I received a message from the list serve saying they rejected this message.
As of this moment, I do not believe it has actually been distributed. If it
has my apologies to you all receiving 2 copies.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Malcolm Davidson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: "Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List" <[log in to unmask]>;
<[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2008 11:45 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The "dumbing down" of Downloaded Recordings
> you describe what many people within the industry have felt for a long
> Unfortunately it is but " a symptom of a greater malaise", and that
> is that the public in general are living even faster and more superficail
> lives than ever before. They are racing to fill a void which the
> system says must be filled with "stuff", with the mistaken belief that
> somehow they will feel happier. This overtly superficail lifestyle leaves
> no time for contemplation or an appreciation of the true beauty of
> something, within the artistic domain. Young people have no inclination
> appreciate the real aesthetic of a well crafted recording played through a
> high quality playback system.
> One of my step daughters used to do her homework whilst listening to
> the net result was that she didn't do well with either. Many young adults
> the UK spend their money binge drinking today whereas in the 1960's and
> 1970's many young people spent their hard earned cash buying records and
> subsequently enjoying the music on the stereo; long before computers cell
> phones and ipods.
> There is an excess of external stimulation in the 21st century and it is a
> race to the bottom, via quantity over quality. The music industry had an
> opportunity with high resolution audio, but the competitive nature of
> business resulted in a format war, DVD audio versus SACD, with the result
> that both camps lost out. Many people don't even know that DVD stands for
> Digital Versatile Disk. (not video)
> The fragmentation within the marketplace is reflected in the fragmentation
> of the mind and being of young people today, who have a plethora of choice
> which makes discernment incredibly difficult. The music companies and the
> hardware manufacturers have to realize that a community approach which is
> more coherent can offer up a simpler, more standardizing offering to the
> public which can ultimately enhance the listening experience.
> Regardless of quality, (192 KHz 24 bit, all the way down to 128 Kbps MP3
> rate) our industry is market driven not quality driven. As mentioned in
> response to Jiim, education to both the public and the music industry
> executives is important if we don't want the innate joy and beauty of
> to go the way of the dodo.
> Storage capacities and download speeds continue to increase and the
> opportunities will be there to sell quality products.
> In any offering it would be nice to have a choice of product; all neatly
> High Res: [packaged goods with liner notes] [download] (full
> album or track by track)
> CD [packaged goods with liner notes] [download]
> (full album or track by track)
> Compressed (full album or track by track)
> Streaming choose your quality?
> The technology and source material is available for this kind of
> coherent offering; it will be up to our industry at large whether we can
> jointly make the step to embrace improvements. I can envision one day
> someone creates a state of the art listening room for an audience of say
> 40 - 60 people and puts on concerts of classical music streamed from a
> central site. (with the requisite rights being honored)These recordings
> would be high resolution multichannel and either streamed or downloaded
> playback. No doubt there are many ways that can be envisioned for
> maximising the technology available and the listener experience for the
> benefit of all.
> Jim, thanks for reminding is of the slippery slope!
> Malcolm Davidson
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jim Lindner" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Friday, January 25, 2008 8:54 AM
> 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 -
> > at all.
> > 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?
> > Jim Lindner
> > Email: [log in to unmask]
> > Media Matters LLC.
> > SAMMA Systems Inc.
> > 450 West 31st Street 4th Floor
> > New York, N.Y. 10001
> > eFax (646) 349-4475
> > Mobile: (917) 945-2662
> > Office: (212) 268-5528
> > www.media-matters.net
> > Media Matters LLC. is a technical consultancy specializing in
> > archival audio and video material. We provide advice and analysis, to
> > media archives that apply the beneficial advances in technology to
> > collection management.
> > www.sammasystems.com
> > SAMMA Systems provides tools and products that implement and optimize
> > the advances in modern technology with established media preservation
> > and access practices.