After all my gloom and doom, I should point to what may be a hopeful sign.
We seem to agree that listening is a learned skill, and appreciation of music requires careful
listening. I'll call it aural perception, it's the same as learning to look closely for color
variations or smell carefully to know different flavors. All senses can be heightened and refined
through practice and concentration.
Either the WSJ or NYT recently had an article on the explosion of audiobooks. We're talking big,
multi-actor productions, more akin to classic radio plays than a guy sitting in a booth reading a
book. The format has become much more convenient due to downloads and the ability to sync audio
books to Kindle and iPhone/iPad "printed" books. One example in the article was a young guy who
listens to his books on his iPhone while he works out and during his commute, but picks up in the
text when he gets in bed. Then, the next day, the audio is caught up to what he read in the text and
the cycle repeats.
I think, if a greater segment of the population is ingesting their information via aural perception,
then these people are candidates to better enjoy music and demand higher quality playback. Just
knowing how to concentrate on someone reading words while you are driving or riding the subway or
walking to work is heightening of your aural perception. Take the earbuds off and you'll notice all
the sounds of your surroundings more closely.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Wolf, James L" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, August 15, 2013 11:01 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Why Vinyl Is NOT Going To Save The Music Industry (And What Will) - Trust
Me, I'm A Scientist
> Though I was also thinking of phsyical equipment for hearing, I mostly meant that listening is a
> mental activity that people learn to do. For instance, Don mentions the inaccuracy of
> high-frequency sound in mp3s. It takes training and practice to be able to isolate and perceive
> that loss of accuracy consistently. But I would guess that most listeners are actually working on
> doing the opposite, learning to mentally accept these inaccuracies as realistic.
> So my critique of the author of the original article is that he falls into the very unscientific
> trap of assuming an objective reality of perceived sound.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
> Of Don Cox
> Sent: Thursday, August 15, 2013 4:01 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Why Vinyl Is NOT Going To Save The Music Industry (And What Will) - Trust
> Me, I'm A Scientist
> On 15/08/2013, Michael Biel wrote:
>> Don't forget it is not only us old farts with lousy hearing -- the
>> kids have been ruining their hearing at a faster rate than we had.
>> There is a thought some have that MP3 is BETTER for their ears than
>> wideband now.
> MP3 files don't have less high frequency sound than uncompressed files.
> They are simply less accurate.
>> Plus, most of them have never known what live unaugmented music sounds
>> like. Pity.
> I think everyone must have heard an acoustic guitar on its own. It is still a big challenge for an
> audio system to reproduce the sound of a solo acoustic guitar at a realistic level.
> And many will have heard a real piano.
> Don Cox
> [log in to unmask]