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What You Hear

February 22, 2012 1 comment

Interesting, and moderately technical, explanation of the difficulties inherent in making music sound good in the age of compressed audio.

Most of the music we buy and listen to nowadays comes in what is known as lossy formats. Meaning that in order to make the file size more manageable, a lot of information is tossed out of the songs. All major online music stores sell music this way (there are a few web sites with limited selection of hi def audio tracks). The compression algorithm tries to only get rid of frequencies most people won’t miss, but there’s no way around the fact that compressing these recordings is going to change the sound at least a little. Add in the fact that we spend a lot more time listening on terrible, speakers (earbuds, laptop speakers, etc) and this is a major change from how people listened to music 15-20 years ago.

I’m shocked it’s taken the music industry this long to start mastering songs specifically for people who buy their songs on iTunes and listen on their iPhones, never so much as getting near a Bose sound system.

Categories: Music Tags: ,