Normally there'd be some witty prose here about the industry, ginormously expensive gear, or something attractively audiophile related to get you hooked into reading more of this editorial. Would love to say I have the energy to write such things, yet there's no doubt one look at Enjoy the Music.com's July issue shows the fruit of our labor this past month. Looking back at the past two-ish months of this site there's been multiple show reports, many world premiere reviews, plus updates to our partner magazines and daily industry news. Hundreds of photos needed to be edited too. In addition, hope you;e been catching the fun on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Still, there is some strength left within my coding fingers to give some industry overview. Am sure virtually no one cares, yet here's my op-ed about things....
Shows, Are There Too Many?
No, next question. (see our show coverage, 200+)
Was New Gear Announced At An Unprecedented Level?
What's Up With Hi-Res Audio And Hi-Res Music?
Holy crap they're actually going to do this?!?! I know, we all wish this happened last week yet these things take time! Music lovers are already flocking to better resolution source material, which delivers a better end result in music enjoyment. Remember kids, garbage in = garbage out; mp3 I'm looking at you. The DEG, in concert with their remarkable list of partners, continues to work incredible magic! We have hardware, software, and even the Grammy engineering folks on board. Stream the Studio they say, and we'll have more of that ThankYouVeryMuch. My hopes are that, within the next two years, streaming Hi-Res Music to your Hi-Res Audio device will be more an afterthought than forethought. Could be your home music system, portable DAP, mobile phone, and yes your car too!
MP3 Has Been Completely Disowned By Its Inventor?
No. It's just that Fraunhofer, the folks who gave us mp3 coding, have recently stopped licensing it to some degree because they know there are better, higher quality audio compression schemes available today. We must remember that Fraunhofer developed this, yet in 1997 Tomislav Uzelac of Advanced Multimedia Products invented the AMP MP3 playback engine that helped the format proliferate. We're now two decades on and, well, IMHO it's about time MP3 goes the way of VHS tape.
Turntable And Vinyl, In 2017?
Yes, oh yes, yes, oh god more, yes more, YES MORE, YES YES!!!! And plenty of it too! It's going to get better, too! There are now new experimental ways to ‘cut' a metal mother, new vinyl pressing machines, and of course the modern mastering of legendary music titles. While cassette tape and reel-to-reel have their fans (add my personal applause here), vinyl and digital seem to be the top two mainstays with audiophiles.
I Like Collecting Things, Yet Streaming....
Sure, many of us old-timers like to gather our human remains under a roof. Maybe we need room in the attic, garage and dare we admit to also renting a storage facility to hold all our stuff. These younger kids, such as my wife's 16 year young daughter, loves music streaming. She has the music she enjoys with her pretty much everywhere in the world we travel. Music streaming is also exceeding the sales of other formats and gaining strength with each passing month. Wisely, the music industry is more than happy to support music streaming… and Hi-Res Music too. Collecting is nice, love gatefold LP cover art too. Having my music everywhere is also nice.
My Fave Obscure Band XYZ Is Not Available In Hi-Res
How long did it take your fave band to have their vinyl LP(s) available on CD, if at all? In today's 'fast-food' Internet second we all want what we want right now. Believe me, the studios are working their assets off to bring new titles, and vintage faves, into today's Hi-Res Music world.
But MQA Is?
MQA, FLAC, WAV… whatever it takes to get people talking about, and enjoying, higher-than-mp3 sound quality is all good to me. Sure I've read the MQA dialogs, yet bottom line is "see the forest, do not focus on just a single tree". JMHO, yet have enjoyed reading the debates... while listening to great music on Hi-Res Audio devices.
What If I Really Love Music, Will I One Day Be One Of Those, You Know, 'Audiophiles'?
If you're reading this it's too late... yet what a time to be alive!
Oh, and the always-fave thing the doomers love to say…
High-End Audio Is Dead
Huh? Have you not read any of the stuff I wrote above?
What Really Matters?
As always, in the end, what really matters is that you... enjoy the music!