Would you buy lossless iTunes music (and max price)?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by SJism23, Aug 10, 2013.

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Would you pay for lossless iTunes music (and if so, what's the highest you'd pay)?

  1. Yes, but $1.99 would be the highest price I'd pay.

    34.5%
  2. Yes, but $1.69 would be the highest price I'd pay.

    41.4%
  3. No, I don't care for lossless iTunes music.

    24.1%
  4. Who pays for music nowadays?

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I've started to rip a bunch of CDs in lossless format for the sake of futureproofing and to compliment my new Etymotic earphones for better sound quality. Unfortunately, iTunes bought music is lossy—even if 256 kbps is "good enough." I imagine that Apple would add different price points. So what's the max amount of money you'd pay for a single lossless song on iTunes?
     
  2. macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Yes I would buy lossless music from iTunes. I would only pay exactly what they currently charge for lossy tho. The reason being that I can already buy a lossless CD version for near enough the same price as iTunes currently charges for lossy files.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Hmm, I wish I added that option in the poll, but I can't edit it. But I don't think the record companies would be okay with that because remember when Apple went DRM-free in 2009 and songs went up to $1.29? I'm pretty sure that was the result of some intense negotiations with the RCs.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I didn't see the poll when I posted.
    To be honest the record companies soon wont have a choice, a lot of music is headed towards being self distributed and the big record companies are slowly losing their influence/power.
    There are already places where you can buy lossless digital music for the same price as the lossy versions online, it's only the big RCs that are resisting it, but with the rise in popularity of streaming music services, which the big RCs hate but are forced to go with, it will only be a matter of time before they are begging apple to offer lossless as a way to encourage people to buy music rather than streaming.
     
  5. macrumors 68020

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  6. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I checked out one or two the other day and the prices were significantly higher, so I don't know…

    Interesting. This may be true since the audiophile crowd probably doesn't care too much for streaming music, but at the same time, most people aren't audiophiles or care for high sound quality, so I doubt such a move would matter too much for the RCs. Then again, if your description of their downward spiral towards irrelevance turns out to be true (and I'm apt to believe it), then the RCs will do anything at that point.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I should have pointed out that I was referring to indies selling through band camp and the like when I said lossless at the same price as lossy, I'm not sure that anywhere is selling "mainstream" stuff at the same prices.

    I can see the whole lossless iTunes thing being marketed the same way as CDs were in the 80s, in that it will be sold as a way of upgrading your collection...I know a lot of people who went out and replaced every album they owned on vinyl or tape for the (often lower quality) CD version back then.

    The way I see it people aren't going to buy lossy music when they can stream lossy music free/very cheap....they are going to have to do something to add value to digital purchases and the only logical thing is lossless.
    To be fair I would probably be prepared to pay a little more than the current prices for lossless but it still has to be less than a CD version or I'll continue buying and ripping CDs as I do now, I've never bought audio from iTunes and won't until it's lossless
     
  8. Julien, Aug 11, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013

    macrumors 603

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    #8
    $1.69 a track is too much since you can buy a new CD's for $10 to $15. Just like with the books, magazines, newspapers, TV and film the price for a download should be the same or ideally less than a more expensive to create physical copy. When are publishers going to understand this?

    Lossless should just be offered as an OPTION at the same price.

    For $1.69 you should be able to get a lossless 24/96 5.1 mix with a lossless 2 channel (for devices) included.
     
  9. Guest

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    #9
    I can't even begin to understand how Apple doesn't offer ALAC in its own store...enough said.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I think they don't offer lossless because it takes up much more space to store on servers and much bandwidth to download and of course because it would cost more. There is now something more worrying about music: "the loudness war", almost every new album sounds like crap because of it, I won't pay more money even if lossless for a "brickwalled album", don't wanna lose my hearing with that crap...
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Can you explain what this loudness war is for the uninformed (read: me)?
     
  12. macrumors 6502

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    #12
    The loudness war has been going on for many years, it's based on the idea that the louder a piece of music is the better it sounds, or rather the more it stands out.

