Annoying Little Noise
It is often said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I have always felt uncomfortable about this as I know a little about many things and often wondered if that made me a very dangerous man? In last month's closing piece, I voiced a number of questions in order to get us all thinking about new technology and its worth. One of the questions was why CD is based on a 16-bit architecture rather than 24-bit for which the technology already existed.
In response I received an email from a good friend and a link to a forum which gives freedom of speech to anonymous "geeks". In itself, this can be a good thing and I am certain that it helps those without the social skills to be able to actually make friends and meet up with them for a chat but, I worry that innocent people go to these places for information and may even make important buying decisions based on the baseless meanderings of late-night keyboard jockeys with perhaps a little too much freedom of speech than is wise. In this particular case the "geek" in question was spouting about the difference between 16-bit and 24-bit and although like me, he had clearly done some research, he claimed that the differences were inaudible and that in fact you only need a 12dB dynamic range for most music. If this were true then I would have to ask the question why waste so much time and money on a 16-bit audio device when a 2-bit one would be ample to achieve 12dB (mathematically anyway!) - I am therefore reinventing the saying at the top of this piece to: A little knowledge and easy posting access to a forum is a dangerous thing!
See you next month,