Wanna be a groupie?

This fits/agrees with the post about audio quality of MP3 files.

From Seth Godin:

The thing is, when you dumb stuff down, you know what you get?

Dumb customers.

And (I’m generalizing here) dumb customers don’t spend as much, don’t talk as much, don’t blog as much, don’t vote as much and don’t evangelize as much. In other words, they’re the worst ones to end up with.


You want quality customers/fans/groupies, give them quality schtuff. For example, the books I design are carefully crafted. A book is a book is a book, you may say. But in this info age, a book needs to be packaged as a souvenir in much the same way an album is packaged as a CD. Why is this important? Regarding the books I design, they are lifestyle objects. When people buy a copy of one of the books I design I want them to emotionally and intellectually connect with the book as one might connect with a new friend. My desire is that these book buyers invite/introduce other people to the experience. This translates to quality customers/fans/groupies.

Hi-fi, lo-fi, and the death of good vibes

I’ve been dubious for years at the proliferation of iPod/MP3 music. I find this article, “The Death of High Fidelity,” delicious. Maybe it’s the former radio guy or just plain audiophile geek in me that screams, “Rawk on!.”

It’s not just new music that’s too loud. Many remastered recordings suffer the same problem as engineers apply compression to bring them into line with modern tastes…. MP3 and other digital-music formats are quickly replacing CDs as the most popular way to listen to music. That means more convenience but worse sound…. MP3s don’t reproduce reverb well, and the lack of high-end detail makes them sound brittle. Without enough low end… “you don’t get the punch anymore. It decreases the punch of the kick drum and how the speaker gets pushed when the guitarist plays a power chord.”



And further (this is great):

Still, “it’s like going to the Louvre and instead of the Mona Lisa there’s a 10-megapixel image of it… I wouldn’t look at a Kandinsky painting with sunglasses on.”

Now, I am not advocating abandoning iPods and other MP3 players.

It is just the fact that art, literature and music have been so diminished in the last couple decades that most people in our culture couldn’t tell quality art, literature or music if it was served them on a silver platter with a cue card reading “applause.”

For my generation, Gen-X, the touchstone song is Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Robert Levine, writer of the article, illustrates — with graphics — the difference in audio architecture of Nirvana’s anthem and Arctic Monkey’s hit “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor.”

Suddenly I feel old.