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We miss meeting our customers in person when they dropped off their items for conversion and they'd regale us with stories about the history of the album/tape they were dropping off. Recent customer Dwight Schultz included a note with his 1970's-era vinyl to CD conversion that detailed the comings and goings of band members in rock bands, and his fond memories of live shows. Click the thumbnail to the right to see his letter about this long forgotten 'Manna' debut LP!
Speaking of local hangers-on, Drexel University’s free format, non-commercial radio WKDU celebrates it's 50th Anniversary back in July! Still available over-the-air at 91.7 FM, they've been a great community resource for Philadelphia since the early 70's! Congratulations!
We'll start this month's post with a joke: As as professional sound technician and editor, I have many friends who are in similar careers; I have a Russian friend who’s a sound engineer. And a Czech one too, and a Czech one too. (Drops Microphone)
While I understand our main product (CD & DVD's) are environmental nightmares when it comes to recycling, National Public Radio (NPR) examines American habits, and tries to determine Is Recycling Worth It Anymore? The Truth Is Complicated.[Link]
We'll start this booming bi-monthly blog update with a joke: Someone had submitted a vinyl LP to be converted to our Vinyl To CD conversion service, and when it arrived, it was called 'Sounds Wasps Make'. Intrigued by the title, I gave it a listen while it was playing on my record player; It didn't sound anything like wasps - then I realized I was playing the Bee side...
Two inventions, same purpose: Andy at British Ideas details the full breakdown of his 2013 Jack the Ripper Bot, while Dave Dunfield shows his 2017 Robotic DVD loader. Both fascinating breakdowns of engineering the automation of moving 5" optical media!
A technical breakdown with code, audio samples, and timelines blogger Paddlesteamer details Experimenting On My Hearing Loss. This very detailed report has ways to check your own, and warnings about not having animals in the room when playing back some of the high-frequency tones!
We love and rely heavily on the US Postal Service for all our shipping, even though they warn us of Pandemic delays on most shipments! We've seen some of the longest delivery times in the last 6 months, but we still track every outgoing package, and haven't lost one to date!
Frustrated by Google's recent announcement that they'll start charging for Google Photo storage? Android Central shows you how to export your photos from Google Photos. I did it, and it was nearly 8gb of photos from 2015-2020!
Digitizing your old Videos stops Generation Loss - the artifact that a copy of a copy is only getting worse with each additional copy. The same thing happens with images and re-saving them again and again. The video below shows 1000 generations using four image compression algorithms: JPEG, WebP, JPEG XL, AVIF. The results are astounding, and the clear winner is obvious!
It's Election Day as I write and update this, and I can say that I have no idea how it's gonna go. I look forward to the immediate disappearance of the endless stream of political commercials! Our links are a bit more technical this month...
The Ivory Tower throws down the gauntlet and asks: Why Do Records Sound Better? It's not a discussion, if you ask me, but he details the many steps that go from studio to vinyl, while championing the 'warmth' of vinyl.
Found on GitHub: The swiss army knife of lossless video/audio editing LosslessCut - Free software to prevent adding video generation loss by re-encoding!
We've finally finished our move, and are full-time in our new offices in West Philadelphia. Shipments have been arriving at our new address with some regularity, and we're even getting orders with our new updated order form. We've got a lot of new stories this month, after taking off last month to plan the move.
On the other side of the spectrum, YouTuber Abnormal Grooves claims (in 12 minutes) why vinyl is better than CDs and MP3s! (He's trolling you with the title - he's actually talking about vinyl hacks that can't be done on any other medium, like double-grooves, lock-grooves, and more!)
We had a few days of downtime in the recording studio last month as a water heater broke and flooded the studio over the Memorial Day weekend.
No media or equipment was in trouble - it simply doused our carpet. Super exciting photo of the wet carpet drying out to the right.
All is dry and back to regular recording sessions as we update our blog for the month of June 2020.
We sidestep our usual media focus to reveal our recently noticed confirmation bias when it comes to our prescient concept of working a shorter, four day work week. A flurry of stories, predicting disrupted working schedules to accommodate the new socially distant culture:
Our usual April Fools antics are postponed until next year, as the only news dominating the airwaves these days is the Coronavirus Pandemic. Our own Covid-19% Off Sale just wrapped up from March 20 through April 1st, and we heartily thank all of the customers who took advantage of our sale and ensured a future for this small business! Alas, we're still closed for dropoffs until July 1st, in order to prevent the spread. All job submissions must be mailed into our offices.
YouTube expert TechMoan explains how a forgotten 1949 Format War shaped the future of records. This 39 minute video details why 45rpm records have big holes versus full albums (LP's) which have small holes in the center.
Beware of Cheap Tape Decks! YouTuber The 8-Bit Guy literally breaks down this inexpensive boombox with 'MP3 Recording' ability that he determines is both low-quality and mono audio! This quick 15 minute video shows how NOT to create MP3 music from cassette!
I'm glad to have stumbled across Davis Remmel's site, where he details his robotic 3-d printed CD Rip Robot and hardbound Book Scanning techniques, which can be used for your own digital archiving.
Michael Steil at PageTable details how he setup a system for Dumping MiniDisc Media by copying the ATRAC1 audio and converting it to full-resolution audio on a computer. Very technical instructions ahead!
As time goes on, as online video codecs continue to improve (bigger images, smaller file sizes, more frames), the Evil Martians’ blog previews Better web video with AV1 Codec - a new video codec designed to compete with previous codec generations such as H.264
December 2019-January 2020
Looking to store your crates of vinyl in an easy to browse form (something akin to your old days of flipping vinyl at the local record store? Watch as user Theseamusjames details how he built a record cabinet! (seen to the right)
Are the ultimate cord cutter, but still need your classic Movies fix?CineDanton (picture to the right) offers +2100 Free Public Domain Movies from Archive.org, in a new easily searchable UI that allows for easy browsing and viewing!
You think you have a lot of records? They measure this collection by weight: Eight tons of Punk, The Outline details the demise and attempt to save print magazine Maximum Rock n Roll’s huge punk music archive.
Student Springer at The Rachel and Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering took to scanning the grooves on a record and trying to see if you could transcribe the audio from one format to another. His results are recognizable, but hardly audible.
Ever heard of a Capacitance Electronic Disc? It was about the same size and shape of a vinyl record, but could play back about an hour of video and audio using a similar needle-in-the-groove playback system. Developed by RCA in 1964, it fell from any common use by 1981, killed by Laserdisc, with it's better picture and longer runtime. Read more about it on Wikipedia!
Pictured to the right is the 1976 Sony Chorocco which was a toy Volkswagen van with built-in speakers that played the music while driving around the surface of a record. They generally were very hard on the groove of albums, and quickly ruined many albums with repeated plays.
Everything is an App! Use the Goldmine guidelines to grade your Vinyl Records & Sleeves for eventual sale on eBay! Don't have a disappointed customer complain of inaccurate grading with this free app by Raphael Yancey!