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I am afraid of...


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...modern times ;-)

Expecially if I think about what it was been when digital revolution in the 80' with the CD came in town.

(I am talking about prices and quality from download).

It is a little bit difficult to write about and not only because my english, but I hope this will be a positive discussion; when I see my favourite LPs and expecially when I read the inner sleeves, the big photos, and why not, when I am wasching the 200grams of pure vinyl I can tell to myself that it was a good price or a right price for "that things". (I don't want to talk now here about quality of the reproduction and the nonsense discussion about analog vs digital...).

 

Back to eighties, the CDs minor costs of production (think about paper, plastic, dimension, stockings...etc.) vs the LPs promised "best" music (also) with less money for the people, but it does not been so, we have seen.

Now, after my firsts download (very very well recorded music, all at 24/96) I see that the price I have paied is the same or...that I am usually pay for the CDs: do you think that the HIRES is an expansive cost we have to add? Because if it is not so, what remain in our hands? We have to print the little cover-art ourself, we have to pay the provider (here it is so) for the internet connection, we have to pay the blank CDr or DVDr for the indispensable backup...

 

Help me to be a brave man ;-)

 

 

Luca

 

 

 

1stSYS...[iPad with MPaD like remote]Auraliti PK100(HD 1Tb W.D.)=>W4S dac1=>Megahertz audio integrated valve OTL amplifier=>SonyMDR-10(the King)headphone.[br]2ndSYS...iMac w/iTunes=>HRTstreamer II=>Adam A5 powered speakers.

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... Modern Times indeed. It is irony that you bring this subject up today. In America right now, it is a Holiday, millions of people are trying to have fun and also they are supposed to be remembering their heros of the past (and the present). It is "Memorial Day" here - this holiday is to commemorate and venerate the people who have made our current place in the world possible. (I will not comment on the quality of our current policy makers here).

 

"Modern Times." I too miss the album art that was common in vinyl recording packages. In my day, much of it was displayed on my walls. Now we would have to pay extra to have that art on our walls, because the CD art is too small for that and the art that is downloaded with today's music would have to be sent to a print shop or reproduced on an expensive computer printer to be of equal quality. To me though, the 'sound' was always what it was about. I could live without the graphic art.

 

Your point is very true though: Things cost more today. I believe that it should be true that this sort of thing -downloaded, high quality music- should cost less money than it currently does. We are, after all, required to take extra, and costly steps to ensure that our own individual tastes ( backups for the audio and graphic art for example) are satisfied as well as they were when the 'standard' LP was the king. It is up to us to express that desire to the providers of this music though. They will not "guess" that this is what we want.

 

I do have to say though, that the sound of high quality digital audio equals and in most cases, surpasses that of best of the old analog methods of sound delivery. I love vinyl, but how much more do I love well-recorded hi-res music? MUCH more. It all seems to be a 'trade-off' to me. I think we deserve more 'extra' though.

 

Thank you for the very good revelation of what you are feeling about the current state of music delivery to the lovers of music here, Luca. Thank you very much!

 

markr

 

 

 

 

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Hey Luce - Thanks for kicking off this topic! It's a good one.

 

I really like when artists sell the vinyl version of their album and include the digital download with the vinyl. This seems to be a great middle ground and is nudging everyone, kicking and screaming, into this new digital download world. Too bad more artists don't do it and too bad the ones that are doing it often include links to very low resolution downloads. I guess we can't have it all just yet. I think it will take a long time for those of us used to large fold-out cover art and liner notes to come to grips with this all, but younger people will never know what they missed.

 

As far as the cost goes, I think it will be even harder to determine where the right price should be. The price from HDtracks is great ($12). If I purchase a Reference Recordings album from my local shop it will cost me $18. This is a simple decision in my mind. Linn Records (~$20) and the new RR HRx music ($45) is much more expensive than the HDtracks downloads. I'm not sure how much the HRx stuff will be if it ever makes it to a local record shop and when RR begins distribution through downloading. Of course price is always determined by what customers are willing to pay. Back to my opening sentence about determining an appropriate price. With digital downloads we have to consider the cost of distribution on a totally different level. The infrastructure required to distribute 1 GB albums and even 4.7 GB HRx albums is vastly different from what traditional physical media required. Determining the cost of this will be very tough because some labels will surely outsource content delivery via a site like HDtracks, and other labels & stores will build their own distribution infrastructure. For Amazon.com this is just another Tuesday, but for smaller labels this can be a huge price that has to be passed on to customers in the price of downloads.

 

Maybe I rambled a little off course, I'm not sure. I am very interested to read everyone else's opinions as well. Thanks to Mark who already jumped on this one before I could start typing!

 

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Nice post Luca and markr. Luca, your ideas and feelings came across very well. I don't know what your first language is but I envy your being able to express yourself as well as you do in a second.

