Apple Music... Seriously?
Jun 10, 2015 at 9:58 AM Post #31 of 359

Steve Eddy

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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!


What more would you want in a headphone cable? If a cable is altering the signal in any audible way, it should be thrown out. Audio cables have been a "solved problem" as my friend likes to say for over a century.


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?


My point, as it was originally, was that "high end" audio is a small potatoes market that Apple doesn't want to bother with. But aside from that, yeah, I'm saying all those other things too.


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.  


And I'm sure that Tim Cook will someday come to regret Apple's decision. *sarcasm off*

se
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 6:58 PM Post #34 of 359

Earbones

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"And I'm sure that Tim Cook will someday come to regret Apple's decision. *sarcasm off*"
 
"Perhaps when he's getting crushed while swimming in his platinum swimming pool filled with gold"
 
"By the diamond encrusted chandelier haging above it."
 
What's funny is that you two seem to forget that when the iPod was launched, it's market (those who listened to a lot of digital music on the go) was much smaller than the audiophile or high-end audio market that is present today. Not ignoring that tiny market seemed to pay off pretty well for them.
 
Ironically, it's that same market which you are setting as the bar from which to sneer at the profit potential of hi-rez music. Here's a fun fact: Steve Jobs supported hi-rez music. He listened to vinyl, and wanted to bring that clarity and purity of sound over to digital music. He saw that as the next step in digital music... Not British DJs. He understood there was money to be made by turning listeners into audiophiles.
 
Tim Cook, on the other hand, is an MBA. Yes, I think Cook will come to regret Apple's decision. I think there are a lot of decisions, based purely off a quick buck rather than vision, that he will come to regret. 
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 7:56 PM Post #35 of 359

RRod

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  "And I'm sure that Tim Cook will someday come to regret Apple's decision. *sarcasm off*"
 
"Perhaps when he's getting crushed while swimming in his platinum swimming pool filled with gold"
 
"By the diamond encrusted chandelier haging above it."
 
What's funny is that you two seem to forget that when the iPod was launched, it's market (those who listened to a lot of digital music on the go) was much smaller than the audiophile or high-end audio market that is present today. Not ignoring that tiny market seemed to pay off pretty well for them.
 
Ironically, it's that same market which you are setting as the bar from which to sneer at the profit potential of hi-rez music. Here's a fun fact: Steve Jobs supported hi-rez music. He listened to vinyl, and wanted to bring that clarity and purity of sound over to digital music. He saw that as the next step in digital music... Not British DJs. He understood there was money to be made by turning listeners into audiophiles.
 
Tim Cook, on the other hand, is an MBA. Yes, I think Cook will come to regret Apple's decision. I think there are a lot of decisions, based purely off a quick buck rather than vision, that he will come to regret. 

 
The advantages of having a portable DAP are, I would wager good money, more important to the average person than the advantages of hi-res, just as the advantages of having a good streaming service outweigh having said streaming service in hi-res. SACD and DVDA were already out when Apple released the iPod; they could have done a hi-res kick even back then, or at least sooner than today. But they didn't, and still aren't. Where was Job's vinyl love then?
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 8:41 PM Post #36 of 359

sonitus mirus

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Did I miss something? I thought it was determined that SACD was not any better than Red Book (44/16), and I have not seen any reliable test demonstrating a difference between AAC 256 and a CD.  Why can't a portable DAP that is capable of playing AAC 256 possess all of the advantages of having a smaller footprint along with the ability to produce the highest audio quality?
 
I have serious doubts when anyone claims that they can definitely hear a difference between a well-encoded lossy format vs any lossless format without providing any evidence to support this notion.
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 8:50 PM Post #37 of 359

RRod

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  Did I miss something? I thought it was determined that SACD was not any better than Red Book (44/16), and I have not seen any reliable test demonstrating a difference between AAC 256 and a CD.  Why can't a portable DAP that is capable of playing AAC 256 possess all of the advantages of having a smaller footprint along with the ability to produce the highest audio quality?
 
