album-week-volumio

Volumio Album of the Week - 2021

New year, more albums...

Let's start the year as we always do, with great music!

Check below our weekly album recommendations. And if you missed our 2020 album of the week compilation, you can check it out here

Week #1

 Released in 2013, Aleph by GESAFFELSTEIN takes us to the genre of IDM, electro and techno.

Debut album for the French producer Mike Levy aka Gesaffelstein.

The best gift of Mike Levy is certainly the versatility, the epic IDM of Piece of future is a bit the summa of the album that ranges between EDM (Pursuit and Obsession), UK bass rhythms (Out of line and Hellifornia) and industrial ambient (Hate Or Glory) to testify the ability to grasp the creative core of each style.

Not all of Aleph's explanations are complete (Duel and Hellifornia): reconciling the ambient minimalism of some songs with the dance explosiveness of others is a titanic undertaking, but Levy is a character who could give us surprises in the future.

Electro milestone!

Purchase it on Amazon: Aleph by Gesaffelstein

Week #2

Listen to some electro-pop and folk with Eivør and her album Slør (English Version), released in 2015.

eivor-Slor-VOLUMIO

 

The artist has graciously shown to the world the Faroese folk and ballad through her music. This album we have chosen for this week was firstly done in an English version but later released in a second version that would be in her native language, Faroese. Nonetheless, even when we listen to the English version, the Faroese heritage is still beautifully appreciated in the album.

Eivør combines in a mysterious and -you could somehow say in a darker way- a style of different genres: starting from ease folk, with a touch of pop and electronic. You will notice that Slør, comparing to previous albums, is more instrumental than vocal. She provides something new in this experimental album, although always keeping her essence she still continues to evolve over the course of her career.

In Slør you can listen to a mix of both the old and new. "Trøllabundin" reflects the traditional folk, showing us a glimpse of her heritage. In addition, a mix of contemporary sounds is found with electronic beats. In “Petti Fyri Petti” (Piece by Piece), the song delivers an intimate scene with only a guitar, her distinctive voice and humming, giving a serene sensation. 

A well-deserving recognition must be given to Eivør. One of the most important achievements of an artist is to show their country's tradition and culture through music, and Eivør has long reached the dream of many, to put her dearest country in the music scene and to make their traditional music a global success.

If you are one who enjoys discovering new music, “Slør” is a must album to put on your playlist, and the best part is that there are two versions to enjoy. We'll leave you below the links for both versions. 

Must-tracks to listen:

  • Broken
  • Into the mist
  • Piece by Piece

Purchase vinyl on AmazonSlør by Eivør

ORIGINAL LANGUAGE VERSION: EIVOR Slor (Faroese version)

Week #3

THE KNIFE Shaking the habitual - electro pop, dance, trance - 2013

the-knife-album-of-the-week

This week we bring you an album from The Swedish sibling's duo known for captivating listeners with unconventional and experimental music: The Knife. The band has unfortunately dissolved after the release of the album Shaking the Habitual, released in 2013. Regardless, it should be a shame not to continue to appreciate the core of the album, a political message sounded in tune.

The electronic and dance duo were back on their game with Shaking the Habitual, after a long 7 years since the release of their first album Silent Shout back in 2006. 

For some, the album can be difficult to be listened to at first, but the wide range of uncommon sounds and electric pieces they created and combined nicely in each song and the whole album, with songs such "A tooth for an eye" or "Fracking Fluid Injection" send the listeners to the point where normal and strange meet (where we believe it’s a good point to be at).

A 19-minute track seems not bearable to listen to all, but “Old dreams waiting to be realized” gives a dark and pensive ambiance to isolate you with only the sound and your thoughts. Additionally, it seems to split the album into two parts

Besides the eclectic sounds, their words manifest a strong political message about different aspects of some issues in our current society, the corruption, modern consumption, and the problems with privilege, among others. As they expressed in the “Shaking The Habitual - The Interview” video: “Lyrics are inspired by 70s protest songs from our childhood or maybe our record poses the question what can I protest song be today.”

A challenging but excellent album for the audacious listener.

The must-track you should not miss: 

  • Full of Fire
  • A Cherry on Top
  • Ready to lose

Purchase the vinyl on Amazon: Shaking The Habitual by The Knife

 

Week #4

This week we present to you the album ANAKRONIC/KRAKAUER by Anakronic Electro Orkestra. An album with a mix of acid electro, fusion and alternative, released in March 2016.

ANAKRONIC-ELECTRO-ORCHESTRA-volumio

Brilliant and dark is the Balkan fusion sound of the Toulouse-based collective, Anakronic Electro Orchestra, featuring clarinetist David Krakauer.

We find in this mix the audacity of combining acid electro with ancestral sounds, and the people’s tradition. The result is an electro-klezmer ensemble with a mixture of styles such as jazz, funk, rap, rock.

