I just read this article in Stereophile
and found out about this Berkeley startup called Magnatune that is functioning as an online, independent record label of sorts -- that sells DRM free, uncompressed music!
Applaud! Finally someone that gets it! This is what consumers want! Quality and freedom are two things desperately lacking in the online music business, and this is definately a great path to breaking down the barriers!
Now this, makes a music lover like me very very happy! Ok, back to grooving to some tunes... trying to figure out what to buy...
So I yanked out my old cassettes today, and they sound fabulous! I suppose a factor in this is having the right deck (Aiwa XK-S9000) and having it calibrated properly -- and it's just yet another reminder of why I can't stand lossy compressed digital music. Analog is great. Digital uncompressed or lossless can be very good too -- especially at high sampling rates and 24 bits of resolution (PCM) or DSD recordings.
It leads me to think the downloadable music revolution has caused us to step backwards in time. I for one, could never get myself to pay for compressed music. I want to hear the real thing -- I still buy CD's and records. Uncompressed or lossless compressed music without DRM nusiances, I would consider buying.
Over the summer, my roommate had an iPod which I connected to the stereo. I played the same song, on tape deck, and then on the iPod. The cassette creamed the iPod. I am not surprised at all -- it's hard to stick good op-amps and a high end DAC into an iPod. It would simply be too expensive.
I don't understand how today's kids seem to have not heard better than the fidelity of say, an iPod or say, their computer speakers. I know people like small things, but there is some major joy in hearing a true hi-fi system made up of components. You could assemble a better sounding system off of components on ebay for less money than the bose sound dock costs.
Consumers have been demanding high end video via HD video and DVD -- when is the demand for high quality audio that needs to go with that going to happen? If kids grow up not knowing that there is more fidelity available, then I fear the world will no longer have as high quality music as the past, and music is one of life's greatest joys -- so that will be a shame in my book.
The iPod is a portable device, meant for convenience. It is not the epitome of high quality audio. It is the epitome of high convenience. If they ever make a 100GB "Gold" iPod with 24 bit Burr-Brown DAC's, and a digital output, I'll start to change my mind... till then I am sticking to my tapes and cds and records for my good stuff!