The Engineering-Music Edition Monday, December 23, 2019

We Drowned AirPods, Powerbeats Pro And Galaxy Buds, by Vanessa Hand Orellana, CNET

With the highest IP rating among the three wireless headphones we tested, it's no surprise that the Powerbeats Pro performed the best overall. The Galaxy Buds seemed to have the least amount of damage occur to its microphones, but the buds themselves only played sound on one side. Even then, we had to crank the volume to its maximum level to hear much at all.

The AirPods were the outliers of the bunch, given they aren't rated for sweat or water and turned out to be the biggest surprise in our test. After all of our testing, they didn't sound as good as when we first took them out of the box, but they are certainly still usable, even after going through the wash.

AirPods Pro Bluetooth Latency, by Stephen Coyle

Looking to the AirPods first, there's a very encouraging trend occurring. They drop from 274ms to 178ms going from the first to second generation, and the AirPods Pro take it down even further, to 144ms. While a 130ms reduction may not seem like a lot, the perceptual difference from this makes the AirPods Pro tantalisingly close to seamless.

Why Big Data Has Been (Mostly) Good For Music, by Allyson McCabe, Wired

All of this creates a lot of questions about what’s at stake and for whom. Big data can help streaming services make music recommendations and offer exclusive content in an effort to expand their market share. It can also help labels partner with buzzy artists that are likely to yield a significant ROI. And in cases where talent, luck, and industry interests align, it can help artists to make smart decisions about how to sustain their breakout success.

But if data mining supplants traditional A&R altogether, labels will become even less willing to take chances on artists whose music isn’t engineered to maximize profit. That would mean more homogeneity and less incentive for creativity and innovation. That might work for casual listeners, but for music lovers, it’s the opposite of value.


Birding Today: Apps Bring Birding To Your Phone, by Deb Hirt, Muskogee Phoenix

Technology has done some remarkable things for the birding world. If John James Audubon and other pioneering ornithologists were alive today, they would be both in awe and jealous. However, the point is that had they not done what they did for birding, we’d never be where we are today.

Ready yourselves to get a couple of apps for your Android and iPhone if you don’t already have them to improve your birding game.

Lego Builder's Journey Is A Surprisingly Beautiful And Poetic Puzzler, by Cameron Bald, AppSpy

A more emotional take on Lego isn't something I thought we needed, but along comes Builder's Journey to (hopefully) prove me wrong.


Apple Removes Popular Chat App ToTok After Reports That It’s A Govt Spy Tool, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple has removed ToTok from the App Store after a classified intelligence assessment and a New York Times investigation said that the app was a spy tool used by the United Arab Emirates.

Bottom of the Page

Has anyone ever throw a Christmas party for introverts? Because I think I need that.


Thanks for reading.