Improvisation has always been a distinctive trait of the clarinetist, the histrionic musical fantasy that is created by the close artistic collaboration is something that reveals unique aesthetic energy and communicative power.

This is music at the state of the art, beyond all frontiers!

Purchase it on Amazon: Anakronic / Krakauer by Anakronic Electro Orkestra

Week #5

This week, listen to hip-hop-electro French duo Smokey Joe & The Kid's album Nasty Tricks, released in 2013.

volumio-album-week

Smokey Joe (the boss of the Bordeaux musical mafia) and The Kid (Parisian turntablist), are a duet that transports us almost a century in time with the artifice of modern magic made of groovy beats, scratches and samples. This debut LP brings with it sonic manipulation, experimentation and a lot of gangsta attitude. Here ... the image of a cocktail between 2Pac and Al Capone in Brooklyn street NYC is the perfect curtain for this sound.

For connoisseurs here we have the honor of excellent collaborations: Puppetmastaz, Youthstar (Chinese Man), Sugaray Redford, Random Recipe and many more ..
Strong the influence of 90's hip hop and the swing of the early twentieth century creates the perfect setting for a rhythmic, cheerful, but unforgiving urban poetry .... Bang!

Start with a bang!

Purchase it on Amazon: Nasty Tricks by Smokey Joe & The Kid

So, the most important question, what are your thoughts on it? Is it related to your music preferences?

Tell us in the comments!

Reviews are written by DED@Volumio

Do you enjoy Volumio Album of the week? Then you will love Music Letter! Check it out.


Black Friday Surprise! We have a important announcement for you

Mmm... Here is where we should announce all the Black Friday discounts...

So where is the Black Friday discount?

discount-meme-black-friday

Oops! This time, Black Friday will be different here at Volumio and there are no discounts!

Jokes aside, we wanted to get in touch with you to give you an important announcement.

After carefully analyzing our supply chain for the past months, we are here to inform you Volumio Primo prices will increase. 

We all know about the unfortunate situation that's being going on in the world. This year has changed everybody's life, one way or another. Same happened to companies, unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic forced us into new changes.

Logistics costs have increased +200%, as well materials and manufacturing costs have increased +12% for Primo. Combining it, these costs have significantly increased the last months, not giving us another option but to come to the decision that our Volumio Primo price will increase.

Volumio-Primo-EISA-Digital-Source-Award

 The new Volumio prices will take effect on Saturday, November 28th at 00:00 CEST:

  • Volumio Primo Community Edition: €479 €499

  • Volumio Primo Hi-Fi Edition: €619 €649

*Volumio Primo Hi-Fi Edition includes MyVolumio Superstar Lifetime Plan

Why are we doing this now? We tried to hold this decision for as long as we could and prevent this price increase for these last months. However, as supply chain costs continue rising and we keep expanding our team and capabilities to provide the most to our community, keeping the current price is not sustainable anymore.

We believe it's fair to communicate in advance, this way if you are interested in buying a Primo, you can have the chance to purchase it before going through this change.

Get Volumio Primo here before prices go up!


volumio-album-week

Introducing Volumio's Album of the Week

We thought it was time to start sharing a little more about the Volumio team... You might have heard from some of us or have talked to us during a moment. But what better way to know about us by the music we enjoy listening to?

Let us introduce our Volumio's album of the week. To prepare ourselves for the weekend, we will deliver a list of curated suggestions of our favorite music collections. One album, once a week... a mix of art and pure sound quality to freeze yourself in instants that you hopefully will remember.

Week #1

Our first week's recommendation is a newly fresh studio album from the Norwegian act Ulver - "Flowers of Evil".

 

ulver-Flowers-of-evils
 

Recently released in August 2020, Flowers of Evil “finds the wolf pack exploring the fear and wonder of mankind’s fall from redemption”.

An outstanding album, which gives a touch of what a synth-pop album should have; from instrumental greatness to nostalgic touch. The difference is that ULVER has proof once again that they don't need to follow the rest by simply creating catchy electronic sounds to please the general audience.

If you don't believe us, listen it for yourself and feel the greatness with "Machine Guns and Peacock Feathers"

Purchase the vinyl on Amazon: Flowers of Evil By Ulver 

 

Week #2

Let's go back to 2014 and transport yourself into a new dimension with the album LUX by French group Ez3kiel.

ez3kiel-LUX-album-cover

We can describe LUX as a combination of powerful and dramatic, in a vibrant way.

One of a kind... 

With LUX, Ez3kiel includes a mix of electronic with a modern post-rock, providing a captivating combination that we believe on stage it sounds incredibly hypnotic, but even at home, it can satiate immensely.

