2013 Is music now 'Fast Food'?

Aloha guys,

In another thread:

silhouette wrote:
They have dumbed down music to the point that
mp3’s rule the world now we will all be recording
on iPads using garage band next.

So I posted:
_Scary thoughts to say the least.

I remember in the 60’s seeing my 1st Micky D’s and thinking:
‘This crap will never last’!
Well they are still here and doing better than ever.

You work hard to make beautiful pristine 32 bit float music in yer speakers
and the client walks out with mp3 files on a thumb drive.
And that is progress?

Well At least the thumb drive part is.

Scary indeed. You rant is IMHO right on.

Since mp3s are fine for most folks, guess music is now fast food._


As much as some of us would like to make the world a better place, it is still filled with humans.

Last time I checked, humans are the source of both decadence and spiritual inspiration.

The light and the dark are inextricably linked in perpetuity, even though the dark seems to be winning.

It is a conundrum on which to ponder, but for which contemplation reveals little, except perhaps that the base of humanity is nothing finer than a c0ckroach on two legs.

Consider that we are all mere specks of spark within the fire of the universe, and our short spans leave little of our presence when we depart. Even those whom we honor and remember, are often still only dust, and ever shall be.


I read your words and I perceive.

Perhaps it is not the music per se but the delivery system
that is flawed.


This is a huge variable… outcomes are dependent on the ears of the listener, the system they are listening on, and the genre of music. That said, there is a lot of crap not worth listening to. :laughing:

Ah, but that depends on the bit rate. I can tell a 128kbps MP3 from a WAV most of the time. 320kbps vs a WAV is almost indistinguishable here.

What about this new Pure Audio Blu-Ray format that’s been in the press recently?


Their chairman, Olivier Robert Murphy (Universal), says that the sound quality is a ten. He says normal MP3s are a two, and “Mastered For iTunes” is a five/six…

One opinion here

Brilliant argument! I bow to your superior reasoning!

Yet there are millions of 2-legged creatures that would call you heretic or worse for such blasphemy!

While we forevermore will have the choice between price/quality/convenience and everything in between - everything is inevitably a trade off.

For those who will only listen to Zepplin on vinyl through a valve amp, the convenience of a matchbox sized Mp3 player to listen to during the train ride to work may be a compromise of blaspehmic (is that a word?) proportions, but who are we to qualify each others priorities?

While I’d struggle to listen to quality of music delivered through my wife’s Mp3 player/headphones, for her it’s not the recorded quality (to a point) that is important to her, but the quality of the written music/lyrics. Potatoes / PoTAHtoes I guess!

But, the state of some of the music being released these days . . . . that’s another story!

The power of one word is almost as powerful as none. You now act as though your view is paramount when all it is is your own personal experience being puked into a post on a forum. That is the flaw, because it is “you-sided”.

Only the confused ponder, Bill.

My grandfather said the same thing about Elvis and the music that started through the 40s/50s my dad listened to. My Dad said the same about the 60s/70s stuff I listened to. I said the same thing about the 80s/90s stuff my kids listened too. My son says the same thing about the crap my grand kids listen to.

So true … and so sad.

Exactly! The system is not flawed, but the way it is used is (the same applies to all political ideologies, religions, etc …) .

10+ years ago I made blind A/B test between original WAVs and 128kbps MP3s, since my friend couldn’t believe anybody can hear the difference. Picked up 100% correct answers. Tested myself with 256kbps … couldn’t get statistically significant results (I thought the difference was clear, but test result wasn’t). Tried 192kbps … realised I can tell the difference in most cases, but it’s so small when it comes to everyday use … picked up this bitrate as my living room standard (hard drive space was quite a lot more expensive back then, which played a significant role on decision). Not sure how would I score with 128kbps test now when I’m 10+ years older, though.

There is also the bias on the songs you know extremely well. You much more attuned to differences, not necessarily good or bad, just different. So your ability to identify the “bad” one is enhanced. However, once you are attuned to the difference you can start to identify that crispy crash or grating violin quaver more accurately. 256 was where I started having a hard time unless I played on a audiophile system at volume. Well partitioned music like small jazz combos and string quartets can be identified even up to 320 if you know are familiar with the source vs downrezed version. But, I’ve heard some killer 320 combo recordings too. So there is a point of diminishing returns for sure.

I still remember from the early 1970’s Cerwin-Vega slogan. " Loud is beautiful, if its clean "

Tanx J. and WORD!


Definitely! Fortunately my original 128kbps test was made made with music select by my friend … so my familiarity with the music wasn’t an issue. But as a drummer I usually just picked up hi-hat. Open/partially closed/closed hi-hat is just so versatile piece of instrument when it comes to high non-harmonic frequencies (which is the weak point in MP3 compression) so I was able to pick up MP3s only by listening to it. But as you said … bowed strings is another good reference point. Their harmonics are something something MP3 compression has difficult to reproduce (just like some techniques of finger-picking guitar and … and …).

Exactly! 256 with an high-quality home system is good enough … with audiophile system in acoustically well-treated room … I’m not sure … never tried to compare bitrates of MP3 in my studio. BUT … my intuition goes like this (I can be horribly wrong with these, though):

  • 128kbps: good enough for everyday listening to music (mastered as loud as possible) with your iGadget
  • 192kbps: background music quality for your living room while writing messages to cubase.net :sunglasses:
  • 256kbps: a denanding listener might find this acceptable
  • 320kbps: a beginner audiophile might find this acceptable
  • 24-bit WAV: a hard-core audiophile thinks there’s too much digital harsness in this sample :confused:

HAH! exactly … :laughing:

What happened to my fries comment?

probably died a tragic death