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Neil Young slams Apple, iTunes

updated 11:50 am EDT, Thu July 24, 2008

Neil Young on iPods

Folk and rock star Neil Young has issued sharp criticism of Apple and the iPod, Fortune reports. Speaking at a conference hosted by the magazine, Young said that the sound quality of recordings has been reduced to "Fisher-Price toy" levels in recent years, and companies ike Apple are to blame. "Apple has taken a detour down the convenience highway," says Young. "Quality has taken a complete backseat -- if it even gets in the car at all."

Although providing faster downloads and more space on music players, Young believes that the prevalence of the MP3 format -- spurred in part by the iPod -- has resulted in a general lowering of sound standards. Music has become more "like wallpaper" as a result, he claims. "We have beautiful computers now but high-resolution music is one of the missing elements," he adds. "The ears are the windows to the soul."

by MacNN Staff






    Joined: Dec 1969



    The MP3 format was VERY popular long before the iPhone. In fact I though Apple went with AAC to increase the quality as much as possible, even working on Apple Lossless format. On the flip-side, I thought the labels were the ones dictating the end user quality.

  1. fritzair

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Music quality

    I have to agree with Mr. Young kind of.
    Does the younger generation know that there is an option to mp3?
    We have been downloading songs from each for over 10 years.
    Children may have never listened to an album on a quality stereo. When they do they morph it into 5.1 sound with a mix to the center channel.
    Rap artificially boosts the bass so much. Could any instrument produce that sound?

  1. Grrr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The old hippy managed to miss his own point somewhat. The quality is as good as what you put on it. Sure if folks download any old MP3 from Limewire etc it probably was not ripped very well, and will likely sound c***.
    Rip at good quality (Or better yet, lossless) and play on good headphones or via a decent hifi and it will sound as good as a good CD player does.

    You can't blame Apple for the way people choose to import their music. In fact on the scale of things, Apple is better quality than your average bargain basement MP3 player.

    Neil Young made a good album or two, but that doesn't make him right in this case.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. briandunning

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How surprising

    Smoke another fat one, Neil

    Comment buried. Show
  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969




    Comment buried. Show
  1. Monstermind

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A Cry For Attention

    Whether it's against Apple, Bush or concert sponsorship, the easiest way for hippie dinosaurs like "Young" to get press is to b****, since musical tastes have, for good or bad, long passed him by.

    Remember, Neil: you can't be 20 on Sugar Mountain. So what the fudge are you still doing there? Get off the stage!

  1. moo083

    Joined: Dec 1969



    As much as I respect Neil Young, and as true as his statement is in some ways, he doesn't really have a grounding in technology. Yes, many people use c*** formats, but 256 kbps AAC (the non-drm itunes format) is not a c*** format. And even 128 kbps aac isn't c*** either. Not amazing, but pretty good.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. manleycreative

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Pot and Kettle

    Oh man, Neil doesn't like it! Time to throw the baby out with the bath water again.

    Talk about lack of sound quality. That would be Neil Young's entire music career.

    "Ancient whores with secret vices. Lucky's got the cheapest prices"

  1. Durandalus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple uses AAC ;-)

    Don't blame the iPod, blame the fact that nobody connects it to a proper stereo

  1. TiDual

    Joined: Dec 1969


    CD Quality

    I think there is a valid point being made here, and it deserves some media attention. Two comments:

    (1) If people are only getting their music via down loads, then sure, there's a quality loss (and it's easy to hear). The solution should be: buy the CD and rip at better quality, but ...

    (2) There is actually pressure within the industry to reduce the dynamic range even of CDs so that the songs don't sound different from what people here on the radio (and possibly on bad mp3). That is, we truly are dumbing down the quality of our audio (though I suspect this doesn't apply to all genres).

    So the next time you read "CD quality" ... think "Oh dear".

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