What's Your Favorite Physical Audio Format - Page 6 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
View Poll Results: What's Your Favorite Physical Audio Format?
Vinyl Records 105 22.48%
Compact Disc 194 41.54%
Super Audio Compact Disc 102 21.84%
8-Track 2 0.43%
Compact Cassette 12 2.57%
Reel to Reel 16 3.43%
Digital Audio Tape 6 1.28%
USB Flash Drive 28 6.00%
HiFi VHS Tapes (for audio recording) 1 0.21%
Wire Recorder 1 0.21%
Voters: 467. You may not vote on this poll

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post #151 of 196 Old 10-26-2018, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
Yes, I generally agree. That really was one of the great things about CD: that you could purchase second hand discs...as old as you want...and provided they played, the sound was as pristine as day one.

And so true about the gamble of the second hand records. I've been amazed how hard it is to actually predict how a record will sound just from visual inspection. Some records look pristine...and yet sound noisy. Some look very used, and yet sound surprisingly clean and quiet.

The degree to which this is an issue will of course also depend on one's tolerance for record noise.

Personally I harbour no nostalgic affection for surface noise, pops or ticks. And I frankly HATE reading in vinyl revival newstories about how people are looking for that "romantic scratchy pop and tick" when they play record. First, I think that is generally b.s. and that most people prefer a clean record. (It's not for nothing that there is so much information and talk on the internet about how to clean records, store them etc, to minimize such sounds).

If most of my LPs produced disagreeable levels of noise, I wouldn't be remotely as happy with my burgeoning vinyl collection as I have been. Fortunately, I've found the majority of my buys to be quiet, or have non-obtrusive (to me) levels of noise. It's been tougher once I got on a kick of buying a type of album (library music from the 60's/70's) that only comes on used records. But so long as I choose those described as "near mint" or "mint" on discogs, I've been generally fortunate in what shows up. In fact, sometimes I'm amazed at how brand new and low noise many of these old records are.

But generally speaking...pops and ticks and hiss...no thanks. I understand perfectly why anyone would prefer digital to make that a thing of the past.
"romantic scratchy pop and tick" when they play record."

Or that ProTools add-in https://www.izotope.com/en/products/...ign/vinyl.html that's supposed to give you that 'nostalgic' vinyl sound. I don't think I have any vinyl that is that bad. Well, maybe that no name Pink Floyd reissue I found in a little record store in Chillicothe last year. My grandkid's friends also expect vinyl to sound like that, and think I'm cheating somehow when it doesn't on my cheapy turntable. I go over and lift the sylus off of the record and show them the sound stops and starts again when it's lowered and that the my CD drawer is empty and no other streaming source or anything else plugged in.
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post #152 of 196 Old 10-26-2018, 06:29 PM
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Looking at a magnification photo of the cuts in a vinyl record and watching a video of a extremely small precision diamond bouncing off the walls, and transferring that motion through a coil, and ending up giving us glorious fidelity, is the 8th wonder of the world.
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I'm not talking about the kind of speakers you just listen to, I'm talking about the kind of sound you can feel.
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post #153 of 196 Old 10-26-2018, 07:55 PM
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I knew that LaserDisc movies existed, but I did not know that LaserDisc audio existed until I was at Half Price Books the other evening going through the used records and found a couple of LaserDisc audio albums. I was kind of surprised to find them. I had no idea they existed.
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Sure... it potentially could sound wonderful if (at the time) we had the funds to buy an external AC-3 decoder.
Although the analog audio did sound very good. Portability was horrible. Couldn't find others that had a LD player and no one manufactured a "car player".
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post #154 of 196 Old 10-26-2018, 08:59 PM
 
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Well, any video format can potentially have releases that have no video (or just a still image) and be deemed "an audio only format" but as far as I can remember nobody really considers them as a dedicated format, per se.

