Thursday, July 19, 2007

Daniel J. Shanefield CV

NOTE: To read about Dan's (very interesting) old girlfriends, and old employers, visit .


Resume' (CV) of:

Daniel J. Shanefield

Created a "meme," which is a new idea that spreads by itself, without limit. (See first item in AVOCATIONS section, toward the end of this resume.)
NOTE: My "equalized double-blind test" was strongly resisted by the "golden ears" faction in audio research. However, it became accepted by the majority of audio professionals and is now used for testing new components, all over the world.

Distinguished Professor, Emeritus
Department of Ceramics Engineering
Rutgers University
Piscataway, NJ, USA

Attended Yale, Columbia, and Rutgers Universities, obtaining
Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at Rutgers University in1962.

U.S. Army, Korean War, 1952 - '54 (at Yekkogai, Korea, 6/53 - 6/54).

1962 - '67: ITT Laboratories, Nutley, NJ.
1967 - '86: Bell Laboratories "ERC" (Engineering Research Center), Princeton, NJ.
1986 - '01: Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
1976 - '00: During each of those 25 years, taught a week-long "short course" about the chemicals used in manufacturing ceramics, at The Center For Professional Advancement, mainly in USA (but also 15 additional sessions in Europe).

Consulted via yearlong, multi-visit contracts with:
Alcoa, Bellcore, Corning, DuPont, Engelhard, Fuel Cell Energy Inc., HED International, Hoogovens (Netherlands), Huls (Germany), Lubrizol, Philips Electronics (Netherlands), Phillips Petroleum, Plessy (England), Rhone Poulenc (France), Teltech, and W. R. Grace. Also had many single-visit consulting jobs with other organizations.

Discovered high solubility of halogen-substituted anions in nonpolar solvents (example: trichloroacetic acid salts are soluble in toluene), now used in lithium batteries, and in reclaiming nuclear reactor materials, etc.. (See D. J. Shanefield, J. Inorg. & Nuclear Chem., Vol. 24, 1962, P. 1014. For a nice reference to that article ["Shanefield reported the remarkable solubility of ..."], see K. Starke, J. Inorg. & Nuclear Chem., Vol. 26, 1964, p.1125.)

Provided the first definitive evidence for the theory of "growth step bunching" during electroplating. (See D.J. Shanefield, J. Electrochem. Soc., Vol. 110, 1963, p.973. For a nice reference to that article, see H. Fischer's prize lecture on page 1129 of Plating, Nov. 1969, page 1129.)

Co-developed selectively-plated gold contacts, providing AT&T with cost reductions of $11,000,000 per year. (AT&T Outstanding Achievement Award, 1976; advertised by AT&T in New Yorker, May 5, 1979, page 4, and elsewhere.)

Co-invented first commercially manufactured amorphous tellurium phase change memory, used in the first mass produced EEPROM (see D. J. Shanefield, et al., U.S. Patents 3,448,302 and 3,448,425 [1969], illustrated on cover of Electronics magazine, September 28, 1970). [The present CD-RW material is a further development of this alloy.] Further developed by Samsung and Intel to become the new "flash memory" (phase change memory) of computers. See Electronic Engineering Times, March12, 2007, page20.

Co-developed "tape casting" of thin ceramic disks, now licensed and used worldwide. Over 200 million of that particular type of "substrate" were made, and they were installed in almost every telephone line in the USA. Our method proved to be extremely reliable, with practically no defects at all.

NOTE: Tape casting is now used to make more than ONE BILLION (!) ceramic capacitors PER DAY, according to D. W. Richerson on page 141 of "The Magic of Ceramics," published by The American Ceramic Society (year 2000). There are about 100 in a typical cellular telephone, and about a thousand in a car (not including its radio-and-stereo system).

