Readers' Letters: The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, and more...

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of

Thursday November 30, 2006

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Gerard Shanahan writes...

I feel I must add that the unit is also resistant to HIRF and EMP, meaning that in the event of a nuculear holocoust those of us with the foresight of hindsight can still enjoy our music. I like to think that it is also a more prominent fashion statement in "Green Terms" as it is repairable, uses less energy and chemicals to produce and is 100% recycleable. A comfortable pair of pneumatic earphones, of suitable grand stature of course, would probably complete the accessory kit, not withstanding the "two degree of freedom gimballing system attachment" which would exploit the phenomenol gyroscopic rigidity properties of the turn table and make the unit completely "skip proof" for joggers and snow-boarders etc. I think the device really has great potential. Signed: T.E.

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Larry Wren writes...

I guess I'm ahead of the times. I have one of those new-fangled record players. It's been in the family for over 80 years, I think. It still works, which is more than you will be able to say about the mp3 players in a few years. Thanks for the newsworthy item.

In response to How can you improve a weak bass guitar?, Eric Vincent writes...

The idea that playing with one's fingers, as opposed to a plectrum or the thumb, promotes "weak" bass playing is utterly ridiculous. The stronger bass players, i.e., Jack Bruce, the late John Entwistle, Billy Sheehan, etc., are those that play with their fingers.

RP response: Eric, with respect, you should read the article. "...a bass players' fingers need years of development in terms of strength and rhythmic accuracy before it really sounds good". All credit to Bruce, Entwistle and Sheehan for mastering this difficult art.

In response to Three pro mics tested on female vocals, with audio, Mike writes...

They all sounded pretty good to me.

RP response: Of course we must pay attention to selecting the right mic, but with a really good singer, you're 80% of the way there already.

In response to What is a 'summing mixer', and will you make bad recordings if you don't have one?, Kevin Hunter writes...

There is no computer recording system yet designed that can mix multiple tracks of music without doing significant damage. While many may make interesting 'versions' of the summing, none can supply the space and presence of a metal buss bar and discrete summing amplifier.

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Scott writes...

I think this just has to be some kind of joke! Lol, although it is a funny one! This unit obviously looks aged and isn't the new technology that it is being perpetrated to be.

In response to The most outrageous copyright grab ever!, Patty writes...

Well--maybe should take a law class on copyright and trademark protection adn infringement. Maybe they should look at what an actual copyright is, how it comes about, when something, legally is actually copyrighted, and how ownership of a copyright is actually done. LEGALLY. In legalease--just because they post it doesn't necessarily make it so. If you read copyright law it will tell you when something is legally considered copyrighted by law--which is as soon as your pen hits the paper, how to protect your copyrighted material by registration, and the actual steps that you have to go through to actually transfer your own copyright to someone else. Unless has now changed copyright law I would really like to see them pull this off if they were actually challenged in a court of law and if someone was actually stupid enough to think that because someone posted that they own your copyrights that they actually do. I dont "think" so! lol!

In response to Karlheinz Stockhausen is dead, Bill writes...

Sadly this article is the first I'd heard of Stockhausen's death. It's too bad that such important composers aren't given the attention they deserve.

In response to The shocking truth about working in pro recording studios, Bill Clawson writes...

Being an engineer, musician, and producer he was very lucky to sit in on any sessions at all and was also very lucky to not be scrubbing toilets. The fact that he brought up that he has better gear on his laptop at home makes the the studio, engineer, and recording artists all look like boobs. The engineer did the right thing by telling the manager, theres no doubt in my mind. I on the other hand would of probably kicked him out of the room right there by saying something like "Don't you have some trash cans to empty?", but that's just me.

There's a million other interns out there with schools like **** **** pumping out smart, but yet lacking in common sense engineers.

Shut up and be happy you have your foot in the door!

I'm positive the recording artist that session wint home feeling like they had a less than perfect recording.

- Bill Clawson

[asterisks inserted for legal reasons by Audio Masterclass]

In response to Can you be artist, engineer and producer all at the same time?, Ardi writes...

Well to that question people are doing everything themselves these days much like myself. But I personelly believe with two people it is much easier and the creative flow, time and interaction between ideas will give you more rewarding results.


In response to A line array for guitarists? Or, could you handle a 4 x 4 x 12 stack?, Audioboffin writes...

The guitarist from Alice in Chains was working with a three high stack of Marshall cabinets.. eight wide, making a total of 24 x 4 x 12" boxes.. I guess that's not a line array though....

RP response: Wow. Wow indeed...

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Chrestmaker writes...

I can't think of anything good to say about this article or what it's trying to convince me of. Some of us still have the ability to smell B.S. and that's what this article is. Why would they point the finger at iPod when the HMV Model 101's media storage method is obsolete to begin with, let alone that fact that it eliminates the consumers ability to make custom compilations. Here are some more good reason not to buy:





I would dispute the claim of "excellent sound quality" and I highly doubt that anyone would consider this to be "good exercise." The only thing that makes this record player cool is pure nostalgia which has never been a lucrative market to begin with.

RP response: Oh dear. We seem to have upset somebody...

