Archive for December 2012
Switching to techie / audio buff mode, (buff as in enthusiast, not hunky rugby player), I felt I should provide portable gadget lovers some quick tips on high fidelity sound.
Along with text messaging (email offers all the pros and much more, for less), those speaker docks for connecting iPods, iPhones and now, Android phones to are an unnecessary invention that like text messaging does for communications, dumbs down high fidelity audio. What saddens me is that many who have never owned a real audio system and jumped direct to owning a dock may have never experienced quality audio. Even today’s headphones are biased towards bass to appeal to a specific music demographic and are not really true HiFi cans.
A good £100 ($160) amplifier connected to a pair of decent equally priced speakers provides audio quality way beyond that of even the best speaker dock – including those from my favourite vendor of computer speakers and headphones, Bose. (Like Marmite, I understand some are not so keen on the brand.) You will experience true stereo separation, increased frequency response and much more control over the tonal quality – helping you adjust the audio to the room.
Having spent years trying out my iPhone in almost every speaker dock, from those compact battery powered ones designed to travel with you, to the largest £500 dock, not one comes even close to a proper audio system, yet most cost the same or more!
Their others disadvantages: If you dock your invaluable portable always on your person device, then you’re not only unable to answer calls in the case of a phone, but due to the terrible design of the mechanism where the phone or iPod connects with the dock, it is easy to damage both the phone and dock connector if the phone is knocked – in particular in the case of those industrial design abominations where the phone is mounted on the top of the dock!
The whole speaker dock idea is stupid and I urge people NOT to buy these things, but to head to your nearest Richer Sounds (UK) or if abroad, other audio visual specialist and connect your device to the audio system using a separate dock, or to get around the problem of not being able to answer your phone, stream the audio using WiFi or NFC. Bluetooth does not offer enough bandwidth for good audio quality, although Bluetooth 4 may be better – I have yet to research this.
Another major pro of using a separates system is that you can of course connect multiple devices, such as your Computer/Set top box/Gaming console/DVD player etc.
I recently got a demo of a Sony Xperia phone streaming audio using NFC over 100 feet and was very impressed with the audio quality – even although it was emanating from a dock. In fact, I had no idea NFC was being used and assumed the connection was physical using a cable. (The phone was under the counter in the shop.)
Fight back club: Go separate and experience the recording as it was meant to be heard!
As most who I dialog with within the pubs of Oxford know, the book that had the greatest influence on my life and beliefs was Lord Of The Flies by William Golding. Whilst not specifically a commentary on the pitfalls of allowing inexperienced ‘incomplete’ humans to be given the reins, (from what I understand LOTF was more a study of how cruel the young can be), it was a heads-up to related issues. That has has been one of the guiding concepts behind this blog. Events mainly involving the British media have reinforced this view considerably.
Today, we have yet another example of how unprincipled / incomplete individuals have been given positions of ‘power’ leading to initially privacy invading consequences, and then tragedy, or as I like to call it, murder by humiliation. (It should be noted that television programming like X-Factor, Dragon’s Den and Strictly Come Dancing that profit from schadenfreude rather than the performances are little different.)
Recently I made the decision to begin publishing opinions on this blog that stood a high degree of threatening my relationship with friends, mainly in the password protected CORETEX section of this blog. (This would be no huge loss, my core friends share my values, and whilst that doesn’t mean we are right, it does at least allow us to gain strength from shared principles, support others with the same opinions and dialog with those who disagree – creating a productive discourse.)
Well, I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest people of any age must have to apply for a license before they can be put into a position of power, whether it be pirate radio, a twitter account, a blog, a local rag, a major publication or national leadership. Said license to be based on similar characteristics to say an airline pilot whose behaviour effects the lives of quite a number of people. (For the record, I would happily apply for such a license for the right to publish this blog.)
© 2012 Lionsgate
Broadcasting or publishing is no different than owning/using an aircraft, dog, gun or high explosive and should therefore be treated such. Said license would not of course be based on political views, but on behaviour, with guidelines driven by the rule of law, including libel, health effects and other characteristics. Breach of such license should be punishable by a lengthy jail term, not a financial penalty, else a large entity may simply write off the cost against potential profits.
Freedom of speech is one thing, freedom to do anything you want to harm another individual without warrant is another.
Many have criticised Rupert Murdoch for what his publications did. Actually, he wasn’t in the loop and his YOUNGER staff engaged in unprincipled behaviour as was made fairly clear in the Leveson enquiry when Mr. Murdoch got to speak – under oath, if I am correct?
Entities that started out with grounded or ‘cool’ ideas have gotten out of control, bringing schoolyard behavior to the masses, humiliating and insulting people in public, breaching their privacy, making false or guilty until proven innocent accusations, not to mention public tittle-tattle that belongs in the toilet.
The issue today is that such a large proportion of the global population (in particular in the West) has been dumbed down, that few focus their energies on more pertinent issues, such as attacking or humiliating large corporations who are trashing the planet or (related) politicians who have vested interest in the dirtier way.
Fight back club: Support my suggestion for a license to broadcast no matter the medium, or at the very least, significantly stricter laws on what one can say about or do to other people without their prior permission and in the event of an accusation, a significan amount of legally binding proof.
Update: Sad to learn that a dignified broadcaster and all round (no pun intended!) super guy, Sir Patrick Moore has passed away. What a contrast between him and those this post is mainly about. And how much better our world would be if young people were able to watch his program rather than the trash that is shown during the healthier earlier hours of the day.