Apple Music... Seriously?
Jun 9, 2015 at 2:49 PM Post #16 of 359

Steve Eddy

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"And the market Apple is going after..." 

Yes, as I pointed out, they are going after a much bigger market. But why not capture the audiophile market as well?


Because they don't have to. Apple is Big Picure. They're not worried about sweeping up the last of the crumbs.


"Oh, and of course that had absolutely nothing to do with Neil Young..."

Sure it did. But why is that relevant?


Because you threw out that $8 million figure as if it was relevant to your argument. It wasn't. It was just one big non sequitur.


I don't care if you're Jesus Christ risen, if you're selling something people don't want, they won't buy it, plain and simple. Anybody who believes otherwise is hallucinating. The guy pitched high-rez music, and it became the third most backed project of all time. Anyone that disregards that as simply due to an aging rocker most millennials couldn't pick out of a lineup is as high as... Well, as high as Neil Young.


Remind me not to hire you for my marketing team.

Pono wasn't a response to any demand from the market place. Pono and the Kickstarter campaign was all about creating demand through marketing. And it was creating a demand for a dubious "product" (i.e. hi-res). To date I am not aware of anyone who has demonstrated unambiguously that anyone can hear the difference between 16/44 and 24/96-192.


And forgetting PONO, can you guess what Kickstarter category was the most backed in 2014? Specialty audio or music devices.


Good to hear. Coincidentally I'm planning on launching one myself.


"No, you're not."

Yes, we are. No offense, but for a guy who makes his living selling headphone cables that start at $200 a pop, I'd have thought you'd be a little more clued-in to how much money the audiophile community generates.


You're right. I've only been involved with the audiophile community for over 30 years. I don't know anything about it.


Here's a hint: it's a lot.


"A lot" is relative.


In the grand scheme of things, of course, it's small potatoes.


That's what I have been saying. Haven't you been listening? Apple isn't interested in small potatoes.

se
 
Jun 9, 2015 at 3:26 PM Post #17 of 359

voxie

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True, Apple isn't interested in small potatoes. Why should they? They have a data base of 800 million credit card customers. Their marketing is quite straight forward... "Just make it simple and give people what they want" They are not a niche company but are just fantastic in their overall vision to max profits. I use Qobuz as my source and love it but dont get the feeling they are making lots of money. Just my thoughts. 
 
Jun 9, 2015 at 5:29 PM Post #18 of 359

sparkofinsanity

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  True, Apple isn't interested in small potatoes. Why should they? They have a data base of 800 million credit card customers. Their marketing is quite straight forward... "Just make it simple and give people what they want" They are not a niche company but are just fantastic in their overall vision to max profits. I use Qobuz as my source and love it but dont get the feeling they are making lots of money. Just my thoughts. 


And a couple of hundred million iPhones that will get the software installed whether they want to use it or not ... That should be enough to make a few companies get the hiccups. 
Spotify is nice on the go, but the sound quality is pretty bad. They say 320 but it's not (or at least not the stuff I listen to at least). So if Apple uses their 256 aac library with better quality control I might have to switch.  
 
Jun 9, 2015 at 6:52 PM Post #19 of 359

Earbones

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Because they don't have to. Apple is Big Picure. They're not worried about sweeping up the last of the crumbs.
Because you threw out that $8 million figure as if it was relevant to your argument. It wasn't. It was just one big non sequitur.
Remind me not to hire you for my marketing team.

Pono wasn't a response to any demand from the market place. Pono and the Kickstarter campaign was all about creating demand through marketing. And it was creating a demand for a dubious "product" (i.e. hi-res). To date I am not aware of anyone who has demonstrated unambiguously that anyone can hear the difference between 16/44 and 24/96-192.
Good to hear. Coincidentally I'm planning on launching one myself.
You're right. I've only been involved with the audiophile community for over 30 years. I don't know anything about it.
"A lot" is relative.
That's what I have been saying. Haven't you been listening? Apple isn't interested in small potatoes.

se


"Because they don't have to. Apple is big picture. They're not worried about sweeping up the last of the crumbs"
 
Let's throw out the moniker "audiophile" and focus on what we're really talking about. Sales of high-end audio equipment which benefit from high-rez music files. You may argue that just because someone buys the high-end system, they don't care or even know about streaming quality. But it's sales 101. Got the nice car? Use the nice gas, get the nice hand-wax, buy the nice roadside protection plan. People want their investments to perform for them, period. High-rez music today is a selling point not just for people who describe themselves as audiophiles, but anyone buying nicer audio stuff. And if you want to argue that those numbers are "crumbs", knock yourself out.
 
