As a somewhat libertarian, former techno-geek, West Coast sport-fan blogger, I am somewhat particular about what shows up on my Home Page in the morning. After years of putting up with Yahoo, I switched last February to iGoogle, which allows me to customize my Home Page experience. Translation: It allows me to choose news sources like the Wall Street Journal, geek-news like CNET and less East-Coast biased sports like ESPN that I’m more likely to read. And the more I read, the more likely I am to find the kind of story that leads to a post for Top Sites Tuesday, the meme that asks for Two Thoughts on Tuesday. This morning, CNET reported that Bruce Willis was considering a law-suit against Apple to assure that his extensive iTunes music collection could be passed on to his heirs. You see, although the days of needing to connect to a music site to confirm your license before listening are long gone, you really don’t own the music you buy … you just have lifetime permission to have it on your computer. At least in theory, you might not be able to pass that privilege on to your heirs.
Now hold it a minute, I thought (Thought Number One). No one’s lining up to take possession of my 986 vinyl LP recordings (all in excellent condition, mind you). My collection of cassettes have found their way to the Orange County dump and no one is likely to want my 546 CDs. Is the next generation really going to be interested in outmoded music in an outmoded digital format? After all, most purchased music is recorded in formats like mp3 and Advanced Audio Coding that use compression techniques to reduce the size of the files … compression that degrades the quality of the sound.
I come from the audiophile generation that fought for every Hz of frequency response and dB of dynamic range. We mourned the loss of warmth when audio systems went from tubes to transistors. We payed nearly double for digitally mastered vinyl records and complained about loss of fidelity when CDs came out using a lower sample rate. We bought speaker systems the size of compact cars and carefully phased our speakers so that the bass response wouldn’t be suppressed. But as the world changed, some of us changed with it … our speakers went from:
and our music went from:
and our headphones went from:
We appreciated being able to bring our whole music collection along in our pockets but knew it didn’t sound as good.
Now, really, Bruce … this being Thought Number Two … when technological advances to allow storage of full-fidelity digital recordings on our devices, do you think your heirs, who will probably be watching football on a 14080i 200 inch LCDVC TV, are going to want your compressed iTunes purchases? Get over yourself, Bruce. And by the way, would you like to buy 986 vinyl records? No? Well, at least push my button … gently … to make me Number One on Top Sites Tuesday #167.
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