MP3 Killed Good Music

Posted: October 3, 2013 in Music
Tags: , , , , , ,

EverybodyKnowsThisIsNowhereWell not really. I’m an iPod addict that has come to love the idea of carting my music library around everywhere I go. MP3 players have seriously changed the way we consume music, and perhaps even music itself. MP3 is the format for the 21st century, yet it’s fair to say that the advances it affords listeners has also led to a number of drawbacks.
The key drawback is quality, which I am convinced, is a major cause for the decline in artistic quality of music across the board. Most of the music I listen to on MP3 format I also have on vinyl, and let me tell you, there is a difference. The quality of a vinyl recording is not a myth, it’s legit. Listening to a song on vinyl can be a revelation, especially since the quality often leads to the discovery of certain hidden elements that you just don’t hear on a MP3 track. I would say that overall, the music just has a whole lot more depth, and is therefore a whole lot more dynamic when heard the old fashioned way.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my iPod, but I do think that many younger people have been brought up on iPods, and have their taste in music shaped by a misunderstanding. They’re simply uniformed on how good, good music really sounds.
A few months ago, I casually walked into a second hand book store to find a collection of vinyl for sale. A bargain it was with many original Pink Floyd pressings going for under twenty bucks. I grabbed the lot and headed for home to try out my new found gems. Interestingly, my favourite find of the day was a copy of Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, an album which I already had on CD. The tattered old copy cost me eight bucks, but once I heard the crackle as the stylus hit the disc, I knew I was in for a treat.
Hearing the song’s I knew for the first time on vinyl was like hearing them again for the first time. I think it has something to do with the music sounding more imperfect; the crackling of an aged record, the music just sounds more real, more alive.
It’s no coincidence then, that vinyl is seeing resurgence, with music retailers, once again stocking it. It’s a collector’s thing, with pressings in limited numbers targeting a niche market of old farts who want to reminisce, and young hipsters who’ve raided their parent’s collection, and are now looking to start their own. I for one am glad to see a resurgence, yet I doubt whether it will ever kill the compact disc to become the musical medium again. These days’ people just crave convenience over quality, but really who cares. If you haven’t discovered vinyl yet, you’re just missing out.

  1. Lizzie Bui says:

    I do agree with you about vinyl and MP3. Maybe it’s the issue because Vinyl is normally more expensive and to have great quality, the vinyl player is not cheap either. And it takes up space. Physical space.
    People can also argue that they do not need to have a vinyl, they can just download the lossless versions of the MP3s they have and the quality would be the same. In this I am not an expert but I experience lossy before, it’s just as great as the sound quality from the surround sound amplifiers if you have a decent laptop/earphone. I’m not saying that it’s better, but it’s enough for me.

  2. Thanks for you comment. I’d agree most of the time MP3 quality is enough. It’s enough for me when I’m on the go or working on the computer, but the times that I listen to vinyl are special. I don’t listen to vinyl all the time because it involves annoying everyone in my house and disturbing the neighbours. I think that listening to vinyl is in some ways like going to see a band play, because if I’ve gone to the trouble of putting it on I’m gonna take the time to listen more intently and enjoy the music more.

  3. Unfortunately, vinyl was pretty much already a thing of the past when I was born. So by the time I was old enough to truly appreciate music, CDs and MP3s were what pretty much everyone was listening to. Thankfully, I have had the pleasure of listening to vinyl since my dad had a nice old record player for many years of my life before it stopped working, so I agree that vinyl sounds amazing compared to MP3s – it has a very authentic sound, nostalgic even. I have often considered seeing if his can be repaired (granted he still has it) or going out and finding myself another one. I’m kind of glad vinyl is making a comeback. I feel like people are less likely to skip songs if they’re listening to vinyl because it’s “dangerous” to do so, which makes owning an album that much more meaningful. Of course, this is coming from very little experience with a record player, I just remember always listening to the albums in full and straight through.

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