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Should we merge the 'Digital Sources, DACs & Music Streaming' and 'Computer Audio / Software' subforums?

Should we merge the 'Digital Sources, DACs & Music Streaming' and 'Computer Audio / Software' subforums?  

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Looking through the threads, I am seeing a lot of overlaps, and perhaps even confusion between these two sub-forums.

Should we just merge them, and if so, what do you suggest for the title of the newly merged Sub-forum?

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perhaps confusion is in the naming. i know easy to just merge, but could it, should it be ? 

 

- Digital sources and DACs - disc players, dacs, streaming devices

 

- Computer audio & software

 

the above two are completely distinct source types. 

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13 minutes ago, betty boop said:

the above two are completely distinct source types. 

Agreed, but looking at the discussions across both subforums, many of them should be in the other.

 

Maybe the two should be merged into:

 

Digital Sources, DACs, Computer Audio Discussion

 

And add a brand new Subforum:

 

Music Streaming Discussion (Roon, TIDAL, Spotify, Qobuz etc)

 

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1 minute ago, Marc said:

Digital Sources, DACs, Computer Audio Discussion

I don’t know I quite personally see computer audio  as a completely stand alone section that deserves a whole sub forum on itself 

streamers, Dacs, disc players as digital sources I see as distinctly different as source gear. People often go here don’t necessarily want a computer in their hifi system :) 

 

definitely Could split off music streaming discussion

 

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3 minutes ago, betty boop said:

I don’t know I quite personally see computer audio  as a completely stand alone section that deserves a whole sub forum on itself 

streamers, Dacs, disc players as digital sources I see as distinctly different as source gear. People often go here don’t necessarily want a computer in their hifi system :) 

 

definitely Could split off music streaming discussion

 

I agree, Computer Audio doesnt need a dedicated subforum, hence why I am dropping it in the Digital Sources and DACs subforum.

 

Streamers and Disc Players are digital sources, "100%". But it makes sense, to me, to put DACs in that same sub-forum.

I'm not sure if we are agreeing or disagreeing with each other here. Your post is confusing me :)

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12 minutes ago, Marc said:

I'm not sure if we are agreeing or disagreeing with each other here. Your post is confusing me :)

no problem will clarify :) be good for thoughts from other folk as well, how folks see this :) so look forward to that :) 

 

12 minutes ago, Marc said:

I agree, Computer Audio doesnt need a dedicated subforum, hence why I am dropping it in the Digital Sources and DACs subforum.

I think we are disagreeing on this if reading above ?perhaps I mis read above or i mis communicated my note prior, I see computer audio as a completely different thing and deserves a whole sub forum on its own. folks with a computer, will likely use that as their source, their everything. they might add a dac, but it might also have a sound card ? so maybe that not even needed ? we might miss out on a whole section on computer builds and optimising for audio, setup and such I think because lost in with all other digital sources. 

 

12 minutes ago, Marc said:

Streamers and Disc Players are digital sources, "100%". But it makes sense, to me, to put DACs in that same sub-forum.

definitely agree on this one :) 

 

sorry a few late edits above to clarify...

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I sense that we need to define a couple of things.   

 

Are we seeing streaming as a different thing to digital sources?   I don't. 

 

Also the term "computer" is too generic.  Every digital source IS a computer inside these days.  However, a CD/DVD player is less obvious, then you slide across the scale - an MP3 player, a Raspberry Pi streamer, a phone and a finally a laptop and desktop computer at the other end.

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2 minutes ago, betty boop said:

folks with a computer, will likely use that as their source, their everything. they might add a dac, but it might also have a sound card ? so maybe that not even needed ? we are missing out (perhaps) on a whole section on computer builds and optimising for audio, setup, software and such I think because lost in with all other digital sources right now. 

But that info can be very computer type specific.  There are 3 operating systems commonly used, and even more hardware types.

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I think I started this discussion once before and abandoned it as there was not a complete solution or universal agreement. :)

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Posted (edited)

I voted Yes.

