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Central Processing Unit's Music
October 2000

Sitting at my laptop, I do all this work I have to do: writing articles, memos, reviews, updating my web-site, you name it. The computer has occupied my life and even worse, it's the dominant tool of my work.

Great, but also very intimidating, sitting on the desk and always asking for input. It's a terrible machine because it offers all of this potential to research, to study or to get connected, whatever this electronic, cyber-spacey type of connection may mean.

A few months ago, I got a powerful little thing which allows me to store music on its hard-disk. Well, the hard-disk of this laptop has a capacity of 6 GigaBytes, just enough for hundreds of songs if needed.

In the beginning, I had no idea that I could record my own CDs and listen to them. It took me some time to find out. But, once I got it, I did what I always do when it comes to music: I've become passionate to have those songs on my laptop, which I really like.

You've gotta know that I own quite a few CDs, so up unto now I have recorded more than 250 songs. And I'm not yet finished ... gotta have this and that song, you know how collectors are.

Anyway, here's one key issue which I find extremely disappointing regarding my computer-music-relationship.

The quality of the recordings is pretty poor, the loudspeakers are even poorer. Sometimes, I transfer some of the files to my office desktop computer, which has "real" loudspeakers, which are only a little bit better than the squeaky ones of the laptop. They sound like a transistor radio from the 1960s.

If I hadn't listened to the songs on my Hi-fi set, I had no idea what they sound like. I love my JBL loudspeakers, because they make the CDs sound real nice. (Yep, I know that JBL is not everybody's taste.)

So, I end up listening to music and recalling how it really sounded on the real stuff. Pretty stupid, eh? But that's what we seem to have become in this madness of getting everything on the computer.

Next thing I'm thinking of is, you guessed it, to connect the computer with the Hi-fi and let all of these compilations run for hours via my JBL-loudspeakers. The only thing which prevents me from doing so is the fear that the beautiful music will sound as flat as on the bloody laptop, which I use to write this column.

Any ideas, how to improve my situation? Just let me know, 'cause I believe I need advice one way or the other.

Copyright © by Eberhard Wenzel, 1997-2001