I have serious doubts when anyone claims that they can definitely hear a difference between a well-encoded lossy format vs any lossless format without providing any evidence to support this notion.

 
You didn't miss anything, I was just pointing out that Apple has had plenty of chances to get on the hi-res bandwagon (or to drive the bandwagon), but didn't.
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 9:22 PM Post #38 of 359

Shaffer

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From my POV and need/want structure, all this is totally irrelevant. Here's why: I use 320kbps Spotify with my office system. Mostly for background music and to check out recordings I'm interested in. If I like a title, I head to by favorite record store and buy the CD for (literally) a few bucks. I own something tangible and can do whatever I like with it. ATM, I have ~9500 titles in my record collection - 40 years worth - and several more get added weekly. Why would I want a lossless streaming service, when I can play whatever I like in its native state at any time I wish? Yes, I understand that's the exact concept behind a quality streaming service. The difference is, one pays a fee not to own a thing. The virtual equivalent of steam escaping from a hot kettle. Not for me.
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 9:59 PM Post #39 of 359

Earbones

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The advantages of having a portable DAP are, I would wager good money, more important to the average person than the advantages of hi-res, just as the advantages of having a good streaming service outweigh having said streaming service in hi-res. SACD and DVDA were already out when Apple released the iPod; they could have done a hi-res kick even back then, or at least sooner than today. But they didn't, and still aren't. Where was Job's vinyl love then?


Obviously the concept of "Take your entire record collection with you anywhere in a small portable device" was huge, and is easily much more of a slam dunk to sell than "Here's how great your music can sound in lossless format"... I've never argued that point. My point has been that there is money to made around the idea of high-end audio and high resolution music files.
 
Since you guys seem to be harping on the same argument again and again, let me be crystal clear... Just because a smaller market is dwarfed by a larger market, it does not mean the smaller market is untenable or should be written off. This is business 101. Take the "crumbs", see how they perform. In this case, the crumbs are already a pretty interesting and steadily performing market. Again, the fact that it is a smaller market than standard audio is irrelevant. Don't bother arguing this with me. If you disagree, fine. It's not my idea, after all. Take it up with Warren Buffet and the other moguls who have popularized Micro Market mining and similar thinking in the last couple of decades.
 
Worst case scenario Apple takes a shot at the high-end audio market, selling high-rez streaming and perhaps even curating a collection of high-end audio devices (they already have a decent mid-end selection in store), and makes a hundred million. Peanuts for them, but a payout certainly worth their effort. Best case, they explode a market, turn a healthy chunk of listeners into audiophiles, and make a lot more. Where it would go... Well, nobody has a firm grip on the future, just visions. It was definitely one of Job's visions, that much we know... And he had a pretty decent track record.
 
As for why the iPod didn't debut with high-rez audio... I don't know. Why didn't the iPhone debut at 6.9mm thick? Certainly the technologies were technically possible, they probably just weren't cost feasible. And why isn't Apple on high-rez today? Again, Jobs was the visionary. Cook is the MBA.
 
EDIT: It bears mentioning that many have accused Cook of playing things overly safe. I look at the new Macbook and disagree. But I look at the opportunities they appear to have missed with Apple Music, and I wonder. 
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 10:38 PM Post #40 of 359

RRod

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There's really nothing visionary about hi-res. The testing has been done and people can't hear the benefits in controlled conditions, and especially not on-the-go. Now if Apple put their money behind forcing out actual good 16/44.1 masters of some of the more horrendous loudness-war brickwall jobs out there, then I'd be interested. Pono supposedly was going to do this, but in actuality they're just taking what they can get from the industry, and so far it doesn't seem to be much.
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 11:10 PM Post #41 of 359

Earbones

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  There's really nothing visionary about hi-res. The testing has been done and people can't hear the benefits in controlled conditions, and especially not on-the-go. Now if Apple put their money behind forcing out actual good 16/44.1 masters of some of the more horrendous loudness-war brickwall jobs out there, then I'd be interested. Pono supposedly was going to do this, but in actuality they're just taking what they can get from the industry, and so far it doesn't seem to be much.


