Thursday, August 16, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

This is just a post of some questions I am frequently asked. If you have any other general comments / questions, feel free to post them here.


HOW CAN I HELP?

It's a big goal to liberate quality sound from record collectors with deep pockets. I only ask that when you download something, please leave a note of thanks so that I know you've stopped by. 

CAN I SHARE YOUR RIPS ON ANOTHER SITE?

Absolutely, BUT... I ask that if you re-post anything you get from this blog, that you credit @ThePoodleBites and include a link here. That way people can be redirected to some of the other great things I've posted, and I get the great enjoyment of reading comments from you folks, which is a big part of the reason I keep ripping in the first place! Otherwise, please feel free to get this music "out there" as far and wide as humanly possible.

WHY IS THE ARTWORK SO BIG?

As the price of hard disk space gets cheaper and cheaper, the sound quality of music seems to get worse and worse. This is exactly the opposite correlation of what you'd expect; but generally, those who care deeply about the music they listen to tend to seek out the best-sounding versions available, either by tracking down various CD masterings or even turning to formats such as vinyl. And at cents per gigabyte these days, it doesn't really make sense to skimp out on file size when you've finally found that sound you like. This goes similarly for artwork scans of albums; why save a low-resolution JPEG when one can save a lossless PNG and have a backup of the artwork from their favorite albums stored on the cloud forever? For those who prefer lower-resolution files, I recommend downloading the high-resolution files and downsampling to your heart's content.

WHAT IS 'FLAC'? CAN I JUST GET AN MP3?

FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec and is a universal standard of digitally encoded audio without any loss of audio information, unlike 'lossy' formats such as MP3 and Ogg. One can play FLAC files (and convert to other formats) using such freeware as foobar2000 (Windows) or DeaDBeeF (Linux / Unix).

I'M HAVING TROUBLE DOWNLOADING... HELP!

You are likely to have issues if you try to download an entire archive from Google Drive. Larger files exist in some of my shares, which cause problems with Google's innate zipping feature. To avoid this I recommend that you download only the files/folders you want (right click on file → "Download"). If you get a message that the server has been overloaded, wait 24 hours and try again.

WHY INCLUDE RAW RIPS / WORKING VERSIONS?

I like to make these resources available to those interested in case they don't trust the work I've put into restoration. If one prefers, one can just listen to what the album sounds like straight from the turntable, or without phase correction / mono folding / etc. I recognize that most people (including myself) have no such interest in such things, so remember that when you're downloading from these links that you can choose which files/folders to download. However, there's no reason for me to hide the source material I'm working with.

WHAT IS 'EQ SUBTRACTION'?

Don't be confused, raw rips are in most cases NOT the most historically accurate way to hear these albums! My equipment is very much on the brighter end (I believe it's better to subtract treble than to add it), which should absolutely be corrected before finalizing digital masters. I've measured my system's frequency response using the Ultimate Analogue Test LP from Analogue Productions (which has some issues and is not completely accurate, but is a useful tool nonetheless) and by comparing my own masterings pressed to vinyl with the original digital masters and characterizing the response (again not perfect as lathes / lacquer masters have characteristics of their own, but this is another useful tool). My corrections are typically on the order of 4-5dB in the treble and 1-2dB in the bass, so they are not altogether small, but I can confidently say the result is within about 1 dB of a true "flat" response, certainly more than most audiophile setups, and apparently a higher standard than even Analogue Productions can produce. I believe the errors are mostly in the nonlinearity of the medium itself, which theoretically would be present on transfers done with any equipment.

DO YOU TAKE REQUESTS?

I tend to not take requests per se, but I'm happy to do a raw digital transfer of any LPs that you want to send my way. I do spend a large amount of time on the LPs I work on, so for my restoration projects I tend to only work with pristine vinyl of things not available in good sound quality elsewhere (e.g. master tape sourced CD), and generally only of excellent musical content (sorry, you will never see Peter Grudzien here). Please keep in mind this is a free and public blog, and that sometimes purchasing vinyl, especially some of the rarities here, do not come at little expense to me. To steal a line from Prof Stoned -- "I don't owe anybody anything!" Comments are appreciated.

Thanks!  ~"tpb"

3 comments:

  1. Just wanted to tip my hat and thank you for the work you've put into this blog.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment -- glad you're diggin' it, rock on brother!

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