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"Good Enough is the New Great"

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
This was in the New York Times Magazine today in their Year in Ideas. It explains alot about why many people settle for subpar sound and may not even consider it subpar. To quote part of the article:

"In February, a music professor at Stanford, Jonathan Berger, revealed that he has found evidence that younger listeners have come to prefer lo-fi versions of rock songs to hi-fi ones. For six years, Berger played different versions of the same rock songs to his students and asked them to say which ones they liked best. Each year, more students said that they liked what they heard from MP3s better than what came from CDs. To a new generation of iPod listeners, rock music is supposed to sound lo-fi. Good enough is now better than great."

Just thought this was interesting. Here is the link for the page:
The Ninth Annual Year in Ideas - Magazine - NYTimes.com
post #2 of 18
No surprise to anyone.
post #3 of 18
I'd like to know what his playback system was at a minimum. I'll look on athens for any papers on this tomo.
post #4 of 18
I've notice that young people strive for mediocrity at everything they do. Putting out 60% effort is good enough. It's a scary thought.

Ross
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by baka1969 View Post
I've notice that young people strive for mediocrity at everything they do. Putting out 60% effort is good enough. It's a scary thought.

Ross
Meh
post #6 of 18
My snobbery detector just blipped at me reading that. The major assumption here is that what makes something great is faithful reproduction, but as the article readily points out there are advantages to the alternatives mentioned here, which points to different values placed on different factors than those assumed by some, not the simplistic idea that people just like mediocrity now.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duggeh View Post
I'd like to know what his playback system was at a minimum. I'll look on athens for any papers on this tomo.
Yeah. IIRC, he was just playing samples from the speakers in his lecture hall. The thing that you have to consider is that mp3s are often equalized to sound good on crappy speakers and ibuds, so they have boosted bass etc.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by baka1969
I've notice that young people strive for mediocrity at everything they do. Putting out 60% effort is good enough. It's a scary thought.
Whaddya expect? We get it from our parents. :P

Well, maybe not! (j/k) Isn't there a sociological hypothesis about 'dumbing down' which explains how lowering standards are perceived as tangible goals, because hi-end is so bourgeois and passé.....
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
I would have liked to say, but forgot, I think this is not always true, and for every generalization there are almost as many exceptions, and regarding younger people liking hi-fidelity in their sound repro, look no further than the members here, where many are college age and younger.
And you know what, if this type of sound and music makes them content, more power to them, at least I know they will be saving themselves some bucks, unlike fools like me, who try every way possible to improve portable sound fidelity I can hear everyday, but that is what makes ME happy and brings joy into my life. I do not think this article atempts to make judgments about either view on portable sound, it is just to bring up an interesting point of view.
post #10 of 18
You have to keep in mind, the general public no matter what age is mostly ignorant in all aspects. Mediocrity is the name of the game. Only very few strive to be that top 10% or so.
post #11 of 18
I don't think that people want mediocrity it is just they don't know what is good with all these headphones like bose claiming to be good and they have never been exposed to real HI-Fi audio, so the first time they hear it it will sound strange to them. My $.02
post #12 of 18
post #13 of 18
I thought that looked familiar...
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duggeh View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by baka1969 View Post
I've notice that young people strive for mediocrity at everything they do. Putting out 60% effort is good enough. It's a scary thought.
Meh
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeMark View Post
This was in the New York Times Magazine today in their Year in Ideas. It explains alot about why many people settle for subpar sound and may not even consider it subpar.
It's not that you don't see the same thing in audiophile circles all the time. There are plenty of audiophiles who prefer high end equipment with subpar sound and there's a whole lot of very expensive high end gear out there that introduce far more distortion than properly encoded MP3s. (Most prominently: crossover-less single driver speakers and syrupy tube amps.)

There are also many comparison tests where reviewers preferred gear with high frequency sizzle over more accurate gear in initial impressions, but came back to the more accurate gear after longer periods of listening. And why not, it makes for a more exciting sound that makes accurate gear seem dull and uninvolving. Well, least until you the sizzle starts grating on the nerves... It's quite possible that this is the reason why the students preferred the MP3 sound in head to head comparisons.
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