Data vs Audio

02010-04-03 | Uncategorized | 10 comments

We are making a very limited run of 100 packages that will contain two data CDs with the HD FLAC files of the new album. I am trying to figure out what the warning on the front should look like, for the fan who might buy the package not knowing what a data CD sounds like in an audio CD player (((not pretty!))).

I am thinking of doing a small round sticker-looking thing – like the one on Up Close – that reads:

These are NOT audio CDs. Contains data CDs with HD FLAC files.

Is that clear or do you have a suggestions on how to word that better?

PS: In case you are wondering what I am talking about, HD FLAC are files that carry 24 bit/88,200 Hz sound, as opposed to the 16 bit/44,100 Hz crap files on a regular audio CD. They cannot be played on a regular audio CD player. Instead they need to be moved from the CD, which is in this case simply used as a data carrier and backup, to one’s computer where they can be played with the free Songbird software, for example. If one owns an external 24/88.2 Digital-to-Analog converter that works with one’s computer, one can then listen to the glorious sound of high definition through any stereo system. If one so desires one can also convert the FLAC files on one’s computer into 24/88.2 AIFF or WAV or ALAC, Apple’s Lossless Audio Codec. Oh, and I should mention one could just as easily convert the 24/88.2 FLAC into a 16/44.1 AIFF, which could then be burned as an audio CD. Clear? Good, there will be a test on this on Monday! :-)

PPS: another difference between the CD and the HD FLAC versions is that the CD version was slightly dynamic-range-compressed (((as opposed to data-size-compressed))) while the HD FLAC version delivers the full range of dynamics. I have written many times about the evils of modern dynamic-range-compression and I do far less of that than just about anybody out there (((even Paco De Lucia went to town over-compressing and as a result the guitar sounded lass than stellar on his otherwise excellent last album. Same goes for Vicente. They love that loudness, those Spanish boys.)))

I used the same compression settings I have used since “La Semana” and the new CD sounds gorgeous – best sounding CD I have produced IMHO. Anyway, I figured that anybody who knows about HD and FLAC knows how to use that big round knob on the amplifier that controlls the volume. As for the CD, it might be played on the radio, it might be played in a cd-changer and so I didn’t want the volume to be too different from what’s current.


  1. steve

    This is probably an over-simplification but here goes:


  2. Ottmar

    C) Data carrier, not compatible with an audio CD-Player.

    D) Data CDs. Do not attempt to play these CDs in an audio CD-Player!

  3. dave

    I am really looking forward to POP!

  4. Ottmar

    Dave, just make sure that’s a singe “O”, or you’ll sound very old!

  5. Matt Callahan

    More fiber, Dave?

  6. Ottmar

    Have you considered a career in stand-up, Matt?

  7. Adam Solomon

    I like Steve’s suggestion. I’d worry that some people won’t get the audio-CD/data-CD distinction, and just think that a CD is a CD. Phrasing the distinction as CD player vs. computer – rather than audio vs. data – makes that a lot clearly to those less blessed with geekdom.

  8. Adam Solomon

    Those of us blessed with geekdom are, however, very much not blessed with basic grammar, and the adverb “clearly” should clearly have instead read the superlative adjective “clearer.”

  9. dave

    Matt, I’m a regular kind of guy.

  10. dave

    Ottmar, at 48 I’m getting there.


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