A must-track to be listened: “Dead in Valhalla”

Purchase the vinyl on Amazon: LUX by Ez3kiel

 

 

Week #3

 Let's enjoy a mix of jazz and psychedelic rock with album of the week: Trust in the Lifeforce of the deep Mystery realeased on 2019 by THE COMET IS COMING
the comet is coming album

One of the projects of the unstoppable Shabaka Hutchings, king of British Nu Jazz. Psychedelia, cosmic electronics and lysergic colors in a mix of Flying Lotus experiments.

"Imagine a culture that rests on a more spiritual relationship with the earth and with lovers... Unable to listen, we keep talking... Unable to notice ourselves, unable to stop and unwilling to learn" unforgettable words from song Blood of the past.

This record is a true avant-garde journey guided by jazz paths, a jazz steeped in groove, from rock to funk, from acid house to d'n'b, from clarinets to sax, TCIC leads us to discover a new reality that is not only musical, but a lively artistic kaleidoscope.

Must-tracks to be listened: BLOOD OF THE PAST & SUMMON THE FIRE

Purchase the vinyl on AmazonTrust in the Lifeforce of the deep Mystery by The Comet Is Coming

 

Week #4

 Slowcore and dreampop... This week's album is from Cigarettes After Sex, their eponymous album from 2017.

Cigarettes after sex

We are in the indie world, but not the noble one, the trendy one. The CIGARETTES AFTER SEX give us a concentration of pure androgynous, nocturnal and minimal hyper-romanticism that intensifies piece by piece. The songs can be more properly called bedroom stories, 10 compact tracks soaked in bourbon and romance.

Purchase the vinyl on Amazon: Cigarettes After Sex by Cigarettes After Sex

Week #5

The newly released album (2020) City Burials by KATATONIA, a mix of progressive rock with metal.

Katatonia-City-Burials

Take the time to dig into this album, really feel it. There is so much to uncover and dissect. A compelling and powerful composition of musicianship and lyrical content. The entire album gravitates above all to a leaden and modern pathos, and to the melancholy voice of Renkse. The atmospheres are decidedly nocturnal, with metropolitan and decadent moods, with a catchy vein to dilute.

The tracklist explores different coordinates, but a common thread is maintained between all of them: although resized, they remain moments that touch an urban and suffused progressive, with polyrhythms and sophisticated chisels inserted here and there as ornaments; but at the same time we have a collection of songs that reaffirm the group’s most emotional alternative-rock / metal pedigree with dark shades.

Must-tracks to be listened: BEHIND THE BLOOD, THE WINTER OF OUR PASSING & CITY GLACIERS

Purchase the vinyl on Amazon: City Burials by KATATONIA

Week #6

Let's take a step back to 2016 to listen to progressive avant jazz with math rock in CHROMB's album 1000.

Here we have a band who are pushing boundaries, creating music without electric guitar which takes Zappa, Soft Machine, The Residents, John Zorn and Art Zoyd into logical and illogical extremes, blending sounds which have no place being put together, to create something which is strangely enthralling and enticing while at the same time also being harsh and abrasive. They use atonality almost as a weapon to distract the listener when things could almost be getting too commercial and poptastic. It is challenging music where there really are no limits. There is a sense of humour, playfulness even, within some of the sounds, but the result is always something which many music lovers are going to find too harsh to be enjoyed.

Purchase the vinyl on Amazon: 1000 by CHROMB!

Week #7

Back to the early 2000s with SOPHIE ZELMANI and her ballad folk album Sing and Dance.

sophie-zelmani-sing-dance-album

The story of the Swedish Sophie Zelmani is common to other singer-songwriters from northern Europe: shy, shady and reflective, she spends most of her adolescence creating poems that have a therapeutic-liberating meaning for her, then one day she begins to write songs and discovers his primary artistic vein. So she sends a demo to a couple of record labels and, surprisingly, Sony opens its doors to her alongside the expert guitarist Lars Halapi, a member of the Bo Kaspers Orkester group. Relying on the simple, straightforward, instinctive and emotional philosophy that repeats: "A good song is only a good song", the artist crystallizes in the folds of "Sing and Dance" a collage full of melancholy and intimate ballads such as "Oh Dear" and "Once" proposed in duet with Freddie Wadling alternating with sunny melodies by "People", "Breeze" and "Yes I Am" where the spontaneous grace of his voice and the freshness of the music travel in unison, drawing a palette of pastel sounds encased with pure emotional art and precious instrumental virtuosity.

This album is almost now 20 years old but has an unmatched artistic and productive sound freshness on its side.

Hoping with these few lines you discover or rediscover a real unique talent.

Must-track to be listened: 

  • Going Home
  • Breeze

Purchase the CD on Amazon: Sing & Dance by Sophie Zelmani

Week #8

Let's stay in the early 2000s this moment with CELLDWELLER and its eponymous album.

celldweller

 

The first self titled CELLDWELLER album marks a new generation in the US electro-rock fields, musically taking on a style most akin to industrial rock, an 18 tracks production heavy beast. A self proclaimed perfectionist, Klayton's high level of editing and tweaking for the sake makes it better with every single song. 

