons who can't spell.

      2. Dagg

        Re: New phrase. Thank you.

        >Metaphor for Silicon Valley perhaps?

        Nah, Donald Trump!

  6. DuncanLarge


    Maybe because its the morning and I have yet to eat my mid morning snack but I read the whole thing and have no idea what this guy was talking about :D

    Ok I seemed to get the idea he was confusing CD audio ripping with ripping a vinyl, which cant be done with CD ripping software at all, much like how my DVD player cant mow my lawn.

    Oh and CD ripping software never went away. "apt install cdparanoia" gets me it without even thinking hard about it.

    You could just go on Amazon and buy a CD recorder brand new, record the vinyl to that, then rip. Or you could just plug a modern turntable into the USB port on your computer and record it that way, or you could put an SD card bought from the supermarket into a turntable with an SD card feature then plug that into any laptop that has a reader or failing that USB, or you could be really cool and get a turntable that also has a CD recorder built in.

    Or you could be cooler and buy a MD recorder, get some blank minidiscs off amazon and record direct to that.

    Or you could forgo the MD option and remain cool by recording to cassette tape and walking around with a walkman, all of which are available brand new off Amazon.

    Hmm Amazon seem to be popping up a lot. No wonder the UK high street is failing.

    Time for second breakfast...

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: What?

      The point of the article is to trick you into posting a comment.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Hah! That won't work on me!


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "same old shit + infantile spelling = disruption"

    That is such an EPIC summary I'm going to print that in A0 and hang it on my wall.

    Apart from the rather accurate summary of some audiophiles (the type who will fork out thousands for speaker cables), the above is such an apt description of the investment decision process that it's going on my wall.

    Mr Dabbs, that's poster worthy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: audiophiles


      I had a little gramaphone

      I wind it round and round

      And with a sharpish needle

      It made a cheerful sound

      And then they amplified it

      It was much louder then

      And to sharpened fibre needles

      to make it soft again


      "Song of Reproduction", Flanders & Swann,

  8. jay_bea


    Even after 20 years, the word Iomega brings me out in a cold sweat, recalling trying to restore a failed drive in the face of the the dreaded click of death.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Iomega

      I guess it was kind of a relief to find it was the drive that was knackered and not the disks themselves. In my case, I borrowed another drive, backed up my disks to CDR and never touched an Iomega product again.

    2. Nick Kew

      Re: Iomega

      Guess I was fortunate my iomega drive died before it had acquired anything more than a bit of test data.

      What a total waste of money. Or in this context, what a rip-off.

    3. CountCadaver

      Re: Iomega

      I must have got lucky as I got 4 years of study out of 2 zip disks inc using the college and universities grotty drives and never had any issues,

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Amiga Iomega Zip

        Same here. My Zip drive was a SCSI varient connected to my Amiga and I never had any issues with it. It might even still work for all I know. It's up in the loft somewhere.

        1. nigeb

          Re: Amiga Iomega Zip

          Strangely I also had no problems with my scsi zip drive, used it for years on Acorn and PC platforms

  9. Kez

    If you're interested in retro audio gear...

    I recommend taking a look at Techmoan on YouTube. Lovely anorakky sort of bloke - takes apart and inspects all kinds of weird and wonderful audio/visual kit from the miscellaneous format wars of the ages. He even plays samples recorded from defunct audio formats, so if you were ever in doubt as to whether to revive that obscure 1980s Japanese mini tape recorder (with 5(!) albums available), you can be safe in the knowledge that you're better off saving your money for another stupid eBay purchase.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: If you're interested in retro audio gear...


    2. Mike Brown

      Re: If you're interested in retro audio gear...

      thirded. Love Techmoan. He looks at weird shit, so i dont have too

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you're interested in retro audio gear...

      His puppet takedowns of YouTube trolls are great as well.

  10. Snivelling Wretch

    Remember DAT?


    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Remember DAT?

      Never for music but did have a DAT video camera, 90 mins of easily transferred (never to be watched twice) family occaisions

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Remember DAT?

      DAT found a niche for mastering in the music industry and also in A/V suites. I still have some masters of music I recorded in the late 1990s, but no drive to play them on.

    3. Mystic Megabyte

      Re: Remember DAT?

      Yes, we used to rent them to studios for making stereo master tape. DAT was very popular for a while.

    4. usbac

      Re: Remember DAT?

      Yeah, we used them in the recording studio back in the 80's. It was a hell of an update for sending out CD masters. It sure beat Sony's system of using U-matic video tapes for masters.

    5. H in The Hague

      Re: Remember DAT?

      Yes! And thank you for the reminder that there are a few tapes I should transfer while one of my two DAT recorders still works.

      A good weekend to all Commentards.

  11. Huw D

    Walkman -> Zune is the way forward.

    1. deadlockvictim Silver badge


      I expect, in a weird twist of fate, that they will be more valuable than iPods in the decades to come.

  12. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse


    The whole nature of the faddy vinyl "resurgence" for me was illustrated most predominantly for me when I saw both HMV, Tescos and other culprits trying to shill copies of DSOM and other "cool" albums at £25+ when the superior CD and SACD copies are available at half that price.

    But hey, I don't want to stop any overmonied fucktards from trying to feel superior if that is what they truly need to feel better about themselves.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm...

      Indeed, relieving them of cash is no crime.

      After all, being able to hear the physical imperfections on the media in perfect clarity is important.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm...

        I still have a few mp3 files that were ripped from the original viny nearly 20 years ago. There's something very soothing about the tap-tap at the start and end of an album.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Hmmm...