I used to record LPs and CDs to Hi-Fi VHS for archival purposes. The technical specs were impressive: low noise, un-measurably low wow and flutter, and one of the flattest frequency responses a consumer could buy, rivaling multi-thousand dollar reel-to-reel decks, all held in a convenient cartridge you could transport easily and play in other homes because millions bought Hi-Fi VHS machines.
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post #155 of 196 Old 10-27-2018, 08:12 AM
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I'm confused by USB Flash Drive being in there. Too me that's simply a storage medium for non-physical media, it isn't in itself "physical media". It would make sense in a poll asking preferred method of storing non-physical media, that could be a choice along with "NAS" "The cloud" "hard disk drive" and others. Now if labels were releasing albums on thumb drives, I could see that being a choice.
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post #156 of 196 Old 10-27-2018, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2WheelsWillTravel View Post
I'm confused by USB Flash Drive being in there. Too me that's simply a storage medium for non-physical media, it isn't in itself "physical media". It would make sense in a poll asking preferred method of storing non-physical media, that could be a choice along with "NAS" "The cloud" "hard disk drive" and others. Now if labels were releasing albums on thumb drives, I could see that being a choice.
Then what about a re-writable CD ? Or a regular CD ?

Are they drastically different than a USB, they all hold data.
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post #157 of 196 Old 10-27-2018, 09:06 AM
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Then what about a re-writable CD ? Or a regular CD ?

Are they drastically different than a USB, they all hold data.
If you're using CD-RWs to hold say FLAC or MP3s, I'd say that would be a method of storing non-physical media, just like a flash drive. If you're buying compact discs pressed by a label for a specific artist adorned with artwork, I would then consider that a physical media you like collecting.

Seems like nitpicking, but I think it's necessary to make a distinction. I could take it to the extreme and argue there's no such thing as non-physical media, and as a result all media is "physical". Saying "physical media" would then be redundant. That stuff you're listening to over a streaming service exists on a physical storage device somewhere, and you're using a physical device to access it. How is that different from a flash drive? In both cases you're simply accessing data from a storage location.
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post #158 of 196 Old 10-27-2018, 10:29 AM
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My favourite isn't listed, but it's Blu-ray Audio.
Of the three disc's that I own, Nevermind was a lost opportunity, Slippery When Wet is excellent and Kick sets the standard that others should follow.

I love SACD too.
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post #159 of 196 Old 10-27-2018, 11:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2WheelsWillTravel View Post
Now if labels were releasing albums on thumb drives, I could see that being a choice.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ult_Click.html

Movies too:



. . . and then after watching the movie and realizing it was mediocre and you'll never watch it again you can erase it and use the thumb drive for other purposes.

It didn't catch on, needless to say, but it did exist for a brief time with a tiny selection of titles.
---

Hard drive is my main entertainment source of recordings I've made from LP, CD, Cassette, HiFi VHS, D-VHS, OTA, and maybe DVD and Blu-ray too (if that's legal ). Always from sources I paid for, however, and feel I am using under my understanding of fair use for archival and time shifting purposes.
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post #160 of 196 Old 10-27-2018, 11:15 AM
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^^ Ripping was a problem, but when is it not! People figure a way around it all the time.
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post #161 of 196 Old 10-27-2018, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ult_Click.html

Movies too:



. . . and then after watching the movie and realizing it was mediocre and you'll never watch it again you can erase it and use the thumb drive for other purposes.

It didn't catch on, needless to say, but it did exist for a brief time with a tiny selection of titles.
---

Hard drive is my main entertainment source of recordings I've made from LP, CD, Cassette, HiFi VHS, D-VHS, OTA, and maybe DVD and Blu-ray too (if that's legal ). Always from sources I paid for, however, and feel I am using under my understanding of fair use for archival and time shifting purposes.
I had no idea that was a thing, but in the context of this specific poll that's not what those 6% of people have voted for. The poll creator even states as such in the first post. Maybe a better choice would simply be an option of "I'm not a fan of physical media". Or just remove that altogether. If people don't like physical media why would they be participating in a poll asking what their favorite physical media is in the first place?

