Mp3, lossy audio, vinyl and studio masters

The modern mp3 format was developed primarily on a song called ‘tom’s diner’ by Suzanne Vega (also a terrible choice of song. Very little nuance). In 2015 Ryan Maguire released a song called “moDernisT” an anagram of tom’s diner, which is the sounds that are lost in the mp3 coding process. The following video also features what remains left behind after mp4 video compression.

And you can hear what is missing. Environmental sounds such as reverb in the vocal recording, elements of the voice, breath, transient elements of the percussive sounds. Once you add in the inaudible parts of bass, that you feel with your body, and that shake the room – in a concert, or on a record (even with less lossy mp3s) – you can really see why people are turning back to vinyl and HD flac and apple encodes. Whether you can pick it or not, yourself, its there. And as studies have shown, many can pick the difference between 320kpbs and flac, let alone vinyl or 24 bit and 320kbps.

I did a little blog post a while back, about loseless audio, and the difference that makes. Well it turns out, that the experience of listening to something in 24 bit, 96 khz, is exactly as rich as listening to vinyl, whether the source is a vinyl or even better, a studio master.

Muse and the glitch mob noteably have studio masters available for purchase for their albums. There are several online specialists in HD audio. If anyone is keen to hear that warm, full bottom end, the nuance of an acoustic guitar, strings or piano – that warmth, and sparkle – I highly recommend checking out 24 bit flac files. Be warmed, they are often about a gig for an album. But these days that’s much less of an issue.

Latest update

Apologies for not checking in here as often. I have had a busy holiday period catching up with some family that I have not seen in a long time.

On the technology front we have some new core-m releases coming out in China – the Cube i9, and the Voyo vBook, both of which feature the same M3-6Y30 processore that the Microsoft surface has – and the vBook, which is a flip, or Yoga style hybrid, had a tasty low price. Not sure how long it will be until tap that stock this higher priced more premium hybrids, but I would like to see some in that space soon, so people have cheaper alternatives to the high end hybrids.

We have a nice little sale on for just one week – a combo deal for the Teclast Air III, where you save over $40 bucks on already heavily discounted products. Honestly it’s a steal. Check that out here:

Teclast Air III combo special

Tech updates Jan 19th

This week we continue to see releases and announcements in the hybrid area. We have the Chuwi Hi12, and the Cube i9, both Surface 3 competitors. The i9 as with the i7, particular serious as a contender. The Hi12 has 4gb/64gb and a surface 3 quality screen, but it only is powered by a z8300 cherry trail. No doubt that will make it cheaper, but I’d have questions about performance at that resolution.

The Cube i9 on the other hand – Core M3-6Y30 just like the surface 3, same screen panel as the surface, 4gb of ram and 64/128 internal SSD. Definately exciting. It should also have stylus support. More details as we go I guess, and while it is going to be cheaper than a surface, it’s pricey compared to anything else chinese no doubt.

In the same way we are seeing announcements for a few tablets with the newer ASUS Transformer book like swivelling magnetic dock, there are also a host of announcements around a Yoga 2 2-1 type design. The Voyo VBook V3 Ultrabook Tablet PC is a particularly exciting offering. It has the basic z8300, but 4gb of ram and 64gb eMMC. And while that’s no surface, it’s still a competent machine and one of the better ones with the flip Yoga style laptop casing.

I’m still waiting for a core M in 7.9 or 8.9 inches!

 

The Next Generation

The end of last year saw the roll out of many new Cherry trail, and a few new Core-M chipsets. There are a variety of new possibilities, but the new chipsets are not without their issues.

Whether is a premium high end tablet, or a budget one, there are heat design issues with the Cherry Trails, they are hard to cool, and thus often throttle. There is a new intel revision coming out soon, that most likely will address this, as well as adding slightly to burst speeds.