          When I can be arsed I look to see what's happening in the audiophile world. It seems people can tell the difference between 16bit MP3s and 24 bit MP3s. This is because its a shit way of compressing data that, lets be honest, doesnt need compressing and introduces 'features' that you can learn to spot in the music - a bit like how anyone moving on TV these days has a halo around them.

          Interestingly no-one has ever successfully identified (in double blind tests) any difference between CD quality recordings and 'better' as far as I can tell,

          Its worth remembering, however that ritual can improve your perception of something. Playing vinyl can actually improve user perceptions of music. It may sound worse but the tea ceremony ritual of getting the record out of its two sleeves, cleaning it and carefully placing the needle on it (or whatever) are almost guaranteed to provide an improved user experience than listening to R1.

          1. Not also known as SC

            Re: Hmmm...

            :Interestingly no-one has ever successfully identified (in double blind tests) any difference between CD quality recordings and 'better' as far as I can tell,:

            I most certainly can't. Saved a fortune buying 'low-quality' MP3s instead of expensive 'hi-res' recordings. One advantage of getting old perhaps?

            1. AMBxx Silver badge

              Re: Hmmm...

              Isn't part mp3 compression involve removing the very high notes? Exactly the bit us oldies can't hear.

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm...

      A significant part of the vinyl revival is that people are digging out their old stereo systems with decent speakers, well separated in a room and driven by a plain clean amplifier - and it sounds so much better than just listening to a pair of crappy earphones.

      As for CD's being better than LP's - no frigging way. You can't roll a decent joint on a CD cover - you need the workspace that an LP cover provides.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm...

        Sometimes there's no good substitute for size... ahem.

        Synology NAS music application > Plantronics USB DSP > 30yr old Pioneer stack amp. (capacitors like small beer cans)

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Hmmm...

          "capacitors like small beer cans"

          Not bulging I hope.

          1. Dagg

            Re: Hmmm...

            >Not bulging I hope.

            Not at 30 years old, they predate the industrial espionage that caused the bulging cap issue.

      2. ThomH

        Re: Hmmm...

        I think we're also supposed to complain about the dynamic range compression that is now usually applied to digital audio prior to mastering, as a way of arguing that CDs don't sound better.

        I'm probably the last person who should comment though, as at this point I don't even still own a CD player, let alone anything more involved.

        1. Franco Silver badge

          Re: Hmmm...

          "I think we're also supposed to complain about the dynamic range compression that is now usually applied to digital audio prior to mastering, as a way of arguing that CDs don't sound better."

          As much as that is true (lookup Loudness War on wikipedia if you're not feeling sleepy), that isn't the fault of the CD, it's largely the fault of Rick Rubin if you believe the conspiracy theorists.

          Whilst we're on the subject of audiophiles, I may be the only one who remembers this phenomenon. I play the guitar and for a while was in to building and modding effects pedals. This started off as improving on the sound or range use of certain pedals, or modding them back to the specs of the original pedals. However after a while this wasn't good enough for the cork sniffers, and they started promoting the use of audiophile parts such as Burr Brown opamps for reasons of ultra low noise. Which might be a valid reason for using them if we weren't talking about distortion pedals.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Hmmm...

            "audiophile parts such as Burr Brown opamps for reasons of ultra low noise. Which might be a valid reason for using them if we weren't talking about distortion pedals."

            But but but, surely the whole point is to create the right type of noise and distortion. You don't want some random distortion because you used shitty opamps!

            1. Spamfast

              Re: Hmmm...

              You don't want some random distortion because you used shitty opamps!

              All op-amps are shitty.

              The trick is to design an audio amp that cancels out the crappiness of the op-amps in it. (Hint - negative feedback.) Then use decent power FETs for the final stage output.

              1. paulll

                Re: Hmmm...

                "All op-amps are shitty."

                Er, what?

                1. Spamfast

                  Re: Hmmm...

                  Op-amps gain characteristics are not well defined - vast gain (hundreds of thousands or more) but not precisely defined and not necessarily linear. But they don't need that to be precisely defined because they are used in feedback mode so that the signal on the negative & positive input pins will always end up being almost exactly the same. This avoids having to rely on their precise characteristics. Instead it's the tolerances of the resistors & capacitors in the circuit that count and that's much easier to control than the internals of an integrated circuit.

                  Op-amps have high imput impedance and low output drive capability and all circuits are designed to expect this without worrying about the exact values. Slew rates are always way faster than needed for audio signals.

                  The only well-defined specs that are generarlly important is the min/max supply voltage (and therefore output voltage range) and min/max input over-voltage tolerance.

                  1. paulll

                    Re: Hmmm...

                    Yeah but that's like saying bananas are rubbish because they go mushy when you stick them up your bum; it's probably true but that's not really what they're *for*.

                    The high impedance and low power output you mention make them excellent buffers-as an input stage and between stages. They isolate the signal path from what comes before and after them, and tend to be operated around unity where their gain characterics are just fine.

                    I'm sure people do build gain stages out of them, with shitty results, but that not a shortcoming of op-amps.

                    1. Spamfast

                      Re: Hmmm...

                      I'm sure people do build gain stages out of them, with shitty results, but that not a shortcoming of op-amps.

                      That's kind of the point I was making when I replied to John Brown (no body).

                      Don't blame the op-amps for the crappiness of your amp - they don't have much impact on the performance of a properly designed one. Lousy power supplies & regulation and output stages seem more likely to be the culprits to me.

                      But martinusher seems to know more than I (not difficult) so I'll shut up now.

              2. martinusher Silver badge

                Re: Hmmm...

                >The trick is to design an audio amp that cancels out the crappiness of the op-amps in it. (Hint - negative feedback.) Then use decent power FETs for the final stage output.