Co-authored first scientific study of tape casting. Also discovered "steric stabilization" effect in non-aqueous ceramics casting. (See D.J. Shanefield and R. E. Mistler, Amer. Ceram.Soc.Bull., Vol. 53, 1974, p.416; illustrated on cover of R&D Magazine, March 1971; advertised by AT&T in Scientific American, July 1973, page 2, and elsewhere.) [Note: tape casting is now used to make "hybrid" integrated circuits, capacitors, sensors, piezo. microphones, fuel cells, lithium batteries, and many other things.]

Co-invented crack resistant tape casting technique for producing ceramics, now used by DuPont in "Green Tape process" (see R.A. Desai and D.J.Shanefield, U.S. Patent 5,002,710).

Co-developed process for sintering silicon carbide at only 1850 deg. C (usually requires 2100 deg. C), now used commercially to mass produce pump seals in U.S. and Sweden (see D. J. Shanefield, et al., Ceramic Transactions, Vol. 7, 1990, p. 618).

Discovered that the effect of carbon vapor (at 1850 deg. C) on silicon carbide sintering is enhancement of bulk diffusion via vacancies (see D. J. Shanefield, et al., J. Amer. Ceram. Soc., Vol. 73, 1990, p. 148).

Co-discovered effect of solid residual carbon on aluminum nitride sintering, via vacancies (see H. Yan, W. R. Cannon, and D. J. Shanefield, J. Amer. Ceram. Soc., Vol.76, 1993, p.166).

Innovated method for achieving 62 volume percent submicron powder in ceramic slips, and 75 volume percent in dry pressed ceramics before firing. Also innovated oleyl alcohol super-dispersant for injection molding. (See D. J. Shanefield, "Advanced Organic Additives for Whitewares," pages 147-156 in Science of Whitewares, edited by V. Henkes, et al., American Ceramic Society, Westerville, OH, 1996). [Note: oleyl alcohol is now used by other people, as in U.S. Patents 5,738,817 (1998) and 5,900,207 (1999).]

AT&T Outstanding Achievement Awards (four times: 1975, 1976, 1979,1980).
Fellow of American Institute of Chemists, 1979.
Fellow of American Ceramic Society, 1993.
Best Paper Award, Engineering Division of American Ceramic Society, 1993.
Biography is in Marquis "Who's Who in the World," 1995 - Present.
Man of the Year Award, Ceramic Association of New Jersey, 1996.
Associate Editor, Journal of The American Ceramic Society, 1989-'99.
Life Member, Inst. of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), 2000 - Present.
Chairman, IEEE Committee S-32, "Reliability Tests," 1978-,'88.

(For very nice reviews of my books, see
and write shanefield in the search box,
then click on a blue title, and then click on Customer Review.)

Author of textbook, "Organic Additives and Ceramic Processing," Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston (Second Edition, 1996). This was first report of oleyl alcohol super-dispersant for injection molding, the "tangling" effects of excess dispersant, the "external plasticizer" for dry pressing, and ammonium stearate lubricant for extrusion, etc. [Note external plasticizer is now used for applications such as reported in J. Amer. Ceram. Soc., Vol. 85, page 749, year 2002.]

Author of textbook, "Industrial Electronics for Engineers, Chemists, and Technicians," William Andrew Publishing, Norwich, NY, (2000). [ Book is also available via the web as an e-book in .PDF format, at if you search for the word shanefield. ]

Author of encyclopedia article on tape casting, pages 4855 - 4858, in "Encyc. of Materials Sci. and Engineering," edited by M. B. Bever (of MIT), Pergamon Press, Oxford and New York (1986).
Created a "meme," in other words, a newly-created idea that continues to spread throughout the world on its own. This meme is the "equalized double-blind" listening comparison of audio components, which is now used worldwide. (See D. J. Shanefield, High Fidelity, March 1980, page 57. Also published in Boston Audio Society Speaker, Nov. 1974 and June 1975. Listed as the earliest double-blind audio articles: see Refs. 27 & 28 in S. Lipshitz et al., J. Audio Engrng. Soc., Vol. 29, July 1981.)

