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SXSW Music 2014

Audio Quality: Why “Good Enough” Isn't Good Enough

At the beginning of the digital revolution, music listeners were happy to listen to “good enough”-quality MP3s of their favorite songs, content to trade the pristine quality of CDs and vinyl for the convenience of downloading files straight to their computers in minutes, sometimes seconds. However, as digital technologies have matured, audiences are now demanding a return to high-quality audio, as evidenced by the rise of Beats by Dre’s sound-enhancing headphones, the resurgence of vinyl, Neil Young’s planned Pono music service, and even Apple’s Mastered for iTunes program. During this panel, leaders from several top companies in the space will examine the changing trends that have led to this shift and explain what musicians, record labels, physical and digital retailers, equipment companies, and more can do to capitalize on it.

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  1. Why are music consumers now concerned with audio quality when they previously were content to sacrifice it for downloading convenience?
  2. What are the characteristics of a music consumer who cares about audio quality, and what are the best ways to reach them?
  3. How can physical and digital outlets offer high-quality audio options without alienating those who just want a fast download?
  4. What high-quality audio options exist today, both physical (sound-enhancing headphones, vinyl) and digital (lossless formats, Neil Young's Pono)?
  5. What are music companies doing now to incorporate high-quality audio into their strategies?



Frank Johnson, CEO, MediaNet

Meta Information:

  • Event: Music
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Technology
  • Track 2
  • Level:
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