 

Audio Research DAC8, Mac mini w/8g ram, SSD, Amarra full version, Audio Research REF 5SE Preamp, Sutherland Phd, Ayre V-5, Vandersteen 5A\'s, Audioquest Wild and Redwood cabling, VPI Classic 3 w/Dynavector XX2MkII

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Thankx to all, and have a nice holiday!

It seems to me, here in Italy, that we have to accept things like it happens, umpf...

Ok, "different times", like modern times, but businness is businness you teach to me. And businness has rules, I see.

If all exept music is an extra (to pay), nowadays, I am not sure that "their" costs are higher than first 'cause internet services are much more cheaper than normal distribution, normal offset services, and don't forget that now it is impossible to make overworks (you sell the right pieces, without extra costs, no returned stocks...etc)

 

Anyway, my hope is that price came down, because the 24/96 or 192 is not "the" reason or do you think that, for instance, a radio station has higher costs because is broadcasting in stereo mode? (Happy 2008:)

 

 

Luca

 

1stSYS...[iPad with MPaD like remote]Auraliti PK100(HD 1Tb W.D.)=>W4S dac1=>Megahertz audio integrated valve OTL amplifier=>SonyMDR-10(the King)headphone.[br]2ndSYS...iMac w/iTunes=>HRTstreamer II=>Adam A5 powered speakers.

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... or does Business Rule? That is the question.

 

I don't think that we can yet accurately compare the cost of the 'old high definition music distribution (tapes,records, CD's, etc.)', to the new system of high definition music distribution - 24 bit / uncompressed.

 

There are not enough types of music OR distribution yet available in the 'high definition' digital download market. Only the market itself will sort the final cost out over time. That means that we who really want it will have to pay the cost until things get to where they should be.

 

I think all of us here wish that the prices and the music that we want were available today - here and now. But it just isn't yet true. There are not enough people buying it or supplying it to drive the cost lower. This market is in it's infancy.

 

MP3's are quite inexpensive though........ 8^)

 

markr

 

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Hi markr...

I have worked like "help-man" in some live recordings high quality (Berliner Philharmonica Camerata Orch. was one of...) during italian tour, and have a pair of friends that have very important works around here. (Ex Harmonia Mundi...)

They have a lot of recordings all in 24/96 (DAT) from 10-15 years like "normal". All is then downloaded at 16/44 or something like this...after Lexicon & co. But the best recordings are in analog mode (Nagra T).

Why this intro? Because I think much more we know is already in High definition master, so there is no difficult (generally) to offer these "files"!

 

To leave "the market" to rule over us I cannot accept because you teach me WE are the market and this is an american (that I like very much) slogan, or is not true? ;-)

 

Luca

 

1stSYS...[iPad with MPaD like remote]Auraliti PK100(HD 1Tb W.D.)=>W4S dac1=>Megahertz audio integrated valve OTL amplifier=>SonyMDR-10(the King)headphone.[br]2ndSYS...iMac w/iTunes=>HRTstreamer II=>Adam A5 powered speakers.

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I have been thinking like you for more than 10 years now. It started when I bought my first computer DAW software and hardware in the early 1990's.

 

I don't disagree that the material is out there - somewhere-. I've been making recordings for local musicians in Austin, Texas in 24 bit quality for about 10 years now. But is it available to purchase at that resolution in any great numbers yet? No. Will people buy it if it is? No one is sure yet. Who is going to venture the money to distribute it at that resoluton? HDTT, Linn, (there are others), individual artists like Nine Inch Nails - there are few distributors at this point.

 

These are the things that are being worked out now. Personally, I will continue to buy what I like, as often as I can, wherever I can, even though it hurts my bank account when compared to "cheap" CD's. When the market - you and I and many here on Computer Audiophile - gets big enough, and there are more distributers then we can demand pricing concessions by deciding to not buy something until the price is right. ..... until then I think we have to hang around here and keep making 'noise' about this superb way of hearing music.

 

I really hope that there are some forward thinking entrepeneurs out there RIGHT NOW getting ready to storm the market with the selection and audio resolutions we want. At the price we want too!

 

markr

 

 

 

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"I really hope that there are some forward thinking entrepeneurs out there RIGHT NOW getting ready to storm the market with the selection and audio resolutions we want. At the price we want too!"

 

Hey Mark - HDtracks is forging ahead with a good selection and very reasonable prices! They should have the 24/96 music fairly soon. But, I do hear what you're saying loud and clear.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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..... eye new dat. Ya dinna hafta worry - I'm just 'rabble rousin' (not that anyone here is "rabble")! The only reason that I haven't opened an account at HDTracks yet is just this: that I want 24 bit resolution. Got plenny of 16 bit stuff already and I want to replace it. ... tap tap tap tap tap tap tap....

 

markr

 

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