Rock legend Neil Young has always been something of a maverick, and his latest comments surrounding the music industry are unlikely to win him many fans in the boardrooms of record labels. Young told the Dive Into Media conference this week that music piracy was “acceptable” and “the new radio… that’s how music gets around.”
What really does concern Young is digital music. “Steve Jobs was a pioneer of digital music… but when he went home, he listened to vinyl.” While Young’s dismissal of MP3 is something we’ve come to expect from older musicians, he’s not anti-digital at all (in fact he has long championed Blu-ray and other formats for their fidelity): “It’s not that digital is bad or inferior, it’s that the way it’s being used is not sufficient to transfer the depth of the art… This is the 21st century and we have five percent [of the audio resolution] that we had in 1978.”
Young suggests that we need a replacement for the iPod and its ilk that is able to play higher quality, uncompressed music. He told the conference that uncompressed tracks would take around 30 minutes to download, and that the device should be able to hold around 30 albums. The key is convenience: people, he says, have traded quality for convenience, so it’s time to make quality music convenient.
And who should develop this device? “Some rich guy.” He also claims to have spoken to Jobs about improving access to high resolution music and says the pair were working on the problem – but now that Jobs has gone “not much” is happening in the field. “But you’ve got to believe that if he lived long enough, he would eventually have done what I’m trying to do.”
Would you buy one? Should he just settle for an iPod Classic? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.
(Via All Things D)