Back on topic, where is MiniDisc? That was a thing for a while.
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post #162 of 196 Old 10-27-2018, 11:34 AM
 
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Like many other audio enthusiasts I used both cassette and reel-to-reel however in you were really [pun] into the best sound you had to "roll your own". The format was to record other formats, for me at least, like LP and CD, and of all my hundreds of tape recordings only one was acquired in pre-recorded form [and it was given to me, I didn't buy it]. In order to get a good sound you needed to make the recording on a top-flight machine, not the mass duplicator machines which limited the frequency response and had inferior wow-and-flutter/ noise figures.
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post #163 of 196 Old 10-28-2018, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Like many other audio enthusiasts I used both cassette and reel-to-reel however in you were really [pun] into the best sound you had to "roll your own". The format was to record other formats, for me at least, like LP and CD, and of all my hundreds of tape recordings only one was acquired in pre-recorded form [and it was given to me, I didn't buy it]. In order to get a good sound you needed to make the recording on a top-flight machine, not the mass duplicator machines which limited the frequency response and had inferior wow-and-flutter/ noise figures.
Yes, the analog tape recording-head signal path is known to add a warmth and "fat bottom" to the sound.

There is an interface made for a pro audio/studio sound recording/mixing expansion box that is nothing more than a physical analog tape head signal path (yes, a magnetic tape head in the device box) with analog audio in/out on the outside of the box, the sole purpose to add that "tape sound" if you want it to a digitally recorded performance. Can't recall the brand name at the moment. Equivalent of a tube line/preamp stage component, which adds "tube" sound for 2ch audio.

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post #164 of 196 Old 10-28-2018, 05:14 PM
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Perfect example why physical media will always be the Gold Standard (Besides legal ownership, lossless audio, highest bitrate video, etc)-

Yesterday I wanted to watch the newer Cosmos series with Degrasse Tyson from ~2014 and saw that it was on Fox affiliated Roku apps (NatGeo FOxnow, etc).

Bitrate was atrocious with massive obvious compression artifacts vs Netflix and Prime streams I've watched on the same Roku/UHDTV (TCL 55")

Also too many ads inserted that were not skippable.

So, I figured I'd ask for the BluRay boxset and checked on Amazon as Christmas is coming up.

https://www.amazon.com/Cosmos-Spacet...=cosmos+blurat

Used/open box for ~$13 shipped, $15 new.

The HD Stream-to-"Own" is $20!?
https://www.amazon.com/Standing-Up-M...s=cosmos+tyson

With less video bitrate, lossy audio, few/no extras, cannot resell/regift/donate PLUS ads! (Read the Amazon reviews).

If you don't think the trend moving forward will be for ads placed into most/all PURCHASED stream media (video or audio), think again...
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post #165 of 196 Old 10-29-2018, 03:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Well, any video format can potentially have releases that have no video (or just a still image) and be deemed "an audio only format" but as far as I can remember nobody really considers them as a dedicated format, per se.

I used to record LPs and CDs to Hi-Fi VHS for archival purposes. The technical specs were impressive: low noise, un-measurably low wow and flutter, and one of the flattest frequency responses a consumer could buy, rivaling multi-thousand dollar reel-to-reel decks, all held in a convenient cartridge you could transport easily and play in other homes because millions bought Hi-Fi VHS machines.
Yes, HiFi VHS was an early Home Theater breakthrough (second only to LaserDisk), way back in the mid 80's. Having audiophile grade 2ch sound quality (and later multichannel with Dolby Surround) for movies using good receiver/amps/speakers/sub was a Big Deal at the time and the first chance most of us had to get a taste of the theater in the home.

Recording to HiFi videotape remains a viable way to archive/mixtape from vinyl or other analog sources and remain 100% in the analog domain, no AD/DA conversions.

You could play the same vinyl from many different turntable/stylus/cartridge/tonearm/phono preamp combos and record to HiFI VHS for later comparision/demos to evaluate varied analog combos.

SOme coworkers have ~$10K turntable setups (table/cart/preamp). Instead of buying multiple hardware combos, take a HiFI VHS deck to various setups to record.

