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I listened with interest to Mr. Massenburg’s talk and first off I think he is dead on about his topic. I think the problem that we all face in the audio business today is really similar to the problem that has always existed but with a twist. The fundamental issue is that there has always been a divide between the “masses” where just good enough technology was acceptable. The high end audio business catered to a small minority of people who recognized the difference in quality components, recording technology, etc. and were willing to pay for it. Hence the high end audio component business for example on the consumer side of things. This market still exists but the problem today is that with what even George agrees with is a masterful ability of codecs and compression algorithms to do there thing they provide so much utility for storage and manipulation that the new “masses” view this with higher value than what 24/48 can achieve in sonic value.
He is right that we should as consumers demand higher quality. Let’s see where that takes us though. I suspect we are a small minority of music consumers. Young people will need an Epiphany of sorts in the form of a good listening experience. As this new generation of music consumers grows a bit older and affluent they may well gravitate toward higher quality and cost audio sources because they will be able to afford it and will recognize the benefit. I fear that high quality conscious consumers will be a small number. I suspect that what is left of the conventional music distribution business will never want to see 24/48 quality released to the public. I think this is short sighted on the part of record companies because the old fashioned CD Red Book format offers superior quality already but a recent visit to a music store found me surrounded by people my age looking through the Rock section of the 1960s and 70s! Marketing could help fix this. CD sales have been dwindling for most of this decade but it doesn’t have to continue a downward slide. Hey record industry: market quality that is worth paying for to a growing affluent youth market! CD’s are better than MP3s! Tell people!
Right on George! We are with you anyway. Of the audio products that our company produces we provide solutions that allow the 24/48 and better quality that you spoke of. Our products are considered high end in our field and I don’t care when customers compare our products on price against the competition. I know we are doing the right thing by offering a higher quality and profit line of products. There are customers who recognize the value in what we produce and these are precisely the ones we want to do business with. People comparing our products on price alone are best buying the less expensive solution because in many respects they don’t get it and never will. That may sound a bit arrogant on my part but after 25 years in the manufacturing business this is reality!