MP3 Insider 171: Slow news day

Jasmine stifles yawns as Donald tries to convince her that, yes, there are worthwhile things to talk about today, such as Sony dropping the price of the 32GB X-Series Walkman to a level that it should have been at to begin with (yawn), and Microsoft annou

Jasmine stifles yawns as Donald tries to convince her that, yes, there are worthwhile things to talk about today, such as Sony dropping the price of the 32GB X-Series Walkman to a level that it should have been at to begin with (yawn), and Microsoft announcing two new subdued colors for the Zune HD (yawwwwwn). Also this week, Donald reviews the Zoom Q3, a video recorder that's much more impressive for audio, and we answer some listener email about MP3 player life spans. Plus, some hard facts on wood enclosures.

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EPISODE 171

32GB X-Series Walkman gets $100 price cut

Purple and magenta Zune HDs coming soon

Zoom Q3 review

--------LISTENER EMAIL---------

I am considering purchasing an mp3 player for one of my kids for Christmas. In considering value, the life expectancy of the player becomes a critical factor in my purchasing decision. What is the reasonable life expectancy of an mp3 player? Do more expensive players have a greater life expectancy? What features of a player impact life expectancy? What uses impact life expectancy such a frequency of charging, exposure to temperature, etc.? Do particular manufacturers make better players than others with respect to players? -- Philip or Julie

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Your commentary on the wooden ear buds brought back some interesting work and discussion I/we had decades ago. At the time I was living in Boston and a very active member of http://www.bostonaudiosociety.org/

One study we did was to look into why something "Sound Better" but in reality is actually quite inaccurate. One is the ages old vacuum tube vs Solid State thing. Tube's "Sound Better" to just about everyone. Open, air, warm are all are pundits assigned to Tubes. Wooden things "Sound Better". That's why a violin sounds better as do all the other musical instruments.

It's long been known that if you construct a sound reproduction device, like a loudspeaker, out of solid wood 99% of the people you present that to will say that "Sounds Better". In reality the wood is imposing a few subtle, or a lot, of layers of 2nd order distortion that give the sound that "warm and open" experience.

Well designed sound reproduction instruments are never constructed from wood. Anything but. Re-enforced particle board, phenolic and the best thing to build a sound reproduction instrument from is re-enforced concrete. No resonances there.

Anyway love the show and I'm sure those wooden ear buds "Sound Better". Accurate? Not hardly. -- Bill

 

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