Tuesday , May 24 2022

Pontifex Weighs In

Blogger Pontifex addresses MP3s and other Blogcritics topics:

    There are, as far as I can tell, two propositions of the MP3 proponents:

    Downloading is not significantly harming CD sales.

    If record companies don’t coopt the P2P movement, they’ll be out of business.

    I’m hoping those are two schools of thought, because the two principles sound pretty self-contradicting to me.

    But let’s gaze into the looking glass and see what we can find.

    As of August 2000, according to the Department of Commerce publication “Falling Through The Gap”:

    41.5% of the U.S.’s 105 million households, or 43.6 million homes, had Internet access.

    Only 4.4% of all U.S. households had “broadband-speed access.”

    Meanwhile, 63% of American households have a stereo shelf system.

    New technological trends tend to take a while to reach market saturation:

    “According to the International Recording Media Association, 90 percent of American homes currently have at least one VCR, as opposed to about 30 percent that have a DVD player. ”

    (The article it comes from is dated June 27, 2002. Fresh off the press, boys!)

    So I think it’s a little early to declare that “[t]he Compact Disc is dead, the age of Digital Music has arrived and the Record Companies are scared to death.”

    The broadband connection your hardcore MP3 fanatic needs has not reached even moderate market saturation. And while your average computer audio setup is not sophisticated enough to fully capture the quality difference between lossy-compressed audio and the compact disc, the difference is noticable; the difference becomes even more pronounced when compared to… that’s right, the stereo shelf systems that have greater market penetration than the Internet. The CD is digital music, and the overuse of capitalization is annoying.

    Yes, there is a growing trend towards online music downloading. And this trend is causing a lot of people to rethink the way music is distributed, in the same fashion as… as…

    Well, in the same fashion as everything else:

    “[T]he music industry had exactly the same response to the advent of reel-to-reel home tape recorders, cassettes, DATs, minidiscs, VHS, BETA, music videos (“Why buy the record when you can tape it?”), MTV, and a host of other technological advances designed to make the consumer’s life easier and better.”

    Do you notice a trend here? Do they make life better? Do they make life easier?

    Well, there was the trend towards portability that cassettes represented vice vinyl, but why did cassettes replace 8-track?

    The trend I’m seeing is… increased audio fidelity…..

Dude has a point – I don’t like the sound of MP3s – as I have mentioned before – and it’s too much work to convert them to WAV files. I want CDs until I can get something that is as convenient and sounds just as good.

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected], Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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