You’ve probably heard the phrase, ‘music is a drug.’ But what kind of drugs are music fans using, exactly?
From the ‘High Quality Audio: Does It Matter?’ panel at Music Biz 2014 in Los Angeles last week…
Steve Silberman (AudioQuest): “Streaming at higher-rates, at CD-quality or above, is going to be a very big part of this eco-system. I think people really want better-quality music.”
“Where I live, in my town, I’m the only guy with a stereo system. And the hardest part about getting people out of my house is, the stereo becomes such a magnet. But it’s not the stereo itself, it’s the quality of the sound. My friends who all had great stereos in college twenty, twenty-five years ago, all forgot what good music sounds like, because they take the short cut.”
“They use Pandora for free through their crappy speakers on their television set and think that’s music.”
“And there’s that ‘a-ha’ moment I see on people’s faces when they come into my home. You hear, just, CD-quality music on a decent stereo system, it’s fascinating. And the fact that people are buying so many records, record players, from a place like Urban Outfitters, I find that to be fascinating. People –”
“Music is a recreational drug, and MP3s are methamphetamines. It’s bad, crack drugs.”
Vickie Naumann (moderator): “It’ll be good to see that in Digital Music News.”
John Hamm (Pono): That’s a tweetable quote right there. ‘MP3s are the meth of music..’
[noise and chatter in the audience]
Silberman: “It’s the meth of music. What people want is the high-quality Colorado weed. And high resolution files and vinyl, all of that it’s transportive — it’s transportive–”
Hamm: “I think given the choice for quality, humans will always tend to want something better if they can have it. We’re like this about everything else in our lives.
“The artist is saying to you, ‘I want you to hear my best work, I want you to hear it the way I made it.’ And if a chef went to that level of detail to get it right and dropped half of it on the floor on the the way to the table you’d be pissed. But the truth is, that’s what happens in music, is that some fraction of the artist product that they make in the studio gets to you in a highly-compressed media file. But what the artist really wants is for you to get their best work, so in that regard they’re all in already.