I want to wake up to music from my iOS device from good speakers. Well, anything better than my clock radio. I have been looking at all the new Bluetooth (BT) and Airplay (AP) speakers…
The advantage to a BT or AP all in one speaker system is you can just plop it on a dresser and, after setting it up, you are done. But hundreds to thousands of dollars later.
Why are the BT speakers on the cheaper end and the AP models the higher end? Oh, because BT compresses the audio and it sounds horrible! (I still have one good ear…). But, I really don’t want to spend $2700 on a Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A9 AirPlay Sound System even if it would look incredible in my NY loft space.
Here is a cheaper and even free solution and sounds better than 99% of the BT speakers you would waste $100-$1000 on and it uses Airplay:
Plug in an any working audio receiver. Even an old one in your garage or your parents basement (and probably sounds better if built before 1975 anyway). Plug in any small speakers - or big speakers - whatever you like. I have a pair of Dual (Korean) small plastic outdoor speakers I got for $15 but did not use outdoors as planned. They actually sound incredible for size and price. Plug an Airport Express (any, old or new) into audio in (may need $3 mini plug to RCA adaptor cord) or an Apple TV into the HDMI on the receiver, if newer.
Set up the AE or Apple TV on your network. For AE, it is speaker mode for audio. Got to music or Pandora or Songza or other Airplay music player or service on your iOS device. Choose your new speakers. Hit play.
You now have a great sounding Airplay audio speaker system and it cost you either nothing or, maybe, $200 tops. I got a not so old unused receiver from my Mom, the $15 speakers, plus reusing an unused (refurbed when I got it new) Airport Express. I guess you could say the whole thing was free or $15 or, since I did buy the AE, say $80 tops.
Now I set an alarm on my iOS device next to my bed and it wakes me on the speakers. Caveat: with my system, the receiver is on all night. This might not be so energy efficient compared to a newer BT or Airplay speaker which, is also on or needs to be on all night too.
Another option is to reuse old computer speakers that have amps built in. The sound will typically be nothing great but, they use less energy and are free if you own them already.
Update: Just as soon as I wrote that, a major audio manufacturer, Pioneer, has reduced prices on all Airplay wireless speakers it sells to compete against cheaper but poor audio quality Bluetooth speakers. Now, it seems, if you just want to put some speakers around the house and have $1000 or so to spend, you can easily do it in 5+ rooms and have incredible sound. Cheaper than whole house wiring and you can take it with you.
Photography is a highly edited, subjective vision of the world, but the medium presents itself—and is often misused by photographers—as a form of objectivity. There is, of course, no way to make objective documentary work, and any attempt to do so is flawed, misleading and disingenuous. But the fact is that the motivation to make “documentary” work (or to work in that genre at all) often stems from the desire (although it may not be fully conscious) to present a specific vision of the world as objective fact. Not only is such a working method manipulative, it presumes a lack of agency and visual sophistication on the part of its viewer, who is asked to accept the photographer’s truth in its entirety.
If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.