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Thread: iTunes Playback system

  1. #1
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    iTunes Playback system

    Saw an ad in the craigslist for a small Harman kardon hk740 receiver yesterday. Looked it up at harman and its a 30w/ch stereo receiver.
    The seller wanted $39 for the receiver plus a casette deck, I have no need for another casette deck - went and listened to it today, sounded great, brought it home for $30.
    Got it on a teak shelf over my monitor, next to my macMini - I'm starting to get fetishy about brushed aluminium gear these days! Got it connected to a pair of non-badged Minimus 7s - maybe I should take a wire brush to them, remove the black cabinet paint so they'd be brushed metal as well (I'd leave the grills black)

    So, now I can play the local PBS station, or flip it to AUX for computer audio, web radio, or local iTunes (28,000 tracks loaded in iTunes, most at 320 kbps) ... (and feed to the other systems via Airtunes)

    Beats the little Tandy amp I had here before!
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    2ch: Oppo, Acurus RL-11, JBL 240ti, Heath AS101, Carver TFM-25,Von Schweikert VR4
    7: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460,

  2. #2
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    I-tunes playback system ???

    My PC is on 1 of 2 desks butted together in an "L" shape (the other is the rolltop desk-desk)....each one has an L-26 in its footwell (not great for imaging) , and a pair of Sonance 2 way 8 inchers suspended from the ceiling aimed at the console commander chair.....all are connected to a Technics SA-GX170 (80wpc) that sits under the monitor -for easy volume control-all 4 speakers are always on..

    Got to say it makes a fine Itunes jukebox ....beats the heck out of running small powered speakers off the soundcard.... (and sounds better than many peoples main LR systems)

    You seem on the right track, HJ

    (those little Minimuses are one of the best products The Shack ever sold)
    It's the new Mother Nature takin' over
    She's gettin' us all, yeah, she's gettin' us all

  3. #3
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Well, this is the local Monitor - the Mac feeds all over the house via 802.11n wireless link to other Monitors are the L200+ 3 ways with the Carver receiver, and the biamped 4341s down in the TV room ...
    I just have to turn those systems to AUX to pick up the wireless feed ...

    The Macmini is the little bitty box under the grey rabbit - and on the desk below it you can see 3 aluminum cases - (2 drives per case) - roughly 2 1/2 terabyte of storage in those little cases.

    But the real point is that HK receiver I got today - I'm real impressed with that!


    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    I-tunes playback system ???

    My PC is on 1 of 2 desks butted together in an "L" shape (the other is the rolltop desk-desk)....each one has an L-26 in its footwell (not great for imaging) , and a pair of Sonance 2 way 8 inchers suspended from the ceiling aimed at the console commander chair.....all are connected to a Technics SA-GX170 (80wpc) that sits under the monitor -for easy volume control-all 4 speakers are always on..

    Got to say it makes a fine Itunes jukebox ....beats the heck out of running small powered speakers off the soundcard.... (and sounds better than many peoples main LR systems)

    You seem on the right track, HJ

    (those little Minimuses are one of the best products The Shack ever sold)
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    2ch: Oppo, Acurus RL-11, JBL 240ti, Heath AS101, Carver TFM-25,Von Schweikert VR4
    7: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460,

  4. #4
    Senior Member jonfu@ymail.com's Avatar
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    How is iTunes behaving for you? Mine seems to have gotten real slow these past months. Real laggy when I scroll through my music collection.

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    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    Well, this is the local Monitor - the Mac feeds all over the house via 802.11n wireless link to other Monitors are the L200+ 3 ways with the Carver receiver, and the biamped 4341s down in the TV room ...
    I just have to turn those systems to AUX to pick up the wireless feed ...

    The Macmini is the little bitty box under the grey rabbit - and on the desk below it you can see 3 aluminum cases - (2 drives per case) - roughly 2 1/2 terabyte of storage in those little cases.