Many people disagree with you as far as being able to distinguish hi-rez from highly compressed files. And many people agree with you. That debate is old news. My personal opinion is that anyone who can't easily distinguish between, say, an MP3 file and a DSD file are partially deaf. But moving away from those two extreme resolutions towards the center, I agree things can get murky in between. It become particularly dependent on other factors such as the master etc.
 
I agree, I would love to see Apple use it's clout to end the loudness wars. But surely you must see that this is an impossibility unless it fully jumps into the pool with regards to high-end audio and hi-rez music...  
 
EDIT: let me expand on this... Random Access Memories was a huge hit, and this was due not only to the fact that it has some great songs on it, but the fact that it is an eminently listenable album... This is what can accomplished by refusing to participate in the loudness wars, and re-introducing listeners to dynamism. In this case, the profit gleaned from a very audiophile lean on something can be quantified. By Apple jumping into the high-end/hi-rez pool, they could affect how albums are produced, and how albums sell. It's a much bigger potential market than merely whether or not people want to get their streaming in 256KBps or Lossless.
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 11:19 PM Post #42 of 359

RRod

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Many people disagree with you as far as being able to distinguish hi-rez from highly compressed files. And many people agree with you. That debate is old news. My personal opinion is that anyone who can't tell easily distinguish between, say, an MP3 file and a DSD file are partially deaf. But moving away from those two extreme resolutions towards the center, I agree things can get murky in between. It become particularly dependent on other factors such as the master etc.
 
I agree, I would love to see Apple use it's clout to end the loudness wars. But surely you must see that this is an impossibility unless it fully jumps into the pool with regards to high-end audio and hi-rez music...  

 
I would disagree that 320mp3 vs. DSD would be easy, if everything is done correctly. I also don't see the necessity of hi-res to undoing the Loudness War. What could help would be Apple sending out their products with something like ReplayGain on by default, thus reducing the benefit of this "anything you can do, I can do louder" approach.
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 11:35 PM Post #43 of 359

Earbones

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I would disagree that 320mp3 vs. DSD would be easy, if everything is done correctly. I also don't see the necessity of hi-res to undoing the Loudness War. What could help would be Apple sending out their products with something like ReplayGain on by default, thus reducing the benefit of this "anything you can do, I can do louder" approach.


Different ears for different folks. 
 
As for the second bit, to invest themselves responsibly, it needs to be the whole enchilada, my friend. Not trying to insinuate that high-rez is all marketing, but it is certainly marketable... It's a specific product that Apple can sell. "Our music is higher resolution than competitor X". Easily graspable, easily implemented. Attempting to school the average listener on what the loudness war is, and what changes Apple is affecting to combat it, and how and why the music will sound better is a tenuous prospect at best, and very difficult to profit from. 
 
Jun 11, 2015 at 12:16 AM Post #44 of 359

Joe Bloggs

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Others have pointed out to you how by trying to cater to the niche market of hi-rez streaming customers, Apple could actually hurt sales to their core customer base or the bottom line in general, arguments you steadfastly ignore.
 
Jun 11, 2015 at 12:41 AM Post #45 of 359

Earbones

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Others have pointed out to you how by trying to cater to the niche market of hi-rez streaming customers, Apple could actually hurt sales to their core customer base or the bottom line in general, arguments you steadfastly ignore.

Because those arguments steadfastly ignore the fact that Spotify hasn't hurt sales to their core customer base by offering a higher resolution option.

If we are to assume that Spotify spends advertising dollars only on things that increase sales, then judging by how often they talk about their higher resolution, it is in fact a feature that generates sales.

I don't think anyone has hard figures in terms of the bottom lines with 256KBps vs ALAC, but I think fairly conservative estimates would place that firmly in the "acceptable loss to potential profit" were Apple to pitch Apple Music as the high fidelity choice. Particularly when factoring in the extras discussed briefly above. An ecosystem wherein Apple Music is unquestionably of better quality than its competitors opens many avenues of potential profit.
 

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