                That's very 1970s thinking, if you don't mind me saying so. The problem with this approach is that the finite bandwidth of the forward part of the loop introduces artifacts which don't show up with a sine wave (you'll get ludicrously low THD numbers) but rather show up as "Transient Intermodulation Distortion" or "why does my Sinclair amp sound like crap?". People didn't tumble to this for years mainly because they didn't have the testgear or circuit analysis tools to show it, they just knew that certain amplifiers sounded great (including most valve amplifiers) while others didn't. (Valve amplifiers have a more linear and much lower gain forward path.)

                Its all moot these days, though. Quite apart from modern semiconductors having effectively infinite bandwidth by audio standards most modern amplifiers are class 'D' -- digital, with PWM output. We're well past the point where a commodity processor can handle all the functions of signal collection and conditioning. Its really life coming full circle -- early transistor amplifiers started out life as servo amplifiers, military project designs 'repurposed' at home by enthusiasts, with modern audio amplifiers just being repurposed, and downrated, servo drivers.

            2. Dagg

              Re: Hmmm...

              >But but but, surely the whole point is to create the right type of noise and distortion.

              Ah, valves (tubes to the septics) now there's real distortion like a sepia photo of a grand master.

            3. Franco Silver badge

              Re: Hmmm...

              "But but but, surely the whole point is to create the right type of noise and distortion. You don't want some random distortion because you used shitty opamps!"

              Of course not, but the problem is that your standard opamp is an off the shelf part designed for millions of applications, and not one of them was to create distortion. I won't bore everyone with the relative performance of different 4558 style dual opamps in an Ibanez Tubescreamer, except to say that from an electronics point of view they should all perform roughly the same. However, in this application, they do not which is why people will pay silly amounts of money for an NOS JRC4558D equipped Tubescreamer compared to one equipped with a TA75558P.

        2. gfx

          Re: Hmmm...

          Older CD's don't have the loudness problem I've heard some really good classical recordings on CD.

          Some bands are worse than others Muse springs to mind, awful CD while a BBC live recording sounded much better.

        3. Criggie

          Re: Hmmm...

          My CD player in the workshop is an old 8x cdrom drive with a play and stop button on the front. Its crowbarred into the housing of an old IBM 5.25" external floppy drive, which has a suitable internal PSU.

          The only hackery was putting a stereo RCA out connector on the back . Works well in the garage.

      3. TomPhan

        Re: Hmmm...

        You mean your local cannabis shop doesn't sell them pre-rolled? What sort of backwards country are you living in?

    3. Alien8n

      Re: Hmmm...

      The problem really is that MP3 killed the value of music. You look at a £25 vinyl record and state it's overpriced, that CDs are less than half the price. Now consider that in nearly 30 years the cost of that CD has actually gone DOWN in price. Taking inflation into consideration we should be paying at least £20 a CD, this is the real reason that the music industry is in so much trouble. It used to be that you'd save up for an album, it was expensive and treasured. Now you just load Spotify and away you go, as much as you can listen to for a tenner a month. For consumers this is great, it's a good thing, but for bands it's literally killed the chances most have of ever going fulltime as a band.

      So when one of my favourite musicians brings out a limited edition vinyl that with postage will cost £27 then yes, I'm willing to pay that. Because that's what it's truly worth. Not a share of my tenner a month to Spotify, not £10 for a CD that will just get ripped onto the PC so I can stream it to the car stereo. It's worth that £27 to me because it's limited to 300 copies. It has artwork, a lyric book, even comes with a CD copy. It has value. And it's this value that kids today are rediscovering.

      I love the fact that my kids are rediscovering the true value of music, and in so doing have discovered the joy of collecting vinyl. That instead of being just something in the background as they play video games they're discovering the joy of simply listening to something for the sake of listening. My kids are lucky, I get to take them to a lot of concerts, often for free. That doesn't stop them paying to see bands I wouldn't go and see though. I've encouraged them to explore music, whatever the genre, so they've grown up to listen to everything from Fleetwood Mac to Slipknot.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmm...

        Taking inflation into consideration we should be paying at least £20 a CD, this is the real reason that the music industry is in so much trouble

        Given falling costs of production and distribution (even for CD) I'm not too sure that your argument works completely - the artist only ever got a tiny fraction of the revenues from vinyl, with most revenue hogged by the big bands, or wasted by the dreadful inefficient manufacturing, distribution and promotion efforts, or simply the sprawling excess of big music companies.

        There's another thing to consider, and that is back in the day you had to pay for all of an album, even if you only really wanted one or two songs. The industry was coining it in selling many albums half full of filler tracks. There's a tiny number where every song is a gem, those are few and far between. I suspect that's the big problem for most bands - on track-by-track digital services, people can and do avoid the less inspiring content.

        1. Duffy Moon

          Re: Hmmm...

          I agree with Ledswinger here. Record prices were over-inflated for many years. Record companies refused to change when the internet came along and then moaned when they weren't raking in quite so many billions. I'm particularly irritated when I have to pay the same price for albums released fourty or fifty years ago as for new music. The costs must have been recouped many times over by now and most of the artists I listen to are dead.

        2. Mage

          Re: Hmmm...

          Indeed why are CDs x2 to x5 the price of DVDs?

          Especially older audio releases.

          It's what the market will bear, or the publishers think it will. In reality it, iTunes and Spotify are killing the Album concept, taking us back to the era of 78, i.e. before 1949. Though longer works were on sets of 12" 78s rather than the 10" singles. Pressed in an order suitable for playing a stack and flipping. Some 1930s US models had sapphire stylus and could even flip stacks. The steel needles were only supposed to be used once or twice.