The z8300 chipset, the most common to be found in the new generation of tablets can operate graphics 30% faster, and can utilize usb 3 speeds both for external ports, or for the microSD slot. Both pretty desireable advantages. As a CPU however, on benchmarks it tends to rank about the same as the old standard Baytrail z3735F, which did have a few superior chipsets such as the z3736F – with .3 Ghz higher burst speed than the z8300.  The z8300 is also capable of 4gb of RAM, but only in single channel, which blunts much of the performance advantage.

The faster 8500, and 8700 chipsets offer some real possibilities in terms of speed, and dual channel RAM. Some of the existing releases are very good experiences – however they also fall prey to the heating issues, and can throttle and get hot if you push them.

The surface uses very advanced cooling methods to power their Cherry Trail tablet. One should hope between more advanced cooling and the new revision, that we will see more smaller 8500, and 8700 tablets very soon without throttling.

And the core m’s while ahead in power, and in the expandability of RAM, and the potential to use SSD – are still floating at a price that makes it trickier for consumers.

However, all this is what makes this an exciting time. You see, usb 3.1 as a standard, is capable of powering an external GPU. It’s powerful bandwidth. And core M is bound to slowly come down, as 8500 and 8700 based chipsets become used without throttling in smaller tablets.

All this means tablets with more powerful chips, better connectivity and more RAM – offering us the potential of a true “3 in 1”. A tablet that can operate effectively as a netbook or laptop, a tablet, and a computer. Not strictly leaning towards any particular one – capable of full desktop tasks like sound engineering, video rendering, games, databasing etc, but in a form factor that can be held in one hand. And fortunately we already have a true all in one OS, Windows 10, to power it.

One device to rule them all, is getting much closer.

A thought for the holidays

I spent some time recently with family I had not seen in a while. We went through some very old photos, remembering the people and places we had been. There is something about this experience, and also reconnecting with family, that puts like in perspective, not unlike a near death experience.

You realize that the things that bother you about people, and the smaller daily struggles you face are not as important, in the grand scheme of things. That perhaps what matters, is how you grow, and the peoples lives you touch, and their touch on yours.

That maybe we should not burn bridges. We should be able to forgive, even if we are also discerning, and fair minded. That if enough time comes to pass, even a troubled time with a person with whom you no longer speak, may seem in retrospect like there was care shared. That brothers and sisters, and family, for all their fights, that there is a shining light beneath it all.

That what we have is precious, and that even when things are hard, there are some silver linings.

I should only hope that more people out there, have a moment like this over their holidays. A little magical transcendence of our sometimes normally expectant, fragile and judging selves. Be grateful for the people you love, have loved, and whom love or have loved you.  It’s what makes this whole show worthwhile 🙂

Small update & Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Hope 2016 is a good one for everyone 🙂

Just a little update. The Chuwi Hi8 and Hi10 are now possible for me to get in, so I’ll be getting them in with my next stock order. Chuwi also have a 12 inch tablet coming soon. Finally not just thew Hi10 but a range of 10 inch Chinese tablets are coming with folding keyboard docks like the ASUS transformer series (Like the Cube iWork10). That I am happy about. Also both tablets have USB 3.0 ports.

That said, the Chuwi Vi10, which I have in stock, still has the more powerful CPU (3736F), and some very nice materials in the construction. So which one wants will be a matter of preference.

With some disappointing initial releases that I avoided stocking, it’s nice to see we now have a range of solid new releases, that I think are pretty exciting.

Cheap Tablets in NZ this Christmas

I just wanted to give a little update, as well as to introduce folk to what we are doing here at Tap That.

In a commercial chain store, if you want to buy a tablet, your options are either premium devices with rather intense price tags – or bargain basement devices that even with a good brand can be like throwing away money on nothing.

That’s why I started this company. To provide a medium market option for NZers – decent devices at good prices that people can afford – often our devices are basically the same spec as devices priced twice as high.

So if you shop at Tap That, you get bang for your buck – and not only that, we pride ourselves on good customer service, technical expertise – and all our tablets come with 2 months free Quicklix.

