Apple in (DRM-Free) Stereo?

by alphamonkey on June 4, 2007 · 2 comments

in Uncategorized

While Apple’s iTunes have attempted to regain some cred by offering DRM-free songs (for 30 cents more), it’s probably not helping matters that eagle-eyed industry watchers have already uncovered the fact that Apple is embedding the buyer’s personal information in the track data.  Of course the real question is:  Is 30 cents worth a jump from 128 kbps to 256 kbps?

Slate‘s Scott Blaszak offers this video illustrating the difference between the two bitrate levels.

Interestingly enough, Slate’s Explainer posits that most listeners can’t distinguish between the two bitrate formats, but I know for a fact that I can tell the difference in audio quality (mostly due to my audiophile obsession with headphones).  Indeed, I’m one of those bastards who insist that vinyl sounds better than CDs (’cause it’s true). 

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  • BADD

    Damn right vinyl sounds better!

    I am one of those guys who has acquired digital recordings from actual records, in order to at least get some of the vinyl feel back in my music.

    I think the difference is explained best this way:

    Musical instruments are analog.  To hear them they must be physically manipulated.  This causes minute variances in how a piece of music is played.  People with a keen sense of music can detect these differences (Performance to performance) and find these minute differences to enrich the musical experience.

    How does this relate to records? 

    It’s simple.  Records rely on a physical (analog) manipulation as well.  As the needle is dragged across the surface it is moved (vibrated) by the record.  Every time the needle does this, the record is changed slightly.  People with very keen sense of music can actually hear the minute changes from a record.  Not to mention the hiss, and general richness of the music produced from a record.

    Digital music sucks.  Why?  Because it removes these minute changes.  Every time you play a CD it is playing the exact same music every time.  The only way to change the experience is to use a different sound CD playing device, or new speakers (headphones).

    Even recording records digitally sounds wrong.  I hear the hiss, and how the music had aged to the point of the conversion, but it is static in that point. 

    Anyway, just my 2 pennies.

  • elkciN

    I don’t know what you just said little man.

    But you touched my heart.

    *shrug* I also agree that Vinyl is better, because I, too, am a music snob. Let’s all go buy turtlenecks and berets! I’ll need to grow out my soul patch, though.


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