At home, Steve Jobs listened to vinyl, not iPods

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by kdarling, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    #1
    Interesting news from Neil Young today:

    He says that Steve Jobs wouldn't listen to his iPod with its digitally compressed files at home, preferring instead to listen to vinyl albums.

    Young claims he and Jobs were working on a "a format that has 20 times the fidelity of files in the most current digital formats, including MP3."

    "Such a format would contain 100% of the data of music as it is created in a studio, as opposed to 5% in compressed formats including Apple's AAC."

    Walt Mossberg noted that Jobs had at times expressed surprise that "people traded quality, to the extent they had, for convenience or price."
     
  2. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    Carolina Beach, NC
    #2
    Cool, but not too surprising. I bet that the Kroc family doesn't eat McDonalds every night.

    What's also cool? Neil Young.

    :)
     
  3. kdarling thread starter macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    #3
    I'd actually love to see Ive design a turntable, and Apple to sell a classy tube amp to go with it.
     
  4. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    Carolina Beach, NC
    #4
    I bet Ive would nail it.

    I don't think Neil's idea will take off. People have already chosen cheap and portable over quality and stationary. I'll experience great sound when I go see a live concert. No type of recording will ever capture those moments.
     
  5. Dweez macrumors 65816

    Dweez

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Location:
    Down by the river
    #5
    If I still had vinyl I'd be listening to it over any other source.
     
  6. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Location:
    Far away from liberals
    #6
    I grew up on vinyl and vacuum tubes. Still own and use both :)
     
  7. jmggs macrumors regular

    jmggs

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #7
    Finally some one that speaks my language. I'm 31 and in remember that in past people used to have an hi-fi system an listen to vinyl and CD. Today people listen to music in crappy pc speaker and ipod headphones. Most people don't have hi-fi system. That's not evolution!
     
  8. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Meh, many people still use Vinyl today. I'm personally a big fan of the CD.
     
  9. KnightWRX, Feb 1, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012

    KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #9
    We already have it with FLAC and Apple Lossless.

    If he listened to vynil, he also traded quality. CD is the absolute best format.
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #10
    I'd love to listen to vinyl, just as long as they make a player that fits into my pocket....
     
  11. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    I have vinyl too, this isn't really surprising.
     
  12. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #12
    FLAC and Apple Lossless only preserve the details from the recording as released on the CD. However, there is a LOT more detail that the engineers hear in the studio at the mixing desk that gets lost during mastering for public release via CD or other means. Most of us would consider the difference very minor, but to a picky artist or audiophile the difference is startlingly clear, and there are more than a handful of artists that would love to release exactly what they created in the studio.

    I will agree with you on your statement about quality loss with vinyl. Let's leave platter speed and surface noise issues aside for a minute. Vinyl discs are mastered with the bass and midrange frequencies attenuated in order to reduce the size of the grooves, thus allowing for more playing time per side. The listener is thus at the mercy of the turntable's EQ circuitry to restore the frequency curve properly during playback.
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    There is definitely a following who prefer vinyl over digital. I understand the idea and I'm not surprised at all by Jobs preferring vinyl over CDs. It does seem to fit his personality, whether that's my perception or is actually true.
     
  14. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #14
    Done.

    I love vinyl. It's become quite a treat for me to just sit back and listen to something while sipping a nice drink. However, I do enjoy the absolute convenience of my iPods.
     
  15. interrobang macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    #15
    I very much doubt that the format Neil and Steve were allegedly "working on" was anything like vinyl. More likely it was something like a downloadable SACD; a high-sampling-rate digital file.

    Note that nobody, not even audio engineers, can reliably tell the difference betewen SACD and regular old CD by listening. It's better, but at such a high level that even skilled humans can't tell.

    As for vinyl, no digital format could ever replace it. It has nothing to do with the accuracy of the reproduced sound. People like vinyl not because it's more accurate than a CD as a format, but because either the mastering of an old release was better on the original vinyl than the re-mastered CD version, or (more often) because they actually enjoy the distortions that are particular to vinyl.
     
  16. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #16
    Only if your source is a CD. FLAC/ALAC are not so limited.

    Which FLAC/ALAC are capable of.

    ----------

    So... ALAC/FLAC.
     
  17. interrobang macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    #17
    Very good, you could achieve higher-than-cd fidelity with FLAC or with ALAC! Or MPEG-4 ALS! Or heck, even AIFF, if you wanted to! Aren't audio formats wonderful?
     
