Apple’s non-DRM music tested

Yesterday Apple introduced in iTunes music from EMI sampled at a higher rate than the iTunes usual for higher audio quality; this music is also offered without digital-rights management (DRM), which means that a purchaser of it can play it in just about any gadget that can play an MP3. I downloaded the Brahms German Requiem under this deal yesterday, and it was a nice purchase for the price (Berlin Philharmonic, Simon Rattle conducting, Dorothea Roschmann, soprano, and Thomas Quasthoff, bass-baritone). I played it through BOSE earphones and a BOSE docking station, and it sounded very good (talking sound quality here, not musical interpretation, though that is very good too).

I am not sure that I would be able to identify the new-style offerings from the old style ones in a “blind” test (wait, shouldn’t that be a “deaf” test?) but I did find this link on the point, courtesy of Visit it to see what happened when somebody performed a “blind” test. (Hurray for people over 40 for this; despite our deteriorating ears, we seem to do better in discerning audio quality.)

Update: the site I linked to is now slashdotted… That was quick. I hope it will be back up soon.

Washington, DC, and more books

On a quick trip to Washington, DC, I visited Kramer Books (of course). Apart for some loot for M, I got a delightful book on the history of the square root of -1 by Paul J. Nahin. I simply had to devour the first three chapters as fast as I could and am looking forward to finding the time to swallow the rest of the book real soon. I also have Dr. Euler’s Fabulous Formula by Nahin waiting to be finished; the two go together quite well, although I started with the Euler one, rather anachronistically. Apart from having massive amounts of fun reading this stuff, I am learning a good deal that I ought to already know about complex numbers. Really fabulous stuff.