Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Friday Music: Going Large

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  • Russell Brown,

    Ooops – nearly forgot. ‘Royals’ gets the kapa haka treatment from students at Lorde’s old school, performing at Polyfest. I'd like to hear the whole thing!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    I'm with the rabid pack on the Pono - meh. If it wasn't for Young fronting this I doubt it would have gained any column inches nor kickstarter donations - and should I mention the name... double meh

    Yes some people want higher quality music files and some of those will pay for a music only player and link to a store that won't have the catalogue of all the other stores - ie will have a tiny catalogue in comparison... and thus a tiny market

    I don't think ya average music consumer/listener cares about the things Neil does... and the vast majority don't know who he is either... now if Dr Dre was behind it maybe people would be happy to shell out a big bunch of money on a music only player... and then the playback system and/or headphones that will actually allow the benefits to be heard (cue audiophile jokes)

    Saying all that audio quality will I believe improve as the distribution means becomes way faster (data caps too) for it to be the norm globally - of course the major labels will have to be in the zone for any of this to take off, iTunes (et al) are but the storefront, the content owners in this instance should be pushing for their wares to be sold at the highest quality possible - a chance for them to be proactive perhaps

    I am excited to see after the killing off of the beloved Technics 1200 that pioneer are bring decks back http://blog.djcity.com/2014/03/pioneer-teases-new-turntable.html given the rise and rise of vinyl sales (a niche market still)

    that ace of bass is just wrong, cheers :)

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 538 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    everyones doing it....

    Nirvana's Krist Novoselic Playing Lorde's "Royals" on Accordion

    http://pitchfork.com/news/54325-heres-nirvanas-krist-novoselic-playing-lordes-royals-on-accordian/

    Black Simon and Garfunkel, aka The Roots' Captain Kirk Douglas and Questlove, cover Lorde's "Royals."

    http://boingboing.net/2014/03/13/black-simon-and-garfunkel-play.html

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 538 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Bennett,

    I like the idea of a high-resolution version of iTunes (why can’t iTunes do it? I’d pay a premium), but the Pono device has no appeal for me. At the very least I’d want Airplay capability to stream the music around the house and into my main system via Apple TV.

    I aspect the initiative will sink as long as it’s restricted to those clunky devices.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 170 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington, in reply to bob daktari,

    I don't think ya average music consumer/listener cares about the things Neil does... and the vast majority don't know who he is either... now if Dr Dre was behind it maybe people would be happy to shell out a big bunch of money on a music only player.

    Yeh my first thoughts were, digital music service for old white people.

    However, I agree with Russell that we've reached the point where we should be doing a little better with better quality audio. Most of the services I use offer lossless options now but I just haven't got my crap together to start using them. I definitely have that worry that lossless might make my 80GB of MP3's sound just a little bit, er, shit.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 948 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    We don't have enough Skrillex on the PAS music pages.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 948 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Simon Bennett,

    At the very least I’d want Airplay capability to stream the music around the house and into my main system via Apple TV.

    The problem with that is that the digital to analog conversion then gets done at the destination device, not in the super-hi-fi player you've paid hundreds of dollars for.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Brown, in reply to Simon Bennett,

    Most devices are clunky and not fully realised in their first iteration. Give it a couple of gens and some better ID. The first iPod was pretty shit.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2013 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I do like the idea of that machine, and the design doesn't both me - presumably it's handbag portable, rather than pocket portable. However the limited memory will be a problem. We're used to large libraries. We're used to low quality, and we're no longer used to the tradeoff.

    Sayonara Nick. As a listener, I find him to be the nicest person on radio. I'll often tune in to George to hear him, even when the music isn't quite what I'm after. It's a testament to his lifelong openness and ability to commit to other languages and cultures that he's heading to Japan in this capacity.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch, in reply to Peter Darlington,

    We don’t have enough Skrillex on the PAS music pages.

    Thank you for filling the 2011-2015 PAS Skrillrex quota.

    ETA: perhaps Skrillrex sounds better in lossless formats.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Peter Darlington,

    We don’t have enough Skrillex on the PAS music pages.

    We have rules about trolling on this site.

    ;-)

    That's a lot of fun.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to George Darroch,

    It’s a testament to his lifelong openness and ability to commit to other languages and cultures that he’s heading to Japan in this capacity.

