Higher Quality Digital Music… and a House and Barn set up as Speakers?
Sampling theory is an extraordinarily complicated field – just mention the Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem to an expert and prepare to be bewildered for an hour or so. There is widespread disagreement on how much can be removed from a piece of music without affecting quality, how much compression affects quality and how much is the result of the playback equipment, the listener’s position or even their mood. You’ll even find some who question the concept of ‘better’ or ‘worse’ audio quality itself.
Neil Young, the rock star, has been campaigning loudly for music to be released in even higher quality. He wants 24-bit, 192KHz files to be available. It’s worth remembering that Young is something of an obsessive: he once wired up his house to be the left speaker and the barn as his right speaker so that he could listen to music from a boat in the middle of his lake.
I, too, would like to see 24-bit, 192KHz files. I’d be interested to see how Neil Young wired up his house and barn as speakers, though.
Photo via Flickr user LondonBrad