"Because you threw out the $8 million figure as if it was relevant to your argument"
 
Actually it was closer to six million. And I didn't quote the actual figure, because with Kickstarter, it's never about the actual monies. Kickstarter is a sounding board. Think of it as how Sundance (nowadays it's more like South by Southwest) is for the film studios. There's not a whole lot of  real money at the festivals, rather a road map for how to make money. It's an invaluable tool for getting a finger on the pulse of what the public responds to.
 
"Remind me not to hire you for my marketing team"
 
You have a marketing team? Seriously?
 
"Pono wasn't a response to any demand from the market place. Pono and the Kickstarter campaign was all about creating demand through marketing"
 
To be fair, you do have a terrible marketing team, so you wouldn't know this. Suffice to say, one cannot create demand for a product people actively don't want. That's very old-school ad-man thinking... Somebody's been binge-watching Mad Men. The most famous campaign held up to back that lame argument is the hula hoop. We all know the story, nobody wanted one, but it became a hit from the campaign, blah blah... Fact is, people wanted the hula hoop. It was the 50's, we'd all been through a terrible world war, the bombs might fall any second... Gyrating your hips like an idiot was stupid fun, and people wanted stupid fun. The campaign was solid, but again, people wanted it. Despite the old adages, nobody can actually sell snowcones to an eskimo, my friend. People bought hi-rez music from Neil Young because they want hi-rez music. Period. 
 
"And it was creating a demand for a dubious "product" (i.e. hi-res). To date I am not aware of anyone who has demonstrated unambiguously that anyone can hear the difference between 16/44 and 24/96-192."
 
With no one checking you before you make statements like that, I think your marketing team just went from being merely terrible to actively working against you. To be clear, PONO was not pitching 24/96-192 against 16/44, they were pitching 24/96-192 against MP3s or other highly compressed files... Like 256KB, for instance. Now here's why your marketing team should have cut you off... The average listener is going to be able to distinguish between a highly compressed music file and a lossless one far more easily than between, say, stock headphone cables and what you sell for $350. I won't tear down the aftermarket cable market, I enjoy my specialty cables as much as the next audiophile. But I certainly wouldn't bother buying them if all I was listening to was 256KB Apple Music files. 
 
"I've been involved with the audiophile community for over 30 years. I don't know anything about it."
 
You know, normally I'd assume someone was being sarcastic with a statement like that. 
 
Jun 9, 2015 at 10:55 PM Post #20 of 359

Steve Eddy

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"Because they don't have to. Apple is big picture. They're not worried about sweeping up the last of the crumbs"

Let's throw out the moniker "audiophile" and focus on what we're really talking about. Sales of high-end audio equipment which benefit from high-rez music files.


Yeah, like slapping "Digital Ready" stickers on everything including loudspeakers back when Compact Disc was introduced.


You may argue that just because someone buys the high-end system, they don't care or even know about streaming quality. But it's sales 101. Got the nice car? Use the nice gas, get the nice hand-wax, buy the nice roadside protection plan. People want their investments to perform for them, period. High-rez music today is a selling point not just for people who describe themselves as audiophiles, but anyone buying nicer audio stuff.


In other words, hi-res is basically just marketing. Isn't that pretty much what what I have been saying?


And if you want to argue that those numbers are "crumbs", knock yourself out.


You seem to be contradicting yourself. You had already said that high end audio was "small potatoes." Now you're saying it's not?


"Because you threw out the $8 million figure as if it was relevant to your argument"

Actually it was closer to six million. And I didn't quote the actual figure, because with Kickstarter, it's never about the actual monies. Kickstarter is a sounding board.


Kickstarter is whatever you make of it. In Pono's case, it wasn't as much a sounding board as a megaphone.


"Pono wasn't a response to any demand from the market place. Pono and the Kickstarter campaign was all about creating demand through marketing"

To be fair, you do have a terrible marketing team, so you wouldn't know this. Suffice to say, one cannot create demand for a product people actively don't want. That's very old-school ad-man thinking... Somebody's been binge-watching Mad Men. The most famous campaign held up to back that lame argument is the hula hoop. We all know the story, nobody wanted one, but it became a hit from the campaign, blah blah... Fact is, people wanted the hula hoop. It was the 50's, we'd all been through a terrible world war, the bombs might fall any second... Gyrating your hips like an idiot was stupid fun, and people wanted stupid fun. The campaign was solid, but again, people wanted it. Despite the old adages, nobody can actually sell snowcones to an eskimo, my friend. People bought hi-rez music from Neil Young because they want hi-rez music. Period.


