Letters - 7/17/00

Where is My Creative Nomad Jukebox?

Last January I read an article that your writer Rich Menta wrote entitled "Creative Announces 6GB MP3 Portable"

I have been patiently awaiting it's arrival, to no avail it would seem. Do you have any idea when this player will "actually" be released or is Creative just blowing PR smoke?

Clayton Dukes

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We know the feeling as we are waiting for our demo unit of the player to arrive for a review. Our last talks with Creative are that it's coming, but no firm date yet.

It wouldn't surprise us if the date they gave for its release was overly "genereous". They are trying to catch up to the Personal Jukebox, a player that has been out for months and performed excellent in our review. It might be the old vaporware trick of Microsoft, promise their version early to exploit fan loyalty to their product and then release several months later.

In all fairness though, most MP3 manufacturers experience some production delays from the factories they contract to in Korea and Taiwan and that probably is what's holding up the Nomad Jukebox. That said, we will follow up with them today and see what the status is.

RCA Line Out?

Hello I would like to know if there is a MP3 played that has a RCA LineOutput.

I want to play MP3's through my home stereo.. I know I can use a headphone to RCA adapter but the impedance and quality isn't the same... Can you suggest a brand/mode that has RCA output...

Of the units we have seen to date, none have an RCA output jack and that includes the makers of the Portable Jukebox above who expect many users to hook the player direct to their stereos. Seems RCA jacks aren't seen as practical when a product has the word portable in its name, which is a shame because knowledgable audiophiles like yourself know how to get the most out of a unit when given a chance. They are also the ones most like to spend several hundred dollars for a high end unit as long as it serves their needs.

re: Is MP3 Music a Perishable Product?

I think it'd definitely not perishable. I personally archive all of the Ancient Harmony mp3 files I make on CDR. Ten years from now they are still just as playable on any computer with a CD drive and the windows media player. Ten years from now, they can still be ripped and dubbed onto an audio CD. Any data not backed up or transferred properly is only perishable by the choice of the user.

Over the years, we have seen many different digital audio formats come along, usually always better for it's purpose than what came before. Media player programs are almost all backwards compatible and will play an original Mac audio file as good now as ten years ago. I can't dispute the value of digital music for the various publicity related purposes you mentioned. Camper Van Beethoven's large mp3 release worked for them, but it appears to have been an advertising method for the sale of their unreleased material. If I happened to post the same material on my own site without links to their new release, would they be upset about that?

When we listen to radio all day long, we are not listening for free. We pay by being forced to hear advertisements mixed in with the music. Those ads are paid for by the various advertisers that the radio station does business with. The radio station, in turn, pays royalties for the music that they use to frame their ads with. In reality, it's really the advertisers who bear the cost of paying those royalties, and it's they who benefit the most from the music that the radio station plays. Piracy of radio signals for rebroadcast or sales of recorded broadcasts are about the only way to infringe on their happy little circle (carefully regulated with mandatory station logs).

Radio waves are truly instantaneous and perishable and are also fully paid for. Using your bootleg cassettes as an example doesn't even fly with me because that is, after all, an analog format. I will, however, admit to dubbing hundreds of LPs onto cassette years ago, but I think that falls into the "personal copy" category. In all of the debate over Napster, I've never seen any mention of how they make their money. They have investors and lawyers and such, but how do they pay their bills(except royalties)?


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