Friday, March 18, 2011
My brother's gonna kill me for blogging about this, but yes--that's a Mac Airbook (or Air Macbook, or Book AirMac, or whatever) hooked up to my system. I ran the borrowed Mac through the Wavelength Brick V3 24/96 DAC and listened to titles using iTunes. The purpose of the Mac is to help break in the new cabling while the laptop for the server is being used as a, well, laptop. Overall, the sound quality was good to excellent and I was able to listen to a series of choice audiophile-y cuts that sounded about the same as a good CD player.
I think that says more about the excellence of the Wavelength DAC (not to mention my Trenner & Friedl ART monitors, which truly amazed some guests I had over last night) than the software. When it comes to iTunes, I think the interface is clunky, slow and downright antiquated compared to the Zune software running through the Blue Computer Solutions Music Server Project. (Or, as my brother likes to say, "iTunes looks like it was designed in the '80s.") In my humble opinion, many people love using iTunes because it's the only thing they know. I've used iTunes on PC for the last five years or so, but when I switched to Zune I instantly noted a HUGE difference in ease of use, speed, flexibility, features and overall appearance (the Zune presentation is great-looking and fun).
In the end, however, I think I could be okay with just the Mac BookAir and iTunes. It's not bad at all. The sound quality was much better than I expected (although those new Cardas cables are starting to break in nicely). But I can't wait to give the Blue another shot. The other night I reviewed Sam Cooke's Ain't That Good News from HDtracks for Stereolist.com, and it was my first experience with FLAC files. The sound quality was simply amazing. So I think we're on the right track with the project.