I saw a post on Bobby Owsinski’s blog entitled: Can Hi-Res Music be in our Future? It pointed to an article that Steve Guttenburg wrote for CNET mentioning a summit that he attended with Warner Brothers on their plans to start releasing and marketing Hi-Resolution music.
Think 24-bit / 96kHz digital files – that kind of hi-resolution.
It’s going to be an interesting campaign to watch. Given the DVD-A and SACD format “wars” that barely registered attention from Joe Consumer, I’m going to guess that Warner and other labels are approaching this cautiously.
I also recalled that there was a bit of a hullaballoo about Apple potentially offering higher-resolution files on the iTunes store a couple months ago.
Damp Towel – Enter Stage Right
Personally, I’d LOVE it if hi-res music became the norm. However, I’m a bit skeptical as to whether this will fly – at least in the near future. Mark Millan’s CNN article mirrors my skepticism quite succinctly:
“Many models of Mac computers can play 24-bit sound, and the iTunes program is capable of handling such files. But most portable electronics, and many computers, don’t support 24-bit audio.”
Portable devices don’t support hi-res audio AND these files are going to be HUGE! One of the main reasons that iTunes is successful is the fact that the “products” being sold (downloaded) are consumed on portable devices that have fairly limited storage capacities. One of the first steps to some sort of success will have to be portable devices being designed, developed and manufactured to handle these files.
Has Anyone Checked with Joe Public?
With the general public, music is consumed in a passive sense – on the go, in the background and typically with small ear-buds plugged into heads – what is exactly the motive for pushing hi-res music? Expensive high-end high fidelity systems and listening parties in living rooms are essentially things of the past.
Except for consumers who proclaim themselves to be “audiophiles” and the folks who are working in music creation / production, I (unfortunately) haven’t really heard any cries for something other than the status quo from those out in the general music consuming public…
Which leads me to believe that this is probably another pipe dream from a desperate record industry executive who is looking to find an emergency brake for their plummeting profits.
It’s going to be an interesting song and dance to watch …