Ryan and I have come to the realization that 128kbps mp3s are way too old school. Like, so 1998!
I’ve been re-encoding my digital music library into 320kbps AAC files, which sound much better — much better even that 320kbps mp3 files. For special albums, I’m using Apple Lossless, which sounds basically like an AIFF or WAV file (which is what CDs are generally made from), but is only about half the size. I mean, I have a huge hard drive, so why not enjoy my music in hi-res quality?
I love the concept of the iTunes store, and selling our music there, but what I don’t love is the sound quality. We make these gorgeous 24bit start-to-finish albums (more music geek talk, I know!), only to have it all squashed down into measly 128k mp3 files. It’s murder! We really need to figure out a way to sell our fans nice, high quality files worthy of critical listening.
It’s so sad how the music industry is completely melting down under the pressure of new technology. Kids today don’t even think they should have to buy CDs anymore! They are perfectly content with crappy mp3s files traded on the Internet.
It seems that a whole new model for music is necessary now, one that somehow combines professional quality sound with affordable prices so that we artists can get our music out to fans in a format that is not only convenient, but great sounding, doesn’t cost too much, and yet allows us to cover all the costs of creating and distributing the music.
Any bright ideas, anyone?