In Mobile Age, Sound Quality Steps Back

上一篇 / 下一篇  2010-05-20 13:22:44 / 天气: 晴朗 / 心情: 高兴

In Mobile Age, Sound Quality Steps BackIn Mobile Age, Sound Quality Steps BackAt the ripe age of 28, Jon Zimmer is sort of an old fogey. That is,#x heNegative Plateis obsessive about the sound quality of his music.

A onetime audio engineer who now works as a consultant for Stereo Exchange, an upscale audio store in Manhattan, Mr. Zimmer lights up when talking about high fidelity, bit rates and $10,000 loudspeakers.

But iPods and compressed computer files — the most popular vehicles for audio today — are “sucking the life out of music,” he says.

The last decade has brought an explosion in dazzling technological advances — including enhancements in surround sound, high definition television and 3-D — that have transformed the fan’s experience. There are improvements in the quality of media everywhere — except in music.

In many ways, the quality of what people hear — how well the playback reflects the original sound— has taken a step back. To many expert ears, compressed music files produce a crackly,Energy saving lamp, tinnier and thinner sound thanNegative Platemusic on CDs and certainly on vinyl. And to compete with other songs, tracks are engineered to be much louder as well.

In one way, the music business has been the victim of its own technological success: the ease of loading songs onto a computer or an iPod has meant that a generation of fans has happily traded fidelity for portability and convenience. This is the obstacle the industry faces in any effort to create higher-quality — and more expensive — ways of listening.

“If people are interested in getting a better sound, there are many ways to do it,” Mr. Zimmer said. “But many people don’t even know that they might be interested.”

Take Thomas Pinales, a 22-year-old from Spanish Harlem and a fan of some of today’s most popular artists, including Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and Lil Wayne. Mr. Pinales listens to his music stored on his Apple iPod through a pair of earbuds, and while he wouldn’t mindNegative Plateupgrading, he#x is not convinced that it would be worth the cost.

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