Welcome to Relative Waves.  This is yet another blog I’m maintaining, this one focused on music.  Where my personal blog touches on music, I don’t want to clutter it up with these types of posts.  Where my programming blog might make mention of programming projects like CDWaveform, which I use to make these blog entries, that audience wouldn’t care about these details.  So this is the home for those types of posts, intended for types of individuals who are at the next level of collecting CDs, where they want to see what differences exist between different versions.

And that part may seem the strangest to those who are not at that level.  Who would buy another copy of an album they already own?  You already own it!  It’s the same music!  Ah, but it may not be the same music, and this blog aims to demonstrate that.  It must be noted that the waveforms can’t get into the details like how the CD sounds.  Much of that is dependent on a person’s sensory capabilities and their ability to describe them.  The result is very similar to food reviews, which also are dependent on sensory capabilities.

So with that limitation in mind, what good are waveforms?  Well, the most telling result would be the identification of excessive compression on the music, colloquially termed “brickwalling”.  On one hand, excessive compression makes the album louder, which can be beneficial for listening in cars or through cheap earbuds.  On the other hand, the same compression makes listening to the music a fatiguing experience and can introduce distortion, which is the opposite of music.

Last night, I made a few initial posts, trying to figure out how I wanted to present the information and how I was going to manage the download files and blog images.  After all, WordPress doesn’t give everything away for free.  You have to find a few places that are willing to provide free services.  In this case, I use Flickr to host the waveform images and I use DropBox to host the waveform data files.  That should work suitably well until whatever the future holds for Yahoo comes to pass.

Hopefully you all find this to be a useful resource and if not, at least an interesting curiosity.  You would be surprised at how there is hardly a definitive version of an album.

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