It’s strange how silly events like this makes people start thinking about the current state of music in the world. It feels like everywhere I look there is an article or a discussion about how crappy the music we are listening to is right now. Starting with the dynamic range (IEEE Spectrum has an interesting article with examples about it) to really sound quality – imagine that some songs you buy online are compressed to ridiculous rates like 128 kbps. And people are so used to bad quality that they can’t even tell any more.
I can say that I’ve been feeling part of this issue. For some time I tried to listen to music on the bus on the way to work and back, and it’s painful. Anything with any real dynamic range forces you to keep changing volume all the time or else you are either destroying your ears on the fortissimos, or not listening to anything on the mezzo-pianos (yes, buses are quite noisy). Right now I don’t listen to anything besides the news on my iPod. And for that it’s pretty useful.
There I went adding a little bit more literature to the whole “the CD has destroyed music” subject. Digital compression has destroyed music, actually. And we are still going this route, with a lot of ground to cover until we will find ourselves either lost or at a precipice.