Saturday, March 13, 2010

Changing directions

I've decided while continuing work on the Mt. Rainier NP photo guide, which still has some major sections to finish as well as a complete review and rewrite to produce a draft book version, I have been working on putting my music collection into iTunes. Besides being time consuming, it's not as easy as it sounds.

Like why? Well, for one I have 700 vinyl albums in storage going back to the early 1960's. I realize almost all of the albums are available on CD or through (legal) music download Websites, but I like the sound of the old analog sound. And I have 3 7-record Glenn Miller albums from his radio band days and his Army-Air Force band. They're the recordings of the radio broadcasts with all their sound faults, like listening to an old radio show.

I've seen some remastered versions of some of the shows, some on these albums, but they sound just like any CD today. I like the old fashioned sound of these. And transferring them to digital files will take some doing. Two of the 7-record albums was rarely played and one has significantly warped records. I have the turntable to track it but it's still takes time.

And I have 700 CD's. I currently have 200 of them in iTunes. Some of them, however, are different formats or older CD's and aren't recognized by iTunes. One example is the Kronos Quartet 10-CD 25 years collection. I'm currently using a Sony CD-R to import them into Audacity and then converted to mp3 for iTunes.

In addition to that I have 200+ Digital Audio Tapes (DAT's) which were used by studios after mastering and before CD's. I used these to convert vinyl albums to digital files and then to CD's before the computers could do this. My stereo system has two Sony DAT machines, one consumer deck for record/playback and one studio deck for better control and features (copy-prohibit override).

I also have two Sony CD players, one consumer CD-R and one studio CD-RW. All of these are run through a Rotel digital-to-analog converter into separate Hafler preamplifier and power amplifier into Acoustic Research AR-12 speakers. The last bit of the system is a 1969 AR-XA turntable, still working quite well thank you, with a Grado cartridge. In short, it's a stereo system built from the 1960's to the early 1990's.

And it's still great working and sounding. It will rival any audiophile system several times its price. But it won't work directly with my Mac computer, except through the analog or optical inputs from components, beside being in different rooms. The stereo is connected to the HD TV so it's part of the home audio/video system.

Anyway, a friend of mine is creating a complete archive of songs from the 1970's and 1980's, so in addition to getting mine into iTunes, I'm adding to her collection. Something else to do in life, and I can hear the results too.


  1. Wow. That's an amazing collection. Hey wait.. you have a DAT player? Where did you get that?

  2. The DAT decks date from the 1990's. I got the Sony DTC-75ES first as a consumer DAT player/recorder. The tape stores two hours of music, which is 2+ albums or CD's. I added a Sony PCM 2300, which is the low end of (then) studio DAT decks.

    After that I added a Sony CDR-W33 CD player-recorder after the Sony CDP-X222ES. I can copy, mix, and edit any music across the formats, now far easier with computers. I haven't replaced the reel-to-reel tape deck yet.

    I'm working on connecting the system to the Mac to upload the music, but for now it's simplier and easier to use the stereo system to create CD's from vinyl albums which I can then import into iTunes.