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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On the music listening spectrum, the two extremes seem to be streaming free low quality mp3’s and buying vinyl. Everything else is in between and most of it is digital, though there is a wide range of quality within digital. Overall, convenience is the number 1 priority.

On the film watching spectrum, things are sort of the same except nothing is free or low quality. Convenience is still important but in order for Netflix, Disney, and every film studio to maintain control over their “content,” some convenience is sacrificed. For example, you can’t watch a movie in 4K HDR on a 15 year old TV. In fact, the only way to watch 4K content is if you have a 4K or higher TV and HDMI 2.0 ports that support HDCP 2.2. If any component does not support HDCP 2.2, all the media reverts to 1080p. The reason things are like this is because of money. TV/Film is really expensive to create so the parties involved implement security measures to protect it from theft. I can burn a CD, I can’t burn a BluRay disc. It can be done but not with your computer at home.

Why has the majority of the music industry done none of this? These protections can be applied in the physical and digital domains but only a few independent labels have done it. This is an honest question. Things can be done differently, but Sony, Universal, and Warner might not be thrilled about it. Your thoughts...
 

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This statement has changed for me in unpredictable ways. First, it is Christmas time so the family gets together...and I learn things, specifically how we listen to “music.”

Family Member 1 - AirPods, soon to be AirPods Pro, because of the convenience and the sound quality is fine. I have no idea what they listen to.

Family Member 2 - Classical music in the car.

Myself - Sennheiser HD600’s plugged into whatever I can, though I listen to music less at the moment.

Family Member 4 - At the moment, I’m not sure but they want a record player to listen to their currently non-existent, but future record collection. Nostalgia is the dominant reason.

Family Member 5 - This person suffers from tinnitus. In order to treat the tinnitus, hearing aids were prescribed, paid for through health insurance, and can apparently do amazing things! The way they treat tinnitus is by playing tones similar to wind chimes, which I think is a pentatonic scale, or at least plenty of Perfect 4ths, 5ths, and octaves. The term “fractal tones” was used which I am unfamiliar with.

It turns out, that a musical tone is one of the easiest ways to distract the brain, or get the brains attention. By playing random but pleasing wind chimes, the brain listens every time they are heard thus distracting it from the tinnitus. The cool trick is after a few days to a week, this whole process becomes almost subconscious. Whether or not musical tones that can’t be remembered or eventually noticed counts as music is a fair argument. However, in this case, it counts as treatment/therapy and musical/acoustic principles are used as the basis of the treatment.

I honestly didn’t think my family really listened to music. At the very least, music of some sort is heard by each of us which is a pleasant surprise. The “how and why” is the interesting part.
 

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I think that the reason the reproduction of music came to be how it is today is literally because no-one in the music industry thought that we'd end up where we were with the advent of MP3 files, soundcloud, or anything. in the wake of Napster, when Apple came to the labels with the idea of iTunes as a way of going digital and still making some money, they said yes, because they didn't know what else to do. Then we went to Spotify and Apple music.

In all of this you're right, convenience is the key, but I think that is because music these days is supposed to be the auditory equivalent of McDonalds. It's nowadays so quick and disposable, who is in fashion today is out again tomorrow as the social media landscape makes the next big thing "go viral".

Where I work we're all in separate offices, those folks who have music on stream it through their phone on speaker mode at low volume or ear buds, noise cancelling headphones would stop us from hearing colleagues and telephones. One person has a small DAB radio in their office and a bluetooth speaker for their phone.

Music doesn't seem to be about sitting and fully listening, poring over album covers and liner note anymore, it's about not sitting in silence.
 

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I think that switching from analogue ( vinyl and cassettes) to digital ruin music business in few ways.

First coping.
With cassettes or vinyl you could make copy of original, but copy of copy of copy and soon sound would deteriorate.
So you have to buy original yourself or ask friend with original to copy it.
But if he had copy, your copy would be noticeable worse. So there were much more original circulating than today, and artist could make some money even with selling records.
Today most of them make money from touring.
Now with digital records, it is enough to have one record to copy it 10 billion times with same quality.
Buy the way records company always make records expensive, and authors and performers of music usually get crumbles.

