Hi-res audio. Again. But streaming!

LP spinesI started buying records 40 years ago. (It hurt to type that.) I am an unrepentant music fan and so have bought (and re-bought) music over the decades as the music industry has come up with new formats that promised “ease of use” and improved sound: High fidelity vinyl! Compact Discs! SACD! etc. I still have a massive library of LPs and CDs though my cassette collection drops out and mopes in boxes in my basement. It’s only in the past year that I finally broke down and got a Spotify subscription; it’s what all “the kids” are doing and my kids wanted it too.

For many, if not most, of my listening applications, the quality of streaming audio is just fine. I’ve been addicted to the portability of MP3s on my iPod for years now, so I have accepted “inferior” sound quality for a while. (Hell, back in pre-FM days, songs were sonically designed to sound GREAT coming out of cruddy little transistor radios!) But trying to turn Spotify tracks up to any fun/stupid volume in the living room on nice speakers? That’s when it gets thin and unsatisfying and I go back to the turntable and the CD player…

Announced at this year’s CES – going on right now in Las Vegas – a big chunk of the music industry is getting behind the development of a new, post-MP3 standard to bring high-res fidelity to digital streaming:

A large swath of the music business, including all three major labels (Universal Music Group, Sony Music and the Warner Music Group), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and music platforms such as Pandora, Rhapsody/Napster and HD Tracks, all in concert with the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), today announced their support for studio-quality hi-res audio for music streaming. [Source]

Notably absent from the above are Spotify and Apple, the latter of which has been supposedly working on its own hi-res streaming option for some time now. But if Spotify were to offer a premium (read as: more expensive) tier  of hi-res streaming to users, this music fan just might be happier to go into the living room, dig out the old blacklight, and crank up DARK SIDE OF THE MOON…


[NOTE: The audio in the above YouTube clip is decidedly *lo-res*…]