What we find here is an album that benefits from a strong electronic backing and production that brings everything in the mix forward into the spotlight, and further strengthens the overall style of the album. Instrumentally, Klayton's 'jack of all trades, master of none' approach to things brings a strong performance to the record. Although lacking anything close to a lead guitar, the wall of rhythm guitars riffage more than does the job, with songs like 'One Good Reason' and 'Own Little World' featuring a catchy, guitar driven sound. Songs like 'Under My Feet' and 'Symbiont' flourish in percussion driven segments, and the blend of acoustic and electric drum kits found throughout the album works exceedingly well.

The writing on this album is by far his best. 

In contrast with his later work, Klayton's vocal delivery on the album largely remains moody and features far less production, benefiting the darker nature of the lyrics greatly, and giving songs like 'Fadeaway' a big boost. The crown jewel of the album, 'The Last Firstborn', stands as the embodiment of everything this album is: a blend of electronic trance with metal screams and a big wall of guitar distortion.

Must-track to be listened: Switchback & The Last Firstborn

Purchase it on AmazonCelldweller by Celldweller

Week #9

A post-punk, rock, industrial album of the week with Criminal by THE SOFT MOON (2018)

The-Soft-Moon-Criminal

Luis Vasquez is still not over his personal demons. Since The Soft Moon’s self-titled 2010 debut, the mechanized riffs, post-punk squirms and groggy krautrock beats of the Oakland-based one-man-band have remained. On Criminal, The Soft Moon’s fourth studio album, these sounds are at their most gruelling, and most sharply-produced, yet.

Criminal details some of the darkest aspects of the human experience – shame, guilt, violence, desperation, self-loathing. Give something, then, is a pleasing break from the intense motor that runs through the first couple of tracks, as higher-pitched synths observe more nuanced vocals that wreak of desperation rather than sheer anger. It’s still painstaking, but on an album defined by its horror, there is beauty in the spaciousness which is wrought into delicate melodies.The album’s opener “Burn” fits its name, sudden and pulsing, a hot industrial song about lost control and a frightening kind of helplessness, one that is almost akin to dependence.

The following tracks, “Choke” and “Give Something” take a down tempo turn, brooding, softer giving off an almost liquid texture. Clear throughout Criminal is the singer’s bald-faced struggle, his wrestling with something deep insider; what is more, it feels like he’s losing, badly, especially as “Give Something” seethes restlessly to its dystopian finish. On “The Pain” the tempo picks back up, forging one of the record’s most dramatic constructions, a fury of heart racing keys and pulsing beats. As the record crackles to a finish on a triptych of songs (“Young” “Born Into This” and the title track) one is left with no other recourse than to believe Vasquez, his performance, the way he feels every instrumental shock mimics the experience of being abandoned.

Additional suggestions to be listened:

  • Criminal Remixed album - 2018
  • Criminal Instrumental album - 2018

Purchase the vinyl on Amazon: Criminal by The Soft Moon

Week #10

Om advaitic songs

The Americans Om, a pearl in the stoner sludge panorama (project by Sleep's icon Al Cisneros), in their 2012 album Advaitic Songs, evoke ancient rituals in psychedelic mystical landscapes, unreal landscapes wrapped in dreamlike atmospheres. An aimless journey through India, through supernatural worlds, choruses that sing disturbing litanies, everything contributes to creating dark and arcane fantasies.

The first track, "Addis", knows how to convey the idea: you hear a voice singing mysterious words, almost a Middle Eastern chant, in the background percussion and strings and the journey begins. With "State Of Non-Return", however, the unstoppable rhythm leads to a landscape that is much more 'hard', which will no longer be perceived for the rest of the album and which refers to the past stoner rock, apart from the calm closure again.

“Gethsemane”, in fact, takes up the mystical journey we had undertaken with “Addis”; but the piece lasts 10 minutes in which it knows how to build a spiritual and timeless atmosphere: strings, percussions, bass, singing an austere prayer to any god, even if this is a typically oriental spirituality. "Sinai" begins with the bursting of arcane words praising the mystery that reveals an Arabian sun. We are confused by the suggestive carpet of arches, which obscures the sun and makes the journey continue in other scenarios.

"Haqq al-Yaqin", the last stage, is firmly anchored to a gothic and gloomy universe: the sound is solemn, the song a sacred melody among the gloomy spires of an ancient cathedral. The record ends and it is not easy to return with a clear mind.

Must-track to be listened:

  • STATE OF NON RETURN
  • SINAI
  • HAQQ AL-YAQIN

Purchase the vinyl on Amazon: Advaitic Songs by OM

Week #10

The album of the last week of 2020 is Forever Blue by A.A. Williams, a combo of post rock, post classical. Released this 2020.