 

Excessive balkanisation just makes it harder to find and follow stuff. I reckon that across SNA we have way too many forums already for what is really a single pursuit and hobby.

 

You can always find differences if you look hard enough (why is there a single speaker forum, when active and passive speakers, or 1-, 2- and 3-way speakers are clearly different?) – we should embrace commonalities instead.

 

EDIT I guess it comes down to the benefit of sub-forums. Up to which point are subdivisions helpful, and when do they start getting in the way? For someone looking for a new digital source or streamer, a computer may well be the best solution. I know it is for me.

Edited by Steffen

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2 minutes ago, Steffen said:

Excessive balkanisation just makes it harder to find and follow stuff. I reckon that across SNA we have way too many forums already for what is really a single pursuit and hobby.

This is exactly my feeling. I would like less sub-forums overall and broader coverage of topics within those sub-forums.

I occasionally check big forums overseas to see how they have categorised their sub forums and IMO it's a mess with 100 60 sub-forums and very, very niche topics with few posts. I checked AVS this morning, and again, IMO, it's a dog's breakfast.

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7 minutes ago, Steffen said:

I voted Yes.

 

Excessive balkanisation just makes it harder to find and follow stuff.

Agree.  I also voted yes.

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6 minutes ago, Marc said:

it's a mess with 100 60 sub-forums and very, very niche topics with few posts.

Perhaps sub-forum activity is a good metric to gauge their right to exist. If a sub-forum has fewer than x% of new topics, as share of the total, it can most likely be considered redundant, unless it really, really doesn’t fit well with anything else. Even then, it could join the other niche forums in a common “doesn’t fit well with anything else” forum :) 

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Yeah I have always monitored that over the years. Generally if it has no new posts in ~3 months, I consider it no longer worthy of having its own sub-forum. First step is to make a child of a parent sub-forum, and then the next step some time later it gets deleted with all content moved to the most relevant existing sub-forum.

 

There are no redundant sub-forums currently however.

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I kinda like this merge logic.

Digital source DAC and Computer Audio are close together in discussions but potentially this is because DACs always get raised - no matter the forum.

Even in music streaming conversations DACs are still mentioned regularly. 

A lot of people plug their computer into their DAC, run their digital source via a different DAC so again the DAC becomes the common denominator.

 

It's almost that Computer Audio Software separates itself a little bit ie. Foobar, roon, etc.

 

I don't know, but could the sub forum be Computer Audio Software and all others sit in the same forum?

 

 

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9 minutes ago, 08Boss302 said:

 

 

I don't know, but could the sub forum be Computer Audio Software and all others sit in the same forum?

 

 

 

I follow the reasoning.  A separate forum just for computer audio software.  But would it include software for dedicated computers, like the rPi,  and also other computing devices, like Android and Apple phones and tablets?

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1 hour ago, Marc said:

Agreed, but looking at the discussions across both subforums, many of them should be in the other.

 

Maybe the two should be merged into:

 

Digital Sources, DACs, Computer Audio Discussion

 

And add a brand new Subforum:

 

Music Streaming Discussion (Roon, TIDAL, Spotify, Qobuz etc)

 

This is the way I'd have it. I'd also be interested in finding out how many people just use a "new content" method of viewing the forums? I've always done it that way and just overlook topics which aren't of interest.

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6 minutes ago, blybo said:

I'd also be interested in finding out how many people just use a "new content" method of viewing the forums? I've always done it that way and just overlook topics which aren't of interest.

I use the "since last visit" view.  But if I have been away, I also go to specific forums of interest, and low volume forums can disappear off that list quickly.

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Part of the issue is not the topic but the expertise.  Categories seem to be:

 

1. The person who wants to play music. That person has some music files on a computer or some similar device, or has internet access by way of a device and so has access to internet music. They also have some speakers. In between there is a gap where they want some magic to happen.

 

The magic could be "as cost-effective as possible",  "as simple as possible", or "no holds barred". Magic wands have names like DAC, S/PDIF, I^2C, Daphile, and other mystical sh*t that this person does not want to learn, they just want to play music.