Second digital ruins quality of sound.
Young generations rarely ever hear sound of good vinyl,
through expensive needle,
in expensive gramophone,
with tube amp,
and expensive cables,
that used to be broken in, with expensive loudspeakers,
whose place in space was carefully picked.

I remember that David Bowie once said that he thought that MP3 will never succeed.
To him it was like listening music through (analogue) telephone.
But today you have overnormalised records, converted to MP3.
Even if you stumbled to bigger file in another coding, the great chance is that it is up scaled from mp3.
( And it is funny and pointless when in comments e.g. in YouTube somebody is arguing about mix volume of bass or drum or whatever,
when record is compressed 2-3 times with cymbals sounds like they are hundred fits under water.)

Third thing is that thrill is taken away now.
In analogue days, you will hear that your favorite musician is making records, than anticipation, visiting records stores, waiting for record to come than buy, and carrying it home, and first listening was thing to remember. It was difficult to pick one song. We listened whole album song by song. And some song that we didnt like at first would become favorite after many listening.
Today we have every song at display, but thrill is gone.
And songs that could grow on us do not have chance to be listened.
 

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Vinyl works well for older music but really for modern music it's not that suitable, due to the way modern music is mixed and mastered you will end up with a lot of distortion on vinyl unless you aim for it from the start and take that into consideration (especially in regards to panning and low frequencies), and from a mainstream point of view it's really an obsolete medium that holds only a niche relevance. I don't really listen to a lot of music these days, but when I do it's usually through my hi-fi (old KEF reference series) in the form of 320kbs MP3, which is by far and away high enough quality that if someone told me I was listening to 24bit WAV I'd not know the difference, and I regularly record music at 24bit 48khz, which inevitably ends up as 320kbs MP3. Rick Beato did an interesting experiment with this using a trained musician with perfect pitch and fantastic hearing, even she got fooled so you can imagine how that works out for the average person.

It really depends on the kind of music you're listening to also, how it has been recorded, mixed/mastered. Reality is that the vast majority of people are listening to music on their phones (and often with the phone speakers, rather than headphones/in-ears) or in their cars on the go, not in a sound treated room with high end equipment, and the majority of that music is modern stuff mastered loud for radio and generic devices like phones. It's just a different world now, we don't really have a lot of "connoisseur" level analogue style music recordings, but rather a hell of a lot of midi-sampled drums (such as Superior Drummer) and other instruments, along with digitally recorded guitars (Axe-FX, Kemper, Helix) and highly processed/layered/corrected/altered vocals, and it's mostly that way because it saves a lot of time and money, it's convenience.

It's really just a different world, I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing, things go full circle eventually and we keep moving forward in new ways.
 

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Vinyl works well for older music but really for modern music it's not that suitable, due to the way modern music is mixed and mastered you will end up with a lot of distortion on vinyl unless you aim for it from the start and take that into consideration (especially in regards to panning and low frequencies), and from a mainstream point of view it's really an obsolete medium that holds only a niche relevance....
You are wrong.

''Vinyl Record Sales Are Projected To Beat CD Sales This Year For The First Time In 30 Years''

https://uproxx.com/music/vinyl-record-sales-beat-cd-sales/

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/vinyl-cds-revenue-growth-riaa-880959/
 

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You are wrong.

''Vinyl Record Sales Are Projected To Beat CD Sales This Year For The First Time In 30 Years''

https://uproxx.com/music/vinyl-record-sales-beat-cd-sales/

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/vinyl-cds-revenue-growth-riaa-880959/
That's because nobody listens to music on CD anymore, come on you can't really be serious to look at it from that angle. Vinyl is still a niche, while CD is effectively obsolete because you can get the same thing digitally. Go compare Vinyl sales to MP3 or streaming, you're looking at completely the wrong market to still be talking about CD's.

I mean it's written in the same article you linked.

