One thing I’ve noticed during my debating about audio quality is how the mainstream tech press – meaning the people who cover phones, TV’s, smart watches, laptops, etc. – always seem to have their head up their asses when it comes to audio products.
Their ignorance of audio basics seems overshadowed by an arrogance about all things consumer tech. They wrongfully assume audio expertise and botch their reviews.
Audio specifics are counter-intuitive at times. Very few digital tech people understand audio signal flow.
When there is an article that touches on audio quality, the message boards & comments after are even worse, with outright false claims masquerading as fact. Characters of all stripes blare clueless opinions disguised as common-sense fact.
I sometimes take up the challenge of straightening these arguments out, and of course, it usually gets me nowhere (unless the rabbit hole of internet flame battles is a destination you strive for).
My latest attempt at conversation got me banned from Ars Technica, a site about technology that recently asked me to leave their community for…. claiming…. that MP3 is less than perfect for music.
Oh the horror! I’ve had similar luck and been told to scram from other tech sites, too.
You mean Lossy actually loses things!?! What a radical opinion!
Banning is the nerd response to having their worldview challenged.
I’m trying to help these dolts. They are like the flat-earthers of the audio world. I was online when most of these chaps were in diapers!
It is such a strange time warp: these ultra-modern people still holding onto ancient mp3 files while their games, TVs, monitors, cameras, watches, GPS, cars, and every other digital device in their lives continues to increase in resolution, and thus r e a l i s m.
Lossy MP3, designed in 1993. Or maybe Lossy AAC, a subset of mp3, designed in 1997. This is the most modern audio these people understand.
Yet they wrongly think that they can’t hear – and no one else can hear either – any increase in quality, ever!
They never discuss bitrate because bitrate tells the truth.
Snake oil! Monster cables! Buy new headphones! Fuck those rich rock stars! Greedy millionaires stealing my loose change! Snake Oil!
Even if you are a master musician like Tom Petty…
a legendary producer like Bruce Botnick…
a professional recording engineer… a classical musician…
or some other heavyweight in the field of professional audio…
you are called a scam artist and/or deaf by these gadget loving fools if you dare claim that Lossy = Lossy.
The world of good enough rules certain people. They admit fashion over substance and they swear that now must be the best. This is a classic case of experts being drowned out by idiots.
Most of these people equate recognizing music with loving, knowing, feeling, and creating music. It’s not the same.
If you bring up the inner ear on these tech sites, they ban you.
Actual bitrate, they ban you.
Known psychological issues with ABX testing of music, they ban you.
I have built an entire list of topics that immediately get me down-voted or straight up banned on consumer tech sites when discussing audio products.
Oh well, tell you what Ars Technica – fuck off. I’m tired of fighting.
I’ve participated and read your site for over 15 years now and you ban me for stating something so obvious about a 20 year old tech compromise? #Sad.
I suppose much of it was time wasted since your message board is overrun by assholes that share your ignorant beliefs regarding audio products. Good enough. Sound quality doesn’t matter, just specs you can measure.
Ars claims to cover every advancement in the tech-gadget world yet they shit on audio products and audio professionals.
Why is that?
Gadgets come and go, but music lasts forever.
I was told by some greybeards in music production decades ago to never trust the technology world “because they have no idea when it comes to audio”.
I suppose this aligns with that.
Techies don’t want to be educated, they want to ban those that expose their ignorance. They love using terms they don’t even understand in practical use. Most follow the crowd and believe common sense bullshit.
Lots of keyboard jockeys.
Tech sites are very influential over mainstream music and gear purchases. I truly hope their appreciation for sound quality from gadgets changes soon.
They argue their day away about whether 320k sounds better than 256k and then ban people who say 1400k, or 5700k, sounds better.
Their math doesn’t line up and they don’t like being told that. They can quote statistics showing you something is less or the same as something else.
They can reference ridiculous studies attempting to capture sound quality differences with no understanding of – or concern for – musical enjoyment. So many of these people link back to xiph dot org it is like an army of quality denialists.
But ask them to prove that something sounds better than something else. They cannot do it.
Because their science isn’t science at all.
It amounts to a pile of garbage. Trust your own ears. 1400k audio does sound better than 320k if your system has minimal competence.
If you have a nice DAC and analog section, 5400k files sound even better. Imagine that.
Seek higher quality and you shall find it.
I suppose it makes sense that it would be the gadget fans first in line to explain their perceived limitations of the human body.
These are people that often look to technology to do things that they could in fact do better themselves with just a little bit of training and effort.
But if they can sit and let the computer do it, they not only accept it, they are paid to celebrate it.
Ars Technica, Apple, Google, and the rest of america’s tech press continues to push inferior audio and claim it’s all good.