 

Further, having to learn sh*t means less time to listen to music.

 

2. People who have files and speakers but are more interested in the technical stuff that is necessary or optional to bridge the gap between the two. For this group, the music exists merely as an ancillary method of testing that the "magic happens" bridge is in fact magical. The primary test involves electrical devices such as oscilloscopes and seismographs. The hobby is about bytes and the hardware that transports them, and not about music.

 

In my opinion the magic bridge is there for the music, not the other way around. Therefore any discussion will inevitably include DACs and a whole bunch of other stuff, for two reasons. First, it's complicated. Second, the people in group 2 do this for a living or for a hobby and they like it complicated.

 

Bung 'em all in together because the people in Group 1 who need the magic wand don't know what they don't know. One of the things they don't know is that it's possible to split the subject into 2 subforums. I think this explains the duplications and overlaps.

 

I'd call it "Digital music: the path from files to speakers". 

 

The rest is subtitles and descriptive tags.

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4 minutes ago, ThirdDrawerDown said:

Part of the issue is not the topic but the expertise.  Categories seem to be:

 

1. The person who wants to play music. That person has some music files on a computer or some similar device, or has internet access by way of a device and so has access to internet music. They also have some speakers. In between there is a gap where they want some magic to happen.

 

The magic could be "as cost-effective as possible",  "as simple as possible", or "no holds barred". Magic wands have names like DAC, S/PDIF, I^2C, Daphile, and other mystical sh*t that this person does not want to learn, they just want to play music.

 

Further, having to learn sh*t means less time to listen to music.

 

2. People who have files and speakers but are more interested in the technical stuff that is necessary or optional to bridge the gap between the two. For this group, the music exists merely as an ancillary method of testing that the "magic happens" bridge is in fact magical. The primary test involves electrical devices such as oscilloscopes and seismographs. The hobby is about bytes and the hardware that transports them, and not about music.

 

In my opinion the magic bridge is there for the music, not the other way around. Therefore any discussion will inevitably include DACs and a whole bunch of other stuff, for two reasons. First, it's complicated. Second, the people in group 2 do this for a living or for a hobby and they like it complicated.

 

Bung 'em all in together because the people in Group 1 who need the magic wand don't know what they don't know. One of the things they don't know is that it's possible to split the subject into 2 subforums. I think this explains the duplications and overlaps.

 

I'd call it "Digital music: the path from files to speakers". 

 

The rest is subtitles and descriptive tags.

That's a big :thumb: from me.

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I voted NO because I see digital sources and streamers as completely distinct entities to "computer audio ".

The latter implies an engagement to varying degrees with computers and what they can achieve.

 

The former usually  implies and involves those who want to listen to music from a digital source, without endless tweaking, software programmes and updates.

 

 I would venture to suggest that most in the former group just wish to drop disc in draw and press play or connect phone/tablet/streamer wirelessly.

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Posted (edited)

'Digital Sources, DACs & Music Streaming' and 'Computer Audio / Software'

 

I voted NO because I don't care much if any about the former but do care about the latter.

Edited by Satanica

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Satanica said:

'Digital Sources, DACs & Music Streaming' and 'Computer Audio / Software'

 

I voted NO because I don't care much if any about the former but do care about the latter.

Exactly.

I have no idea or desire to use a computer for music, but as you have succinctly said, they are very different interests. This is why separation is crucial.

Edited by rantan

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Posted (edited)

I care less about the later, but I'm old :lol:

 

Edit: Spinners and maybe DACs I care about, nothing much of the other stuff, but apart from being old...more and more the fancy pants streaming and CA are dominating the hobby. 'Orwellian Audio' I call it :D

 

I'm ok with however it turns out, I just post my thoughts because I can :)

Edited by muon*

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Posted (edited)

If there was a merge may I suggest something like:

 

Digital Sources (Music): Disc Players, DACs, Streamers, Computer Hardware & Software

Edited by Satanica

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