    But the real point is that HK receiver I got today - I'm real impressed with that!
    Sounds like an interesting system

    My PC and livingrooms systems arent interconnected....the LR has LP/CD/MD/XM as sources and really doesnt need another

    Quote Originally Posted by jonfu@ymail.com View Post
    How is iTunes behaving for you? Mine seems to have gotten real slow these past months. Real laggy when I scroll through my music collection.
    I upgraded to iTunes 9 and everything got slower ...Do you have PC, Jon ?
    if so, speed is very dependent on memory usage ...when was your last defrag ? -makes a difference-
    It's the new Mother Nature takin' over
    She's gettin' us all, yeah, she's gettin' us all

  6. #6
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonfu@ymail.com View Post
    How is iTunes behaving for you? Mine seems to have gotten real slow these past months. Real laggy when I scroll through my music collection.
    Seems to be fine for me, even if its a lesser processor in the macmini ...
    2 gHz core 2 duo, OS X 10.6 (snow leopard) iTunes 9

    iTunes Library is on an external Firewire drive (500g Seagate Barracuda)
    Seems reasonably snappy ... even with most tracks at 320kbps (273gigs)
    2ch: Oppo, Acurus RL-11, JBL 240ti, Heath AS101, Carver TFM-25,Von Schweikert VR4
    7: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460,

  7. #7
    Senior Member jonfu@ymail.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    I upgraded to iTunes 9 and everything got slower ...Do you have PC, Jon ?
    if so, speed is very dependent on memory usage ...when was your last defrag ? -makes a difference-
    I think it was slow, even before the upgrade. Running a MacBook, and my PC counterpart runs fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    Seems to be fine for me, even if its a lesser processor in the macmini ...
    2 gHz core 2 duo, OS X 10.6 (snow leopard) iTunes 9

    iTunes Library is on an external Firewire drive (500g Seagate Barracuda)
    Seems reasonably snappy ... even with most tracks at 320kbps (273gigs)
    Must be a setting on my computer then. Can't seem to dig deeper with this.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    My problems started with the purchase of a gen2 Nano.

    Many of the MP3s that played fine on my 1Gen Nano will not play on the 2Gen.....Many of the MP3s that I pickup will not read into iTunes.

    the only solution that I've found is to read them into my audio editor -Nero Wave editor- and then immediately save again..then all is fine. BUT its very time consuming....does anyone else experience this problem ?? or have a better solution to fix files that dont want to play ?
    It's the new Mother Nature takin' over
    She's gettin' us all, yeah, she's gettin' us all

  9. #9
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    Seems to be fine for me, even if its a lesser processor in the macmini ...
    2 gHz core 2 duo, OS X 10.6 (snow leopard) iTunes 9

    iTunes Library is on an external Firewire drive (500g Seagate Barracuda)
    Seems reasonably snappy ... even with most tracks at 320kbps (273gigs)
    DITTO! I use Serato and Traktor as DJ software with Technics SL-DZ1200 CD Turntables to spin my digital music, and with my new computer, which has three HD cards, one dual core 500GB 2.8GHZ hard drive, and two 450 GB HD cards as well as 8GB RAM and the latest version of iTunes 9, it is fast. Even though my music is purchased from sites like www.beatport.com, and stored in Serato and Traktor's crates and libraries, they utilize iTunes to downlod, and new tracks must first be played in Itunes before they can load and be played in Serato and Traktor.

    As your music libraries grow, and mine are HUGE, your hard drive and RAM will at some point not have enough free space to operate at peak speed, even though you still have free space.

    As with everything, as the technology improves and expands, the computers and hard drive sizes that were sufficient two years ago, are just too small now. My original Apple G4 with it's 1GB hard drive got too small very quickly, but was fairly quick in the beginning of my use for music. Itunes loaded almost instantaneously at first, then, as collections grew, began taking time to load. Then, just as back in the vinyl days, eventually you have to clear out older titles to make room for new music. You ( IMO ) should invest in an external storage to move music your no longer playing frequently or have grown tired of. An electronic warehouse, so to speak. I have 3 LaCie 1TB external storages for my needs to clean house and store my older downloads. Just like astute record collectors that have rooms with record racks to store their vinyl. In my warehouse a few blocks from my business, I have an entire wall, 20ft L x 25ft H that has record rack shelves to house my collection of 50,000 records. So, as your computer and iTunes library grows, you hav to be able to free up space, or the machine becomes bogged down, and slows down. And external storages can be had for economical to astronomical prices. But, the good news is, there are good quality, affordably priced units available!

    My old G4 was down to a crawl when I replaced it with a Macbook Pro 15, and all the goodies mentioned above. And the G4 IS NOT upgradable to to what my new machine has. Then, I upgraded my wireless modem and router to a 7 mbps DSL, and the G4 still didn't download quite that fast, BUT, the Macbook Pro downloads a 22 MB track in about 30 seconds. As compared to 5 minutes for the same size track using the G4 with the 7 mbps DSL. You know, you can upgrade some things, but if your laptop of PC can't do anymore than it's already doing, you still won't completely benefit from the higher performance technologies.

