Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bob Dylan and the Truth about iPods

The great Bobster has spoken out - see here - about the low quality of contemporary recordings and defends pirated music. "Well, why not?'"he remarks, "It ain't worth nothing anyway." He is talking about CDs and I have a feeling that in this - as in all things - he is right. But the real culprit is the iPod and MP3 players in general. I once raved about these in print but have since changed my mind. My iPod gives me aural fatigue; my ears protest after 20 minutes or so. This is, of course, because the compression of the files takes so much out of the original track, thinning it out to a tiring whine. Amidst all the fuss about charges for downloads, nobody seems to have pointed out that the real scandal is that you are actually paying for only a tiny percentage of the original track.

1 comment:

  1. But before the music gets even to the ipod or mp3 stage at all, we have what is known as the Loudness Wars, where all the natural dynamic range is lost in a misguided effort to get the music as loud as possible. You do this by limiting and compressing the music. Putting it simply, you squash or limit the peaks(loudest parts) in a piece of music down to roughly an average level of the rest of much the music and then in turn can boost the resulting average level up to that of the original peaks. So you end up with much louder music but with loss of the natural dynamics and, almost as a scientific fact results in aural fatigue, as I presume there is nowhere for the poor ears to find rest. A huge issue in music production at the moment.