Introduced the graphic equalizer to the general public, with first article on this component in million-reader magazines (see for example cover story by D. J. Shanefield in Stereo Review, May 1976, referred to again in Stereo Review, May 1996, page 112).

Modified '91 Corvette to achieve 0-60 MPH in 4.9 seconds (I reported my modifications in Vette Magazine, February 1993, page 57).

Monday, March 27, 2006

Hi-Fi And Wi-Fi

The next blogs at this web address are some of my electronics articles, down below the double line.
But first, here's some other stuff (which you might want to just skip).

To see my stories about old celebrity employers and girlfriends (somewhat-interesting people), visit
or click on this colored word (but maybe it's just boring personal-history stuff):


NOTE: To download an MP3 file that provides an amazing illusion of being super-high fidelity, click on the word jazz below:


I am the author of a beginner's electronics textbook, which many people have found to be useful,
"Industrial Electronics For Engineers, Chemists And Technicians" (William Andrew Publ., 2001). To see some nice reviews of it, go down the page a bit and click on the colored word


Friday, December 10, 2004

A Great Recording (and Other Stuff)

by Dan Shanefield

--- A record claimed to be the highest-fidelity CD ever,
--- A guide thru the maze of Wi-Fi choices,
--- Web "streaming" explained,
--- A guide to free downloads of classical music,
--- and other such stuff. )

An unusual recording was used by George Graves for reviewing a phono cartridge, as reported in The Audiophile Voice (Issue 3 of Volume 10, no date). The disc is a special 45 rpm collector's item, which was pressed into extra heavy vinyl but only on one side. A statement by Graves that caught my attention was his claim that this is "the world's best phonograph record." The music includes Stravinsky's "Firebird," played by the London Symphony, conducted by Dorati, and recorded in three channels by Bob Fine in 1959. A few years ago, the CD was remastered for present-day media by Fine's widow, Wilma Cozart Fine.

If I could find a copy, I doubt that I could afford to buy it, but I did find out that offers a Sony hybrid CD/SACD disc for $19, designated "AISN number B0000DC15L." I bought it, and I have now played it quite a lot.

I'm not going to try to claim that it's "the world's best," but I will say that it sounds very good. The playback on my system provides an illusion of bottomless bass, and it has a ton of treble. I used EQ to cut the highest frequencies by about 4 dB, and my subwoofers (really infrawoofers?) were set at 1/4 power. While listening for a long time today, the images in my head were floating in florid fecundities. (Does that make any sense to you?) Dorati's version is dripping with drama, but is still suitably subtle. The drums really roll, and in spite of its low volume, the pizzacato has perceptible presence. (You can sense that this recording affected my brain. If this is nauseating you, just stop reading it!)

After studying my amplifier's output with a spectrum analyzer and oscilloscope (left channel to vertical, right to horizontal), I still can't say why this recording sounds so good. The extreme left and right signals are widely separated, and the middle signals are slightly but distinctly separated also, which aids in my ear's location of instrumental groups. There is a fair amount of reverb, even in the soft pizzacato notes, especially at deep bass frequencies. This all sounds pleasant to me, but some listeners might want to cut the bass a bit, if the reverbs sound artificial to their ears. Of course, I don't know how much of that was the work of Mr. or Ms. Fine's studio electronics, and how much came from the hall and mic placement. (Spaced omni mics could pick up plenty of natural reverbs.)

Overall, judging by the TAV reviewer's extremism, I expected excessive exuberance. However, the actual result was among the very best I have heard, factoring in my own tastes (and possibly also the power of suggestion).


