Back in the late 70s and early 80s, music fans were sold on the superiority of digital recordings. “Perfect sound forever” and all that rot. And yeah, digital does offer some pretty solid strengths. But the truth is that we’re still using the same standards today as we were back then. Any standard CD you buy right now is no more advanced than what could be purchased in 1984–and those discs were based on technologies from the 1970s.
Meanwhile, sales of digital music downloads–the format that was supplant physical media for music–has stalled. So what’s the future for digital music? Medium.com takes a look.
The turntable is waiting to be turned.
I admit, I am an audiophile. This is my case against the type of music we got used to; compressed, destroyed music. However, counting kilobits per second and measure catalogue size by number of songs will get us nowhere. Simply because it is a technical approach to the arts. A painting is not a better painting because it has more brushstrokes. A museum is not a better museum because it has more artifacts on display.
Instead, we should approach digital music from a different perspective. And on a different level. Asking questions about compression and mastering. Examining the degree of avant-garde and variety of a selection. Exploring the features and functionality of different services. So, let’s turn things up a notch.