Classical studies as a child, falling in love with Deftones and the most extreme metal, a guitar found on the street, the first compositions, an eponymous EP and, then, the leap in quality, with a 10 "vinyl entitled "Exit In Darkness" composed in collaboration with the Japanese post rock band Mono. These are the stages in the short career of A.A. Williams, a young Londoner who with "Forever Blue", her debut published via Bella Union, finally tries her hand at long distance.

Eight songs for forty-three mins, in which the young songwriter puts her studies and passion for the most experimental rock. 

From the first listening, in fact, influences from bands such as the mentioned Mono, Rachel's, Explosions In The Sky, Sigur Ros and Cult Of Luna are perceived, relocated in a sound context in which also contemporary classical and contemporary textures emerge, opening to a livid and crepuscular folk. However, it would be very simplistic to frame this debut through its bands of inspiration: in fact, the album shows all the talent of a young artist who writes great songs and has many things to say through her own original artistic vision.

"Forever Blue" is first and foremost the perfect representation of the dramatic liturgy of our times, the ghostly photograph of a world adrift and hopeless.

It is one of the best albums of this grey year, a complex and fascinating record, surrounded by a sadness that does not evaporate, but that drags and wraps around a candlelight, a glimmer of hope.

Purchase the vinyl on Amazon: Forever Blue by A.A. Williams

Well.. we want to hear from you, what are your thoughts on it? Have you listened to them before? Are they related to your music preferences?

Tell us in the comments!

Reviews written by DED@Volumio

Do you enjoy Volumio Album of the week? Then you will love Music Letter! Check it out here.


Liedson-Volumio-OEM

Introducing the ORATORIO by LIEDSON: Volumio new OEM partner

Some of you might have noticed a link in Volumio's header called "Custom Solutions". Some of you might have wondered what it is and why we decided to make it so prominent. Well, here's your chance to have a behind the curtains overview of what it means and why we're so proud of this.

Essentially, Volumio is not only your favorite Audiophile Music Player, but it's a technology that we do license to many Hi-Fi companies around the world. The idea is simple: Volumio is the result of the development efforts of our beloved community and of the developers working for the Volumio company. As we are great fan of efficiency, we understood that to create a top-notch music player, we had to involve (both financially and on a co-design basis) the more stakeholders possible: the more ideas we put in it, the more development resources we put it it, the better.

So, what you, in fact, use every day has been funded thanks to all the Hi-Fi companies (there are more than 30, worldwide) that embraced Volumio technology and used them in their product. On the other hand, such companies receive a tailor-made, state of the art streaming software, enabling them to bring new products to the market. And the Volumio company not only provides the software per-se, but a range of services (consultancy on software and hardware, support, branding, fine-tuning of audio performances etc), effectively removing all the complications that software inherently brings.

This is essentially why Volumio OEM has become the choice of many audio manufacturers for their streamers solution, ensuring them a stable, feature-rich and proven platform. And why the OEM program allowed Volumio to grow as it is today.

Enough talking about Volumio, now let's see a case where we can safely assume that the Volumio OEM tailored software, together with exquisite audio and design expertise produced a remarkable result.

oratorio-liedson-streamer

The ORATORIO. Created by France-based brand LIEDSON is an integrated high-end streamer with CD playback and ripping ability built-in. It captivated us not only for its sonic performances, but as well its elegant design. With Volumio OEM Solution, we provided to the ORATORIO a customizable platform where users can manage the device, inheriting proven stability and performance of the Volumio OS, and customizing the looks and feel to provide a coherent package.

Desktop Version

Gilles Aguilera, designer and founder at LIEDSON, created the Oratorio's OS when he first developed the product. Decided to go on a different path, he later on tested Volumio on the device, resulting in a new decision to incorporate instead a customized Volumio version for the Oratorio's main OS. As Gilles explained to us, he chose Volumio because the system is "fluid, responsive with very good ergonomics". 

Mobile Version

 The ORATORIO, more than high-end streamer, a philosophy

Gilles carefully designed and developed the ORATORIO based on its passion for art and audio. Being an awarded painter/sculptor since the age of 18, he was fond by Italian art and the artists surrounding it. In addition, audio was another passion recollected since he was young, creating his first audio server worked under Linux in 2005.

After all, a great product comes with great design. Two years ago, with the help of an Italian designer friend, Gilles developed the first visuals of the Oratorio. Gilles' wife contributed as well with the first model, developing a modernized device with noble materials while keeping it user friendly with its plug and play convenience. 

design-liedson
All products from LIEDSON are assemble by hand

 

The ORATORIO is built around an aluminum chassis machined in the mass for a weight of 16 kg, the sides and the bottom have a thickness of 10mm, and the front face is 150 mm x 30 mm it serves as housing for the reader CD which is totally trapped, reducing mechanical vibrations to naught. 