In response to Recording tap dancing - better shape up!, Dave Ahl writes...


Just read you article on recording tap-dancing.

I was at the Knitting Factory (NYC) a few years ago, helping out with sound at a Savion Glover performance.

Of course he performs all the time so he has his setup down.

His people brought a wooden stage platform. Fitted to the underside of the platform was 4 contact microphones, strategically placed around the stage. The platform was probably built to be resonant and have minimal dead spots.

We just ran the contact mics into 4 DI boxes and that was the setup for the show.



RP response: Thanks for the info!

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Shane McElroy writes...

Fantastic! Incredible! I'm completely asea in hyperbole and flabbergastation!

Where, pray tell if possible, might I purchase one of these gems?

Are you trying to make the point that digital sound reproduction is not at all what it is "cracked up to be", while simultaneously expounding on the ease, speed, storage capacity and "intelligence" of modern audio technology? Hmmm ...

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Richard Marks writes...

Dear Record Producer,

Point taken - yesterday was the day before today, and technological history is a one-way street, not a roundabout.



In response to "Love!!!" by Maria Papovian, Alex writes...

"Love!!!" by Maria Papovian is fantastic,. I really liked it... It's always fun to see fresh music coupled by a beautiful face..

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Dan Lewis writes...

Thanks, so much, for wasting my time with this tripe.

You should set up an account to pay readers reparation for such articles.

If I wanted comedy/humor I would be accessing several thousand other sites.

I accessed this site and page because I thought I was going to learn about a new digital format. It isn't April first, you fools. I'm just about to unsubscribe from Audio Masterclass

Stick to real business. Avoid this kind of stuff, especially falsely representing what the article is about! This article doesn't belong on your site, and you should know that. I'm guessing you ran out of real articles and needed something to fill space. Next time, just grab something from Pop Science/Scientific American, m,kay? As it is, Audio Masterclass is teaching me not to trust it. Bad idea.

RP response: Thank you for sharing your concerns. According to the latest Netcraft survey, there are approximately 150,000,000 websites on the Internet. We hope that you find the satisfaction you seek from the other 149,999,999.

In response to Behringer has fouled up - again!, Prometheus writes...

The clarion call of Behringer's enemies is based on a certain lack of originality in Behringers designs. Now, think about this for a second.

I'm sure the sliding fader, for example, was invented once, and then everyone else who built them utilized the same design concept. Same goes for Sir Alec Issigonis' concepts for building front wheel drive cars. The cathode ray tube? How many companies profited from the design concept. You could think of literally thousands of examples.

If I invent a machine that somebody wants, and someone else reverse engineers it and figures out a cheaper way to build it, while I might be irate, there is really very little I could do to stop them, and it would benefit a great many people. The needs of the many surely outweigh those of the few or the individual?

I'm with Behringer on this one... If they can churn out products at such cheap prices, then maybe their rivals need to stop being so greedy when they set their mark ups?

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Prometheus writes...

If it's all the same to you, I'll stick with my mp3 player...

I used to have nightmares about the puny dynamic range and high end obscured by clicks and crackles of the vinyl record, and if vinyl was to become the medium of choice again, I'm sure it would not be long before I should wake up screaming again!

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Rob writes...

If only! I'd love to see mp3 relegated to a historical memory.

RP response: It will be... one day.

In response to The transistor, why did progress have to end with this sad little device?, Job Van Zuijlen writes...

The device your looking for was invented over 40 years ago. It's called the Field Effect Transistor (FET). It can be used as a switch (as in most of our digital interfrated circuits now) and as a linear amplifier. I got this from Wikipedia:

"Alternating charge on the base, therefore, changes how much current goes through the U [the U-shaped area of the trasitior - JVZ]. The incoming current can be used as a faucet to turn current on or off as it moves through the rest of the transistor.

"On the other hand, the transistor can be used in a more complex manner as well -- as an amplifier. Current traveling through the U gets larger or smaller in perfect synch with the charge coming into the base, meaning it has the identical pattern as that original weak signal. And, since the second current is connected to a different voltage supply, it can be made to be larger. The current coming through the U is a perfect replica of the original, only amplified. The transistor is used this way for stereo amplification in speakers and microphones, as well as to boost telephone signals as they travel around the world."

So there you have it...

RP response: Yes, we like field effect transistors. They are inherently linear, although they have disadvantages in other respects compared to regular transistors. We can't help but feel though that there must be a technology out there waiting to be discovered that will be a much better amplifying device than anything we currently have.

In response to Audio interfaces - the *one* feature that manufacturers don't want us to know about, Job Van Zuijlen writes...

Your article about audio interfaces is somewhat simplistic and does a disservice to uninitiated. The AD and DA converters are only part of the story. It's not called an interface for nothing; it has the interface with something and that's were the difference between manufacturers starts: drivers. And that's also where some companies fail miserably. You will notice that some software will only work with certain cards or interfaces. For example, in order to use GigaStudio, the driver needs to provide GSIF support. For low latency, an ASIO driver is to be preferred. Also, how much processing is done within the interface and how much has to be deliverd by the CPU? This will partly determine how many tracks and plugins your system will be able to handle at the same time. If using the internal clock of the interface, how stable is this clock? This will have an effect on the quality of a recording. I could go on for a while, but I hope you get my drift. Unless you have a lot of money to waste, selecting an audio interface requires careful consideration. Buying the cheapest Sound Blaster will not do (in fact I have learned to stay away from Creative...).