    Also, music playback software has also evolved considerably in the last 2 years, and having upgraded to a new high performance laptop, the current 24 bit Serato and Traktor software and interface units, and keeping iTunes updated with their latest versions makes a MAJOR, MAJOR, MAJOR, DIFFERENCE IN SOUND QUALITY!

    I mean to say, if you have a reasonably good sound system, stereo, or whatever you like, GET THE BEST PLAYBACK SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE YOU CAN AFFORD, it DOES make a difference, and IMO,sounds INCREDIBLY GOOD! ESPECIALLY through some well set up JBL drivers and speakers.

    scottyj

  10. #10
    Senior Member Akira's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott fitlin View Post
    keeping iTunes updated with their latest versions makes a MAJOR, MAJOR, MAJOR, DIFFERENCE IN SOUND QUALITY!
    How does upgrading iTunes improve the audio quality to a MAJOR, MAJOR, MAJOR degree?
    Not trying to be smart here, I honestly don't know how that improves fidelity.

    btw: Fabulous deal on the HK Heather...kinda makes it special.

  11. #11
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akira View Post
    How does upgrading iTunes improve the audio quality to a MAJOR, MAJOR, MAJOR degree?
    Not trying to be smart here, I honestly don't know how that improves fidelity.
    Newer versions of iTunes load faster and read data better, hence, CAN affect sound quality. As well as having software and features previously unavailable in earlier versions, or upgraded from what was. As well as more glitch free operation.

    Although, I admit, it isn't as as dramatic a difference as hard drives, due to size, and mostly HD speed, RAM size, and playback software upgrades, but, it IS noticeable.
    scottyj

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    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Course another real nice thing about all of this now is the web radio stations ... hundreds of channels available in iTunes, and with the Airport Extreme wireless, I can listen to all kinds of diverse stuff ... listened to KHUM radio from Humboldt CA yesterday, with a live remote at the North county fair while I was chilling in a hot tub (after all that office renovation here, my aching back!); KCRW-Eclectic24; AH.FM - electronica Trance; couple of Celtic stations; ... can't find the Klezmer station I used to listen to, but its an extra plus to be able to pump high quality DJs and beats to all the speakers in the haus ...
    2ch: Oppo, Acurus RL-11, JBL 240ti, Heath AS101, Carver TFM-25,Von Schweikert VR4
    7: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460,

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    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    I upgraded to iTunes 9 and everything got slower ...
    iTunes 9.0 has been out less than a week ....mebbe I'm not the only one experiencing "issues"

    Apple Tuesday afternoon released updates for iTunes (9.0.1.8)

    • Resolves issues browsing the iTunes Store.
    • Addresses a performance issue where iTunes may become unresponsive.
    • Fixes a problem where iTunes may unexpectedly quit.
    • Fixes a problem syncing Podcasts in playlists to iPod or iPhone.
    • Fixes a problem sorting albums with multiple discs.
    • Addresses an issue with the Zoom button not switching to Mini Player.
    • Improves application syncing for iPod touch and iPhone.
    • Genius is now automatically updated to show Genius Mixes.
    It's the new Mother Nature takin' over
    She's gettin' us all, yeah, she's gettin' us all

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    There are so many variables from system to system, it's hard to nail down a specific cause for all systems. When I upgraded to Snow Leopard, iTunes was blazing fast on my 17" MBP 2.5 GHz machine, BUT, about 2/3 of my purchased music wouldn't sync anymore because "This computer is no longer authorized..."

    After pissing away a day trying to figure it out, I used Apple's online chat help to get to a nice lady who pushed an effing button somewhere, and BINGO! everything worked again.

    Anyway, since I got the Apple Airport Extreme, things move quite nicely, even through the Apple Express on the bottom floor, so I have like five or six iTunes systems scattered at home and at work. I'm hooked into three FireWire hard drives for about 4.5 gigs of storage, plus the laptop's HD.

    I still use the old 30 GB iPod Photo, but mostly it's wireless streaming now, anywhere I want it in the house, and remotely in my offices. I just put on the dance, trance, classical, or jazz stuff and access it from anywhere for eight hours of nonstop fun.
    Out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    Course another real nice thing about all of this now is the web radio stations ...
    Yup, I am just moving into a Squeezebox feeding a Bryston BDA-1 and it's really cool to have so much available from around the world at your finger tips. Too bad it's MP3 quality feed.

    I can't wait to start ripping CD's on to a mini mac.

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