Wi-Fi "Wireless" Connections


[NOTE: For Customer Reviews saying a beginner's electronics book is
unusually easy to read and easy to understand, click on "Review" here:
and click until you see Customer Reviews at]


"Wireless" Connections For Audio
by Dan Shanefield
Name: Bluetooth...Zigbee...Wi-Fi...Wi-Fi...Wi-Fi.....UltraWideBand
IEEE#:802.15.1... 802.15.4...802.11b...802.11a ..802.11g..802.15.3a
Range: 10Meters....75M........100M...... 20M........ 50M .....20Meters


........ Freq.Sh.Key.................................OrthogFreqShKey

Tuning:Frequency Divn. .......CodeDiv ...OrthogFreqDiv.........FreqDiv
.............Spread Spectrum...........S.S...........S.S........................S.S.
Freq.: 2.402 to .....914MHz,....2.4GHz......5.15GHz...2.4GHz ..3.1 to
.........2.480GHz.....2.4GHz 5.825GHz .......10.6GHz
Practical [*]
Rate:...1 Mbps...250kbps..6Mbps ........22Mbps....22Mbps...500Mbps
Usage: ..100 mW ..1 mW(!)...200 mW....33 mW ....65 mW ......1 mW

Applcn: Headph,....TV & DVD ...........HighSpeed Connec'n.
...............Keybds,.....Remote..... Laptop- ...........................(NotUsed

[*] The theoretical rate is higher.

Also, Radio Frequency Identification ("RFID") in E-ZPass tags,
on library books, shipment tags, keyless entry cards, and now
even implanted in people, uses 125 kHz, 13.56 MHz and 900 MHz.

Data for this chart compiled from: IEEE Spectrum, Sept.2003,
p. 27; EE Times, Oct.11, 2003, p. 1; Sci. Amer., June 2004,
p. 85; PC Mag., May 18, 2004, p. 87; and Nuts & Volts, Aug.
2004, p. 88.

HiFi #1


[NOTE: For Customer Reviews saying a beginner's electronics book is
unusually easy to read and easy to understand, click on "Review" here:
and click until you see Customer Reviews at]


WebRadio: A Huge Source of Music
by Dan Shanefield

Most readers probably know about receiving music via "streaming" on the internet --- in other words, via "WebRadio." However, in case anyone is stuck with just a single web address (URL) and is tired of the music that's available there, here are some more ideas, in addition to some general information.

There are far more "stations" on the web than the 100 or so available by satellite radio. You can listen to many of them free of charge, and you don't have to be near the transmitter --- the signal is equally loud whether you are a mile away or on the other side of the world, as long as you have an internet connection. With some telephone wire modems, you might have a modem speed that is too low, but any DSL or cable modem connection should be OK.

One thing that you will need is a "player" program, running in your computer. A popular player is RealOne, which you could download into your computer from, and another can be obtained from You can get iTunes and QuickTime from Apple, free of charge (search for them on google and click on them, even if you use Windows). Now most other player programs require a small monthly or yearly payment, although they do offer additional features besides just the use of web radio streaming (one example being MP3 decompression).

Why do you need a player program, and what is streaming, anyhow? Well, first of all, the transmission medium, that is, the internet, is all digital, and somehow this has to be converted to analog before it gets to your loudspeakers. (If anyone wants to see an explanation of digital versus analog, and the advantages versus disadvantages of each, they could look briefly at pages 209 - 213 in my book, "Industrial Electronics...etc..." available from Also, we could never do all this in a practical way without integrated circuits, which are explained on pages 249 and 257 of the book, but most LC readers probably know that stuff already.)

An ordinary D-A converter can't play continuous music over the web, because the internet does not use a 16-bit "word" coming right after another one, in a continuous sequence like a CD player does. Instead, the signals are broken down into clusters of various lengths called "packets," and they go along whatever pathway happens to be not busy at a given moment. These are temporarily stored, and they get put back together in the original sequence later on.

"Streaming media" involve special types of packets which are compressed in order to use fewer bits, something like MP3 does, but using its own proprietary system. If you really want to know more about this, download a free copy of U.S. Patent 5,132,992 from . (However, don't bother unless you have plenty of time for your brain to decode and decompress this patent, which is not clearly written!) By the way, Acacia Research, who owns the patent, is now proceeding to sue dozens of big companies like Microsoft, Sony, Disney, etc., for using streaming without paying royalties on that patent (maybe hundreds of companies in the future!). You're bound to hear more about this in the news, and it might be fun to notice what happens here. Side Note: In the current (June 2004) issue of the IEEE magazine Spectrum, on pages 38 thru 43, there is an interesting article about the first skirmishes of this legal battle, which covers U.S. Patent 5,132,992. The IEEE article is visible at website .

