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The Death Of The Audiophile: Kids Don't Care About Sound Quality Anymore

Audiophiles, musicians and music teachers can be really disappointed, it looks like the next generation prefers the quality of a MP3 to any other music format.
Jonathan Berger, professor of music at Stanford tests his students each year by making them listen to a variety of recording formats, from compressed MP3s to higher quality formats, and he is saying that each year the preference for music in MP3 format is rising.
Why? The theory is that this is the format they are used to, and familiarity always wins.

I am not surprised, high sound quality does not seem to matter for kids anymore, they are used to listening to their music through the earbuds of their iPods, and I also see them all the time gathered around a computer, listening to their favorite tunes through the built-in speakers. Kids even often share the same earbuds! Not the best sound, but they don’t care. Where is the time when people were spending so much money for fancy stereo systems? In the 70s, parents had one of those and kids were usually not allowed to touch it, it was more a precious piece of furniture than anything else… Times have changed.

I listen to MP3 too, it has become my only way to listen to music with iTunes, Ipods, and as many people, I like the convenience of it, I enjoy being able to listen to music anywhere, anytime, with the minimum of things to carry. Remember the gigantic boomboxes with the huge speakers?

I am not someone being offended by the idea of a MP3, I probably don’t have an audiophile’s ear because I am not able to tell the difference between a MP3 file and a higher quality one. And apparently it’s a cultural thing, and culture changes; but if people’s tastes are forged by their childhood environment, how can we explain this new love for the vinyl?


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