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Thread: Neil Young's "Pono" hi-fi venture

  1. #21
    Shoegazing Member Serious Poo's Avatar
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    Interesting topic. I'm all for mathematically better algorythms, but the lack of interoperability is just too huge of a issue for me to bother with changing my recordings from 320kbps MP3s. Between car stereos, DVD/CD/MP3 players in my home entertainment center, iDevices, computers, and other digital devices, I would rather risk losing a little audio fidelity than risk it simply not playing correctly. Interoperability has definitely gotten better through the years, but IMHO its still got a long way to go. I've got maybe 1500 CDs ripped to my computer at 320kbps and another 2-300 albums from Amazon and eMusic that are ripped at ~160kbps, and the sheer volume makes re-ripping all that media makes it highly unlikely I'll bother with it until a significantly better industry standard gets widely adopted. By widely adopted, I mean it gets adopted by ALL hardware/software manufacturers, just like the MP3 standard did.

    The other real challenge I see is the quality of earbuds/speakers/headphones that most people use. There's zero chance any human can truly hear a difference between a 320kbps MP3 and the same track recoded with {insert your favorite lossless audio codec here} when listened to through those inane little earphones that come with Apple iDevices. Through a high quality pair of studio headphones? Sure. But through cheap earbuds? Not in my experience, not even close. Unfortunately, the majority of music isn't listened to through studio quality playback devices - it's listened to through portable digital devices and cheap earbuds, or car stereos that have to compete against road noise. The manufacturers obviously know this & their devices appear to be selling just fine the way they are, so IMHO there's little incentive for them to really standardize on a higher quality codec.

    Just my $0.02.
    Be.
    Do.
    Have.

  2. #22
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    I never said I prefer the sound of MP3s, and I would welcome a world where the average consumer cares more about fidelity, but until there is a demand from my customers and clients I am not interested unless there is something in it for me. For my paying clients that are going to go to a mastering house (I wish there were more of them!) I make high resolution masters, but for mixtape artists and punk bands who skip that part and go straight to direct marketing of their material, I typically look at the old red book standard as the format they NEED.

    I spend so much time listening to MP3s in the worst listening environment for that format: Dance clubs. You think listening to that crap in your car or over your Bose speakers in your living room sounds bad? Just for giggles go out some night and listen to some Dubstep, Reggae, or Hip-hop over a huge club system, if the music genre does not make you want to punch yourself in the face the sonics will. I play MP3s myself in these environments but only after I search high and low for a better quality option, but sometimes the need for that hot new track that nobody else is playing outweighs the bad, and the kids don't stop dancing or buying drinks and leave the club because they don't know any better, or care enough to complain.

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    I bought a Tassimo coffee machine, definitely a superior product, plus it had Starbucks coffee pods. Starbucks did a dastardly thing and moved to the other brand, Keurig. Worse machine. Coffee doesn't taste as good. But I like Starbucks coffee, so I got a Keurig. I can cry over it, or just freaking enjoy the coffee I like and worry about something more important like guitar tone. LOL
    This is exactly my point.
    I worked for Starbucks in my early twenties back before they became the super-giant of selling total crap that passes for a "premium" product at inflated prices, and my fiance is presently working there now while attending grad-school, so I feel I as though I may have enough experience to say that: MP3's = Starbucks Coffee Pods.

    Perhaps you have no idea that the lack of constant temperature of your machine (and the ones presently being used at Starbucks) with it's plastic tubing is robbing you of your coffee's potential flavor. There is a noticeable difference in flavor when you grind fresh beans versus pre-ground packaged coffee pods, which is why Starbucks used to make us grind coffee, and throw out unused grounds every 24hrs. Do you know a paper cone in your drip coffee machine has an negative effect on the flavor of your coffee because the paper soaks up the oils the would pass through the screen of a french press? Do you care, do you just not know, or is the convenience of Starbucks in your home whenever you want it more valuable to you than your passion for great coffee? If so there is nothing wrong with any of that, you happen to be of the same make up the majority of Starbucks patrons who keep me supplied with quality, affordable, health insurance every month. Seriously.. Thank you!

    The masses seem to have chosen convenience over quality for the moment, so that is where my "I don't care anymore" sentiment has its roots. I purchase every song I "license" for work or personal enjoyment, MP3 or CD. (which as you know is just a limited license agreement, you don't "own" that music.) I know you were not inferring that I download stuff illegally, just as I hope you know I am not personally attacking your coffee preferences, I just think that the demand creates the market, and not the other way around with some of this stuff.

    Maybe you, Bennett, and I need to get together. I can make you some coffee, you can play the same B.O.C. record to Bennett on four different formats, and you both can show me what I am missing by not owning a PRS Artist model.

    Cheers.

  3. #23

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    I never said I prefer the sound of MP3s, and I would welcome a world where the average consumer cares more about fidelity, but until there is a demand from my customers and clients I am not interested unless there is something in it for me. For my paying clients that are going to go to a mastering house (I wish there were more of them!) I make high resolution masters, but for mixtape artists and punk bands who skip that part and go straight to direct marketing of their material, I typically look at the old red book standard as the format they NEED.

    I spend so much time listening to MP3s in the worst listening environment for that format: Dance clubs. You think listening to that crap in your car or over your Bose speakers in your living room sounds bad? Just for giggles go out some night and listen to some Dubstep, Reggae, or Hip-hop over a huge club system, if the music genre does not make you want to punch yourself in the face the sonics will. I play MP3s myself in these environments but only after I search high and low for a better quality option, but sometimes the need for that hot new track that nobody else is playing outweighs the bad, and the kids don't stop dancing or buying drinks and leave the club because they don't know any better, or care enough to complain.



