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Music Media Piracy Your Rights Online

Neil Young Pushes Pono, Says Piracy Is the New Radio 361

Posted by timothy
from the canadians-tend-to-be-smart dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Kia Makarechi reports that Neil Young isn't particularly concerned with the effects of piracy on artists but is 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,' says Young. '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.' Young is primarily concerned about whether the MP3 files we're all listening to actually are pretty poor from an audio-quality standpoint. Young's main concern is that your average MP3 file only contains about five percent of the audio from an original recording and is pushing a new format called Pono that would be 'high-resolution' digital tracks of the same quality as that produced during the studio recording. Young wants to see better music recording and high resolution recording, but we're not anywhere near that and hopes that 'some rich guy' will solve the problem of creating and distributing '100 percent' of the sound in music. 'Steve Jobs was a pioneer of digital music, his legacy was tremendous. But when he went home, he listened to vinyl.'"
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Neil Young Pushes Pono, Says Piracy Is the New Radio

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  • Re:FLAC (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 20, 2012 @11:49AM (#41400315)

    Wrong, vinyl has a lower frequency cutoff (around 12kHz) and definitely picks up LESS of the original recording than anything except for maybe some badly-recorded analog tapes.

  • Re:FLAC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pla (258480) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @12:02PM (#41400541) Journal
    FLAC is lossless from an audio CD perspective.

    No, FLAC is lossless. 99.99% of us just have no higher quality source material to encode than standard audio CDs.

    If a studio (or semi-indie artist) wanted to release 40 channels of 32 bit 192KHz raw data, FLAC could encode that just fine. Of course, that would take basically one DVD per song to store (roughly 1GB/minute given FLAC's typical 50% compression ratio), but it could do it just fine. :)

    That's why audiophiles prefer vinyl, because it captures more sound from thestudio recording.

    Sorry, but that doesn't even hold true from the "analog = better" point of view. Vinyl has a lower dynamic range, a lower maximum frequency, and much much lower stereo separation, than an audio CD. Audiophiles prefer vinyl simply because their "hipster douche" persona requires it.
    Keep in mind that audiophiles also prefer $600 ultra-low-oxygen digital interconnects with hand-wavy allusions to "bit slew".

    And as for the appeal to audiophiles, vinyl, and all things Steve Jobs... I got a kick out of TFA: "When asked if Young had approached Apple about the idea, Young said that he had, in fact, met with Jobs and was "working on it," but that "not much" ended up happening to the pursuit."

    Perhaps the fluffy dead-celebrity endorsements would work better if said celebrity had actually shown an interest in this new format?
  • Re:FLAC (Score:4, Insightful)

    by justthinkit (954982) <> on Thursday September 20, 2012 @01:08PM (#41401513) Homepage Journal
    Vinyl avoids the loudness war issue.

    It has been a few decades since I heard a record but I imagine that records sound better (closer to the original sound) than CDs. At least until the first snap, crackle or pop.

  • Re:FLAC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AAWood (918613) <aawood AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 20, 2012 @02:31PM (#41402679)

    But recording at "better than human hearing" isn't enough, because as those sounds are altered, processed, mixed, overlaid and resampled over and over and over again, you lose fidelity. You don't need your original recordings to be good enough for human ears, you need them to be good enough for mixing boards and DSPs and all kinds of hardware, after dozens (hundreds?) of changes. You need the end product to be good enough for ears.

    (And to nip the obvious counter-argument in the bud; obviously the genre of music and recording method are important here, and if there're not many steps between what's being recorded and what's being sold then, sure, it's not such a big issue.)

  • Re:FLAC (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Psyborgue (699890) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @03:52PM (#41403769) Homepage Journal
    I seem to recall a blind test a while back where audiophiles were unable to tell vinyl from a CD recorded from vinyl. Audiophiles also claim gold plated cables sound better (when double blind test show they don't) and that SACD sounds better than CD when in reality double blind tests show that's impossible. And FLAC supports 24 or even 32 bit floating point audio as well as ridiculous sample rates.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of code." -- an anonymous programmer