          1. Muscleguy Silver badge

            Re: Hmmm...

            Haunt the charity shops and disk exchanges. I volunteer at a BHF shop and we check all CD's for scratches to ensure they all will likely play.

            On Friday we got two loads of vinyl donated, one in a convenient cardboard box full of LPs with another a collection of 9" singles. A guy came in, asked if we had any vinyl and the LP box got dragged out for him and I grabbed the singles of which he bought several. A very happy conjunction: very happy customer and the BHF got some money.

      2. Jan 0

        Re: Hmmm...

        > so they've grown up to listen to everything from Fleetwood Mac to Slipknot.

        Isn't that a bit like teaching them the alphabet from N to Ň?

      3. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm...

        @Alien8n: "MP3 killed the value of music"

        I don't agree. .mp3 means you should really only be paying for the music, not the packaging, the distribution, the ground rent, or the distracted youth that staffs the record counter at the weekends.

        CDs are cheaper because the distribution is cheaper. I still buy CDs, but I buy them online, I mean, why the heck would I wait until the weekend, drive into town. pay to park, only to discover that the local HMV don't have the album I want? Especially likely now, given half the floor devoted to music is now vinyl and t-shirts, and the CD section got squeezed.

        I still have a record player hooked up in my home office, and occasionally spin up some old records, but there's no way in hell I'd ever spend money on new records. I used to love the Odyssey, searching for vinyl in many and various record shops, I always checked out the record shops in new cities I'd visit, but now, aged fifty, I just can't be *rsed with that any more. Some of the stuff I want is hard to find with Google, I'd really exhaust the shoe leather if actually went looking for it, for real.

  13. PerlyKing

    Behind the curve

    Sorry Dabbsy, the hipsters are ahead of you as they have apparently already re-discovered the Compact Cassette. You'll have to accelerate your plans for "inventing" the CD player, and I'll be rubbing my hands in glee waiting for the moment to offload my remaining MiniDisc collection :-)

    1. Mike Brown

      Re: Behind the curve

      depending on what you have, that time might be now. MD is surprisingly popular on ebay.

    2. Ceiling Cat

      Re: Behind the curve

      There are quite a few bands on my local scene releasing on Compact Cassette, and few of them could be described as "hipster" bands... unless Hipsters these days are into Brutal Death Metal, Grindcore, and Crust Punk.

      Beer, because it goes surprisingly well with all three of those genres.

      1. Franco Silver badge

        Re: Behind the curve

        Yep, I've seen the same thing, although how many of those cassettes will actually get delivered is another thing given what's going on with Pledge Music

        1. Ceiling Cat

          Re: Behind the curve

          Not sure what Pledge Music is, but the releases in question are already available from the band's merchandise stall at the show, and succesfully shipping from as well.

          Seems there are still a few tape duplictation houses operating here in Canada (and in the USA), and they do seem to ship product reliably. I just don't see the point in using cassettes anymore, as it's been ages since anyone actually made cassette decks or "walkmans".

          1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

            Re: Behind the curve

            You can still buy cassette decks for cars, but why would you now that we have CDs? Cassettes (and other magnetic tape media) are one of the few things in the world that will both break if you use them and break if you don't. A CD, on the other hand, will last forever. I still have CDs I bought in the late 1980s that work as well today as they did when new. Keep them out of direct sunlight in your car and don't let them get scratched and they will outlast you. You just need to lay in a supply of players since they're getting harder and harder to find.

          2. Tom 38 Silver badge

            Re: Behind the curve

            Pledgemusic is/was a site for crowdfunding music production, with most of the money going directly to the actual band themselves. My Danish friend, who is 24 and for some reason a huge Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark fan, got me to purchase, collect and then send on to her their latest vinyl release because they wouldn't ship to Denmark.

            The idea was that bands would set a fundraising goal, when enough people signed up for it, the band would then produce the music, Pledgemusic would create the physical media and distribute it and pay the band. Unfortunately, just after Christmas, apparently Pledgemusic ran out of money, and stopped paying the bands what they were due and fulfilling pledged music. Currently they are saying that everyone will get paid as long as someone buys the company, which isn't that promising.

  14. Kubla Cant

    Nokia phone

    Like vinyl records, I find that old analogue Nokia phones give a warmer, more enjoyable listening experience.

  15. Ceiling Cat

    I rip every CD I buy at shows, partly because I don't have a good CD player/HIFI to play them on. Hell, I don't even have a CD drive in my main computer, instead relying on an old Acer/Gateway all-in-one whose speakers are shite but whose CD drive works fine. Once I have the files ripped and copied to my main machine, i file the CDs neatly away in a box in my storage locker, as I don't really need them taking up space.

    Thusly, the bands get their cut, and I get my listening fix.

    All thanks to SoundKonverter, which conveniently ships with Kubuntu.

    I forgot where I was going with this.... Has anyone seen my pants?

  16. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge


    I'm reminded of a story (I think it was on QI) when The Queen Mother (Gawd bless 'er) was being shown an early Walkman type of device. It was explained to her that it was something you could take with you and it would play music for you whenever you wanted. Her response was "Oh, like the Coldstream Guards"

    1. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Re: Walkman

      I'm a runner and unlike the younger generation I do not listen when I run. In large part because I never got into the habit. When I started the Sony Walkman was first introduced, the big heavy one. I could just about hang it off my split shorts but a tape only lasted 20 min per side (and you had to flip the tape for the other side) and my runs all took much longer than that. So I decided it wasn't worth investing my had earned paper run cash on.