As for our general update – We have the new Teclast x80 Plus in store in the next day or two, which features the new Cherry Trail z8300 processor – and we also have the praised vi10 laptop tablet 2 in 1 (keyboard sold seperately), and more Air III’s – which no suprise at the price, are selling like hotcakes.

Update

Hi everyone,

Okay so it turns out the Chuwi Hi8 pro and Hi10 were going to take too long to get in before Christmas. However we have some great models on there way – The well respected Chuwi Vi10 hybrid will be great for students and professionals, and we also have two new cherry trail tablets – The Teclast x98 air plus, with long battery life and a robust 4GB/64GB, and the Teclast x80 plus, which features micro-HDMI. That and the very hot selling Teclast Air III, and out dual boot Chuwi Hi8 (which is a great machine), will make excellent stocking stuffers this Christmas!

Chuwi Tablet Delays so far

I wanted to announce a bit of an issue here. Chuwi are apparently fixing up some last minute touch screen driver issues, before sending out their Cherry Trail models.

So that may mean I will have to wait on the Hi10 and Hi8 pro, and get something else in. Hard to tell how long it will be. Shame, as I have been looking forward to both those models, but there’s still a chance they will be released this week. Fingers crossed. As soon as they release regardless, I’ll get some in.

The Teclast Air III has been cookie jar popular, so will be definitely be more of those.

And perhaps some of the Teclast x98 Plus Cherry Trail tablets if the Chuwi’s don’t come through. It’s 4gb, Cherry Trail, there’s a keyboard case, its retina, it has the same great casing as the Air III.

Will try and order by the end of this week regardless of what happens, as I obviously want to be well stocked for December, so you guys can fill your stockings!

But I thought I would let you all know, what the story is. Apparently Chuwi is not the only company having delays. Trying to get too much out at once I suppose, but good their quality control is the priority!

Update: Stock on its way

Yes, sorry to keep you all waiting, but we have ordered the next lot of stock, and we have some exciting options coming this way, in the next week, customs willing.

Unfortunately, the brand shiny new stuff, the Chuwi Cherry Trail models will be about another week – there is a bit of a queue even though they have been released – a lot of excitement out there for their offerings.

So what will we be getting in?

Well first up, there is the very low priced Teclast Air x98 III – It comes in with the same kind of exciting specs as the Cube 9x, (minus the 3G) – retina display, Intel Bay Trail, 2GB of RAM – snappy and crisp, running Android 5.0 Lollipop. But with an even thinner profile, and cheaper price. The Teclast Air 1-3 series so far is very solid, and popular, I expect this will be popular with you guys too!

We have some Cube 9x’s on the way as well – I know its a solid model, and some of you, do like to use your tablet on the go (thus want 3G).

We also have a whole raft of Chuwi Models. The dual boot Hi8 with its much respected bright above retina display – that will be in earlier – and the last two, which may be exciting for those techies and tech enthusiasts out there.

The new Hi8 Pro, which is similar to the Hi8, but features the Cherry Trail X5 Cherry Trail Z8300 Processor, for around 30% faster graphical performance, and also has a tasty USB-C 3.0 (or 3.1 not actually sure) port, for proper high speed peripherals.

And the new Hi10, which is a great looking hybrid style tablet. And this one is a bit of a beast. It’s powered by a X5 Z8300 Cherry Trail and 4GB of single channel LPDDR3 RAM. It has 64GB of storage, and get this 2 full sized USB 3.0 ports, and a microUSB for charging – plus an additional USB 2.0 on the keyboard (sold seperately)- which is a proper tilting laptop style keyboard that looks very nice. Bet you it will still come in at a price thats cheaper than a laptop, and with those kind of specs, I expect it will be a great tool/toy for many.

And I am betting all of those models will be Tap That staples for while. Later I’d also like to get in a Cherry Trail 9.7 inch, that will be released soon, and I am betting most of those will become Dual Boot versions pretty soon too.

We will also have some 64GB microSDs for those that have been asking or want them. It’s getting closer to Christmas btw 😉 There are some cool gifts here, at Tap That, that won’t burn a hole in your wallet 🙂