Despite vinyl's growth, streaming still dominates the music industry - records accounted for just 4 percent of total revenues in the first half of 2019. In contrast, paid subscriptions to streaming services generated 62 percent of industry revenues.
Vinyl is a niche market. And if we're talking about the quality of Vinyl, it's absolutely worse than digital mediums if the music is not mixed/mastered for Vinyl, you can research into this if you want but essentially if the needle doesn't sit in the groove nicely it causes distortion, and the way a lot of modern music is structured/mixed/panned/mastered directly results in that problem happening. In the old days Vinyl was the primary medium and mastering engineers would effectively overcome those shortcomings to get the best results, but these days music is mastered digitally with a digital platform being the primary medium and unless you have a mixing/mastering engineer that is specifically experienced in working with Vinyl you're going to end up with poor results.

Plenty of people put out music on Vinyl that simply sounds worse than the digital version. With old music that isn't the case, and the dynamics of the music comes across beautifully on Vinyl but the noise floor is still lower on digital.
 

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I do like the sound of classic vinyl albums on a high quality sound system. An ex coworker of mine has a $50k+ sound system in his basement that sounds phenomenal... Granite slab turntable, separate tube amps for the horns, mids, and TAD woofers in Baltic birch cabinets... etc, etc... all in a room designed for sound. The soundstage is amazing when you listen to music that was recorded with quality in mind, like old Steely Dan albums. Even at high levels the music is not fatiguing... so crisp and clean! I still won't go there though, he's just showing off and is a royal jerk of a person.


I do appreciate great sound, but I usually settle for "decent" sound... Driving in the car I listen to a lot of music, plus at work on a small set of Bose Companion speakers at lower levels. At home it is usually in the "guitar room" (spare bedroom) either on small Vestax monitors through my PC/interface or an old Kenwood integrated amp/cd player/aux input from interface and some old walnut Pioneer 10" 3-way speakers that I refurbished years ago. Mostly jamming along with backing tracks or songs and occasionally recording.


Here is the cool thing... My wife has never been into music, hard for her to talk over, etc. Two Christmases ago she got dehydrated and stood up too fast and fell over backwards, hitting her head very hard. Very scary... blood, concussion, 911, ambulance ride, etc. She keeps trying to figure out what music was playing in the emergency room, but I work at this hospital and there is no music in the emergency room. For whatever reason, she can't get enough music now. We listen to it in the house a lot, she likes to listen on a little Bluetooth speaker while cooking, we listen outside using a bluetooth soundbar w/sub... especially later in the evening while sipping a beer and looking up at the stars. All different kinds of music, classic rock, old blues, even some rockabilly (Webb Wilder) and synthwave (Hello Meteor's Mu & Mea album is her favorite). Just so peculiar to me that after 30 years of marriage she's listening to music... really listening! She'll stop mid-sentence and say, "Listen to that bass!" I'm really enjoying listening with her and explaining music questions she has.


My 2 cents...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is the cool thing... My wife has never been into music, hard for her to talk over, etc. Two Christmases ago she got dehydrated and stood up too fast and fell over backwards, hitting her head very hard. Very scary... blood, concussion, 911, ambulance ride, etc. She keeps trying to figure out what music was playing in the emergency room, but I work at this hospital and there is no music in the emergency room. For whatever reason, she can't get enough music now. We listen to it in the house a lot, she likes to listen on a little Bluetooth speaker while cooking, we listen outside using a bluetooth soundbar w/sub... especially later in the evening while sipping a beer and looking up at the stars. All different kinds of music, classic rock, old blues, even some rockabilly (Webb Wilder) and synthwave (Hello Meteor's Mu & Mea album is her favorite). Just so peculiar to me that after 30 years of marriage she's listening to music... really listening! She'll stop mid-sentence and say, "Listen to that bass!" I'm really enjoying listening with her and explaining music questions she has.

My 2 cents...
This is really interesting. I'm glad your wife is OK, if not better than OK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One point that was brought up in a round about way is how does a person know what good sound sounds like? One line that can be drawn in the sand is digital clipping. People do not like it. Everything that is not digitally clipped will most likely sound good in comparison. The other line is knowing someone, that you trust, who knows what they are talking about and can demonstrate what good sound sounds like. People tend to not like this idea because it calls their taste into question. When it comes to music, people believe they know what they like based off their personal experience. The idea that someone with more personal experience in the field of music might know more about “good sound” or have more refined taste is not very popular. I am not talking about specific musical groups either, just the clarity and resolution of the sound being produced.

