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A Theory on Downloading and Business
Old 2nd May 2003
  #1
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atticus's Avatar
A Theory on Downloading and Business

I hear a lot about how the P2P file sharing networks are hurting the music business and I know that it is partially the case, along with the slipping quality of a lot of today's music. But wouldn't an effective way to combat the lack of record sales be to simply promote the lack of quality of the compresed file formats? Seriously, it is mostly younger people who are downloading and most kids want the best thing out there, which MP3's obviously are not. So why not actively promote the superior qualities of CD/DVD/SACD over the compressed, easily downloadable formats? Any thoughts?
Old 2nd May 2003
  #2
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heinz's Avatar
 

IMO the concept of "free" greatly overrides concerns about quality, hence the whole underground boot industry. I do agree though that the perception of "digital" quality has most believing that mp3's are "just fine". Maybe more education about how much is "lost" in the compression process would help some.
Old 2nd May 2003
  #3
Moderator emeritus
 

Re: A Theory on Downloading and Business

Quote:
Originally posted by atticus
But wouldn't an effective way to combat the lack of record sales be to simply promote the lack of quality of the compresed file formats?
I don't think that, at least for the target audience that the majors aim for, quality is an issue. If you grew up listening to the wretched processing that FM radio does to audio, and listen to music on computer speakers and walkman headphones, you likely don't KNOW what good audio sounds like.

And even in the new issue of Mix, there are quotes from folks in the audio business who don't notice, or if they do, don't mind that MP3's sound different. If the industry as a whole doesn't care about audio quality, why should we expect the listening public to care.

For years, Stephen St.Croix has harped in his column about how important audio quality is - in his most recent diatribe, he explicitly says that he doesn't care - he likes the convenience of his IPod and doesn't intend to buy another CD - ever. There's your problem.

**** him - I still care. I still buy CD's (the latest is the Tony Bennet/KD Lang record - it's marvelous). But not being between the ages of 12 and 25, Im not part of the target audience.
Old 2nd May 2003
  #4
Gear Guru
 

You would think that the music industry is missing the boat not promoting the sound quality issues. People can be influenced to spend extra $ to have the high quality WATER for heaven's sake, why not high quality music?

And yet it seems many (most?) people will choose More Stuff over Better Stuff, especially when that amount of stuff gets really really big. Every song you own, nay, every song ever recorded- That's quite a pull.

As Stalin said "quantity has a quality all its own". I think he was talking about tanks.
Old 2nd May 2003
  #5
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Roland's Avatar
I think the best bet is the question of ownership. When you go to a store and buy a CD you have the CD. Never had anyone walk in my place and look over my MP3 collection. People by nature are possesors, we all like to own stuff. You can hire a taxi and use public transport to get about, but people like to own cars, sometimes several. If records were more "classic" rather than the all too often "manufactured" variety there would be some back catalogue for the future. The quality issue doesn't matter to the vast majority of people. Look at the sort of equipement they use at home shows that. Sad but true I find.

Regards


Roland
Old 2nd May 2003
  #6
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doug_hti's Avatar
 

Re: A Theory on Downloading and Business

Quote:
Originally posted by atticus
But wouldn't an effective way to combat the lack of record sales be to simply promote the lack of quality of the compresed file formats? Seriously, it is mostly younger people who are downloading and most kids want the best thing out there, which MP3's obviously are not. So why not actively promote the superior qualities of CD/DVD/SACD over the compressed, easily downloadable formats? Any thoughts?
David,

I agree and I don't think we are going to put a dent in mp3s and the sort until the audio manufacturers get the gear out there, and I don't think home theatre is the way yet. I think it needs to start on car audio and then portable audio and then home theatre. There is no cheaper more effective audio environment then the mobile one, being that most cars are already wired for surround with the center channel and sub.
A lot of the younger generation has to take there music out and about. And there mp3s burned on whatever sound heaps better than the FM station (with too many commercials) transmitting squashed again mp3s themselves. Except for the anally retentive (myself and many of the slutz in here), convenience and features is always going to win over quality.

Right now high rez music projects and multichannel mixes aren't a priority. They are an expensive thing to do, only leaving the artist to recoup another $50-$100k with no reward other than integrity, when the SACDs and DVD-As are sitting on some back shelf that you have to ask the record store salesperson to get for you, in which they will, after you've described to them that they do have some in stock and they do exist, and that they are not a normal cd, etc.

The labels need to put a priority on all their main projects that come through the door to get them out in multichannel high rez formats, until then...
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