"With the hundreds of articles I have been reading on the changes in media
distribution (literally hundreds and is this a REALLY big surprise??) I have
not read one - not one - that makes any mention of the fact that the quality
of the recordings being distributed by download are significantly compressed
and poorer then those distributed on media."
Here's one such article, by the way. It ran Monday in the Boston Globe.
More music dealers offering downloads with sound quality that rivals a CD's
By Hiawatha Bray
Globe Staff / January 28, 2008
Internet music retailers offer millions of tunes, in every genre from opera
to hip-hop to Palestinian folk songs. But it's still hard to find online
music that sounds good on a $10,000 stereo system.
Online music sellers like Apple Inc. and Amazon.com use digital compression
technologies to shrink the sizes of music files, making them easier to store
and download. But compression also hollows out the music, eliminating many
of the sonic subtleties cherished by hardcore audiophiles. That's why many
finicky music lovers won't sully their ears with today's downloadable tunes
and are clamoring for something better.
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From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jim Lindner
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2008 8:54 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] The "dumbing down" of Downloaded Recordings
Is it just me who wonders about this? With the hundreds of articles I
have been reading on the changes in media distribution (literally
hundreds and is this a REALLY big surprise??) I have not read one -
not one - that makes any mention of the fact that the quality of the
recordings being distributed by download are significantly compressed
and poorer then those distributed on media. Of course it does not
have to be this way - there is no reason why .wav files could not be
being downloaded instead of AAC or MP3 - but no one seems to care -
I figure that if anywhere - the members on this list should care. I
don't get it - why aren't people complaining? Has our benchmark for
quality become Apple Ipod earbuds? Tell me it isn't so. While people
are spending untold thousands on Krell's and esoteric speakers what
we are witnessing here is a recording media and quality implosion and
I for one am concerned that getting a recording that is of the former
relatively high (ok we can debate that but this is not the real
point) quality of recordings on CD will become an impossibility in
the not too distant future. How come there aren't a bunch of
audiophiles - or professionals - or both - speaking up and saying to
the downloading public and to the distributors - hey wait a minute -
if I am paying the same prices for downloading as I am for physical
media - the least you can do is give me the same quality.
All I hear is - silence. To me this is a HUGE threat - even short
term - to what you are going to be able to listen to, and the quality
of what you will be able to listen to.
So, members of ARSC - I ask you - to discuss this - and - OK I will
say it - as an organization - take an actual position on this subject
- let the world know that this is a BIG issue. That is right - I am
actually advocating for standing up and talking out loud - not to our
group but to the rest of the planet. If we are not going to take a
stand on this - what will we take a stand on? Get some manufacturers
behind you - you know the Krell and "monster cable" kind of folk that
have lots of marketing smarts - because there really isn't any point
in spending thousands of dollars on esoteric gear when the quality of
the recordings will not let you hear it anyhow. They have allot to
lose also. What we are talking about here is the dumbing down - the
AAC'ing of all distributed music and I for one think this is an
issue. Does anyone agree?
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