    Really nicely put.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to George Darroch,

    ETA: perhaps Skrillrex sounds better in lossless formats.

    There’s a theory that brostep was invented because weeny laptop speakers couldn’t play the bass in proper dubstep.

    But I do quite like this one ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Bennett, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yes, but I have quite a good destination device! ;-)

    It's nice to see that at least a small subset of people care about music quality. Most people I know claim to hear no difference between a compressed file and lossless sound. To me it's like the difference between watching video playback from a VHS tape, and pictures at 4K resolution. If I want to really LISTEN to the music, rather than having it burbling away in the background.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 170 posts Report Reply

  • Konrad Kurta,

    Mp3 is highly dependent on the compression ratio - I'd love to see a comparison of how many people can tell an HD audio file from at 320kbps Mp3. I'd guess even dedicated audiophiles would struggle even with a great sound system. As for Neil Young, I don't know why he's bothering with this bogeyman - despite a fair degree of looking I've not found anyone who can pick the difference between standard cd-quality WAV audio files and full HD ones. He should stick to the 'loudness wars' if he's concerned about the integrity of the original artisitic product. But then, it's hard to make and sell a device for that.

    South Korea • Since Dec 2012 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Shaun Lott,

    Call me an old fart, but this is part of the reason I still like to buy CDs. You get the WAV file, in a permanent storage format. I can rip an MP3 or whatever lossless format I choose. And the files are demonstrably mine, not in limbo on someone else's server. And I like the little booklet :) (Though actually I'm still pining for the big booklet that was sometimes lurking within the gatefold sleeve...)

    Playback via airplay or ethernet cable to a speaker that probably was too expensive... but yes you can hear the difference!

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Konrad Kurta,

    Mp3 is highly dependent on the compression ratio – I’d love to see a comparison of how many people can tell an HD audio file from at 320kbps Mp3. I’d guess even dedicated audiophiles would struggle even with a great sound system.

    Probably true – except for the part about the DAC. Hooking things up so your conversion is done on a better device definitely makes a difference.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Konrad Kurta,

    He should stick to the ‘loudness wars’ if he’s concerned about the integrity of the original artisitic product.

    To be fair, he has a long history of obsessing about audio fidelity.

    The "More barn!" story.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But I do quite like this one ...

    Me too. Just proves that there's probably nothing that can't be improved by a little Jamaican ruffness.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 948 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington, in reply to George Darroch,

    Thank you for filling the 2011-2015 PAS Skrillrex quota.

    :-)
    I'd have to be honest and say that it's mainly the Ragga Twins that does that tune for me. Although the video is fun too.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 948 posts Report Reply

  • Konrad Kurta, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Even after a good D/A converter, I reckon the difference is negligible.

    To be fair, he has a long history of obsessing about audio fidelity.

    The "More barn!" story.

    Yeah, I've read a lot about his views on high fidelity audio - I still feel it's largely a pointless exercise. I read an article somewhere that the human ear can't even distinguish between CD quality and super ultra HD audio, though I can't remember who wrote it. I'll see if I can dig it up.

    South Korea • Since Dec 2012 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'd love to see a comparison of how many people can tell an HD audio file from at 320kbps Mp3

    That isn't really the issue (for me anyway). It's transcoding - if you ever want to go from MP3 to another lossy format (like Ogg Vorbis), then the quality will be screwed up. Which may not matter now, but it might in 10 or 20 years time.

    (Also, I assume this also hits sampling/mixtapes. If you make a mix that incorporates MP3 inputs and then compress it, you'll degrade quality - anyone know if this is a real problem?).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    [At the risk of sounding even older and whiter than Neil Young...]

    My biggest beef with music from the past ten years hasn't been mp3 compression, but dynamic range compression or "loudness" of music mastering. It's what makes a lot of modern pop music sound thrashy and tiring to listen to, and why much of the music from the 70s and 80s sounds so much more spacious.

    Anyway, apparently the advent of iTunes will kill this whole phenomenon.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    speaking, well someone was, of Skrillex reminded me of this lot. anyway the Guardian locates them somewhere btwn him and Aqua...like totally, and it's got something to with chocolate. cute as a button on a corpse, a happy corpse.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas, in reply to Mark Thomas,

    Anyway, apparently the advent of iTunes will kill this whole phenomenon.

    (Or the increasing popularity of minimalist music like The XX, Lorde and James Blake)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report Reply

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