The wooden part "the hood" is machined from a noble wood, from 30 years old drowned burl. It is machined to tenths of a millimeter on digital control, to receive the imprints of the internal components (transformers, PCB, capacitor) which are fixed on the bottom of the ORATORIO.

Our products are intended for a demanding clientele seeking custom-built equipment, free from all noise, and unparalleled reliability. - Gilles Aguilera

We can surely agree the ORATORIO provides the complete package. Elegancy, timeless design and universality.

liedson-oratorio

 

Powerful integrated technology

With an extended expertise on high-end audio equipment, Gilles carefully chose these four main parameters the audio server needed to follow:

  • No heating,
  • Gold-plated printed circuits,
  • High quality components such as resistors, capacitors and diodes and,
  • Rigorous pairing of each component.

Two years of research was done before choosing what is now the core of the ORATORIO system, an integrated circuit from Texas Instrument, built on the specifications for LIEDSON. According to Gilles, "the advantage of this DAC is that it requires very little electronics to operate, and its biggest advantage is that it happens operational amplifier output, the signal is directly transmitted to matched and non-magnetic resistors from TAKMAN."

Oratorio-DAC-Streamer

We are extremely pleased with the result of such great collaboration with LIEDSON. Working with their team to build and develop an optimized platform for the ORATORIO, the outcome is a truly first-class product.


Sound-Systems-Technology-Audiophile

Sound Systems: What New Technology Await Audiophiles

Music makes everyone’s life better. You can bet we’re listening to your favorite songs while writing this article. So how can you make your favorite song sound even better? Technology can answer this.

Innovations keep changing the world of sound with every minute. It improves the way songs are recorded, the experience of listening to them, and even how to play an instrument.

Technology has made music widely available and smartphones play a big role in this. From music streaming apps, to sound mixers and even learning how to play musical instruments, our mobile phones are a big part of our audio experience. There are a ton of apps that can help you curate the perfect playlist. If you want to know more about this, you can check it out in joyofandroid.com.

So what should we expect next? If anything, to be amazed. What if we go completely wireless? Or there could be more nature-friendly devices. The future is here to surprise you.

Let’s delve into some possibilities!

1. Ferroelectric Nanogenerator (FENG)

Ferroelectric-Nanogenerator

This is a very thin, foldable material. It can convert mechanical energy into electrical energy and vice-versa. This kind of technology is only experimental at the moment, mostly used for research. It was used for LCD touchscreens, LED lighting, and even flexible keyboards. All these devices operated without the need for an external power source.

One day, this material could be used to make full-sized speakers. This material was already used in a Michigan State Spartan Flag. With the help of FENG, the Michigan State fight song was played, with only an iPad as a source.

(Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2211285518303318)

2. Going Completely Wireless

wireless-headphones

Wireless devices aren’t something innovative anymore. With the apparition of earbuds, the popularity of all kinds of wireless headphones has been on the rise. Yet, there’s still a lot of room for improvement until we achieve the maximum potential.

Wireless audio has been greatly improved by the aptX HD and LDAC codexes. Additionally, battery life—a major place of improvement, is increasing. There are now devices that can go as long as 38 hours on a charge. With these improvements in mind, we wouldn’t gasp if wired headphones would become obsolete anytime soon.

The popularity of wireless headphones will skyrocket after the launch of the Apple AirPods 2. It is said that the second generation of AirPods will focus more on health and fitness, in addition to sound.

3. 360 Degree Audio

360-degree-audio

In 2019, Sony announced its 360 Reality Auto. This is a new music format made to be streamed over mobile platforms through compatible headphones. However, there is a long way to go before this becomes a reality. This is mainly because it changes the way music has to be recorded for 360 degree audio.

There’s work in progress for this, though. The Nokia OZO technology records spatial audio for your video—using your smartphone. Sounds from certain places will be artificially enhanced. And others, from outside the frame of the video, will be suppressed.

In 2018, a new holography system appeared, called Super XFi. The platform duplicates the soundstage of a full-surround sound system in a pair of headphones. This kind of technology uses a specific amp, as well as certain calibration software. These were available only to the creators of the platform, Creative.

This kind of sound can help create a more immersive “sound sphere”. When you’ll listen to a 360 degree audio, you will hear the sounds in the direction that they came from. This will make a big difference while gaming, for example. The 360 degree audio has been compared to the difference between an HD TV and a standard one.

4. Eco-Friendly Gadgets

Eco-Friendly-Gadgets

Since protecting the planet is on everyone’s minds at the moment, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more gadgets made out of eco-friendly materials. Big companies, like Apple, said they will use more recycled materials in their production process.

