I am sitting listening to an audio revelation: vinyl. It’s the next big thing!

When I was in my youth,admittedly a while ago now, it was the done thing to pore over Hi-Fi magazines and dream of owning the largest speakers and the biggest amps (both in size and price) in order to attain audio nirvana – perfect reproduction from a vinyl disc of the recording made in the studio. I even remember pages and pages devoted to which speaker cable was best.

Then came digital, CDs promised the exact digital copy of the sound studio recording onto a convenient, stable format impervious to the scratches crackles and pops which inevitably came with vinyl as it aged through endless plays our record decks. Of course we now know that CDs are not indestructible, they too suffer from scratches and when they do it usually causes a more serious glitch in playback than the odd scratch.

In those early day of CDs there was much discussion over the warmth and depth of vinyl compared the cold emotionless digital CDs. Although the debate raged on the best format the fundamental search for ultimate sound fidelity continued.

Then came MP3s. Now don’t get me wrong I love the ability to carry pretty much my entire song collection with me (around 30,000 songs at present). I get to listen to what I want, anywhere, anytime. I used to travel a lot through work and the sheer luxury of taking my music collection with me was worth the cost in having a lossy format. Because that is the problem with MP3. In order to get all that data into a compact enough form some clever algorithms decided what frequencies I did not need to hear. Effectively all my music was turned into zip files.

That was OK for portability, but where are we now? With streaming being the new big thing potentially all my music, and everybody else’s for that matter, is now available. We stopped wanting audio fidelity instead we wanted instant gratification, and in doing so we forgot what music is suppose to sound like.

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