Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kids Prefer MP3 Sound Quality

Jonathan Berger, a music professor from Stanford, tests all of his incoming students each year to see how they feel about different audio mediums. His discover lately is that more and more, students prefer the overly compressed sound of MP3s. While, at first, this seems crazy, it make sense to me.

I've listened many times to people arguing over sound quality issues. Some prefer digital, some prefer analog, some like CDs, some like LPs, etc etc etc. I've always believed that people just like the thing that they heard the most in their formative listening years. Whatever you listened to when you were between, say 12 and 22 is probably the sound that you most prefer.

Now kids are growing up listening to MP3s. That's how music sounds to them. That's how, as far as they are concerned, the music is supposed to sound. These things come and go in waves with changing technology. Nobody's ever going to define the best sounding thing because it is all based on personal feelings.

I personally don't have too much of a problem with MP3s as long as they are high quality ones, but I can't stand IPod Ear Buds. They just sound terrible to me. Other people probably prefer those to the headphones that I wear. Everybody's got their own bag.

These kids who prefer the MP3 sound are no different than people who prefer vinyl records. They're just newer.

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