      The other reasons are I value being able to hear the wind in the trees, the waves on the shore, the bird song, even the corvids and hearing the declining doppler and engine note of a car coming from behind as I approach a side road alerting me to a possible collision scenario etc. etc. is too valuable to give up. Besides my brain is good at throwing random songs into my head when I'm running.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: Walkman

        a tape only lasted 20 min per side

        A remarkable achievement, given that the most common cassette was the C90, which at 45 minutes per side could accommodate most vinyl LPs with a couple of minutes to spare.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Walkman

          True, but on the other hand, when I got my first cassette player as young kid, the first few tape I got were C60 because they were quite a bit cheaper. The C90 was certainly the most convenient and the "sweet spot" because of the duration. As you say, most albums where about 20mins per side so the whole album would fit on one side of a C90. The C60s were ok for shorter mix tapes, but a waste for albums, leaving 10 mins of blank. Same for C120s, too much waste if recording albums and the thinner tape tended to get damaged more easily.

          1. AMBxx Silver badge

            Re: Walkman

            Most of mine were C30 - ideal for ripping ZX Spectrum games.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Walkman

            There wasn't a cassette tape made that was not easily damaged.

            Oh, the joy (for the hundredth time) of trying to carefully unwrap your precious album rip tape from the rubber drive roller that got sticky and personal with said tape. Invariably the removal of the cassette would leave the tape's guts entangled in the innards of the player, forcing the sacrifice of a portion of the music, and yet another splice job. Or you could drag out the vinyl and record a new one, assuming you actually owned the vinyl.

            CD's killed vinyl, and then the arrival of burnable CD's (sans moving parts!) nuked cassettes. Vinyl may still have fans, but cassettes are better off in the land fill.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Strange how most of us brought up on Vinyl couldn't wait to get rid of it. But if these metrosexual, beardy lot want to waste their cash; who am I to stop them. Now can I interest you in the visual delights of VHS, I got some 80s classics you can have for £50 a pop.

    1. Patched Out

      Re: Meh....

      I totally agree. With all of the clicks, pops, wow and flutter, limited stereo separation, limited dynamic range and limited bandwidth of vinyl, I was happy to get rid of my collection. Still use/buy CDs (and lately, Bluray audio). I do like to have physical media as a backup to the digital rips having been burned with losing access to DRM'd media on my computer when transitioning to a new hard drive and the DRM key server no longer existed.

      The most ironic part to the vinyl resurgence? All these new vinyl recordings are recorded and mastered digitally, so there is absolutely no, or even perceived, advantage to vinyl. Maybe if some classic albums came out having been created from the original master analog disks, one might be able to justify buying them for nostalgia reasons.

      The only advantage to this new vinyl craze? Younger people may start to appreciate listening to an entire album instead of individual tracks as tends to be done in the MP3/Digital Streaming era.

      1. Spamfast

        Re: Meh....

        You remind me of back when CD was newish.

        I had a neighbour who was one of these crazy 'audiophiles' who back then payed and still do pay hundreds of pounds per metre for oxygen-free, low-loss, crystal-resonance, blessed-by-the-pope speaker cable and who now pay the same for 'hi-fi audio' Ethernet and USB cables if they've caved in and embraced the dark-side that is digital.

        He was adamant that vinyl was superior because it was analogue and CDs could not be as accurate because they were digital. He just couldn't get the physics no matter how hard I tried to explain the realities of Nyquist-Shannon and the unavoidable frequency & dynamic range & resolution limitations of recording formats, amplifiers, speakers and human ears.

        What was really sad was that when I asked him what sort of music he was into he was a bit puzzled. He had about ten vinyl albums to play on thousands of pounds worth (in 1990s money) of hi-fi, mostly demos chosen to show off how good the equipment was.

        Well, it kept him happy. He didn't get out much.

      2. Sudosu

        Re: Meh....

        "The only advantage to this new vinyl craze? Younger people may start to appreciate listening to an entire album instead of individual tracks as tends to be done in the MP3/Digital Streaming era."

        I may not be young,(younger than some?) but I have a terrible habit of listening to part of a song and then clicking to the next one, drives everyone including myself nuts. Its not just audio, am I the only one who can surf Netflix for an hour without watching a show? Anyway...

        I have a room for my records and system with no remote; record goes on, I sit patiently on my sofa while my remote button pressing trigger finger twitches until the side is done, but I actually listen to the music. I have found songs I love that I would not otherwise have found on my media server with my twitchy remote finger.

        Maybe, at least to me, it is more like reading a book than watching a movie, you get the full story.

        Can you imagine only hearing The Wall Part 2 and Comfortably Numb vs listening to the entire Wall album it would be kind of weak.

    2. CountCadaver

      Re: Meh....

      For true hell, Betamax...

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Meh....


        I have Betamax you know.

        Great format, last used it before buying a PVR.

        I do have some digital TV recordings somewhere.

        And I found some of my Betamax filmed footage on Amazon Prime. (I was given the finished DVD).

        Looks surprisingly good on a 46" HDTV.

        Never liked VHS with softer pictures and watercolour effect colours, as well as more severe generational loss.

        Look at the old video cameras, JVC had a lovely tube camera (N70 AFAIR), better than anything Sony produced at the time (HVC4000P had good colour though), Sony had a fantastic portable VCR, best on the UK market, their SLF1 a LOT better than JVC compact VHS or Panasonic full sized VHS.

        JVCs answer was the 14pin K lead for their camera. I really wanted one of those cameras, but only just managed to afford a S/H Sony 4000P.

        Used it though up to 2000 or so.