The streaming media methods, of which there are several variations, are also used for telephone transmissions via the web ("Voice Over Internet Protocol"). Special coding can also be added, to keep you from decoding it if you don't pay a fee. A more powerful compression and coding scheme, MPEG-4, is used for sending television via the web, and more and more lately for short news clips and ads, porn shows, and continuous web-camera video transmissions.

Another thing that is needed for music via web radio is a sound card in your computer, and some kind of loudspeakers, built-in or external. When your computer is logged on at your web server, and you write the web address of a station (like , which is one of my favorites for classical music), you might then have to click on a "Play Radio" icon, and then on an icon that identifies what kind of player program you have (like iTunes). However, some or all of this can happen automatically, once you "go to" the station's website (which is the case with iTunes). Sometimes it is not at all obvious, as often happens with computers, and you have to hack around a bit (like hitting the "START," then "PAUSE," and then "START" symbols) before you suddenly hear music.

On some occasions the music will stop for a minute and a "refresh" symbol will appear on the screen, while the decoder catches up with your player. This could be caused by your assigning "small" memory to your player program instead of "large" (if you know how to choose that), or by your selecting too high a bit rate (like 128 kbps, where 32 kbps would really sound OK), or just by bad luck (too much other traffic on the internet in the evening). If you don't want to bother booting up a computer just for web music, you can feed your internet connection into a little box obtainable from , and then feed the Roku's output into your stereo amplifier and speakers, bypassing the computer.

Did I hear you say you want a lot of variety? Try a search in google for webradio and also web radio (with a space between the words). You'll get about 8 million responses, many of which are internet radio stations from around the whole world! The commercial classical music stations like in New York City tend to have irritating ads in the audio channels (I wouldn't mind if they were just on the screen, but they're too loud on my speakers!). Many European governments have no-advertisement music, but the announcements about the the composer, etc., are not in English, like from Sweden on . A good one from Canada, with popular as well as classical music (and news, etc.) is, which has unique programs around Christmas, Easter, etc. I live too far away from the border to get CBC over the air, but it's fine via the web. (Thanks to Joe Prahler for telling me about that one, just before Easter.) Many government stations carry interesting ethnic music (such as Celtic dances on CBC, etc.).

Some of the stations require you to pay a monthly or yearly fee, just like some player programs do, although the government stations usually do not. Overall, one of my favorites is . (This used to be called ClassicalMusicDetroit. It doesn't play any ultramodern dissonant music, but it does have a few ads.) Another good one is , which is free if you are using the iTunes player, although you might have to pay something with other players. (Magnatune generally plays the most famous classics, plus a few very old motets and Gregorian chants.) For Jazz, my favorite is (although if you like more bite in jazz, your impression might be that it's just mushy "elevator music"). Some broad-base stations offer amazingly wide ranges of music via specialized sub-group connections. A couple of good ones are and . A useful guide to the world's English language noncommercial stations is at . Anyhow, if you don't find what you like at any of those, you've got about a million other choices, via google.



Classic Cat
by Dan Shanefield

Another way to get music via your computer (including a tremendous amount of jazz, and also classical, etc.) is to download each song and save it, and then play it whenever you want to. A huge website for this is , or any of the various sites that are linked to it. Much of the music can be obtained free of charge, but roughly half seems to require a sign-up process, complete with a credit card number and an e-mail address. You would need a "player" such as RealOne or Quick Time. (The latter will work with the Macintosh operating systems 8, 9, 10.2, or 10.3, but not with 10.0 or 10.1.) Apple Computer is now making current rock music (and quite a lot of jazz and pre-rock pop) downloadable for 99 cents per song, and a few other companies have recently gotten into the act also. However, as far as I know at this point in time, there is very little downloadable music available that's classical and also free, outside of classiccat and its links, except for some easy-listening variations.