Pepperidge Farm’s motto is “if you’re going to have a cookie, have a cookie.” Tasty cookies are easier to spot than better sound quality, but the idea is the same. When you listen to authority and apply your own experience, sound quality may actually make a significant difference to what you hear.

(I realize I am preaching to the choir but I would like to hear the choirs thoughts on the matter. If you think the matter is not very important which is fine, but as has been implied, it shapes the music we listen to and I imagine that is pretty important.)

Merry Christmas!
 

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2019 was the year i finallysigned up to streaming. It means I get to listen to so much more music again which I love.

A decent mid range set of over the ear headphones and a good speaker for at home are a minimum though. I feel like that gets reasonable sound and beyondthat there are definite improvements you can make but it's law of diminishing returns territory.

Listening on mobile speakers or leaky ear buds is just depressing.

Access to streaming got me into more obscure things (from my perspective) that I wouldn't have listened to otherwise and that's great (e.g. Heron Oblivion, Bardo Pond, Covet, Tricot, This town needs guns, Xyloris White)
 

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I think the music biz hasn't gone all-in like 4K because moves like that seem belligerent against the consumer - a consumer that now expects everything for free. Remember Lars Ulric railing against Napster? He was right, but ultimately vilified as some rich guy trying to squeeze blood from the people listening to his music. And unlike movies I think the general public sees diminishing returns. There's only an audio portion. Images are easy to impress. Some people will look at a 4K movie and go WOW! Personally, I'm not a fan, at least not with the motion smoothing. Yuck!
Personally, I'm not big on vinyl either. I can see the appeal on some stuff, but I remember the same audiophile zeal in the 80's for compact discs.
Of course, I think the audio system and speakers are the biggest factors in great audio. Kind of an axiom but the high-end audiophiles have it right there.
But at the same time you're not going to go back in time and get rid of the quite noticeable tape hiss on this awesome tune.

 

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I think the music biz hasn't gone all-in like 4K because moves like that seem belligerent against the consumer - a consumer that now expects everything for free. Remember Lars Ulric railing against Napster? He was right, but ultimately vilified as some rich guy trying to squeeze blood from the people listening to his music. And unlike movies I think the general public sees diminishing returns. There's only an audio portion. Images are easy to impress. Some people will look at a 4K movie and go WOW! Personally, I'm not a fan, at least not with the motion smoothing. Yuck!
Personally, I'm not big on vinyl either. I can see the appeal on some stuff, but I remember the same audiophile zeal in the 80's for compact discs.
Of course, I think the audio system and speakers are the biggest factors in great audio. Kind of an axiom but the high-end audiophiles have it right there.
But at the same time you're not going to go back in time and get rid of the quite noticeable tape hiss on this awesome tune.

Interesting you mention removing tape noise, one of the first projects I did in university studying music tech/audio engineering was to remove the noise from Ramble On, we were provided the original alongside a professionally remastered and cleaned up version, and we had studied and been shown various ways of cleaning up the audio. The first couple of months of the first year was working with old tape masters (What's Going on by Marvin ***e and Ramble On by Zep come to memory) and remixing/mastering/cleaning them on both analogue and digital platforms.

These days they probably have a much bigger focus on digital, but during the mid-2000s we still did a lot of analogue based stuff. But for sure a lot of the re-masters of older tracks have removed tape noise, and it's quite easy to pull off with minimal negative effects, most of the time.

Edit : Somewhat amusing that Marvin's name got auto-censored!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Vinyl works well for older music but really for modern music it's not that suitable, due to the way modern music is mixed and mastered you will end up with a lot of distortion on vinyl unless you aim for it from the start and take that into consideration (especially in regards to panning and low frequencies), and from a mainstream point of view it's really an obsolete medium that holds only a niche relevance. I don't really listen to a lot of music these days, but when I do it's usually through my hi-fi (old KEF reference series) in the form of 320kbs MP3, which is by far and away high enough quality that if someone told me I was listening to 24bit WAV I'd not know the difference, and I regularly record music at 24bit 48khz, which inevitably ends up as 320kbs MP3. Rick Beato did an interesting experiment with this using a trained musician with perfect pitch and fantastic hearing, even she got fooled so you can imagine how that works out for the average person.