  18. m0rt

    "OK, famous last words and all that, but I have yet to receive a phishing attack that wasn't obvious. The unlikelihood of the content; the impersonal yet over-familiar nature of the greeting; HTML email layout inspired by MySpace; spelling so utterly unconventional it would even warn off an app developer; the total lack of rudimentary grammar... The scammers may as well embed an animated GIF of the words SCAM ALERT flashing away at the top."

    There is a belief that a lot of the mistakes are deliberate. The reasoning goes that the people who fall for these scams are less likely to be able to cause any subsequent trouble. You send out a million messages, and a small percentage fall for the old "I'm gonna tell your family on you..." thing and jobs a good'un.

  19. RancidOrange

    Having just got back to the office having given a presentation to a customer on the dangers of spear phishing, let me reassure you that the latest spear phishing emails look extremely professional and spoof the senders name and email address very convincingly.

    What's even more worrying is that in each we have seen the person receiving the request for payment is the person responsible for making the payment and the person purporting to send the email will be the person who normally makes such requests. So this is no longer amateur hour, these are professional hits.

    1. GlenP Silver badge

      We've had plenty of those, down to one that had actually registered a very similar domain name. I'm fairly certain the data is being scraped from LinkedIn for at least some of them, if you can find "MD of XYZ Ltd." and "Accountant at XYZ Ltd." it's not that difficult to craft a suitable message.

      We have taken internal security steps however.

      1. Mr Humbug

        Our domain name incliudes 'lli' in the middle. Scammer registered a domain with 'lll' in it.

        The most convincing one I've seen so far was an email that looked like a normal Exchange online synchronisation failure report that when youclicked through took you to a copy of the Office365 login process

    2. Twanky Silver badge

      Spear phishing e-mails?

      Yeah, what we need is some software that will show us where the e-mail actually came from rather than the display name requested... Oh, hold on - that's too old fashioned...

      Seriously: can we not agree to use SPF, DKIM, S/MIME (and even DMARC) etc to stop fake e-mails getting through? I get it that the FD (for example) doesn't feel the need to understand this sort of thing but Shirley the guys in charge of the tech can specify software that shows when a message fails these checks.

      I get so many messages that apparently come out of UK local government or academic establishment domains and those domains have no or lax SPF and non-existent DKIM controls in place. Absolutely crap. If messages that failed SPF and/or DKIM were clearly labelled "not to be trusted" by Outlook or Thunderbird or whatever then maybe the domain administrators could be persuaded to help clean up their organisation's reputation. Alas, I fear the reaction would instead be to accept that the "not to be trusted" label is not to be trusted.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Spear phishing e-mails?

        As an email admin, I can choose to only accept email from domains with correct SPF and/or domain keys.

        The problem is that if I did this, about half an hour later I would have a VP in my office asking why customer "xyz..." can't send us email? I would reply (after some time wasting research) that their SPF record is missing or incorrect. I would then be told "but, we have to be able get email from them". I gave up a long time ago trying to keep us safe.

        I understand that the idea of flagging email that didn't pass SPF/DKIM checks sounds like a good one, but users would still open them. Especially the executives here.

        1. Twanky Silver badge

          Re: Spear phishing e-mails?

          I definitely recognise that! But imagine a future where all e-mail client software uses something like a RAG system?

          Red: Your e-mail service provider has checked SPF/DKIM and it has failed. Do not trust.

          Amber: Your e-mail service provider has NOT checked SPF/DKIM. There is no reason to think this e-mail is to be trusted.

          Amber: Your correspondent's e-mail service provider has not set up SPF/DKIM. There is no reason to think this e-mail is to be trusted.

          Amber: Your e-mail service provider has checked SPF/DKIM and it has passed - but we first received e-mails from this domain yesterday. There is no reason to think this e-mail is to be trusted.

          Green: Your e-mail service provider has checked SPF/DKIM and it has passed - and we first received e-mails from this domain over a year ago. Trust as you see fit.

          We could even make any links difficult to follow unless the message has achieved Green status...

          Give the recipient the information to make a sensible decision. I do realise the marketeers would hate such a system so I'm pissing into the wind.

  20. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Cleverer Phishing Attempt

    We were targeted by a CPA last week.

    The attack staged two phases:

    1) The relevant users got a first mail asking for Safety Data Sheet regarding some of our products, with correct names and references, by someone pretending to be in the business and working in behalf of one of our clients, a real one.

    2) The day after, they got a second mail asking them to review the SDS to ensure they were correct, by clicking a link to download them, through a web page asking for their credentials...

    And The Clash rules! Rare are the bands having be so influential with such a 'short' duration.

  21. Stevie


    You only just heard of spear phishing?

    Don't you read The Register?

  22. Alister

    You forgot...

    Coarse Phishing: The same as normal phishing, but with more swear words...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You forgot...

      Sea Sea++ Phishing, but is procedural rather than object-oriented

      1. Alister
        Thumb Up

        Re: You forgot...

        I liked that one!

  23. Dr_N Silver badge


    Ahh Audiophilia. Homeopathy for gramophone users.

    AKA: bLLks.

    1. Alister

      Re: rPngg

      Homeopathy for gramophone users.

      Just add water...

  24. Mungo Spanner

    Proof reading phishing attacks

    FTA: "What worries me is that one day it will occur to an online criminal that it might be worth hiring a proofreader. This small act would likely bring about the end of all civilisation as we know it."

    Actually, no - there was an excellent Microsoft paper about this:

    The initial email blitz has almost no cost to the scammer, but subsequent follow-up emails to people who bite take considerable time. Anyone responding to the first email, but subsequently smelling a rat, is therefore costly to the scammer.

