If one has been collecting CDs for as long I have (about 25 years), the collection can grow to unmanageable proportions. I have CDs in various plastic cabinets, and on shelves and in piles scattered throughout 3 rooms in my unit, and even in places I’d forgotten that I’d stored CDs – until I did a thorough search last week. My concerns over the years have been that I have no idea where to find most of the CDs if I want to play a particular one, so it’s too daunting to do a search. I find that getting up to put on a CD and changing it when it finishes, is tiresome, so I don’t do it often (and especially in the case of works that spread across several CDs. And perhaps the biggest concern of all, at my age, is that I will probably never get to hear most of my CDs again. It’s just too hard: and it’s not so easy and convenient to play them that I’ll do it because I can, and can quickly and easily explore the depths of my collection.
Enter the second exciting gadget I came across on Thursday. In this case I read about it in an article in The Age Green Guide headed “Music lovers don’t cut corners” (see featured image). For the record, I didn’t read the article in the physical newspaper. I read it on my iPad in the digital edition, which is a 100% facsimile of the actual newspaper.
I’ll quote parts of the article that aroused my interest:
Music lovers — those who can pick Pavarotti in 1965 from Pavarotti in 1985 — have always had a love/hate relationship with iPods and the electronic music storage they represent. Most of them wouldn’t touch an iPod with a five-metre baton.
This is because the signal is compressed so more music can be squeezed onto the hard drive and in this compression process, much of the original signal is deleted, especially in the upper range. The music sounds similar, yet is not the same. It sounds as if it’s all there and yet it no longer brings tears to your eyes. All the nuance has been lost.
But what music lovers secretly like about iPods is their convenience. An album, or a particular track, can be found in seconds and played immediately.
The music is categorised and indexed automatically. And it’s all in one place.
Now those serious about their music can have it all; the music quality of a CD with the convenience of an iPod. Modern solid-state hard drives have the capacity to make electronic music storage a viable option for people who refuse to compromise on sound quality.
The unit is shown above. Here’s a further description:
Store up to 20,000 high-resolution HD tracks (6000 CDs) in 24-bit on this award winning music server – with more than 250 times the resolution of CDs, you’ll hear the HD difference immediately. Experience it right out of the box, the Olive O4HD includes over an hour of music with 12 of the best Chesky Records’ HD Tracks for Free!
Everything from 24-bit HD files to 16-bit converted CDs will be at your fingertips. Convenient storage, easy touchscreen access and the ability to play it all in any room of your home with the addition of an Olive 2 (see below). Now you’ll enjoy your music collection more than ever.
You can even turn your screen into an oversized color display and use the Olive remote control to see music details or select songs from across the room. It’s a great alternative to navigating with the touchscreen or our iPhone App.
Why does it sound so good?
The Olive O4HD will deliver exceptional sound quality from all of your digital music sources. Maximize your signal transfer with the 24k gold RCA connectors and use the Olive O4HD as an outboard DAC. With 24-bit/192kHz oversampling, noise and distortion are ultra low resulting in incredible purity in both high frequencies and low-level detail.
A quote from a review:
Exceptional sound; approachable and easy to use; quality build and finish; sheer value…this is 21st century hi-fi: the Olive O4HD is superb to live with and listen to’ (What Hi-Fi magazine February 2010)
All this plus a free iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad app to control playback (as well as the supplied remote control).
The Olive O4HD has a wonderful final trick up it’s sleeve. You can add a slave to every room in the house where you have a system through which you can play audio – and you can do it wirelessly with your Wifi network. Wunderbar!
For this feature you need an Olive Melody 2 in each room where you want it.