I hope you didn't spend a lot of time building that straw man.

Please quote me where I said that marketing can create demand for something that people "actively don't want."


"And it was creating a demand for a dubious "product" (i.e. hi-res). To date I am not aware of anyone who has demonstrated unambiguously that anyone can hear the difference between 16/44 and 24/96-192."

With no one checking you before you make statements like that, I think your marketing team just went from being merely terrible to actively working against you. To be clear, PONO was not pitching 24/96-192 against 16/44, they were pitching 24/96-192 against MP3s or other highly compressed files...


Pono wasn't very clear exactly what they were pitching. I recall seeing a fair amount of conflating between data compression and dynamic range compression which only served to confuse the issue. And if they weren't implying that 24/96-192 was superior to 16/44, then why 24/96-192? Why not 16/44 versus highly compressed files? 24/96 is certainly benificial on the recording side of things, but no one has shown that it's beneficial on the playback side.


Like 256KB, for instance. Now here's why your marketing team should have cut you off... The average listener is going to be able to distinguish between a highly compressed music file and a lossless one far more easily than between, say, stock headphone cables and what you sell for $350.


I doubt the average listener could in fact distinguish between 256 Kbps and 16/44 let alone 24/96-192. Do you have any data to back this up?

se
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 1:24 AM Post #21 of 359

Earbones

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Yeah, like slapping "Digital Ready" stickers on everything including loudspeakers back when Compact Disc was introduced.
In other words, hi-res is basically just marketing. Isn't that pretty much what what I have been saying?
You seem to be contradicting yourself. You had already said that high end audio was "small potatoes." Now you're saying it's not?
Kickstarter is whatever you make of it. In Pono's case, it wasn't as much a sounding board as a megaphone.
I hope you didn't spend a lot of time building that straw man.

Please quote me where I said that marketing can create demand for something that people "actively don't want."
Pono wasn't very clear exactly what they were pitching. I recall seeing a fair amount of conflating between data compression and dynamic range compression which only served to confuse the issue. And if they weren't implying that 24/96-192 was superior to 16/44, then why 24/96-192? Why not 16/44 versus highly compressed files? 24/96 is certainly benificial on the recording side of things, but no one has shown that it's beneficial on the playback side.
I doubt the average listener could in fact distinguish between 256 Kbps and 16/44 let alone 24/96-192. Do you have any data to back this up?

se

"Yeah, like slapping 'digital ready' stickers on everything..."
 
Like slapping... What? So you have no response? Just say that next time.
 
"In other words hi-res is basically just marketing"
 
Just to get this straight... You say there is no market for hi-rez audio streaming. I show you a pretty clear market, as well as how it can be marketed to clear potential markets. And then you turn around and indict hi-rez streaming as just marketing? Wow.
 
"You seem to be contradicting yourself"
 
That's one possibility. But I'm going to go with you're either very slow or deliberately contentious. Plenty of large markets are small potatoes when compared to even larger markets. It doesn't mean those markets aren't worth profiting from.
 
"Kickstarter is whatever you make of it"
 
You mean like a peyote trip? No, champ, it's really not. In 2015, one of it's most relevant attributes is as a sounding board for potential markets. Fortune 500 companies employ people whose sole job is to watch Kickstarter. Again, if you don't have a response, just say so. 
 
"I hope you didn't spend a lot of time building that straw man." "please quote me where I said marketing can create demand for something people actively don't want."
 
Show me the straw man. Because I can show you where you stated that "Pono wasn't a response to any demand from the market place. Pono and the Kickstarter campaign was all about creating demand through marketing" (spoiler: it was two posts back). If you weren't trying to say that people didn't want hi-rez and Pono made them want it through marketing, what exactly were you trying to say? 
 
"Pono wasn't very clear exactly what they were pitching..."
 
I don't think anybody was unclear on the fact that PONO was pitching hi-rez audio over MP3 and other highly compressed formats. Arguing whether they were initially unclear over which hi-rez resolutions they would be supporting is... Wait for it... A straw man argument. I thought you didn't like those? 
 
