Digital music library: gear notes

I am edging closer to the point where I will start ripping my 1,000+ CD library to hard disk, and I’ve been collecting gear notes as I go. An interesting TidBITS discussion on the use of the AirPort Express with AirTunes to stream music has raised some interesting thoughts and ideas:

  • Stereophile says that the optical out on the AirPort Express “allows the AirPort Express to assume a respectable role in a true high-end audio system.” Of course, to take advantage of this, I’d have to have an amplifier with more than one optical input…so that might have to wait.
  • A reader mentioned that noise was a factor for listening, and recommended a hard drive enclosure from AMSElectronics for low noise and good price. I had previously decided I needed an external drive even if I used a Mac mini as the focus for my digital audio system, based on the small capacity of the 2.5″ drives that can be used in the mini.
  • Also, it appears that 400 GB hard drives are becoming affordable, which is good news.

I also have an advantage of watching Fury’s process and brave blogging of the odder corners of a massive CD collection.

Other notes on having music on both a laptop and an external drive, courtesy of Playlist Magazine: How to shift iTunes libraries.

100 Barrels of fun For Harpoon brewers, it’s all a barrel of fun. An article on Harpoon’s series of limited duration beers reveals that they are all made at the former Catamount brewery in Vermont (which increasingly sounds like a good place to visit). Seems like an odd

Interesting point that Harpoon has taken such care to separate these experiments from its brand, from the different bottle sizes to the new label artwork. (I seem to recall that, except for the maple-syrupy super-premium Triple Bock in the blue glass bottle, their major local competition hasn’t always been so careful.) Harpoon also hasn’t been doing any publicity for these beers at all, as evidenced by the fact that this is the first mainstream press coverage the beers have received in the two years that they’ve been on the market. Apparently they have been working on building word of mouth prior to going wider.

The Sanity Pills blog has a slightly more acerbic take on why we’re just now hearing about these beers from the Globe: “The Boston Globe is quickly becoming the saddest major daily in the nation.”