Neil Young to Save Music (Hopefully)

Sections: Audio, Love Hz

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I’m a music lover who resisted buying an iPod for over seven years. I thought, I can only listen to one album at a time, so what good is having my entire music library at my fingertips?

How times have changed. As I type this post, iTunes is open in the background, and I take comfort in knowing that I can reference any song in my collection on a whim. But the purist in me can sympathize with Neil Young when he says that only five percent of what is originally recorded in the studio translates to a digital format.

Is the number really only five percent? In some cases, maybe. Whether his math is right or not, Neil is making an important point about the quality of music that most of us listen to every day. He was a champion of the DVD-Audio format before it died an unfortunate death. And he’s still releasing music on newer high-resolution formats such as Blu-ray. I’m sad to say Neil Young is one of the few.

Take a minute to watch Neil’s appearance at Walt Mossberg’s Dive Into Digital conference. Neil recognizes the importance of portal music formats, he just wants them to sound better.  Will a high-resolution portable format ever see the light of day? I doubt it — most folks who enjoy music on the go care more about quantity than quality. And the folks who do care about quality are likely listening to their favorite albums on vinyl.

My own love of vinyl has been rekindled recently; I appreciate the quality, but I also enjoy the engaging experience that sitting down with an LP provides. Many new releases on vinyl include CD copies or digital download coupons so that music collectors can enjoy the best of both quality and convenience. I wonder if high-resolution formats such as DVD-Audio would have been more successful if marketed and bundled in a similar fashion.

I’m skeptical about whether a portable high-resolution format like the one Neil Young describes will ever take off, but it’s nice to know that someone like Neil is out there trying to save the quality of a medium that means so much.

Click the image for a link to the video:

Via: [All Things D]


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