Sunday in Santa Fe

02009-11-30 | Uncategorized | 8 comments

I am told that HD Tracks will start carrying 24/96k FLAC versions of One Guitar and Up Close starting later this week sometime. Sometime in January they will also start carrying my other SSRI albums in CD quality.

What are we looking for in a city, and what makes a city more livable? Monocle magazine voted Copenhagen the most livable city. Here their editor explain why:

5 Amazing Journeys On A Penny Farthing
Penny Farthing bicycles are dangerous and uncomfortable to ride but this did not stop these 5 maniacs from achieving incredible feats on these machines.

Gulf stream collapse could be like a disaster movie
The Gulf Stream carries tropical heat from the Caribbean to northern Europe but is already being disrupted by meltwater pouring from the Arctic as global warming intensifies. One day it may switch off completely, say scientists.


  1. yumi

    “The only supplies Stevens had when he set out from San Francisco were fresh socks, one clean shirt, a raincoat that did double duty as a tent, and a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver.”

    As I read that, the Smith and Wesson revolver came as a surprise. “5 maniacs”…that was humorous.

  2. yumi

    The things I learn from this journal…

  3. James

    I just purchased Up Close on HDTracks, just in time for testing out some new headphones scheduled for delivery today! Ottmar – do you still recommend Songbird for flac playback?

  4. Ottmar

    James: Songbird is a good free player. It does not auto-switch my DAC to the proper settings for the file it is playing. That means, if I forget to set the DAC for 24/96, Songbird might play the file back at 24/96, but the computer will downsample and dither the 24/96 file to 16/44.1 on the fly. Since I have Peak Pro by BIAS, I use that for playback of any HD file.

    Peak will automatically switch my DAC to the proper file-setting and I know Peak is very dependable. Of course, it is not convenient for listening to an album or a whole bunch of music, but then again I like to set up one song at a time when I am in HD-mode.

    iTunes does not play back FLAC, but if that’s your player of choice you could convert the 24/96 FLAC into a 24/96 AIFF and import that into iTunes. Like Songbird, iTunes does not auto-set most DACs, so make sure your DAC is set to the correct bit- and sampling-rates.

    Oh, and one last thing about Songbird. You can play back any file without having to import it, something you have to do with iTunes. You can just point Songbird to the file you want to play and I find that a nice feature.

  5. steve


    You can also use iTunes and convert FLAC into Apple Lossless format. The target fill will inherit the sampling rate and bit depth of the source file. The differences between FLAC and Apple Lossless are pretty minimal algorithmically.

    David Hammerton, who reverse engineered the ALAC algorithm back in 2005 mentioned this in the newsgroup: “For those that are interested, it isn’t too dissimilar from FLAC. Although they use an adaptive FIR algorithm, with the predictor coefficients changing from sample to sample based on error values/previous samples. They encode the prediction error using a highly modified Rice algorithm.”

    One other advantage of using ALAC, is that it supports tagging and album art, and ought to transfer from the FLAC at HDtracks.

    Songbird is a really great app, and until Ottmar’s recommendation recently, I had never even heard of it. Glad I did. You ought to give it a whirl at least for HD stuff.

  6. James

    Thanks guys for the advice! For now I can live with songbird along with manually switching my interface’s sample rate. Someone should write an app that sits between any audio player and output device, auto-senses the stream’s sample rate and sets the hardware rate accordingly. I think Soundflowerbed could be modified to do that.
    Anyways, I am loving the HD files from Up Close!

  7. steve

    Hey James …

    I might have steered you wrong a bit. iTunes is incapable in and of itself of importing and converting FLAC. For this you need a separate program called will convert the file to Apple Lossless, which can then be used in iTunes.

    I often forget is involved because I use a sequence of commands in another application called Quicksilver to do it all at once. Sorry to be confusing. I guess if you take the plunge to Songbird, the point is moot. Mea Culpa.

  8. Ottmar

    And you can always ask Santa for the Amarra… :-)


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