Romy wrote :
"...Jessie, if you read your CD with computer then can you try something like this?
Yes I can try it, but I don't know if it will work on the drives where I store music files, as it is an external RAID arrangement, connected via Fire Wire 800.
In theory, apart from reduced wear and noise, I'm not sure that slowing the HDD would have any beneficial effect (in my case, the HDDs are all but noiseless).
My understanding is that chunks of data are collected from the spinning HDD, and then go into a buffer (temporary storage) until called upon. High access speeds and a large buffer will allow the process of data collection "to get further ahead". Data is then called out of the buffer as needed, and is eventually fed to the DAC. Slowing the HDD would logically result in less use of the buffer.
I see the handling of buffered data as similar to that which might occur in devices not having a spinning HDD. I have never experimented with devices that use only flash memory in place of a mechanical HDD (the new Mac AirBooks for example).
Btw, my RAID arrangement is configured such that it allows the computer to distribute data over all drives, which results in high access speeds. No, I don't know if this is necessarily desirable. Furthermore, should one of the drives take a dump, it will effectively wipe out the entire library (meaning that backing it up somewhere else is a must).
On another note : I realize that it is not the same thing as slowing the HDD, but the iTunes interface does allow the user to specify the speed at which data is imported/encoded... I have tried importing CDs at various speeds, right down to 1 X ; I notice no difference in quality. I have not however tried this with "Error Correction" option defeated (to access this option : iTunes > Preferences > Advanced > Importing > Check the "Use error correction" box... Default is un-checked).
For info : "According to a quick bit of research", 1 X speed for CDs = 500 rpm at center and 200 rpm on the outside.
How to short-circuit evolution: Enshrine mediocrity.