HiFi Articles #2

Suppliers of Small Components by Dan Shanefield

While the Radio Shack bricks-and-mortar stores are still my first choice for quickly buying a few small components like resistors and capacitors, "The Shack" is not carrying as many of those things as they did in the past. Also, the little items are no longer as easy to find as the more popular large units such as cell phones, home theater systems, etc.

Recently, I've had to buy some components via the web, from some of the following sources, with good results: (Ocean State Co., for ferrite inductor cores, etc.) (who claims to have a million vacuum tubes in stock!) (claims "world's largest selection of discontinued semiconductors")

The following don't want to deal with anyone except professional EE employees in big companies, but they are sometimes willing to sell small orders to individual experimenters: (now separated from Allied) (good for difficult-to-find parts)

Of course, there are still many suppliers of larger components such as loudspeaker drivers, vacuum tubes, etc., and they advertise in the backs of magazines such as The Audiophile Voice. For an amazing variety of hobby electronic kits, you might try: For some items that don't seem to be available at all from ordinary stores, I've had good luck locating and buying such things (like tunnel diodes, PNPN "Shockley" diodes, "back" diodes, etc.) through eBay.



Hi-fi article # 3


Removing Sibilance From Vocals
by Dan Shanefield

One recording of a female singer, when played back on my home system, is among the most realistic-sounding that I've ever heard. This is the Sheffield Labs album "I've Got The Music In Me," sung by Thelma Houston. When she belts out "Don't Misunderstand," in my living room, and I go into an adjoining room and look away, I'd swear she was actually right there behind me, in the middle of the carpet. (By the way, identifies this CD as ASIN B000008GPY, and they usually can link you to the seller of a used copy. Failing that, you could probably get one at that multi-linked or at

A problem with this recording, however, is that some of the "s" sounds at the beginnings of words have too much sibilance. Although the overall impression is quite real, it's somewhat unpleasant. Playing this recording on other peoples' excellent home systems, or via my own with different loudspeakers, etc., the sibilance is always a bit too much. You can buy a component called a "de-esser," which combines filters plus companders and tends to remove sibilance, but it's usually in the category of pro equipment and very expensive.

After experimenting with various filters and companders inserted into my home system, I was surprised to find that a ten-band graphic equalizer can remove the sibilance without detracting from the overall sense of realism. I just have to decrease (by 6 dB) the band centered around 4 kHz, and the sibilance is gone. (I haven't been able to make a tone control work as well as this.) The EQ also works with some other vocal recordings that I have, particularly when female singers get so "essy" that I can imagine a fog of saliva spray settling onto my carpet. Maybe your imagination is not as hyperactive as mine, but you might try this simple EQ cure, in case there is too much sibilance in some of your favorite vocals.

(Printed in July 2004 LC)

Double-Blind Testing of Prozac
by Dan Shanefield

Although Prozac and placebo pills are both somewhat effective in treating psychological depression, there is amazingly little difference, as shown by extensive double-blind testing. Details and literature references are reported in the website
The philosophical discussion by the two medicine-researcher authors of that site provides an example of why some of us audio-researcher authors have trouble convincing "golden ears" that our tests are really valid.


Mass Producing Electronic Components: Five Horror Stories
by Dan Shanefield

If any LC readers are curious to read about some of the things that can go wrong (sometimes very wrong!) when components are made on a large scale, they could look at five very short stories that I posted on the web. These tell how I tried to be an innovator in what was then the biggest company in the world, the old AT&T. Of course, the bigger and more complex the operation, the more chances you have to really mess things up (as some of you might already know from your work with the big automobile companies).