    The scammer therefore does not want to be convincing enough to initially fool moderately smart people who will drop out after any genuine investment of time has occurred - they want to catch the truly naïve or foolish.

    The rubbish emails we get are done deliberately to filter out 99.99% of people, but with 500,000,000 to choose from, that still leaves 50,000 rich pickings who, though this approach, identify themselves to the scammers.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Proof reading phishing attacks

      Sounds like there's a case for an AI bot to reply to those emails, and then try to string the scammer along for three or five emails. In the public interest.

  25. Alistair Dabbs

    Tracks nearest the centre sound worst

    There's a Radio 4 series of music documentaries on BBC Sounds podcast now, one of which retold the history of the 12in single. A vinyl mastering engineer explains how the audio quality on a gramophone record worsens as the groove nears the centre of the disc, which is why most 12in singles never bothered to use the full surface space available but left lots of empty unetched plastic near the label. It also explains why the last track on either side of an album always sounds muffled and a bit crap.

    1. Dr_N Silver badge

      Re: Tracks nearest the centre sound worst

      That's why true audio purists only use wax cylinders.

    2. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Tracks nearest the centre sound worst

      Of course it does as vinyl is CAV so linear velocity is much greater on the outer edge, so you have much longer distance to "encode" an amount (in time) of audio, compared to near the centre of the disc. So to think of it in digital terms, the outer edge will have much higher bitrate than inner track(s).

    3. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: Tracks nearest the centre sound worst

      I've encountered at least one 12" single that had to be played starting at the inside, with the groove spiralling outwards.

      Didn't go well with semi- or full-auto decks.

      1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

        Re: Tracks nearest the centre sound worst

        That wasn't an... Ozzy Osbourne record, was it?

  26. Milton

    Pornographic records

    And no one seems to remember pornographic records.

    You can't play them any more, of course, unless you have a pornogaph.

  27. CountCadaver

    Kodak APS film scanner

    I've been on the lookout for one for at a reasonable cost for years now.

    I have a pile of film that I'd like to scan the negatives of at high DPI, but short of dismembering the canisters...or paying through the nose to have someone scan them I seem to be SOL...

  28. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


    Dearest Mr Dabs

    I am Miss Fannymoney, executive personal assistant to Miss Barbara Jo Broccoli-Spears, the well known producer of film movies. She has found pictures of you on the internet and she thinks you are very handsome and much better looking than Mr Daniel Boyle. She asked me to invite you to casting session here at her villa in Lagos, Nigeria.

    Because of the strict laws in our country about purchasing airline tickets please, provide the following information so that we may obtain Best Class ticket for you. NAME, POSTAGE ADDRESS, DATE OF BERTH, MOBILE PHONE NUMBER and PASSPORT which will be returned to you with the ticket. Please also provide INSIDE LEG MEASUREMENT, BUST AND WASTE so that we may order taylor-made suite for you.

    Looking forward to meeting you

  29. AdamWill Silver badge

    have these poor hipsters never heard of...

    ...the Sony Flamingo?!

  30. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    It sells razors

    How about a vinyl record player with 5 needles? Each needle should hit defects and dust specks differently. You send the 5 signals to the cloud, use AI to identify and remove clicks (identify the song and replace it with a CD rip), run it through some 1970s audio enhancers, blockchain something-something, subscription-stream the result back to the listener's cellphone, then finally play it into the listener's upcycled hand carved wood shell Bluetooth headset. Wait, 5 disposable needles!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It sells razors

      All kidding aside, I believe it's the needle itself that makes vinyl so attractive to the hipsters. The act of dropping that physical feeler onto that visible groove is, well, groovy.


      But the point still stands. ;-/ The physicality of the experience makes one almost a part of the music, instead of merely the receipient of it.

      BTW, I have a recording of a Jack Benny show from the late 40's where the band leader Phil Harris uses the word "Groovy," so the word was being used publicly well before the hippy era. Apparently it was pretty new tho, because Jack repeats the word back at Phil in a questioning way. I wonder where that word went during the 50's...

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: It sells razors

      Many moons ago ( a bad habit I know) I made a device (from EE&WW?) that allowed 5 bands of noise removal and then an hour or so with a razor and splicing tape and you could take the clicks out of almost anything and not notice. I used it to recover (and I mean recover) the music from some well beaten 78's and was gobsmacked by the difference it made.

      I cant find it at the moment but I have seen an Alsa Modular Synth setup to do just that but with a bit of thunking you should be able to take any digital stream and improve it considerably.

      It really is amazing how much crap you can filter from something if you have the patience,

  31. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    By coincidence yesterday I was digging through my basement, past the boxes of VHS tapes, looking for my audio cassettes from the 1980s/1990s. I've left them in the corner of the living room to re-aclimatise before playing them into the PC.

  32. David Roberts

    Jusr reminded me

    I have a mini disc recorder for my component stereo stack resting idly in the loft.

    Bought in a sale with the plan to digitise all my vinyl. I think I managed to record one album before becoming bored and distracted,

    It must have been a while back since burningto CD seems the obvious option.

  33. RobHib

    Is there any real issue?

    I don't fully understand this report. What's the issue? Rippers never went away and I've never had major problems moving audio or video across various media, or across wireless or BT or across the net.

    The last thing we need are more damn codecs and container formats!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      the last thing

      but they're still on the list, right?

  34. Muscleguy Silver badge


    Just this morning somehow escaping the spam filters, an email from an unknown person addressed to moi but just containing a clickable Google link. Except I don't click on non resolved links from strangers and secondly the from and reply addresses are different. Same dude but different hosts, even different countries. Why the spam filters didn't sniff that is beyond me. Needless to say it resides in the trash.

