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Meeting held Monday, October 20, 2008 at Opus 4 Studios, Bothell, WA

AES PNW Section Meeting Report

How Does Your Portable Music Player Work?
James (JJ) Johnston, Neural Audio


PowerPoint Deck 

JJ Johnston begins his presentation The PNW Section's October 2008 meeting featured James (JJ) Johnston presenting a general overview of how portable music players work, such as the iPod or Zune. Opening remarks and announcements came from PNW Chair Steve Turnidge. Attendees introduced themselves and were asked to mentioned some audio thing they've seen of interest recently. Attendance was approximately 15 members & 9 non-members. Opus 4 Studios of Bothell WA hosted the event.

James (JJ) Johnston, of Neural Audio (formerly Microsoft & Bell Labs) discussed the elements that all portable music players need to work, without discussing proprietary brand specifics.

JJ makes a point. A break was held, and door prizes awarded:

Andy Hall - Whirlwind cap (AES Convention swag)
Ken Meyer - Lectrosonics shirt
Dr. Mike Matesky, Ed Gruse - Fluke VoltAlert (from Rick Rodriguez/Fluke Corp)
Janey Wallick, Jon Harris - Opus 4 Studios travel cup (from Opus 4 Studios)
Dan Mortensen - Universal Audio DVD (AES Convention swag)
Kevin Shank, Bob Smith, Gary Gesellchen, Steve Turnidge - audio CDs (from Opus 4)
Rob Baum - Bag End disc case (AES Convention swag)
Tom Monohan - AES 125th convention exhibitor directory (AES Convention swag)
Rob Riggs - Cogswell College bottle opener (AES Convention swag)
Mark Rogers, Frank Laico - lanyards (AES Convention swag)

JJ's post-break bonus session was a recap of his participation at the recent AES Convention, a panel recalling the "worst mistakes in audio." 

JJ's nominations were all accompanied by spirited discussions:
10 - Applying tube design to transistors.
9 - Calling "magnitude response" "frequency response", without looking at phase.
8 - Citing a Signal to Noise ratio without showing the signal and noise spectra. "A-Weighting" (aka A-message weighting) is another non-useful measurement for audio.
7 - Making an audio demonstration in a paper, workshop, or tutorial session at any conference, anywhere, due to the poor sound systems.
6 -Saying, "We'll never understand....." or "No one understands how the ear works"
5 - Pan pots - without explaining how/when to use it, how it works, how the ear hears it, not having an interchannel time delay, and worrying about mono compatibility today.
4 - Pointing out that slightly louder is perceived as better in blind testing. Loudness wars.
3 - Forgetting about the analog part of digital equipment
2 - Trying to apply analog processing to digital systems.
1 - Letting people try to use as low a bit rate as possible for music on a perceptual coder.

His closing comments:
-New things come along. Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.
-You donít want something new every time you have a new problem!
-Enthusiasm for the new does not excuse excess.
Gary Louie, PNW Secretary


Last modified 05/11/2009. 00:13:30