RP response: Thank you for your comment, which we appreciate. With respect though, the article was specifically about converters.

In response to George Martin *was* the Beatles, Michael Hornsby writes...

Who the hell wrote this trash! Was Martin instrumental in the success of the Beatles? Hell yes! Was he more important than the band? That's just utterly ridiculous. Even the musicians who were performing when the Beatles were breaking onto the scene recognized Martin's input, but we also knew that the songs and the crafting of them had never been accomplished before. Give George credit for his studio and arrangement talents, of course but if this author thinks the music of today would be any more than Frankie and Annette or Pat Boone then he/she never lived those days. George Martin was/is a great producer and composer but he has never achieved the same heights before or since the Beatles. Let's share the credit, not steal it. (I do, however, concur with the McCartney bashing)

RP response: I'm David Mellor and I wrote the article. You know, sometimes it's worth considering matters from angles other than the norm. It gives a totally different sense of perspective from which one can consider the accuracy and relevance of current perceptions. Often taking a moment to consider an extreme viewpoint will illuminate a matter far more than spending all day looking at it in the same way as you always have done. It's not as though it will harm anyone or tear up the pages of history.Much of the fine detail of the Beatles' recording history is irretrievably lost. However, it is fascinating to listen to their records and speculate just how the songs and their recordings came together.

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Robert In Atlanta writes...

WOW!! I rushed right out to Wally-mart to get one but with all the people lined up to buy one I missed out. I heard it, though. What fidelity - this is not just Hi-Fi, it's Fi! No need for EQ. No need for cheap effects that mimic the pops and crackles of the old days, they're BUILT IN! That goes for the record scratching sound DJs have loved, too.

Thanks for keeping us on top of the newest technology! BTW, I just bought a car that starts simply by turning a crank.

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Guitarhero5150 writes...

I don't think so. Although this is a good idea, only a purist will revert back to records, for this reason: people like being able to download their songs from the Internet and place them on a device where they can be retrieved at will without changing any memory cards or discs.


RP response: Nul points for the Audio Masterclass sense of humor then...

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Angelo writes...

Hey, I just drove over to Circuit City and they didn't have one of these babies. I love the the speed at which technology evolves so I'm eager to embrace this great new, hot item. (Fun article BTW.)

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Darrell Freeman writes...

Simple & Unique

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Jim Marandola writes...

RE: The MP3 Player is Dead

Thanks for starting my morning off with a good chuckle. A perfect parody of the constant "Techie Updates" that we are all bombarded with during the course of a day. Very well written.

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Francois Laubscher writes...

Since the "Media" is made from crushed beatle shells, you might run into problems with the environmentalists :-)

Nice article.

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Dutchwood writes...

Oh this is so funny. I'll bet some will go out to purchase this latest gizmo. LOL.

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, A Deafened Audiophile writes...

A am amazed at the obscure clarity of this message. music is dying, the sound of music is dying. and to better satisfy this fact, dying music is super hi-fi amplified thru insanely small ear-phones plugged directly to the ear-drum, for a more de(a)fining sound. forever more digitized to fit as much of that noise as possible on the smallest possible device. now do we really know what we are listening to? so called artists excessively overpaid to fill up more and more of these devices with addicting bursts of noises randomly sequenced to initiate in the brain the slightest cumfort, strike the right nerve... you got me going now... but i'll stop here. thanks for the article, and happy holidays,

RP response: Hmm... "obscure clarity".. now there's a quality that is hard to find.

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Miguel "CEE GRAMZ" Caraballo writes...

Wow where can I order mine? this is a break-through product lmao

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Bob Cullen writes...

Very, very funny! However, there actually is something about the sound of a 78 that gives rock 'n roll, for example, a raw, dynamic and exciting sound that explains why it gained immediate success among the youth of the day. Its strange but no other media quite does it justice. Also, there have been special pressings of 78's in more recent years (OK, they were on vinyl and were microgroove so they had less surface noise, greater fidelity and didn't wear out so quickly and therefore were not like 'proper' 78's which had all the corresponding disadvantages!). But those more recent "78's" apparently sounded incredible due to the high playback speed and analogue technology. So maybe this article isn't quite so tongue in cheek after all......

In response to The MP3 player is dead - here's what is about to replace it, Tsilis writes...

Ha-ha-ha! Nice one! A piece of Art! Also an investment... Who will buy a 2Gb mp3 player after 50 years? I guess we have to wait n see...

In response to The 'Recording Appliance' - a new and better way to record?, Mark Jackson writes...

That's been done...its called the Open Labs

Welcome to the pearly gates

RP response: Hmm... Running on Windows.. Not quite what we had in mind really. As the articles requests, among other things... "a totally reliable recording system, immune to 'upgrade-itis' and compatibility clashes".

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