Letters to the editor – Weeks #41-43, 2021

  • Steve writes…

    Hi John,

    I just enjoyed watching your recent ‘Hi-Fi Spotify & Apple Music for BEGINNERS’. I find the Raspberry Pi to be a wonderfully affordable ‘swiss army knife’ of computers.

    I have my Pi 4B running a bunch of tasks/services on my network so for better or worse, it’s not imaged with a dedicated OS like Volumio or Moode, PicorePlayer, etc. I run the latest Raspberry Pi OS BUT have added Raspotify to give me ‘Spotify Connect’ functionality. Not sure if you’d come across Raspotify?

    Eric writes…

    Re. Is music streaming too cheap?

    Yes, it is. That is, as long as artists don’t get a fair payment for their work, it is obviously either too cheap, or others get a too big slice of the pie. I don’t have the data to make a good judgement. However, based on what I have heard/read, the price should go up.

    The other interesting question is: is music streaming too expensive for the consumer. I hear often (or better, read on internet forums) people complain that it is expensive. Well, I have a Qobuz subscription (don’t know exactly which one out the top of my head), but it is actually very cheap. Yes, it may be somewhere between 10 and 20 Euros per month. And maybe you would not spend that in the old days when we were still buying CDs. But we should not forget that for that amount we have a huge library at our disposal. Always. Everywhere. Really, we never had it so good.

    Finally, this may not be the correct way to submit comments. But I didn’t find another way (not possible under the article, not possible on Instagram). If I should use another method, please let me know.

    PS about buying CDs. I know that you still buy many CDs and LPs. I would normally do that too (as I like to “have it in my hand”). And I still have my CD collection. But I live in the Middle East at the moment. And due to my work, I have a more or less nomadic life. Therefore, streaming is the perfect solution for me at the moment.

    Global feedback: Is music streaming too cheap?

    Jonathan writes…

    re. Airplay 2 gizmo that might have slipped past you.

    Thought I’d let you know about the Belkin Soundform Connect Airplay 2 dongle. You might want to try one out!

    Me: Thanks for the heads up. I don’t use AirPlay myself because the stream travels through the phone but I am happy to share this for the people who do.

    Christos writes…

    re. AirPlay on Mi Box S

    Hi, I’d like to tell you that the AirReceiver app gives Airplay capability to Xiaomi Mi Box S. I am using it often and it works without any issue. The free version (lite) does not work in the background and you have to start the app before you use it.

    Jim writes…

    re. Not an audio consultant?

    Hi John,

    Enjoyed your recent article. I’m glad you published it as it makes me appreciate your hard work even more. I always knew it was hard work running your channel but I had no idea of the actual time requirements. Crikey. Anyway…

    I purchased, built and set up my Intel Nuc to run Roon ROCK using your video as a guide.
    I purchased not one but two Bluesound Node 2i based on your review of the Powernode 2i. Yesterday I received a Schiit Freya S, Gungnir Multibit (Zesty & Sweet!) and Vidar based partially on your reviews.

    You may not be a private audio consultant, but you’re a hell of a reviewer and public audio consultant. Keep up the good work.

    Andrew writes…

    re. Your latest article on the review process

    I love your stuff. I just read your article about how much time it takes and the non-stop questions trying to make you into an audio consultant, and I agree, you don’t have time for that! I see a way you can make some money on them though, hook up with an audio consultant and take commissions on all the questions that come your way that you pass along to them. Just a thought since you do such a good job of attracting people to get into the hobby that I bet someone would pay quite well to get some customers passed along. But I also understand that you’ve got a reputation to maintain and you don’t want to be associated with just any bozo that decides they want to be an audio consultant.

    How our YouTube videos get made

    Zane writes…

    I just wanted to say thanks for Srajan Ebaen’s article KIH #94 ‘Running before you can walk’.

    What I enjoyed was the logical explanation of the effect of each element in “the hifi litany of sequence of importance”. And the real-world challenges typical people face trying to get good sound.

    If you are looking for subjects for future articles, I for one would like to read a more in-depth explanation of how to accomplish each of the goals outlined in this sequence. For example, how does one “consider the monitor/subwoofer solution properly integrated via hi/low-pass filter and time alignment for a correct impulse response”? What’s involved in “including a DC blocker in one’s power delivery box, be that passive or active, a filter or conditioner”?

    In other words, expand the excellent foundation created by the article into an explanation of how one goes about working through this sequence.

    Once again, thanks for an enlightening article.

    KIH #94 – Running before you can walk

    Tony writes…

    Re: How a Darko.Audio YouTube video gets made…

    What a pity you have to spend 45+ hours on each video, pandering to the modern insistence that all information be received via moving images.

    How much easier it would be for you if people still understood that the images one’s imagination creates via reading text can be much better.

    I believe that’s known as “progress” 😉

    In the unlikely event that you run out of topics, can I suggest the recent rehabilitation of the Class D amplifier? I’m finding this very interesting, not least because the last thing I need on a blazing summer day is something that consumes more power to double as a room heater.

    Me: I’m not pandering to anything. I LIKE making videos. Moreover, they’ve exploded my work’s reach. Today’s post makes it clear that anything else I do is a miracle of time management.

    But I agree: Class A amps on a summer’s day are not a good mix.

    Ty writes…

    re. New Viewer & Listener

    Hello from Portland, OR!

    I started watching your YouTube videos just a few months ago. I’m a video editor in my late-20s and had a desire to upgrade my 30-year-old Sony speakers that I inherited from my dad. That’s how I discovered your channel. Your content opened up a whole world to me that I didn’t even know existed. I’ve decided to invest in a set of KEF LSX speakers for my living space; a smallish room.

    The reason I’m writing though is because of your podcast with Jules Standen from February. I found the conversation to be enlightening. Jules, with his experience and age, gave such a great argument for the use of EQ in hi-fi. I’m very pleased to hear that there are people out in the world with such pragmatic views. At any rate, it was a very interesting episode on the whole. Your combined perspectives and depth of knowledge along with a lack of ego was both stimulating and refreshing.

    Alex writes…

    re. Zu – great to see

    Hi John

    Your website and channel are fantastic, they’ve been very helpful and entertaining in my journey.
    Just wanted to say very excited about seeing the Zu soul 6!

    Hope it turns into a review.

    My experience has been influenced by your Zu soul and Aksa amplifier reviews of many years ago.
    I’m on to Druid V now and Moonriver reference – an amazing combination. Just thought you might like to know your positive influence.

    Kay writes…

    Hi Darko & Team.

    Tl;Dr: can one find anywhere playlists of music that’s mentioned in the videos?

    Regular version:
    First off, thank you for all your content. Your style is very approachable and you and two or three others helped me greatly choosing to upgrade my old entry gear.

    I am a total music nerd as well, and my musical spectrum spans decades and genres. And sitting in my circles there’s not as much diversity. So I really appreciate all music mentions and recommendations (and yes I read the bit about your test and review playlist.

    Is there a way though, to find *all your mentioned music from the videos? Skimming through all videos to extract all songs and albums and create a list of all those (possibly sorted by Post-Punk, electronica, etc) sounds pretty tedious (probably also for you) but I was just searching on Spotify for Darko playlists. None from you though. *Sad.

    So the questions would be, are there lists anywhere available? Or do you plan on doing a few?

    Or would you like to provide that and would accept support/help in doing so?

    Or maybe you use and have it connected with Roon/Spotify.


    Kay: Oh snap. F me. I watch your videos on my TV’s YouTube App and have probably never seen the descriptions – sorry for sounding ignorant.

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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