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post #166 of 196 Old 10-29-2018, 04:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2WheelsWillTravel View Post
I

Back on topic, where is MiniDisc? That was a thing for a while.
Yes, MD was an outstanding format for "mixtaping" CD's/tapes and recording live performances and took us through the 90's and most of the 2000's until the capacity/cost of SD cards finally was a better value.

Best Buy sold prerecorded MD's in the years following its launch circa 1993-1996.

Prerecorded MD's command premium prices on auction sites for collectors (don't know why, since its a lossy format).
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post #167 of 196 Old 10-29-2018, 08:51 AM
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You left out Stereo-Pak, which was an automotive 4 track tape cartridge format that predated 8-track. While it was an endless loop arrangement it did not have the pinch rollerin the cartridge but rather in the player itself and it did not automatically switch between track when it reached the end.
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post #168 of 196 Old 10-29-2018, 10:28 AM
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and to go back just a skooch further.


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post #169 of 196 Old 10-29-2018, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
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Best Buy sold prerecorded MD's in the years following its launch circa 1993-1996.
I still buy pre-recorded MDs off of eBay.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
and to go back just a skooch further.

https://youtu.be/KGrRasHpRTY

Just make sure you are not on a gravel road or some of our pot-holed country roads in Texas!
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post #171 of 196 Old 10-29-2018, 02:42 PM
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Just make sure you are not on a gravel road or some of our pot-holed country roads in Texas!
Or in a big high falootin' city like Philadelphia, Pa. with lots of 'rich folk'.


EDIT: Just to clarify… lots of potholes, sinkholes and the other holes.



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein

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post #172 of 196 Old 10-29-2018, 02:54 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure the car turntable is for parked use only. It might, in theory, also (barely) work at cruising speed on a flat, smooth highway, just don't slowdown or accelerate or go around a curve. [Also the rumble would be horrendous without extreme isolation techniques.]

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post #173 of 196 Old 10-29-2018, 02:59 PM
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Doesn't matter since it's highly likely no one is still using one. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.
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If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #174 of 196 Old 10-29-2018, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
Or in a big high falootin' city like Philadelphia, Pa. with lots of 'rich folk'.


EDIT: Just to clarify… lots of potholes, sinkholes and the other holes.
The sinkholes lately, wow. All over the place.

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post #175 of 196 Old 10-29-2018, 03:02 PM
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If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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^

Add the reverb. Boing when you went over a bump.

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I think I'm the only person in the world, at the time, who had a video projector in the car, also for parked entertainment. I projected a Fuji P-40u mini projector onto a pulldown roller shade covered with a Stewart screen sample [I was a Stewart screen dealer at the time] suction cupped to inside of the front window. I had Dolby Pro-Logic 5.1 sound courtesy of a Sennheisser processor. Camcorder tapes were the movie source.

It worked great but the thing is like most projectors it only worked at night and within minutes of firing up a movie in a parking lot it drew crowds all wanting to see what was going on [because nobody has ever seen this before.]
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post #178 of 196 Old 10-29-2018, 03:57 PM
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… and within minutes of firing up a movie in a parking lot it drew crowds all wanting to see what was going on [because nobody has ever seen this before.]
They probably wanted to buy some 'shrooms from you.
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post #179 of 196 Old 10-29-2018, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ematcion View Post
I still buy pre-recorded MDs off of eBay.
I assume you are getting the album on MD for about the price of a used CD or less, since MD is lossy compressed, unless you just like to collect them.

If you like the MD format for portable listening, might be better to get the "best" release (per audiophile recommendations re: source tape/mastering quality) known on CD or vinyl then record to a blank MD.
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post #180 of 196 Old 10-29-2018, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb View Post
I assume you are getting the album on MD for about the price of a used CD or less, since MD is lossy compressed, unless you just like to collect them.

If you like the MD format for portable listening, might be better to get the "best" release (per audiophile recommendations re: source tape/mastering quality) known on CD or vinyl then record to a blank MD.
Pre-recorded MDs are more of a curiosity for me. For sound quality, I will stick with CDs and SACDs.

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