Dr. Waldrep- Thank you for these comments as they do shed some light. Pardon me for getting a little cantankerous. For now, I shall for sure just keep buying the disks from you. Somewhere up above I mention an HP media computer I looked up that costs ~$3410. I would not try to burn downloads from Itax until I own such a computer and that will be at least a year from now. I am concerned that you will be putting new content on Itrax which you will not put on disks, and I don't want to miss out on it. Over the next couple of years, what percent of new content on Itrax will also appear on physical disks sold by you, would you estimate?
When I read on the Onkyo TX-NR905 thread and the Sherwood-Newcastle AVR-972 receiver thread I see discussions about these allowing one to stream audio and video from one's computer into the receiver. Perhaps that is a way around our trying to burn Itrax tracks to disks. One would need a big hard-drive to go that route. The HP computer I discussed above has a one terabite hard-drive, but I suspect even it would reach its limit with not-that-many Itrax tracks. How do we tell?
(Editing- I just looked at media servers at www.niveusmedia.com
. Their 2008 models are out. One has a 1 Tb hard drive and it says that can hold "100 hours of HDTV, 3,000 hours of digital music at lossless compression, and 670,000 hi res photos". So 1 Tb of space is substantial. The HP computer for ~$3610 I discussed above has a 1 Tb hard drive. Perhaps if I installed that next to my AV set up, I'd be set to download from Itrax. The threads for receivers- S-N AVR 972, e.g., say one can connect them to a computer and stream content directly into the receiver. If one can "stream" it in off the net, I take it one can download content, store on the hard drive, and then feed it from computer into receiver. Would that work, Dr. Waldrep?
You say above that more manufacturers are discussing media servers. I searched yesterday for media servers and it seems that some at least are professional servers intended for companies like Itrax- i.e., the professional media providers, not for the consumers at the receiving end. Perhaps over the next year or so there will appear a new, affordable family of media servers for consumers. It has been a chicken-or-egg problem heretofore, you imply in a post above. The manufacturers have been waiting for a hi-res source of downloads, and your Itrax site is it. You told me the names of two companies about a year ago (one was Niveus) and it seemed the cheapest server was ~$3,000, (still is) which is out of my range. I realize that after 7 years of Bush, there are thousands of 50,000 sq. ft. homes in American with huge media servers, and those folks may be your main Itrax customers for now. The first act of the new Democratic President will be to re-impose the 93% marginal federal income tax rate, and so that may cut into those folks' incomes. We are going to recover the $3 trillion looted by these people. I would be just as happy, and perhaps more happy, to just download into a server rather than burn disks. I don't intend to sell your tracks on bootlegged disks on street corners. If for no other reason, I watch a lot of movies, and I see that blurb about copyright violation carrying severe civil and criminal penalties.
At some point I shall explore Minnetonka DVD-A authoring software more closely. Do you have any idea how much their software costs which would allow us to burn your tracks to DVD-A at full 96/24 with video? Is it even a consumer product? If not, does anyone else reading this know of affordable DVD-A authoring software? Perhaps an HP media computer comes loaded with such software or can be bought with it.
Apparently the source (Itrax) is a little bit ahead of the receiver (affordable media servers for consumers) technology right now, and that is fine. The Bushies can download Itrax content into their massive servers now and we low-lifes can do it in a couple of years. I'm fine with that.
Again, I am surprised at the complexity of burning hi-rez content to a DVD disk. Looking back, you have never talked much about doing that in connection with Itrax, but have always emphasized the down-loading. I just did not notice that distinction. If fact, I have always thought of downloading and burning as being one process! I thought I would burn and then carry the disk into my greatroom and play it in my Panny S-97 DVD-A player.
I sounds like your offering of physical disks will continue for now but taper off as more consumers get media servers, provided of course that you can make money from physical disks. That trend will pervade the record and movie business. The day of the physical disk, at least as the marketed carrier of content, is clearly waning.
