Michael Lavorgna

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 30, 2012
Here's an interesting if brief article on what Paul McGowan, CEO and co-founder of PS Audio Inc., has dubbed "Software Jitter". While I think it may be more accurately stated as software-induced jitter, the basic concept is interesting and merits some thought:
Differences in code change how the CPU chugs along or gets wild with activity – which in turn modulates the power supply causing tiny voltage shifts. These voltage shifts affect the transition area between a 1 and a 0 causing a temporal shift in the data called jitter.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 25, 2012
During the course of my recent spate of streamer reviews, I came across Vienna, Austria-based StreamUnlimited. If you check out their website, you'll see some familiar faces on both their product page as well as their "Network" page which includes "customers and partners". Among those listed we find Pioneer, T+A, Musical Fidelity, Naim, Simaudio, Wadia, Bang & Olufsen, Sony, Denon, Pro-Ject, Creek, and more. I know what some of you are thinking—Ah Ha!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 04, 2012
still from "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", the fourteenth episode of the third season of Star Trek: The Original Series first broadcast January 10, 1969

If you walked around SSI 2012 and asked questions of manufacturers and exhibitors and listened to people talk to each other while sitting at the bar (purely for research purposes), you'd have come away with an array of (opposing) ideas relating to how to get the best sound from computer-based audio.

Here are my top ten favorite tips heard and overheard:

Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 14, 2012
It's mysterious. It's music. It's a music player. It's a headphone amp, for two.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 28, 2012
Setting up for the practicum part of our NAS series is going to take some time. Here's what's on-hand, in-house and ready to go in the Streamer/Network Player department:
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 23, 2012
From Apple Inc., "Mastered for iTunes" is their PDF guide for those interested in selling their music on iTunes.
We’re committed to delivering music exactly as the artists and sound engineers intend it to be heard. Housed here are the information and tools necessary to create the highest-quality masters for iTunes. Learn more by reading the Mastered for iTunes technology brief.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 10, 2012
chart/analysis Michael DeGusta

Before we leave the music industry alone for the weekend, I thought I'd leave you with 2 pictures from the article "The REAL Death Of The Music Industry" by Michael DeGusta. As you can see, traditionally the album floated the music industry's financial boat making up a large % of overall music sales. The trend is obviously shifting.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 02, 2012

from MTV c.1993 featuring Michael Fremer! and Neil Young!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 01, 2012
Sharon Van Etten

While Neil Young rightfully rails against the poor sound quality of the MP3, I still feel MP3 and other lossy formats have a use. And the best use is free access to music. Ya know, discovery. The wonderful "First Listen" series on NPR is currently streaming (at 128 kbps) the complete yet-to-be-released record Tramp from Sharon Van Etten. For free. The entire record. The idea is if you like it, you'll buy a real copy (and no, I do not mean the crappy iTunes or Amazon lossy download version—remember, do not pay for crappy quality lossy music). I've pre-ordered the Deluxe Bundle (LP + CD + more) from Jagjaguwar (official release date 02/07/12). See, it worked.

You can listen to Sharon Van Etten's "Tramp" in its entirety too. For free. You just have to click and listen before the release date (after that, NPR removes the music).

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 31, 2012
The PMP300 ($200) from Diamond Multimedia was among the first portable MP3 players to hit the market which it did in 1998. The diminutive PMP300 (3.5 x 2.5 x 0.625") came with 32MB of internal memory (about 1 hour of music at 128kbps) and also offered a Smart Media flash memory card slot for expansion of up to 128MB. The PMP300 housed a proprietary connector and the included cable connected it to your PC's parallel-port for copying your MP3s from PC to PMP300. Powered by a single AA battery, the PMP300 provided about 8 hours of music per battery.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 06, 2012
I bought the long since discontinued SilverStone EB01B about 6 years ago for what I recall was the sale price of $78 (original retail was $99). I was looking for a relatively inexpensive USB DAC for a desktop system and I’d read a review of the EB01B on a long since defunct website and thought, for $78 why not? The diminutive EB01B sat on my desk and was connected to all manner of hi-fi from T-amps to tiny tube amps to homemade speakers using a pair of Fostex drivers sitting in ceramic flower pots (that was really meant to be a joke but they didn’t sound half bad). Once my listening room merged with my full-time office, I retired the EB01B along with the flower pots for a more serious setup.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 31, 2011
2012 has been officially declared Alan Turing Year to celebrate Turing's contributions to the art of computer science, computing, artificial intelligence, developmental biology, and the mathematical theory of computability on the centenary of his birth. His Turing Machine, it can be said, helped launch the age of the algorithm within which we live. Turing also developed "the bombe" an electromechanical device used by British cryptologists to help decipher German Enigma-machine-encrypted signals during World War II.

Turing also developed the "Turing test" most famously portrayed in the film "Blade Runner" which asks,

I propose to consider the question, 'Can machines think?'~ Alan Turing
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 30, 2011
Seems like a simple question that should have a simple answer. But it doesn't. Whether or not its legal to rip a copy of a CD you own depends on where you live. Spain, Sweden, Poland, Australia and New Zealand all appear to feel its OK to rip for personal use. The UK looks like it will join them per the recommendations of the Hargreaves Review a report initiated by Prime Minister David Cameron in November 2010. From a BBC article, "One of the most significant recommendations that the government plans to implement is the legalisation of 'format shifting' - where users rip content from CDs or DVDs for their own personal use."

But back in the USA, the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) position is straight forward (and absurd, outdated and unenforceable)—ripping a copy of a CD you own is in fact making an unauthorized copy therefore it is illegal:

Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 28, 2011
Beyond The Wire's 2011 Rewind, Boomkat's Charts ranks high up on my list of favorite lists. Highly recommended reading, especially the smaller lists of musician's picks. I find artists talking about art to be an interesting diversion from critics talking about art.

Here are a few of my Favorites from 2011 that appear on Boomkat's List and all of them are available as FLAC downloads from Boomkat (in - as I found them - order):