It really depends on the kind of music you're listening to also, how it has been recorded, mixed/mastered. Reality is that the vast majority of people are listening to music on their phones (and often with the phone speakers, rather than headphones/in-ears) or in their cars on the go, not in a sound treated room with high end equipment, and the majority of that music is modern stuff mastered loud for radio and generic devices like phones. It's just a different world now, we don't really have a lot of "connoisseur" level analogue style music recordings, but rather a hell of a lot of midi-sampled drums (such as Superior Drummer) and other instruments, along with digitally recorded guitars (Axe-FX, Kemper, Helix) and highly processed/layered/corrected/altered vocals, and it's mostly that way because it saves a lot of time and money, it's convenience.

It's really just a different world, I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing, things go full circle eventually and we keep moving forward in new ways.
I am quoting your post because you used the term "different world" referring to time, I believe, but it can also apply to geography and cultural values. I found out about "Japanese listening bars" today so I don't really have what I would consider "knowledge" about them. Here is an article and a website below:
https://www.residentadvisor.net/features/3485
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/03/dining/vinyl-records-listening-bar-kissaten.html

I like the fundamental idea and the fact it works (or even exists) in certain places around the world is encouraging. There are people who do want to listen to music in an ideal environment. It may not be for everybody, but it is there for the people who are interested and live near one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
As an aside, audio from a CD reaches your ears at 16bit/44.1kHz. Audio from a DVD reaches your ears at 24bit/48kHz. Music does not suffer at 24bit/48kHz so is there any clear reason 24bit/48kHz never became the standard for all audio? Just curious.
 

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As an aside, audio from a CD reaches your ears at 16bit/44.1kHz. Audio from a DVD reaches your ears at 24bit/48kHz. Music does not suffer at 24bit/48kHz so is there any clear reason 24bit/48kHz never became the standard for all audio? Just curious.
No expert on the matter, (though I should be in my line of work), but my guess would be: so all songs fit on one cd. The CD technology at that time probably didn't allow a higher bit/sample rate due to file size restrictions. The common audio CD still writes down data and I don't think that, at 24bit/48khz, a CD would be able to contain a standard full album (again, could be wrong here). There's a practically inaudible difference between 24bit/48khz vs 16bit/44.1khz as well, just like there's a practically inaudible difference between high quality wav files and slightly compressed mp3 files, or even highly compressed mp3 files. Go ahead, try it out: https://www.npr.org/sections/therec...ll-can-you-hear-audio-quality?t=1580040427911

I have recently given in to Spotify premium out of convenience. Their subscribers get to hear the audio at 320kbps, as opposed to the free 160 kbps. I wouldn't be able to tell the two apart with a ****ed and loaded gun to my head. I'm also willing to bet my life savings (which is around $15) on it that there's anyone out there who would flawlessly be able to tell the difference between a couple of flac, mp3, or 32bit/96khz master files through the same set of speakers. inb4 real amps vs modelers discussion

The end result for me is a pleasant sonic result, without audible compromises. MP3's being streamed through a nice high quality set of speakers will do just fine. Vinyl doesn't add anything to the experience for me. If anything I get distracted by the occasional pops/clicks/scratch sounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
No expert on the matter, (though I should be in my line of work), but my guess would be: so all songs fit on one cd. The CD technology at that time probably didn't allow a higher bit/sample rate due to file size restrictions. The common audio CD still writes down data and I don't think that, at 24bit/48khz, a CD would be able to contain a standard full album (again, could be wrong here). There's a practically inaudible difference between 24bit/48khz vs 16bit/44.1khz as well, just like there's a practically inaudible difference between high-quality wav. files and slightly compressed mp3 files, or even highly compressed mp3 files. Go ahead, try it out: https://www.npr.org/sections/therec...ll-can-you-hear-audio-quality?t=1580040427911

