Japan is Really Pushing for High-Res Audio

I’ve had several deep conversations lately with musicians about how so many young people are okay with sub-par audio. I don’t mean just MP3s over CDs or vinyl, either; I’ve run to plenty of kids who are perfectly okay with listening to music out of shitty earbuds, crappy laptop speakers or even the tinny speaker on their smartphone. When I catch someone listening to music this way, I always ask why they settle for such lousy sound. “It’s good enough,” they say.

Good enough. Christ.

The good news is that there seems to be a growing push to resurrect the notion of high fidelity music in the minds of consumers. Neil Young has his Pono project. U2 is hinting about something they’re working on with Apple for their upcoming Songs of Experience album in 2015. And now word is seeping out of Japan about high-res audio initiatives.

From the Bangkok Post:

TOKYO – A quarter of a century after the Walkman made music portable and turned Sony into a household name around the world, the company is hoping to set the agenda again with “high-res” audio.The Japanese tech giant, which recently warned it was expecting a $2.14 billion annual loss this year, is betting that music of superior quality to compact discs is about to leave the niche world of audiophiles and go mainstream.

“It’s exactly one year since we put the first high-resolution audio players on the market and they have been very popular,” Sony’s head of audio Ichiro Takagi told journalists last week.

Now the firm wants to “push the accelerator on the high-res product line”, he said.

Continue reading.  (Thanks to Tom for the link.)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “Japan is Really Pushing for High-Res Audio

  • October 5, 2014 at 11:31 am
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    “I’ve run to plenty of kids who are perfectly okay with listening to music out of shitty earbuds, crappy laptop speakers or even the tinny speaker on their smartphone.”

    When I was 12 I listened to music I recorded on cassette tape from AM radio (CFTR) on a crappy store brand portable stereo.

    I’m not gonna lay any judgment here.

    Reply
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