    The worry always is those without my informed and careful caution? Presumably the ones who get caught by such obvious traps.

  35. adam payne

    Against all probability, this has led to the re-emergence of a software utility I thought had gone forever: the CD audio ripper.

    AudioGrabber still lives

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Given that (in linux at least) they just mount as device a simple copy is all that is required, not need for any other software.

  36. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    I won't read all of that, but why would you use a "CD audio ripper" to record LPs?

  37. jelabarre59

    but wait

    Hey, *I'm* ripping vinyl to digital audio. But that's not because I'm some hipster converting my audiophile disks. It's because I accumulated a lot of records through the 80's and 90's and am too cheapass to repurchase them as CD or digital downloads (presuming they'd even be available in digital format anyway).

  38. earl grey

    Bless their hearts

    I still have a copy of the old Plextools i can use to rip CDs if necessary. Unfortunately, most aren't worth listening to any more.

  39. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

    This reminds me of a Sherman's Lagoon Sunday comic. Sherman the shark and Hawthorne the crab find a pile of internet stock option certificates dumped in the ocean. Hawthorne starts digging down where he finds older and older debris, like vacuum tubes and stuff, going back through the ages until he reaches clay cuneform tablets or something. And under that, internet stock option certificates.

    Everything old is new again, we've done all this before, and we will do it again with full beards and annoying, undeserved superiority complexes.

  40. IJD

    Loudness wars

    I've digitised quite a lot of my favourite old LPs, and apart from the amount of time it takes -- because really you need to get rid of any big clicks/pops/scratches before normalising the volume -- the most obvious difference is how *quiet* they sound compared to any modern CD. Not because the peak level is lower (digital full scale in all cases) but because they haven't had loads of compression and peak clipping applied to raise the average level. End result is you have to turn the volume up significantly, then turn on back down for a modern recording.

    And I'm not talking about heavy metal or rock or pop here, I'm talking about acoustic or folk or classical or jazz recordings where you'd think this wasn't so prevalent. But it is, and this applies to every single "old vinyl" album I've transferred compared to any "new CD/digital" album. The difference is obvious when you look at either the waveforms or average levels in any audio tool...

  41. Luiz Abdala


    Having the utmost vinyl collection to listen to 40kHz Stradivarius harmonics that are supposed to be there... or ripping to FLAC at 1mbps VBR to listen... your car with engine noises, screeching tires and horns blaring away making it sound like Lady Gaga latest album when she had a cold.


  42. Big_Boomer

    Laser Ripper?

    Didn't someone come up with a laser scanner that could read a whole vinyl LP at once and convert it to the digital storage format of your choice? Whatever happened to that?

    I tried using one of those record player/ripper things and the process is painful beyond measure. It doesn't separate the tracks, it doesn't stop/start automatically, and you have to sit there and watch it while it does it's thing. BORED!! I did the 15 LPs I cared the most about and then gave up and just re-ordered those that I could in digital format (CD or MP3), and only used it for those of my vinyls that are not available in digital format.

    As for the audiophiles, to each their hobby but don't bore me with it or I will retaliate by going into intricate detail about the rebuild of my 1989 Kawasaki engine. I am 55 years old and in my teens I used to tune unsilenced 2-stroke mopeds in a small garage (ahh the smell of Castrol-R!), so these days I struggle to hear above 14kHz. Therefore your £Gazillion audio system is a waste of money to me, but if it gets you off, enjoy!!

    1. JohnG11

      Re: Laser Ripper?

      As high as 14KHz? Lucky you. At 72 going on 73 mine is now below 10KHz.

      Ah! Castrol R, that takes me back to my first car, a 1957 two-tone MG Magnette, lovely beast.

      Cost me sixty five quid. That was after my awful BSA C15 bike.

      Nowadays I use EAC (Exact Audio Convertor) with LAME 320kbps v=0. (All freeware)

      That transferred to the Cowon X7 (look it up) with its 160GB miniHDD and a pair of Sennheiser HD600s. Who, on this panet, could desire more?

      I finally diposed of my Thorens TD125 mkII, Rega 300 arm, Ortofon moving coil cartridge and 600 plus LPs more than 5 years ago. I now have more than 1000 CDs and the collection is growing. Thank goodness for 2nd hand CDs.

      Rock on Tommy.

  43. VulcanV5

    W o n d e r f u l

    Such a glorious rant from Alistair. I have to disagree with him though about the silliness of hipsters (if 'hipsters' is the word?) If one grew up with primitive audio, as I dd, the educational benefit was considerable: I learned a second language. So can they.

    This accomplishment was something worthy of demonstration when drunk. At a client reception one day in (ye gods) 1970, a hugely boring affair as they always are, I partook of too much lunchtime free alcohol and when the talk turned to the value of business arising from the company's new Far East deal, I revealed I could speak Japanese. Oh yes. Asked to prove it, I said 'Aiwa-Akai Nakamichi', which means, 'I am very pleased to meet you, and may you have a long and happy life.' This so greatly impressed a colleague with no interest whatsoever in hi-fi (or hi-fi shows at airports -- why were they always held there?) that he shot off to the far side of the banqueting suite to bring the Japanese sales director over to meet me. I remembered then I had an urgent hospital appointment, so left.

    Everyone should be encouraged to expand their linguistic horizons. And especially, hipsters.


    Will this increase the sales of the Laser Turntable

    ELP sell a record player that uses laser beams instead of a needle to convert the grooves to sound. No prices listed now but years ago they were about 12K to 19k USD depending on model/options chosen. Very small quantity ever made/sold to such a niche market. If they had an order for 100 or more, then the price should come down a lot.

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