    This is exactly my point.
    I worked for Starbucks in my early twenties back before they became the super-giant of selling total crap that passes for a "premium" product at inflated prices, and my fiance is presently working there now while attending grad-school, so I feel I as though I may have enough experience to say that: MP3's = Starbucks Coffee Pods.

    Perhaps you have no idea that the lack of constant temperature of your machine (and the ones presently being used at Starbucks) with it's plastic tubing is robbing you of your coffee's potential flavor. There is a noticeable difference in flavor when you grind fresh beans versus pre-ground packaged coffee pods, which is why Starbucks used to make us grind coffee, and throw out unused grounds every 24hrs. Do you know a paper cone in your drip coffee machine has an negative effect on the flavor of your coffee because the paper soaks up the oils the would pass through the screen of a french press? Do you care, do you just not know, or is the convenience of Starbucks in your home whenever you want it more valuable to you than your passion for great coffee? If so there is nothing wrong with any of that, you happen to be of the same make up the majority of Starbucks patrons who keep me supplied with quality, affordable, health insurance every month. Seriously.. Thank you!

    The masses seem to have chosen convenience over quality for the moment, so that is where my "I don't care anymore" sentiment has its roots. I purchase every song I "license" for work or personal enjoyment, MP3 or CD. (which as you know is just a limited license agreement, you don't "own" that music.) I know you were not inferring that I download stuff illegally, just as I hope you know I am not personally attacking your coffee preferences, I just think that the demand creates the market, and not the other way around with some of this stuff.

    Maybe you, Bennett, and I need to get together. I can make you some coffee, you can play the same B.O.C. record to Bennett on four different formats, and you both can show me what I am missing by not owning a PRS Artist model.

    Cheers.
    I agree, freshly ground coffee is best, and a french press is best (though I don't own a french press). In fact, I do often grind, and my drip machine uses a gold screen instead of paper. It's better.

    The only reason I use the darn little fast cups when I'm in a hurry is that I don't care THAT much about coffee most days. I do care that much about music! It's all a matter of what one's individual priorities are.

    How about this for a plan: you and I get together and we discuss our methods of creating music. You make coffee, I bring beer. We make a bonfire from BOC albums instead of listening to them in any format, because, well, I don't know about you, but I'd rather burn a BOC record than listen to it.

    You are not missing anything if you don't own a PRS Artist model, if you play a different PRS model (or any other guitar) that you like; that's just a personal musical expression thing. I'd never say any of my guitars is better than any other guitar. Only what's working for me.

    Bennett won't show in any case because he doesn't appreciate my sense of humor.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 09-29-2012 at 08:04 PM.

  4. #24
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Sounds like a better plan Les, Bennett could probably not get past the DEA dogs at O'hare security anyway.

  5. #25
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    Bennett writing this from Riker's Island in a holding cell. While listening to "Don't fear the Reaper". On a portable MP3 player using ear buds. While drinking Dunkin' Donuts coffee. Using a Mr. Coffee drip machine, a paper filter cup to hold the grinds and making sure at least 12 packets of sugar are available.

    And Les is absolutely correct. Well...at least about my opinion of his humor. Not so, with regard to his opinion of Buck, Eric, Allen, Joe and Albert....my BOC buddies.







    Buck calls this specially made Steinberger his "Cheeseburger"...




    Albert and I...."before the fix....blurry..."










    ....after the fix...crystal clear!"




    Sergio...not so. Glenn Frey wrote "Smuggler's Blues" after we spent a weekend together and I taught him a thing or two.
    Last edited by docbennett; 09-30-2012 at 09:42 AM.

  6. #26
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Ha! The invitation still stands Bennett, just travel safe.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    Ha! The invitation still stands Bennett, just travel safe.
    Thanks! Safe travel is the only way to fly!

  8. #28
    I always appreciated that "Don't Fear The Reaper" made a significant contribution to the "I coulda used a little more cowbell" school of record production.

    Though I confess, my favorite cowbell band from this era was Grand Funk Railroad, from my home state, with their iconic, cowbell-centric hit, "We're An American Band." The cowbell work on that record was unparalleled in the history of cowbell rock.

    Find me another cowbell player who can duplicate the difficulty of that body of work!
    Last edited by LSchefman; 09-30-2012 at 03:00 PM.

  9. #29
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    CD Purchases

    Quote Originally Posted by james View Post
    I hear that. I usually walk in the door and fire something up with the Remote app on iPhone.

    On the weekends, I pull out records.

    Where do you buy your CD's?
    Record and Tape Traders in Towson...hope they are around for a while longer...many of them have closed due to the MP3, etc...
    Still love CDs...I was one of those guys that actually used to read every word on ALBUM covers while others were chatting, and I was listening to the music, listening for type of guitar, OD effects, etc... My wife says thats why I didn't have many friends(LOL).Of course, there are a few people now that love having me on Music trivia nights...I guess I showed her!!! Ha!!!

  10. #30
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    It's official as of September 21, 2011 as reported here

    "Hippies and CDs are both things from America’s past."
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!

    ísɹǝqɯǝɯ uɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ oןןǝɥ

  11. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by rugerpc View Post
    It's official as of September 21, 2011 as reported here

    "Hippies and CDs are both things from America’s past."
    What about Tim?

  12. #32
    Administrator james's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    What about Tim?
    got around to reading Neil Young's new book Waging Heavy Peace. The guy's heart is in the right place on this. I hope it works out for him. Even if Apple started giving the high-res option for iTunes downloads, I think it would be a win for his efforts.

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