I have recently given in to Spotify premium out of convenience. Their subscribers get to hear the audio at 320kbps, as opposed to the free 160 kbps. I wouldn't be able to tell the two apart with a ****ed and loaded gun to my head. I'm also willing to bet my life savings (which is around $15) on it that there's anyone out there who would flawlessly be able to tell the difference between a couple of FLAC, mp3, or 32bit/96khz master files through the same set of speakers. inb4 real amps vs modelers discussion

The end result for me is a pleasant sonic result, without audible compromises. MP3's being streamed through a nice high-quality set of speakers will do just fine. Vinyl doesn't add anything to the experience for me. If anything I get distracted by the occasional pops/clicks/scratch sounds.
I meant why didn't the music industry adopt the DVD as the standard when it became available?

As for the audio quality test, I identified 2 of the 6 tracks as uncompressed wav. files: the Mozart - Piano Concerto and Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner." I'm ok with that. I actually took that same test 5 years ago and identified the same 2 tracks as uncompressed wav. files. I remember it as "the NPR audio test" and I got the "classical piece" and the "last one" correct. My memory is not good enough to remember which boxes I checked though. ;)

Here is an alternative to the "NPR audio test." The approach is different: 2L High-Resolution Music .:. free TEST BENCH
2L is a Norwegian record label run by Morten Lindberg. They do some amazing work. 8O

It's funny...we don't have "real amps vs. modeler" discussions. It might be good to have one. :D
 

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I meant why didn't the music industry adopt the DVD as the standard when it became available?

As for the audio quality test, I identified 2 of the 6 tracks as uncompressed wav. files: the Mozart - Piano Concerto and Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner." I'm ok with that. I actually took that same test 5 years ago and identified the same 2 tracks as uncompressed wav. files. I remember it as "the NPR audio test" and I got the "classical piece" and the "last one" correct. My memory is not good enough to remember which boxes I checked though. ;)

Here is an alternative to the "NPR audio test." The approach is different: 2L High-Resolution Music .:. free TEST BENCH
2L is a Norwegian record label run by Morten Lindberg. They do some amazing work. 8O

It's funny...we don't have "real amps vs. modeler" discussions. It might be good to have one. :D
My apologies, I misunderstood. The rant below is entirely my 2 cents on the matter and should not be considered a factual analysis.

I think it all has to do with convenience. That is the #1 reason why audio- and video-streaming services are just so popular. DVD-Audio did not offer any new sort of convenience and required quite the investment, when people were already knee-deep in Audio-CD's and their required hardware.

Video-DVD took off because it was yep, more convenient. No more rewinding your goddamn tapes, a lot more bonus content and clearer picture. Major win.
Audio-CD's took off because it was yep, more convenient. No more rewinding your goddamn tapes, no more flipping your tape to side B for the next batch of songs and an audible increase in quality. Major win.

Audio-DVD's had a slight increase in audio quality and was not more convenient than an Audio-CD. It also required expensive hardware (back in those days) and this during a time when people were getting stingy because that diabolical fiend of a Napster came crashing in through the doors.

Hold up... Free music with an inaudible difference in quality?!



Every kids dad was looking into how to download music. And the graph speaks for itself.



And talk about convenience. Double-clicking a file to listen to 1 specific song as opposed to getting the CD, taking it out of the jewel case, praying to God that the disc doesn't have scratches or isn't dirty, skipping through all the tracks to get to the song you wanted. Goodbye back-breaking labour! And a standard family only had one pc standing in the living room anyway so it was there for all to enjoy.

It was also around 2000 that video-DVD's were becoming a mainstream thing. I recall saving up for a PS2 around that time and being one of the first people in class being able to play a DVD. But by the end of the academic year, everyone had a DVD player. Sure, you could download movies on your PC back then, but it was a whole hassle getting it to play on your TV. For the people who watched movies on their PC monitor, it worked just fine. But when you got a family that wants to collectively enjoy movies, DVD's was still the best movie-watching option. I'm starting to feel like Randy Marsh after buying that Blockbuster video store.