They said 10 years ago that the computer and the TV would merge. They are edging closer, at least. More accurately now, the computer and the A/V system are converging.
Editing here: As I see it, at this point, we can download and listen to tracks from Itrax by doing one of the following:
1. Just store them on our computer's hard-drive and listen to them on cheap little computer speakers. God what a waste that would be.
2. We MAYBE can run a cable from our computer out to our great room and feed the Itrax tracks stored on our computer hard drive to our A/V receiver and listen to them that way. I don't like that idea, running cables on the floor in my little palace.
3. MAYBE we can use wireless routers to transmit the tracks stored on our computer out to our great room and feed them into our receiver somehow. Today Bestbuy shows in the paper a Netgear RangeMax NEXT Wireless N Router than can "simultaneously stream HD video, download MP3s and more at blazing speeds". $99.99. With "4-Port Gigabit Switch" it is $129.99. Would that work? If it is fast enough to stream HD video, can it stream or transmit DVD-A content with video? It seems to me there is a crying need for a new consumer electronic device: A wireless router that can transmit DVD-A and HD video material from one's computer to one's A/V room, and a receiving device there that plugs into one's A/V receiver. If I have to, I'll start talking to people in Silicon Valley about that. Maybe that already is possible with therse wireless routers. I get the impression they are intended to allow more than one computer in a home to use a hi-speed internet line, not transmit things like Itrax tracks from a computer to a A/V receiver. SURELY that little change would be child's play for the folks in S.V.
4. Buy a $3,600 HP media computer with a 1 Tb hard drive and install it in our great room next to our A/V set up and feed the Itrax tracks from the computer's hard drive directly into our receiver. I don't like that since computer fans are noisy. No way would I put my current Gateway computer in my great room.
5. Spend ~$3,200 for a Niveus media server and put that in our greatroom, hooked up to a high speed internet connection. These are essentially silent, Niveus says on its site. They don't have fans but rely on huge heat sinks (fins) on the sides of the unit to get the heat out. They do have spin motors for their huge hard drives, but then our DVD players have those and they are quiet. I just don't have $3,200 for one.
6. The solution I will most likely go to: Put my mind to it and buy the Minnetonka DVD-A authoring software, install it on a new $3,600 HP media computer, learn how to make it work and burn the Itrax tracks I download to a disk. Carry these out to my great room and play them on my Panny S-97 player. I am about to suffer an increase in income, so I shall be able to do all this.
I would most heartely thank anyone reading this if they told us how they are listening to Itrax tracks now. How are you getting them into your AV receivers?
Congratulations, Dr. Waldrep, on having Itrax up and running and in getting a good response to it. I am sure it will be a very big success. You are the master of hi-res audio. Once in a while your tracks cross the line to where the performance really seems to be live in my greatroom! And I'm still listening in stereo.
Originally Posted by Dr. AIX
I 'm sorry that you're having a difficult time understanding the requirements of our system. A download manager is required for acquiring any data from the web...most browsers and operating systems come with one. But not all will work in every case. We've had people try the download manager that comes with Safari only to have it fail at 99% because of a bug in the Leopard OS for MAC.
There is lots of information available on the web that you might find helpful regarding the DVD format etc. As I stated in my last post...the DVD-Video specification includes the option of using 96 kHz/24-bit PCM audio. The difficulty is in burning the downloaded 96 kHz/24-bit audio to a properly formatted DVD that will play in your DVD-Video player. THis is not trivial but it is not overwhelming either.
Minnetonka makes authoring software for the DVD-Audio format (as well as encoders for turning raw PCM audio into MLP- the type of audio required for 96/24 surround sound on DVD-Audio discs). THere are other companies that make software that can multiplex a simple DVD-Video disc.
THis process may be beyond your ability to accomplish and it sounds like your system is too old to make it happen as well. Since you're so close to me...the best option is to get pre-replicated discs from us.
The future will make the process simpler...but for now it can be challenging.
Anybody out there been using iTrax.com without great difficulty?