While I am just old enough to rail at the "tin-eared veal calf" kids of today (half jokingly, of
course), we shouldn't forget that mass-market formats for popular music USUALLY aren't very high
fidelity. To wit (in roughly reverse chronological order):
1. the Walkman generation and mass-duped cassettes in general, also cassette boom-boxes
2. 8-tracks in general and 8-track boomboxes
3. cheapo portable phonographs dropping stacks of 45RPM singles at the beach party
4. AM radio (which did sound better than now back when it was the mass medium of popular music, but
nothing like mono FM)
5. jukeboxes -- 78RPM, 45RPM, a non-ideal groove-wrecking way to play records
6. most home 78RPM players -- pounds of tracking force, dull needles, quickly wrecked grooves
So what's all that much lower-fi about the iPod generation? I'd suggest that the bigger problem,
which dates back to Walkmans, is the excessive listening levels and how it destroys hearing at a
young age. These kids will be so hearing-damaged by middle age that they won't be able to hear any
sort of fidelity anyway. Best invest in an old hearing horn to shout into when you buy the kid that
first iPod with earbuds. He may need that hearing horn for you to shout requests at him when you're
old and infirm and he's just hitting middle age!
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Corey Bailey" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2010 1:50 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] NT Times: "In Mobile Age, Sound Quality Steps Back"
Quoting the NY Times article:
"In fact, among younger listeners, the
lower-quality sound might actually be preferred.
Jonathan Berger, a professor of music at
Stanford, said he had conducted an informal study
among his students and found that, over the
roughly seven years of the study, an increasing
number of them preferred the sound of files with
less data over the high-fidelity recordings. "
I read about Mr. Bergers' study. As I remember,
the study was a quiz given to students entering
his class for the first time. When the students
were queried about their preference for the
compressed versions, the typical response was:
"that was what they were used to hearing".
In the early 80's, as the audio CD was gaining
popularity, Rupert Neve was quoted as saying that
he feared an entire generation of people would
grow up not knowing what an acoustic instrument actually sounded like.
Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
At 06:44 AM 5/10/2010, you wrote:
>I received this note about NYT article on listening. Maybe some of you have seen it.
>"I think our human ears are fickle. Whatâ?Ts considered good or bad sound changes over time,â? Mr.
>Berger said. â?oAbnormality can become a feature.â?
>If you need a password, go to bugmenot.com