Paul McGowan: One of my readers commented that “it sure is easier to just put a record on the turntable and play it” in response to trying to understand the complexity of sending music out of a computer. Well, sure it is – just as it’s even easier to put a CD into a CD player. But then, it may be the easiest still to simply pick up an iPad and touch the screen to start some of the best sounding music you’ve ever heard playing on your high-end stereo system.
I think understanding the complexities of any system is equally hard – it all looks very complex and it’s important to simply take a step back and see what the end result of all the complexity is. From my viewpoint the proper ritual of washing a vinyl disc, cleaning the stylus, locating the track, setting the needle down and then returning to your listening chair each time you want to hear another track or album is a far more complex process than using your remote to select the next track on a CD and press play – and all of them pale when it comes to the ease of scrolling through 1000 albums with a flick of a finger on your iPad.
It’s funny how the most complex system of all is the simplest to use. After all, most of us don’t have a clue anymore how a modern automobile works in other than the most basic of concepts – yet it sure is easy to just touch the ignition button, start the car and drive off.
If, by reading the last series on networking you got a glimpse of how everything works and that glimpse might be enough to provide a mental image of the actual system and its workings, then setting one up is really quite easy and hopefully I’ve manbaged to demystify it a bit for you.
Next I think it might be handy to look at some of the devices we use to play music on our networks.