Neil Young slams iPod

Neil Young has slated the iPod and similar devices, bemoaning the lack of musical fidelity and comparing them to a child’s toy, according to this article on Macworld.

“I absolutely hate the fact that it’s possible to release music at the same quality it was created, yet the market has moved backward to something that’s little better than cassettes.” he is reported as saying.

While I can understand where he is coming from – as the creator of musical works he must hate to hear them “watered down” to lesser levels of reproduction – I would argue against the sentiment that this is a tragedy for music, as long as the originals still exist in their fullest quality, and are available to those that want them.

For many people, the mp3 player or iPod gives the opportunity to carry a vast library of music in the pocket, and is the key for escape to a million worlds of sound and lyrics at different points during a busy life. Music lives more the more it is heard and lived with, and for those who are happy to listen in slightly reduced quality surely it is better than not having the music available at all?

For most people, myself included, it actually represents a vast increase in quality and depth from what went before – I spent more than half my life in an era when music was mainly heard on the radio, overwhelmingly on medium-wave, in mono and with competing sounds of interference and atmospherics.

The iPod may not be hi-fi, but it is science fiction compared to the choice available in my youth.


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