"I doubt the average listener could in fact distinguish between 256Kbps and 16/44 let alone 24/96-192. Do you have any data to back this up?"
 
Again with your god-awful marketing team! Do they have no concept of how to keep you on a leash? I know you said you'd never hire me, but I'm going to volunteer, just for a minute. Uh, sir? We sell $350 cables. Tangible data concerning listener's abilities to distinguish minute differences in sound quality is something we really, really want to steer clear of, okay? You're killing us with this stuff. 
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 2:00 AM Post #22 of 359

sparkofinsanity

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"And it was creating a demand for a dubious "product" (i.e. hi-res). To date I am not aware of anyone who has demonstrated unambiguously that anyone can hear the difference between 16/44 and 24/96-192."
 
With no one checking you before you make statements like that, I think your marketing team just went from being merely terrible to actively working against you. To be clear, PONO was not pitching 24/96-192 against 16/44, they were pitching 24/96-192 against MP3s or other highly compressed files... Like 256KB, for instance. Now here's why your marketing team should have cut you off... The average listener is going to be able to distinguish between a highly compressed music file and a lossless one far more easily than between, say, stock headphone cables and what you sell for $350. I won't tear down the aftermarket cable market, I enjoy my specialty cables as much as the next audiophile. But I certainly wouldn't bother buying them if all I was listening to was 256KB Apple Music files. 

 
http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 2:12 AM Post #23 of 359

nanaholic

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There's no reason at all to offer loseless streaming.  Consider just the following simply:
 
Bandwidth and server space IS NOT FREE - it's cheaper than ever before, yes, but it's still not free.  This is the same for both users and Apple.  Why would you want to stream a 30mb lossless file vs a 8mb lossy file when the difference in quality can't be heard by more 90% of the users?  For every 30mb file you serve to 1 user you could be serving 4 users instead.  Scale this up to 100+ countries with hundreds of millions of users and DO THE BUSINESS MATH.  
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 2:44 AM Post #25 of 359

Joe Bloggs

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There's no reason at all to offer loseless streaming.  Consider just the following simply:

Bandwidth and server space IS NOT FREE - it's cheaper than ever before, yes, but it's still not free.  This is the same for both users and Apple.  Why would you want to stream a 30mb lossless file vs a 8mb lossy file when the difference in quality can't be heard by more 90% of the users?  For every 30mb file you serve to 1 user you could be serving 4 users instead.  Scale this up to 100+ countries with hundreds of millions of users and DO THE BUSINESS MATH.  


Not to mention the torrent of support calls from angry users demanding why they can't turn on the highest quality toggle without the audio from their shiny new iPhone 6 grinding to a halt... :popcorn:
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 3:19 AM Post #26 of 359

Joe Bloggs

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Blah blah blah


Actually, Steve's company makes no claims regarding the sound quality of their cables; their selling points are looks and mechanical properties (such as flexibility), all sensible things for a cable to strive for.
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 3:26 AM Post #27 of 359

Steve Eddy

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"Yeah, like slapping 'digital ready' stickers on everything..."

Like slapping... What? So you have no response? Just say that next time.


Sorry if that was too abstruse for you. Not worth revisiting.


"In other words hi-res is basically just marketing"

Just to get this straight... You say there is no market for hi-rez audio streaming.


I said no such thing.

While I won't hire you for my marketing team, I will keep you in my Rolodex in case I'm ever in need of a straw man.


"You seem to be contradicting yourself"

That's one possibility. But I'm going to go with you're either very slow or deliberately contentious. Plenty of large markets are small potatoes when compared to even larger markets. It doesn't mean those markets aren't worth profiting from.


Great. If you think it's worth it, then go profit from them. Clearly Apple doesn't want to bother. That's been my entire point all along. "High end" is small potatoes and Apple doesn't bother with small potatoes.


"Kickstarter is whatever you make of it"

You mean like a peyote trip? No, champ, it's really not. In 2015, one of it's most relevant attributes is as a sounding board for potential markets. Fortune 500 companies employ people whose sole job is to watch Kickstarter. Again, if you don't have a response, just say so.


How does that contradict what I said? Someone starting a Kickstarter can use it for whatever purpose they wish.

"I hope you didn't spend a lot of time building that straw man." "please quote me where I said marketing can create demand for something people actively don't want."

Show me the straw man. Because I can show you where you stated that "Pono wasn't a response to any demand from the market place. Pono and the Kickstarter campaign was all about creating demand through marketing" (spoiler: it was two posts back). If you weren't trying to say that people didn't want hi-rez and Pono made them want it through marketing, what exactly were you trying to say?



