When a program is named something like OrangeCD Player, you'd think that said program would at a bare minimum be capable of playing CDs. But you'd be wrong. To our astonishment, OrangeCD Player seems unable to do the one task that is promised by both its name and description.
What is OrangeCD Player, if not a CD player? It seems to be simply a way to catalog your digital audio files. We inserted a CD, had the program scan it, and it created a database entry for the CD containing the cover art, track listing, and other album … Read more
Ots CD Scratch 1200 is a fun and easy-to-use program that lets users play CDs in a virtual turntable environment. It's not as complex as some of the DJ software that we've seen, which may be a drawback for more advanced users, but this program is a great choice for those just getting started with turntable-style DJing.
The program's interface isn't the most intuitive we've ever seen, but it gets points for being fun. The design seeks to replicate the appearance of a real DJ deck, with two turntables and various cables and buttons. We … Read more
Normally when you insert a blank CD or DVD, the disc may mount on the desktop, in the Finder sidebar, or at the top level of the computer where you see your drives and network displayed. Sometimes, however, this default behavior may not happen, and inserted discs will not appear.… Read more
Most of the tech products you buy are disposable.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average cell phone life span is 18 months. One hundred and twenty five million phones are discarded every year, resulting in more than 65,000 tons of waste. A lot of folks get a new computer every few years.
Bought a new home theater receiver last year? Great, but its HDMI 1.3 connection is about to be superceded by HDMI 1.4. That won't reduce the receiver's usability, at least in the near term, but it's unlikely you'll want to keep it around for the long run.
Audio Research's CD8 Reference player was designed to last a long, long time. It's also one of the least "digital"-sounding CD players I've ever used. That sort of statement is usually followed by something like, "CDs now sound a lot more like LPs." That's not the case here, but the CD8 is considerably more musical than other state-of-the-art CD players. You can read my complete review on the Home Entertainment Web Site.
Audio Research's CD8 Reference player uses vacuum tubes to amplify the converted-to-analog signals. That's hardly a new idea, as designers started sticking tubes in CD players in the 1980s. But most of those players used just a pair of tubes, typically as a "buffer" output stage. The CD8's tubes are configured much as they are in Audio Research's very best stereo preamplifier, the Reference Pre ($12,000). Measuring an imposing 19 inches long by 5.25 inches high by 15.3 inches wide, the CD8 is the size of a pretty serious power amplifier.
The CD8 doesn't have a disc-loading drawer; the drive mechanism is located under a sliding door on the top panel. Disc loading involves placing a small magnetic clamp on the disc. I like the "hands-on" approach, maybe because it's more like playing an LP.… Read more
Accord CD Ripper Free is an easy-to-use utility that lets users quickly rip audio files from CDs to their computers. The program's uncomplicated design and useful features make this a great choice for anyone seeking a basic CD ripper.
The program's interface is plain and intuitive, with its major features arranged by attractive graphical buttons. When we inserted a CD, the program automatically downloaded the track information from the freeDB database, which is something we always like to see in a CD-ripping program. The program also allows users to edit the CD information and select the format in … Read more
Ashampoo Cover Studio is a versatile program that allows user to create cover art for CDs, DVDs, and other media in a variety of formats. We liked that the program contains both attractive templates and plenty of options for user customization.
The program's interface isn't the most intuitive thing we've ever seen, but on the whole, it's attractive and pretty easy to figure out. Users first choose from among several cover formats, including cases and booklets for DVDs and jewel cases and slim cases for CDs. After that the program walks users through each step of … Read more
It's more than a little ironic; Linn Products, based in Glasgow, Scotland, burst onto the audiophile scene in the early 1970s with its LP-12 turntable. The LP-12 has never gone out of production and earlier this year it received a bunch of performance-enhancing upgrades.
When the CD was introduced in the early 1980s, Linn was a massive digital basher. The company spearheaded an anti-CD movement in the audiophile community. It wasn't just Linn; a sizable percentage of audiophiles worldwide didn't buy CD players through most of the 1980s.
Linn introduced CD players at the close of that … Read more
When the CD was introduced in 1982, everyone thought the LP's days were numbered, but it's still here. Now it's starting to look like the LP might outlast the CD.
Of course "record stores" are also on the endangered species list; here in NYC, Tower, Virgin, and Sam Goody are long-gone, but J & R Music World in lower Manhattan is the last remaining full-size outfit. Smaller shops are hanging in there, too.
You can still buy CDs and LPs online, and vinyl's selection is getting better and better. So if you're a music lover, what should you buy, CD or LP? First, it depends on whether you can get the music you want on vinyl.
Sound quality issues aren't black and white. CD wins in terms of noise-free listening, though clean records, played on a decent turntable can sound amazingly quiet. But even then, there will be occasional clicks and pops. That's a deal breaker for some, but if you've never heard records played on a decent turntable, you don't know how quiet records can be.
LPs can sound warmer, fuller, and more natural than CDs, and way better than low-bit MP3 and AAC variants. LP sound seems to engage listeners in a very different way than digital recordings do. It's not that digital sounds bad, but vinyl is more fun to listen to. Music on LP seems more immediate and realistic than digital. Oh, and it's worth noting that most people who use vinyl actually listen to music, while digital listeners rarely do. Digital makes do as background sound. That's just the way it is. If you can't see yourself ever really listening to music--without talking, reading, working on the computer, etc--sure, CDs and MP3s are perfectly fine. … Read more