There’s already the Tri-Art Audio S-Series TA-0.5 turntable. It's completely made out of hemp and beeswax soaked bamboo. Those materials aren’t just eco-friendly.  Bamboo is perfect for audio due to its rigidity and vibration dampening properties.

(Source: https://www.vinyloftheday.com/tri-art-audio-bamboo-turntable/)

5. Synthstrom Deluge

Synthstrom-Deluge

This synthesizer is made in New Zealand and there are a few reasons why it’s special. First of all, it’s an uncommon all-in-one synthesizer, sampler, and sequencer. It has 128 pads for sequencing, a dual-engine subtractive, FM synth, and 64 MB of RAM. Additionally, there are built-in effects, CV outputs, and many more features.

What’s so revolutionary? It doesn’t need an additional computer to create music. This kind of device is a big innovation for portability. It broke the norm. With this one, you could make music anytime, anywhere the inspiration strikes.

(Source: https://synthstrom.com/product/deluge/)

6. Damson Cisor

Damson-Cisor

At first glance, one would be tempted to say that this is just a portable speaker. Well, yes, it is, but it is also ahead of its time. What is revolutionary about it is that it makes use of its surrounding environment. It will turn your windows, floor, or tables into a speaker. How? It uses the surface’s vibrations to amplify sounds.

This wireless speaker has changed the way portable speakers should work. And, even though it’s pretty small and lightweight—it provides great sound quality. We’re going to be frank—we kind of like looking at it too.

7. Smart Headphones

Smart-Headphones

These headphones are called Mindset—don’t mistake them for your usual wireless headphones. If you’re having trouble with your concentration, then you should definitely consider buying these. Mindset will track your focus and give you alerts when it drops.

There are EEG electrodes that sit on your head, in a  comfortable manner. They measure electrical activity. Using these kinds of headphones will train you to deal with being distracted. They also come with voice cancellation, to help you stay focused.

(Source: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mindset/headphones)

Take Away

As you can see, innovations in sound systems can be made in a plethora of directions. The quality of sound is continuously improving. There’s a clear focus on portability and convenience. Gone are the times where you needed expensive and massive devices to properly experience your favorite song.

From self-powering gadgets to eco-friendly materials and more portable devices, anything is possible. Or maybe all of the above combined? Just like in any domain, there are endless possibilities for improvement.

What are the next technologies in HiFi you think will be the most interesting to see?


MyVolumio music player features

Discover Your Music With MyVolumio Latest Credits Feature!

Ever wondered when you are listen to your favorite music, what's the story behind each song or album? Who are the people being acknowledged behind each record?  Many other questions come to our mind when we play music, especially when we play the music we enjoy the most. We want to know who were the people behind each masterpiece we listen. Today, after a great deal of work, a new feature is added to MyVolumio users.

The Music and Artists Credit Discovery feature will allow you to answer all the questions above and more by exploring the behind the scenes of the music you listen on MyVolumio.

 

You can see on the video above a quick overview of how this new feature works.

The new released is available to all MyVolumio Superstar subscribers. We believe is an important addition for the audiophile, letting you find out detailed information about songs, artists or albums.

MyVolumio Music Player Discovery Feature
You can read the biography of your favorite artists.

 

From the biography of an artist to the story of the studio where an album was recorded, all this information will be easily accessed on the User Interface. You can access to all this data on the browse menu, or in the playback page.

MyVolumio UI Music Details
Want to know who play what? Now you can!

 

The Music and Artists Credit Discovery feature gives you the opportunity to learn the story of each album, the credits list, or even the instruments that were used to record from all the music on your local files. And not only for your local files, but also for MyVolumio compatible services such as Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, and more.

The feature comes in different languages (French Version)

 

Adding to all these capabilities, the data can be available in the current language you use on the software, but if that's not the case, the will appear in English.

MyVolumio feature on mobile version
You can also enjoy it on the mobile version.

 

And this is where we say thank you to all the contributors that made this release possible. This new addition to MyVolumio would not have been possible without the help of Jo, his creative mind came up with the idea, worked on the cloud side of it and the design, making this vision a reality.

Another important contribution we must acknowledge is to Agnes & Bence of Ollala Design Studio. For all Volumio users, this great team worked on the usability of the Volumio UI, releasing a refreshed web user interface, with many fixes. The Ollalla Design Studio team explained "In this release we designed and implemented the newest iteration of the music browser. The main goal was to provide a flatter and more content rich music experience for the users while maintaining consistency with the existing UI. This project was definitely a good start to get to know Volumio and the team. Stay tuned for the leap of developments that are coming! Volumio has a bright future and we'll make sure to polish the UI this pearl."

A big thanks goes as well to Chris for his great insights, code contributions and suggestions, Gkkpch, Balbuze, Ash, Giacomo, Monica, Stefano, Massimiliano and all Volumio team members which do awesome things for this project.

