Stryker2012 wrote: I really should get a new turntable, now that LPs have made a comeback...
This has me wondering: the end product can be no better than the original master. How are master tracks recorded and combined now? Is everything digital? I'm sure it is. How much compression
is applied to the original source tracks during processing? Are LPs still pressed from high-quality masters, or are they using masters produced from highly compressed digital sources?
Decades ago, I suspected the MP3 format would mean the end of quality recording. Consumers were more interested in the quantity of music they could store on their devices rather than in the quality. People listen to music through crummy little headphones or even crummier little mobile phone speakers and seem quite content with it; and indeed, do not recognize the difference between a good quality recording and a highly compressed digital file.
This leads me to another tangent, something I was thinking about recently: the end of the "mix tape" and even the "custom digital playlist." Some friends were listening to music a while back, and I asked if it was a playlist they had put together. Nope, it was an Amazon streaming service. They began praising the merits of Amazon Prime and unlimited free streaming and all the different "channels" that were available and how it played great stuff that they really liked. I realized that AI has taken over yet another creative process that many people used to take quite seriously: the curation of personal music collections. Maybe the new way is better now, I don't know – it's definitely cheaper, you don't have to buy entire albums or CDs to get one song; but the AI algorithms can use what we listen to to "suggest" similar music and to create playlists based on our preferences. It's an advanced, and somewhat nefarious, form of Amazon suggesting similar items when we shop online, or the old Netflix suggesting movies we might like. I say "nefarious" because the AI is teaching us
what to like. The days of individuals carefully selecting songs to record to a mix tape or burn to a mix CD or even to compile in to a custom digital playlist are gone, replaced by robots who do all that for us.
When I think too deeply about things like this, my concern becomes that initially the robots, to use a simple term for the AI algorithms, augment our musical choices with things we might like; but over time, couldn't the robots begin influencing our preferences by gradually infiltrating our streaming channel with what it wants
us to like? Or what it is paid
to promote? Ultimately, given enough time, the AI 'bots can completely homogenize our culture by teaching us what to like... and eventually, what to think.TASUKE:
That sixty CD changer
pegs the needle on the Cool-O-Meter! That's the kinda toys the Big Boys played with in the days before iPods and, now, streaming!