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Digital Radio Done Right

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Anonymous
November 23, 2004 3:27:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

I've had broadband for about 9 months now and for quite a while, still
found myself listening to a lot of the same streaming music sources that
I listened to when I had dial-up.

The problem with a lot of these services is that the sound quality
leaves a lot to be desired. With typical data rates of only 32Kbit/sec
to 64Kbit/sec, many Internet-based music sources sound pretty crummy
even when played thru low to mid-fi equipment.

So I was very pleased to find www.bluebeat.com a few weeks ago. This
service is completely free. There are no commercials or announcers.
Each song plays thru its entirety before you here the next song.

You do need to install a small application but there is absolutely no
spam or spyware to worry about. Sound quality is superb. Fed thru my
best equipment, the sound quality is (to my ears anyway) equal to CD
quality. You can choose between two data rates: 160Kbit/sec or
320Kbit/sec. (With an Internet connection of 1.5MB/sec I haven't even
bothered trying the 160Kbit speed feeds.)

Bluebeat.com stations are actually more like predefined playlists rather
than a streaming broadcast. You can easily tell this because each song
downloads at full (Internet connection) speed. Thus most of the time
your internet connection is idle. Also, if you exit a station, then
re-enter that station, you'll get a different tune. (Thus one can skip
a song if desired.)

There are quite a few "stations" available. I have found several of
the classical stations to be very good and there are plenty of offerings
for those into rock, rap, country, and all types of music. A unique
feature of bluebeat.com is the ability to search stations by era. For
example, you can easily choose to listen to 1990 New Age or Year 2000+
New Age music. There are many playlists spanning different decades (for
different types of music) for the past few hundred years.

There are a couple of quirks in the bluebeat.com interface. The
buttons in the upper right-hand corner of their player windows don't
work logically. For example, what you would think would be their
"minimize window" button, will actually log you off the service while
what I think should be the logout button is actually the minimize window
feature! Also, they don't currently have any playlists spanning my
favorite type of music (Original Motion Picture Scores). I am told that
some showtune channels are in the works and will be featured soon.

The player window will show you the artist name, album title, company
that produced the album, title of the selection, length of song, and how
long it has played. You can easily navigate to another page to
purchase albums if you choose to do so.

For now, bluebeat.com has satisfied my thirst for a true high-quality
free music source on the internet. I'd be curious to hear about other
high-quality music sources that are available for broadband internet
users.

Thanks,

Chris Kantack
Bellingham, WA

More about : digital radio

Anonymous
November 23, 2004 7:47:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <cnu0660jbf@news1.newsguy.com>, Chris Kantack
<nospampls@earthlink.net> wrote:

> For now, bluebeat.com has satisfied my thirst for a true high-quality
> free music source on the internet. I'd be curious to hear about other
> high-quality music sources that are available for broadband internet
> users.

Can you record the songs to MP3 format? Do they have any
talk radio stations?

-john-

--
====================================================================
John A. Weeks III 952-432-2708 john@johnweeks.com
Newave Communications http://www.johnweeks.com
====================================================================
Anonymous
November 24, 2004 3:33:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

It suddenly occurred to me the other day that high-quality digital radio is
going to change a lot of audiophile behavior. I was scanning AOL Radio and
realized, "It's the user interface, stupid." There is something about an
entire radio station devoted to the Ramones, with the ability to go check out
the upcoming Celtic or British Invasion, or Blues channels, that is pleasing
and compelling. It makes inserting a CD of one artist seem primitive and
wasteful as long as the sound quality is good. It also reduces the desire to
buy permanent media. There are many ways to express a love of sound and music -
the attention to detail from the massive turntable suspension to worrying about
the wires (I've got my six foot electrostats and tube DAC) - but high-quality
digital radio produces a candy store experience when the user interface is done
right. So I long to sit in my favorite chair and look down on a handheld
device that gives me easy access to the candy. I don't think anyone quite has
the right blend of hardware and user-interface, but I think there's gold in it
for whoever gets there. The main problem I see is that I don't want to scroll
things through a small view area, and I don't want to have to have a computer
or television interface. I want more of a slate that shows me a map of the
various streams. There is more here than just instant gratification or clicker
nervosa.
Related resources
Anonymous
November 26, 2004 8:55:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

In article <cnufdn02ebi@news3.newsguy.com>, john@johnweeks.com says...
> In article <cnu0660jbf@news1.newsguy.com>, Chris Kantack
> <nospampls@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
> > For now, bluebeat.com has satisfied my thirst for a true high-quality
> > free music source on the internet. I'd be curious to hear about other
> > high-quality music sources that are available for broadband internet
> > users.
>
> Can you record the songs to MP3 format? Do they have any
> talk radio stations?
>
> -john-
>
>
I haven't yet checked to see if the songs end up cached on my hard disk
yet. Let's assume for a moment that they don't. There is nothing
stopping you from feeding an analog output (from your computer) into a
analog input on another machine (be it a tape deck or another computer).

One could certainly make some decent CDs from bluebeat.com's output.
Though for now, I'm just enjoying listening to the music.

Chris
November 26, 2004 7:23:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Chris Kantack <nospampls@earthlink.net> wrote in
news:co6gg901l0v@news3.newsguy.com:

> In article <cnufdn02ebi@news3.newsguy.com>, john@johnweeks.com says...
>> In article <cnu0660jbf@news1.newsguy.com>, Chris Kantack
>> <nospampls@earthlink.net> wrote:
>>
>> > For now, bluebeat.com has satisfied my thirst for a true
>> > high-quality free music source on the internet. I'd be curious to
>> > hear about other high-quality music sources that are available for
>> > broadband internet users.
>>
>> Can you record the songs to MP3 format? Do they have any
>> talk radio stations?
>>
>> -john-
>>
>>
> I haven't yet checked to see if the songs end up cached on my hard
> disk yet. Let's assume for a moment that they don't. There is
> nothing stopping you from feeding an analog output (from your
> computer) into a analog input on another machine (be it a tape deck or
> another computer).
>
> One could certainly make some decent CDs from bluebeat.com's output.
> Though for now, I'm just enjoying listening to the music.
>
> Chris

I have a Creative Audigy LS sound card in my computer and it (or its
drivers) gives me the option to record "What You Hear" in addition to the
physical sources (Line-in, Microphone, S/PDIF, etc). It's not restricted
to use by Creative recording software since it is seen by Audacity as a
legitimate source. You have record it as a WAV file (or whatever internal
format is used by the recorder software) and then convert it to the MP3
format afterwards. In other words, it records what the sound card is
playing instead of the original compressed streaming audio source. While
the extra conversion step could result in some loss of detail, I've had
generally good results when recording from high bit rate sources. If you
don't need to recompress the files, you could make decent second generation
audio CDs.

-- JS
!