Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Neil Young Calls for High Fidelity Music Distribution

Musicians who want to deliver superior recording performance are saddled with "lowest common denominator" services.  In a fascinating interview, Neil Young describes his mission to "rescue music" from the poor-quality MP3 files most services provide.  Since iTunes, Amazon, YouTube and other popular services automatically downgrade audio quality, what Neil is talking about requires a different path to market.

Here's a snip from the Verge, when he referred to Steve Jobs as one rich guy who preferred listening to his music on vinyl:

Young is calling for a new digital ecosystem of high quality music files and he believes that Jobs would have gotten there had he lived long enough. On the distribution side, Young isn't particularly concerned with the effects of piracy on artists, he's more concerned that the files that are being shared are of such low quality:

"It doesn't affect me because I look at the internet as the new radio. I look at the radio as gone. [...] Piracy is the new radio. That's how music gets around. [...] That's the radio. If you really want to hear it, let's make it available, let them hear it, let them hear the 95 percent of it."

In other words, let the world share MP3s all they want, but also make available high fidelity versions (he mentions that pro-quality 24bit/192kHz files compare nicely to vinyl records or tape masters). MP3s typically have only 5% of the data of such high quality files.  Neil says the download might take 30 minutes but for some people, and for the artists themselves, this is worth paying for.

We couldn't agree more and stand ready to support any artist to deliver large, high-quality music to those who appreciate the difference.