Space Ramblings

The Audiophile File Backlash

The International Herald Tribune, quick to supplement its uselessness with a news story that isn’t news to anyone, proclaims in its article headline, The Web is awash in anti-MP3 audiophiles, writing,

First, we saw a recoil against social networks, then a backlash against blogs. Now, just when digital music has reached enough of a mass audience to make even my tech-challenged sister take the plunge, the Web is awash in anti-MP3 audiophiles.

It’s more accurate to say that the web is awash in people who hate audophiles. I don’t think even pedophiles manage to garner the kind of hatred that audiophiles easily pick up on the web. Granted the sort of audiophiles who listen to any kind of digital music are not the most hard core audiophiles who swear by their turntables but if anything there has been an ongoing backlash against audiophiles for years, if you can call something a backlash when the thing it’s lashing out against was never actually popular in the first place.

Personally I never shared the hatred for audophiles, in part because they seem more pathetic than villainous, compared to say Apple or Google apologists or Nintendo fanboys. And in part because I sorta get their point. An MP3 doesn’t nearly capture the richness of sound that real music features. It’s pretty decent but it isn’t nearly there. And sound is in the end very subjective as is the listening experience. If people want a lossless format, more power to them. I won’t assemble my music library out of lossless music because my hard drive isn’t infinite and I just don’t care enough but if people want to spend more money, whether it’s on insuring a lossless format music collection or 15,000 speakers it’s their deal.

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