note the correction at the bottom. If Apple truly has reduced the price on the 320kbps AAC files to
99 cents, that's a good sign. I can see a world where the 128kbps AAC and MP3 files, with or without
DRM, will be essentially free (with the pain of hearing or watching an advertisement to get it) and
the CD-resolution or higher files will cost something around $1 per song. That seems to be a
reasonable market price, based on the heyday of CD sales (ie before the price-fixing, which is one
of the factors that started the decline) -- back then, CD's street price was $10-12 per album. I
also think part of the price for a CD-resolution download album should be a printable booklet file.
On the discouraging side, there was an article in the Economist last week, I think linked from this
list, that talked about how the new "strategy" among the lumbering giants is to give away low-grade
lossy songs as part of cellphone subscriptions, but no mention of reasonably-priced,
widely-available CD-quality and better downloads.
Has anyone had any luck with MusicGiants? I tried to use it once and could not get it to work --
wouldn't let me pay nor let me download files. This was maybe 6 months ago.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joel Bresler" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 12:15 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The "dumbing down" of Downloaded Recordings
> "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.
> Someone cares!
> 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.
> Joel Bresler
> 250 E. Emerson Rd.
> Lexington, MA 02420
> 781-862-4104 (Telephone & FAX)
> [log in to unmask]
> IN CASE OF VERIZON EMAIL PROBLEMS, PLEASE USE MY BACK-UP EMAIL:
> -----Original Message-----
> 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 -
> 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.
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