It turns out that many listeners are concerned with the issues covered in our Means of Delivery discussion. Here are comments from three Rifftides readers.
Like you, I’m pondering today’s post re: means of delivery. We really must adjust to new realities, but I’m having a hard time believing that I will LIKE them. Downloading is fine — IF I get uncompressed WAV files of the music. But NOT if what I get is compressed MP3 that sounds OK with rock music, or for listening in
a noisy car, but not at home.
Mr. Brown is an audio imaging expert with long recording experience.
To me the whole downloading thing seems like just a tease – except for iPod users, who are happily blasting these sounds into their earbuds. It’s such a different experience of music, & each to his own, but what about printed matter, documentation, & all that? What about high-quality equipment, high-quality nondeafening sound, filling a room with music? The iPod/download audio experience is like AM radio at the beach – it has its place, & its merits, but it’s a far cry from hearing live music or reclining on one’s couch awash in beautiful sounds emitting from those speakers you paid a lot of money for.
Ms. Hinte is a free lance publicist and jazz archivist.
I understand that people still want to have a disc to hold and cover art to fondle. I do too. But, if the choice was between no physical disc, and no music, which would you take? It costs practically zero to keep lots of catalogue in digital print, and there are real costs to keeping things in physical print. If a company is making back catalogue available in any format, I count that as a plus.
I sell my music at my own download store. All of the offerings have pdf liner notes that can be downloaded, and the last two additions have pdfs of the full album art, so the listener could print the book and traycard if she so desired. The liner notes are free downloads separate from the purchased music, so one could even read the liners before deciding to buy, like the good old days of vinyl in the store.
I took a look and was impressed. Mr. Albert’s graphic downloads are a right step in the direction of information about the music, but Jim Brown’s caution about sound quality is a crucial point. Will listeners accustomed to CD clarity will settle for less?
Jeff Albert says
You keep ending posts with questions, which inspires me to continue responding. The issue of digital delivery and its consequences on the availability of fringe market music is a subject that moves me.
You ask “Will listeners accustomed to CD clarity will settle for less?”
Eventually, they won’t have to. Right now it is a technology issue. Most consumers don’t have the high speed bandwidth to download larger lossless audio files. Format is also an issue. Apple has a good format in Apple Lossless, but it only works on iPods. Microsoft also has a lossless format that works on other players. There are some open source lossless formats that don’t get much play because the major players (MS and Apple) don’t support them. Ultimately it will all shake out (I believe in the consumers favor), but it won’t be too soon.