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Friday, March 26, 2010

Something to avoid

A good friend of mine asked me, a while ago, about the idea of installing a digital file server to interface with his high-end stereo system. He is a dedicated audiophile who owns a wonderful system, mainly Mark Levinson components and B&W speakers. He wanted an audio file server that matched the quality of his existing system. I remember making some suggestions as to what to look for and what to avoid. My friend bought a device for which he had high hopes. This was the Olive Opus 4 digital music system. After many months of frustration trying to fit the things to his needs, he finally gave it to me. This was a mixed "blessing." I now own a file server on which I have loaded over 500 CDs. The audio quality is certainly good enough for my "better than average" system consisting of vintage NAD components. The negative side is that the rest of the system is worthless. Once you have spent many hours ripping your CDs to the internal hard drive (much of is wasted time due to some really horrible programming and inefficiency of process) you are stuck with incredibly primitive access to your music. In addition, the library file is almost impossible to edit with the provided tools and no option is provided to export the library or playlist files for editing in an external application. The manufacturer is good at making excuses, but there is no excuse for this!!! Itunes and Winamp both allow you to export and edit the metadata acquired in the riping process, but not the Olive Opus. You are supposed to edit each track's information with a buggy and slow application. Pretty much everything about the whole system, other than the quite decent D to A conversion and resulting sound quality, is disappointing to say the least. Stay tuned for the system that we finally put together that puts the Olive Opus to shame at a fraction of the cost.


  1. I hope this is not going to be another one of those whiny "know it all" blogs that go on and on and on and on and on about things most of us couldn't care less about. I mean, isn't there enough of that on the interwebs already?

  2. if that is the way you feel,why did you marry me?