I keep eyeing the AirPods Max listing on Amazon. The price is dropping below $500 now. They don’t seem perfect and I only tried them for a second but the noise cancellation puts the NC in my Beoplay H9 to shame.

🎧 I turned on the crazy hi-res audio settings on my Mac tonight. I want to justify why I have an expensive DAC. 😀

I have been listening to Apple Music’s “Made for Spatial Audio” tracks all morning with my external DAC and my closed-back planar magnetic headphones. So far, I have decided that I prefer the lossless stereo mixes to the Dolby Atmos mixes. I guess I prefer a narrower soundstage.

I am appreciating the lossless tracks on Apple Music. I probably don’t have the ears to actually hear the difference anymore. But my equipment is good enough to make use of the extra bits, I am listening more closely than usual, and I am enjoying it.

Oh, cool: Apple Music’s lossless audio quality tier is now live. Check out iOS Settings > Music to turn it on.

‘60s pop like The Four Seasons sounds great from the tiny, terrible, mono Amazon Echo speaker in my kitchen. The music must have been mixed with transistor radios in mind.

🎵 I love the new Bleachers single “Stop Making this Hurt.”

Lossless Music Discussion on ATP Podcast

The latest episode of Accidental Tech Podcast has a great discussion about lossless music, which is coming to Apple Music next month.

WebEx has virtual backgrounds?!

A software update at work pushed out the virtual backgrounds feature for WebEx. Since my home office—at least the part of it that is behind me and not under my control— is a mess, I enabled it.

Sadly, it looks pretty awful. The background mostly leaves a halo around me un-obscured; sometimes it clips portions of my face or shoulder off. I have a very high-end laptop and a “very good” Logitech webcam (all webcams are terrible, I think), so I have concluded that WebEx’s technology is way behind Zoom’s, which does the virtual backgrounds flawlessly. I think I will leave virtual backgrounds on, for privacy reasons, and hope no one minds the weird visual side effects.

I did not have to wait long for the Apple Music announcement to drop.

Apple Music can release its rumored lossless tier any minute now. I’m waiting with my best headphones. I don’t care at all about spatial audio or Dolby Atmos, though, so I hope that isn’t the only kind of thing coming.

Is a higher-quality Apple Music tier on the way?

I hope so. I am a sucker for lossless codecs, even though I probably can’t hear the difference between them and AAC-256.

🎵 I’m going to lean into my New Jersey-ness today and listen to a ton of Bruce Springsteen. First album up: The Wild, The Innocent, & the E Street Shuffle. This is one of Springsteen’s records that I never think to listen to, but, of course, it’s great. It was made back when Springsteen still wrote songs with a torrent of stream-of-consciousness-style lyrics like a verbose street poet.

🎵 I think it is cool that Counting Crows is releasing a new album next month. It has been seven years since their last one, and I honestly thought they had given up writing new material.

🎵 I’m listening to Gaslighter by The Chicks again today. It is one of my favorite albums of 2020. Everything is great about it, from the catchy choruses to the close harmonies to the clean production. My favorite part of it is the songwriting, which is fueled with righteous anger and makes for compelling country-pop music.

🎵 I’m enjoying the new album, Obviously, by Lake Street Dive. I think, though, that if I heard this album when I was a kid I would have hated it. My music tastes have broadened considerably since then.

🎵 “Canada’s Country”: I’ve been enjoying this laid-back playlist while I work. Honestly, I didn’t know Canada made country music. Unfortunately, there’s nothing particularly Canadian about it. It would be cool if there were.

🎵 I’m currently listening to Chemtrails over the Country Club by Lana Del Ray for the first time. I have been waiting for this one. Lana Del Ray is one of my favorite artists. It’s too soon for me to tell how much I like it.

🎵 The Hold Steady’s latest album, Open Door Policy, is growing on me. I know reviewers love it, because it is a return to form, but I was hoping for something different. It’s hard to say, what, though. Something that’s a mix of fun and depressing, like my favorite Hold Steady lyrics, I guess.

🎵 I loved all of the “Playlists from Visionary Women” that were front-and-center on Apple Music for International Women’s Day today. I’m glad they are still there today on the “Browse” page.

🎵 I’m trying out PlexAmp again, and am listening to Herbie Hancock’s “Gershwin’s World” (in ALAC) which has been in my library for over twenty years and probably hasn’t been listened to since 2000.

🎵 Today’s listen: “Everything Will Change” by The Postal Service. It’s the remastered audio part of a filmed concert from 2013. Sadly, it isn’t new music, but it’s fun to hear the band play live.

🎵 Today’s listen: “My Woman” by Angel Olsen. I am a huge fan of her newer album, “All Mirrors”, so I decided to listen to her prior album. It’s pretty good, and has a strong finish, but it is not as compelling to me as “All Mirrors” is.

🎵 Some good news for fans like me: The Hold Steady Announce New Album, Share New Song.

🎵 I found a new Bleachers single today, featuring Bruce Springsteen. I was hoping for a new album this year, but this will have to do for now.