    Modern music is far more compressed now than it used to be, this reduces the amount of dynamics music has (the difference between loud and quiet parts) whilst making the overall volume louder.

    The wars part comes in because every producer wants their music to stand out when played next to someone else's music (on the radio,in the clubs etc) and the easiest way to achieve this in a sea of similar sounding music is to simply make it sound louder.

    There is now a trend in the production world trying to move away from this overly compressed sound with many producers trying to reintroduce dynamics into the music but with the competition being so fierce it's a slow process
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    You know a lot about music/audio; you must be an expert. Very informative, thanks.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

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    #14
    wouldn't say an expert, I'm just a humble music producer with an avid interest in these things, but I thank you for your kind words :)
     
  15. macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I listen mostly to classical, and I do buy FLAC or ALAC albums from a number of sites. Some of these charge the same as for the CD, and I have trouble with that. After all, no physical object is involved. While it's true that your average CD is cheap in terms of production cost, lossless albums ought to be significantly cheaper than their physical counterparts. Running a server has to cost less than material, manufacturing, and shipping. I would expect the lossless version of the album to be a couple of bucks (at least) cheaper than the physical copy, and I'd be willing to pay that.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Also "loudness war" causes ear fatigue and distortion, the music has no punch because all instruments sound excessively loud, this is an explanation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ

    Almost all new modern albums suffer from loudness world, a classical pathetic examples of this practice are these albums: Metallica - Death Magnetic, RHCP - Californication and many many more..., they sound so loud that you won't stand listening to them for some minutes, and you can't even use much EQ to emphasise because sound would result distorted.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Not to forget all the remasters of classic albums that have been ruined by having all their dynamics squeezed out, Led Zep remasters spring to mind as some of the worst.
     
  18. Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #18
    I probably wouldn't buy lossless from Apple, simply because I don't trust them to do it right. I've had a few issues with stuff from iTunes, but the one that stands out the most is an album where every track was missing the last two seconds of audio. I reported it to Apple and I periodically redownload it from iCloud and see whether it's been fixed, but so far, six years later, it's still broken.

    That seems to indicate that Apple doesn't use the same source as the CD version so any lossless downloads probably wouldn't be identical to the CD anyway.
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Destroysall

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    #19
    I don't buy enough from the iTunes store; having lossless music available for sale would be nice, but I still prefer going to record stores and buying my music. :)

    Destroysall
     
  20. walkie, Aug 12, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013

    macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Absolutely, Remaster = Make the whole thing the loudest, I avoid buying remasters.

    The idea behind selling music online is to offer at least 2 flavours:

    - Cheap: lossy tracks for people who don't care about it.

    - Reasonable price: lossless tracks 24bit/48Khz with dynamic range intact, this way they would offer added value to music, they can even offer more than 2 channels.


    In my opinion all attempts to improve music formats have failed (MiniDisc,SACD etc.),
    because in the end there is no enough content to chose from and some people are not willing to change their 20 year old CD players, the same happens to 3D TV, there's not enough content to encourage people to buy a 3D TV, industry must get rid of physical formats in order to innovate,
    streaming crappy music files should not be the rule, I hope all mucicians sell
    quality stuff directly from their
    websites like some of them are doing nowadays and record companies die...

    Bands no longer need a channel to sell their music anymore having internet, they no longer need to be forced to their evil practices, so record companies make no sense nowadays...
     
  21. Guest

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    #21
    Sorry, the "space" excuse is nonsense - I already buy ALAC music from classical music stores like Hyperion Records - if they can do it, so can Apple with its gigantic server farms.
     
  22. macrumors 68020

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    #22
    This IS the digital music subforum, you know. :)
     
  23. macrumors 603

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    #23
    ....and CD's are digital music.;)
     
  24. macrumors 68020

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    #24
    Ah, my bad.

    You said "record store". I thought that meant you were shopping for vinyl :)
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    Destroysall

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    #25
    It works both ways in my case. I still buy both formats. :)
     

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