These little stories are arranged in a continuous circle, where the reader can go to the bottom of any page and then click on an internet link, which is the colored title of the next story. Perhaps the best (or at least the funniest) place to start is at
which is described in another engineer's textbook as "Shanefield's Green Monster." (That quote is on page 231 of the book "Tape Casting," by Richard Mistler.) I used to tell these tales to legions of Rutgers students and consulting clients, as examples of what not to do. Maybe that's why the Customer Review of one of my books mentions "the infamous DJ Shanefield." Anyhow, the stories also tell some ways in which an engineer can manage to survive, even in the tricky electronics industry. (One way is, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, and another way is to publish some articles and patents, and then sell lots of licenses. But there were some pretty humorous moments, like when the Vice President of the company insists on calling me "Dave Sheffield" as he totally trashes my project, etc.)


Let's Hear Three Cheers for Wretched Excess!
by Dan Shanefield

The July 2004 issue of Stereophile magazine has what might hold the world's record for the ultimate golden-ear review, at least until something wilder comes along. It's Michael Fremer's article on the Wavac SH-933 vacuum tube amplifier, which costs $350,000 and weighs about half a ton. Using this amp for playback of good recordings, the reviewer says he heard all kinds of details that he never was able to perceive before. Like when a guitar player was tapping his foot on the stage during a recording, Fremer could "make out how far the vibration spread across the floorboard before dissipating" (page 79). Unfortunately, he neglected to tell us exactly how far that turned out to be. Nevertheless, the whole business is amazing and amusing. To see the revu, click on this:


Archiving Favorite Music Tracks Via MP-3 by Dan Shanefield

Most of my LP discs (and also my old 78s) contain one or two tracks that are my favorites, plus many that I don't like very much. I have recorded a bunch of cassette tapes that only contain the favorites, so I can continuously play just the stuff that I like the most. However, now that many of those cassettes are 20 or 30 years old, the tapes are beginning to develop mechanical problems such as squeaking, jamming, or even breaking. I am getting tired of laboriously using Radio Shack cassette repair kits to get them working again.

Now that CD-R and CD-RW recorders are readily available (one is built into my Macintosh G4 computer), I decided to copy my old tapes onto CDs, where there is nothing mechanical in the recording itself, and various electronics magazines have said that the reliability is of "archival" quality.

To be efficient about it, I tried putting about 6 hours of music on each CD, via MP3 compression. Although I wouldn't exactly say the process of doing this is "intuitive," even with the Mac, once you get the hang of it, the whole thing is not very hard to do. (After various screw-ups, I finally managed to do it right, and then I wrote out very detailed instructions to myself, which made all the later "burns" quite easy.)

The question arises, "Isn't MP3 only good enough for teenagers who have already degraded their hearing by listening to too much loud bass at rock concerts?" Well, I tried using the maximum compression, at 128 kilobits per second, and that did audibly degrade the sound, when playing back classical music. (That's pretty much what the popular magazines said, also.) But at 160 kbps, I could only barely hear any difference when ABing the original versus the MP3 CD, and any loss of quality has been quite tolerable to me. (I did not do any blind testing, and anyhow, this is all pretty subjective, regarding what is "tolerable" to a particular listener.)

At this point I've got a lot of my all-time favorite music efficiently stored on the hard drive of my computer, in addition to being on the 4 CDs that I have made so far. My computer is linked to my main stereo system, so it's easier than ever to play any of this favorite stuff. Although most old CD players can't handle MP3, most new DVD players can, and at least I can play back the music via more than one component. Anyhow, MP3 players are probably going to become more and more common.

Of course, this sort of thing involves very personal choices (convenience versus quality, etc.), so MP3 storage isn't for everybody. But for me, it has turned out to be a useful thing.

To download a jazz file that's super-high fidelity, even though it's MP3, click on the colored capitalized word below:
For technorati tags:

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Link to 5 stories and CV

You can click on "Monster" to see a story:

(Then at bottom of its page, click on the
title of the next story to see that one.)

The Green Monster

You can click on this to see my resume (CV) :


You can click on this to see my political essay :



Dan S.