Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Da Vinci Code

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Amazon.de advertising the book There’s been a lot of press about the author Dan Brown and his ‘Da Vinci Code’ book, which for some reason or another is called ‘Sakrileg’ in its German translation. And with the recent press coverage of some plagiarism trial or so, sales seem to be going even better than they used to. In fact, amazon don’t even need advertise the book as being good or interesting anymore, they just need to say it’s a ‘Megaseller’. Oh, and there seems to be a film as well, present at Cannes, with an expensive pyramid to advertise it and getting reviews that are lukewarm at best.

What I find very disturbing, though, was that I had the opportunity to hear a bit of the book’s German audiobook version. And it’s bad. Well, not just bad but utterly bad. Insultingly bad. Possibly the worst I’ve heard so far. It seems to be assembled from little pieces with there just being another obscure and completely ‘surprising’ (i.e. random) fact coming up at the end of each of them which leads to the next one.

It just seems cheap and ridiculous. Mixing the supposedly educated with the mysterious, mixing the rich with conspiracies, mixing a few different countries and myths. And giving something completely ridiculous. It may just have been a bad translation and a bad audio book. But even the bad translators aren’t that bad. Heck, this makes John Grisham look all fancy and sophisticated. And I used to consider him the worst author before…

And now for something completely different: Does anybody else have severe problems when importing CDs to the AAC format recently (since the QuickTime 7.1 upgrade, I’d guess)? I just did some importing and the results are so insultingly bad that I really hope this isn’t a common problem.

May 20, 2006, 0:07

Tagged as book, da vinci code, dan brown.


Comment by d.w.: User icon

I do at least 90 percent of my encoding to AAC using iTunes, and I haven’t had any problems. Are you hearing audible compression artifacts, or skips/glitches, or something else entirely.

Oh yeah, and Dan Brown is pretty schlocky.

May 20, 2006, 2:58

Comment by Dave2: User icon

I haven’t had any problems ripping to AAC… and I’ve confirmed I’m using QT 7.1. But that’s only on my Mac Mini, I haven’t ripped on any of my other Macs for ages.

May 20, 2006, 4:04

Comment by ssp: User icon

It’s so blatantly and distractingly audible that I thought even Apple’s quality control would spot it. That’s why I was asking. Lots of clicks find their way into the sound.

May 20, 2006, 8:27

Comment by d.w.: User icon

The only time I ever had anything like that was with a physically bad optical drive.

May 21, 2006, 0:35

Comment by William Van Hecke: User icon

Dan Brown’s writing is high-school level at best, even in English. Angels & Demons is the worst book I ever finished, in terms of story and writing.

May 21, 2006, 3:33

Comment by ssp: User icon

d.w.: I feared my drive was the problem at first as I’ve never seen this behaviour before either. But a quick test revealed that this problem happens in-software in the conversion only.

May 21, 2006, 15:31

Comment by d.w.: User icon

As an experiment, you could import to AIFF, then use the convert to AAC option to see what happens.

May 22, 2006, 3:16

Comment by ssp: User icon

That’s exactly what I did to know this is a software rather than a hardware issue. Sorry for not being explicit about that right away.

May 22, 2006, 11:56

Comment by d.w.: User icon

I’m stumped, then. I hate to say it, but it sounds like it’s going to be some damnably hard-to-trace software conflict or other oddness, then. :(

May 22, 2006, 21:56

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