Last but not least, we have to thank Wikipedia and Music Brainz (to which we are proud to be Supporters) for their amazing collective work over the years. The contribution of those 2 projects to mankind wisdom and access to information is invaluable. Without them, the work we've done on this feature would not simply be possible. If you appreciate freedom of information, think about the fact that those 2 projects have huge operational costs to be run, so consider making a donation to keep them making the world a better place ( Wikimedia foundation Donation Link, Metabrainz Foundation Donation Link).

MyVolumio music player software Features
Learn all the credits in the Credit Section

Now that we've shown you what the Music and Artists Credit Discovery features does, the facts you can read and learn about your favorite music, and the refreshed Volumio web UI; we want to invite you to see it for yourself and try it out!

The feature is available to MyVolumio Superstar users, just update Volumio to the latest version and enjoy the feature, in the event you still cannot see it, simply refresh your browser page.

This new release brings also many improvements for the free Volumio system (as you know, the financial boost coming out from MyVolumio is reinvested in the whole platform, no just the freemium part). All users are getting a reworked Album and Artist overview pages (with a more informative readout of the item, such as genre and file type), and a whole bunch of minor fixes. Next on our roadmap is to further improve the "customizability" of the browse page to allow you to "PIN" your favorite items for faster access and extra convenience.

Last but not least, we want your feedback! What do you think about this new addition to MyVolumio? Do you find it useful and interesting? Are there other credits information about your music you would like see? Give us your opinion or write down any questions you may have in the comment section!

Enjoy!


audiophile woman

A Woman in a Man's World? Hi-Fi Edition

Not too long ago I was someone completely unaware of the Hi-Fi term and industry. Music has been a main important thing in my life but my knowledge only consisted on putting on my earphones and playing my favorite music on my iPhone or computer, which sounded relatively good for me.

Yet, I didn't know that there could be something more, something that will improve my experience of listening to my favorite music in the best quality possible.

I met Michelangelo a few months ago and right away he talked to me about Volumio. I would be lying if I said I understood about Hi-Fi and Volumio after the first conversation with Michelangelo. Oh no... it was a new world for me and took some time to understand what this audiophile world was about.

Before I go deeper into this matter, let me introduce myself. My name is Monica, I am currently part of the Volumio team and I am a woman.

When I joined Volumio, a whole new experience began. I was very intrigued so I've learned about the Hi-Fi industry, who is an audiophile and what an audiophile seeks. The importance of high-quality sound reproduction and how this enhances somebody's daily life.

But... how have I never found out about this before? If music is something I am passionate about and I listen to it everyday, why shouldn't I enjoy it to the maximum as well?

Are we getting enough room in the hi-fi community?

After doing some research while working in Volumio, I noticed something peculiar: only 10% of Volumio's users are women. Even when I go online and search something related to the hi-fi industry, I see that mostly men are the ones part of this community. The million dollar question is: Why?

Today, we can say there are many fields, such as audio and technology, that are elements and needs for both male and female, and whatever comprises this field it should be targeted to all of us. Also, being fair enough, women of all ages have better hearing frequencies than men, isn't that say something?

Women enjoy to listen to music as much as any men. And as a woman, being part of this community but also working in it, made me wonder what we should do about it. I'm glad I decided to join Volumio because it showed me a bunch of interesting and powerful ideas in this industry that keeps growing. Also it demonstrated how I can enjoy what I like to do the most in an advantageously way, and what better time to share it now and encourage more women to join the community and let the women already interested in it, to be part of it. 

We must expand the hi-fi image and communication

I know out there we will find many women interested as soon as they learn about the Hi-Fi community. Believe me, the past 10 years I studied and worked in the fashion industry and now, this new world opened to me with so many new experiences that fortunately keep my enthusiasm high everyday. We are just missing a little communication pointed towards the female audience, to bring out the curiosity and the chance to explore the countless attributes that the audio industry can offer.

Today, I can see most of the communication goes towards the middle-aged men who has the most expensive hi-fi, resulting of an useless stereotyping that does not help the community grow. Should we start changing the face of Hi-Fi?

Based on my personal experience, if it wasn't for Michelangelo I would probably still be unfamiliar about Hi-Fi and everything that consists of. Therefore, my goal is for you and I to invite and encourage the women in our lives to experiment the feeling of listening to any audio in a bit-perfect quality.

At the end of the day we all love music, and we all deserve to enjoy it to the max. 

So, what do you think we can do to change the image of the Hi-Fi industry and give more room to women? Write me in the comments, I would love to hear your opinion!

Let's make this community more diverse! :)


Volumio Audiophile Music Player 1.5 for Cubox-i, Cubietruck, UDOO and Beaglebone

Volumio 1.5 is finally available for Cubox-i, Cubietruck,UDOO, BeagleBone and all other supported platforms.
Read more