Archive for July, 2010

Things Wrong with 2012

July 29, 2010 Leave a comment

To clarify, I’m leaving out things that would have killed the main characters simply because the movie wouldn’t be fun that way.

1. If neutrinos get stuck in Earth’s core and heat it up, why don’t they affect the surface?

2. If the tidal wave was 1500m high, how could it possibly have enough energy to reach the vicinity of Mount Everest (which at over 29,000 feet high is almost 6 times the height of the wave)?

3. If the hydraulics were strong enough to close that massive gate, and seemed to have no problems crushing a human body, how did a small drill manage to jam it?

4. In the scene where the White House gets destroyed, why is it surrounded by a forest, and where does the aircraft carrier come from? Did it travel on the wave all the way from Philadelphia?

5. Why did Africa stay untouched? And why couldn’t the really smart guys figure out that it would be safe?

6. How could John Cusack run 85mph to keep up with the plane while it was taking off?

I had lots more right after watching the movie but my mind must be blocking those memories. Feel free to add yours in the comments.

Categories: Random Thoughts

Update on WMA vs WMA Lossless

July 25, 2010 Leave a comment

So I played the tracks out on my surround sound system. It’s a Denon AVR-1610 hooked to Jamo S-413 speakers (4” drivers, 1” tweeters) and subwoofer (8” 100W peak).

Blind Guardian was definitely “better” sounding in the lossless format, but it was still a very slight difference. Bass frequencies seemed to be clearer and a little deeper. So, if you have the space, I’d say might as well go to lossless. It saved about 200MB for this album, and I suspect that would be the average figure.

It surprised me how little of a difference there was. Maybe WMA is just one of the better lossy formats. I’ll try this experiment with MP3 and report back

Okay, I ripped the second movement of Beethoven’s 2nd Symphony to WMA (128Kbps), WMA Lossless, and MP3 (128Kbps). The verdict? On my computer speakers, I can’t hear any difference in a blind test.

Categories: Music, Technology

WMA vs WMA Lossless

July 25, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m doing an experiment this morning. My entire CD collection is ripped to my computer using WMA at 128Kbps. I ripped a CD with WMA Lossless which, in case you don’t know, simply compresses the audio data instead of encoding it into another format, like the lossy MP3, WMA, or AAC. The reason these are able to take a 50-60MB CD track and take it down to 5-6MB is that certain audio data is trimmed off. I don’t know the specifics of how WMA does this, but I do know that they trim off the frequencies that are out of human hearing (above 20KHz, below 20Hz). Since CDs are sampled at 44.1KHz, this chops off roughly half of the data. There’s probably more going on as well, but suffice it say that what you’re hearing from an MP3/WMA/AAC file is not even close to the original CD audio.

So I ripped Blind Guardian’s Nightfall in Middle Earth to WMA Lossless and set up a playlist to play first the WMA “lossy” track followed by the WMA lossless track. I’m listening through Logitech Z-2300 speakers, which aren’t the greatest for music but are great for computer games.


Conclusion: On these speakers at least, there isn’t a big difference between the two. The Lossless tracks sound a little more “open” and definitely have tighter bass. Is it worth files being almost 10 times as big? Probably not.

Categories: Music, Technology