Audio-DVD's were a very niche market and offered no new form of convenience. Kind of like why 4K Blu-Rays aren't taking off (and probably never will), despite the fact that the picture quality is better (in theory) as opposed to streaming (4K) video content. The average person just digs the whole comfort of Netflix, Amazon Prime etc, even though they are compromising on quality when compared to the best physical media out there.

Man I used the word "convenience" a lot.
 

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It does make you think, why so many people spend so much time, energy, and money on particular pickups, certain strings, TUBE amplifiers, magic microphones, etc... when all of it ends up in a compressed, small db range (with mp3s). Really makes you wonder if it even matters. (I realize it matters to the player siting in front of the gear, but otherwise...)
 

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My apologies, I misunderstood. The rant below is entirely my 2 cents on the matter and should not be considered a factual analysis.

I think it all has to do with convenience. That is the #1 reason why audio- and video-streaming services are just so popular. DVD-Audio did not offer any new sort of convenience and required quite the investment, when people were already knee-deep in Audio-CD's and their required hardware.

Video-DVD took off because it was yep, more convenient. No more rewinding your goddamn tapes, a lot more bonus content and clearer picture. Major win.
Audio-CD's took off because it was yep, more convenient. No more rewinding your goddamn tapes, no more flipping your tape to side B for the next batch of songs and an audible increase in quality. Major win.

Audio-DVD's had a slight increase in audio quality and was not more convenient than an Audio-CD. It also required expensive hardware (back in those days) and this during a time when people were getting stingy because that diabolical fiend of a Napster came crashing in through the doors.

Hold up... Free music with an inaudible difference in quality?!



Every kids dad was looking into how to download music. And the graph speaks for itself.



And talk about convenience. Double-clicking a file to listen to 1 specific song as opposed to getting the CD, taking it out of the jewel case, praying to God that the disc doesn't have scratches or isn't dirty, skipping through all the tracks to get to the song you wanted. Goodbye back-breaking labour! And a standard family only had one pc standing in the living room anyway so it was there for all to enjoy.

It was also around 2000 that video-DVD's were becoming a mainstream thing. I recall saving up for a PS2 around that time and being one of the first people in class being able to play a DVD. But by the end of the academic year, everyone had a DVD player. Sure, you could download movies on your PC back then, but it was a whole hassle getting it to play on your TV. For the people who watched movies on their PC monitor, it worked just fine. But when you got a family that wants to collectively enjoy movies, DVD's was still the best movie-watching option. I'm starting to feel like Randy Marsh after buying that Blockbuster video store.

Audio-DVD's were a very niche market and offered no new form of convenience. Kind of like why 4K Blu-Rays aren't taking off (and probably never will), despite the fact that the picture quality is better (in theory) as opposed to streaming (4K) video content. The average person just digs the whole comfort of Netflix, Amazon Prime etc, even though they are compromising on quality when compared to the best physical media out there.

Man I used the word "convenience" a lot.
Great post!
Yep, I like CD's and miss those days, but another measure of convenience - actual physical storage space! Ten years ago I had walls of CD's and DVD's. Now? I have two kids and less space for "stuff." I dumped about 2/3rds of all physical content, keeping the things I really wanted. And really streaming has made even movies easier. I'm not going to get up from the couch to get the Empire Strikes Back blu ray when I can just hit play on Disney+. Granted, Diseny+'s quality and buffering is shockingly bad for a "premium Disney brand."
Now with streaming you can scratch any itch almost instantaneously by going online and pressing "play" as well. I'm on Amazon music, mostly because I had already bought a ton of MP3s from them and you can play them on Music Unlimited even if they're not available on the standard streaming menu. And right now I'm listening to Big Game by White Lion. Much better quality than when I bought this back in the day on tape. LOL! CD - obviously better. But really, measuring audio quality versus convenience how much MORE am I really getting with more high definition? Even on new albums recorded on modern gear, how much better is it?
And like people who prefer vinyl / analog to digital - is it really preferable to have THAT MUCH more clarity? Again, like image smoothing. I think it's cool, but on a movie I like a little haze to help me believe the mountains in the background are actually far away.

Also, a bit of irony. My wife works in the biz dealing with physical media. :D
 
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