The straw man was your invention of people who "actively don't want it." What the hell does that even mean? Are there people out there with signs protesting against hi-res? Am I watching the wrong news programs or something? Where do I tune in to see coverage of these protests?

"Pono wasn't very clear exactly what they were pitching..."

I don't think anybody was unclear on the fact that PONO was pitching hi-rez audio over MP3 and other highly compressed formats.


I saw a number of instances where they were conflating lossy digital compression with dynamic range compression.


Arguing whether they were initially unclear over which hi-rez resolutions they would be supporting is... Wait for it... A straw man argument. I thought you didn't like those?


Pono was a an entire marketing campaign, which comprised much more than initial statements.


"I doubt the average listener could in fact distinguish between 256Kbps and 16/44 let alone 24/96-192. Do you have any data to back this up?"

Again with your god-awful marketing team! Do they have no concept of how to keep you on a leash? I know you said you'd never hire me, but I'm going to volunteer, just for a minute. Uh, sir? We sell $350 cables. Tangible data concerning listener's abilities to distinguish minute differences in sound quality is something we really, really want to steer clear of, okay? You're killing us with this stuff. 


So you're saying I should just make stuff up?

se
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 3:30 AM Post #28 of 359

Steve Eddy

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Actually, Steve's company makes no claims regarding the sound quality of their cables; their selling points are looks and mechanical properties (such as flexibility), all sensible things for a cable to strive for.


Especially when it comes to a headphone cable. But even for interconnects and loudspeaker cables, I like a cable that lays exactly where I put it and doesn't argue.

se
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 4:38 AM Post #29 of 359

Earbones

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Sorry if that was too abstruse for you. Not worth revisiting.
I said no such thing.

While I won't hire you for my marketing team, I will keep you in my Rolodex in case I'm ever in need of a straw man.
Great. If you think it's worth it, then go profit from them. Clearly Apple doesn't want to bother. That's been my entire point all along. "High end" is small potatoes and Apple doesn't bother with small potatoes.
How does that contradict what I said? Someone starting a Kickstarter can use it for whatever purpose they wish.
The straw man was your invention of people who "actively don't want it." What the hell does that even mean? Are there people out there with signs protesting against hi-res? Am I watching the wrong news programs or something? Where do I tune in to see coverage of these protests?
I saw a number of instances where they were conflating lossy digital compression with dynamic range compression.
Pono was a an entire marketing campaign, which comprised much more than initial statements.
So you're saying I should just make stuff up?

se

 
Bad news, boss... The board got together after this fiasco where you basically stated that our expensive cables do nothing but lay exactly where you put them. They're calling for your resignation. And this is kind of awkward, considering I was only volunteering temporarily, but, uh, well... They've named me CEO. Sorry about that. There's good news for head-fiers though! As my first order of business, I'm slashing our prices by 80%! Audio Guild cables now start at a very reasonable $39.99... They may not sound any better than your stock cables, but they lay just where you put them, and they look fabulous!
 
Seriously though, this is boring. What am I supposed to do? Quote you again, and point out all the areas where you defend a point by claiming to have meant something else when clearly you did not, or slam all your false logic, or blah blah blah? Why bother? At the end of the day, you're more interested in arguing than backing any valid point. Come to think of it, what is your point? That hi-rez streaming is a sham? That most people can't tell the difference between an MP3 and a DSD file? That, essentially, high-end audio is a hoax market for suckers? Edit that- a very small and unprofitable hoax market for suckers?
 
Okay. You're entitled to your opinions.
 
I disagree. I think hi-rez streaming is great, and I can definitely tell a difference between Tidal and Spotify. Many others can too. I'm disappointed Apple chose not to offer ALAC streaming. Many others are as well. I believe they missed the boat by not coming to the market strong, with a better product than their competition, rather than a bunch of frivolous extras. Many others believe that too.  
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 9:58 AM Post #30 of 359

RRod

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Cables aside, everyone is free to do their own testing of hi-res v. Redbook v. lossy codecs. If the testing you've done for yourself is adequate to prove to you that you need hi-res, then fine. But the people I've talked to on here who have done actual volume-matched, double-blind testing between formats haven't been very successful at telling lossy from Redbook or Redbook from hi-res. If you can pass such a test without cheating, then great, otherwise expect people to point out the possibility of things like expectation bias.
 

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