  18. nutritious macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    #18
    Not surprising. The apple ear buds that come with iPods get a lot of criticism, but apple spent a lot of time trying to get them to sound as good as they could. Ear buds usually don't sound very good in comparison to in ear monitors. But apple had to use ear buds to go with their iPods because they needed a solution that would work for everyone's ear. And for an ear-bud, apple's are actually pretty good sounding.
     
  19. steviem macrumors 68020

    steviem

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    New York, Baby!
    #19
    I'm surprised from a clutter perspective. I'd have thought he would have much preferred all of his music in an iPod rather than shelves of records.

    Not so surprised from a sound quality perspective though, Apple always seemed to put the best DSPs they could into iPods. When I had a Samsung Epic 4G and testing headphones, I plugged into my phone, sounded pretty poor, plugged into an iPod Nano on display and it sounded so much better. *

    I think an Apple/Jonny Ive turntable would basically be this seeing as they're heavily influenced by Dieter Rams:
    [​IMG]

    *sorry, just my opinion, not an actual fact...
     
  20. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #20
    It's true that FLAC/ALAC can support higher bitrates and sample sizes than CD, which would make FLAC/ALAC potentially closer to "studio master" quality. However, it cannot handle multitrack streams (at least, not ones that are more than 8 audio channels), and it's still limited to 32 bits per sample. 32-bit audio data at 96KHz can be used by a single instrument track in a high-end studio. Take a lead guitar, bass guitar, multiple-mic'd drums, and the typical number of vocal tracks in a rock song, and you'll run up against that hard limit pretty quickly.

    (Of course, good mixing engineers know how to compensate for this by reducing individual track volumes proportionately, gaining a little bit of headroom to work with. Unfortunately, all that careful work is often lost during mastering, at the behest of the record exec or producer who Must. Have. It. LOUDER.)

    Still, yeah, even FLAC/ALAC at the relatively low-fi 24-bit 48KHz would be a start.
     
  21. Obsydian, Feb 1, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012

    Obsydian macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2012
    #21
    Try listening to some Hi-Definition Music

    It seems a lot of people have not actually listened to the kind of music that Neil Young was referring to - in his interview he talks about 24-bit/192 music as being the top end - very difficult to find affordable audio equipment that can play this - however 24-bit/96 is not only available but if piped into a home theater system that can play blu-ray will allow you to experience the difference between regular iTunes, CD (16-bit/44.1) and what amounts to blu-ray quality music - 24/96 --- to get audio material to try this take a look at HDTracks www.hdtracks.com and a really great website that discusses Hi-def digital audio is Computer Audiophile dot com.

    I definitely recommend you listen to 24/96 Hotel California by the Eagles before you decide that it's not worth it.

    Looking forward to the day that Apple buys HDTracks to jumpstart hi-def audio downloads.

    Thanks
     
  22. doberman211 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Location:
    Canada
    #22
    I don't see a reason at all in today's society why we must trade quality over quantity. If you have the space, like a 160GB classic, then yeah! you can fit thousands of songs in uncompressed formats on it. I have something like 50 albums all apple lossless. The problem is they don't give me the option. If i could buy lossless from iTunes I would. the rest of people who are satisfied with 8,16,32 GB can have that, and use the compressed audio if they feel like it. it's roughly 30MB per song in lossless. on an 8 gig you can still fit 260 songs on it. That's quite a bit, and if you're buying an 8 gig anyway, you're not really looking at having massive amounts of music on it anyway.

    So Apple, give us, who enjoy our quality, the lossless we like, and keep your crappy quality there for cheaper too. Think about it. Advertise how you now have HD sound! all new HD sound! People will buy it.

    If they don't like not having the space, they can compress it if they want to before they sync, like you already offer in iTunes anyway, except you can have more options than the 192kb/s, and still have lossless in the iTunes library should they wish to listen to the lossless at home if they don't have the space on their iDevice.
     
  23. macUser2007 macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    #23
    Since I've discovered MOG, I have pretty much stopped listening to my 200+GB lossless collection.

    MOG streams mostly in 320kbps, which is pretty damned close to CD quality, and it's close enough for me, even on my reasonably good stereo setup. Their catalog has almost anything I can think of. So now I just stream from my iPad to my receiver through AirPlay, and never look back.

    The reality is that most people, and men in particular (who comprise the largest portion of audiophiles), cannot hear high frequencies very well once they pass 25. Moreover, most people don't seem to be able to tell the difference between 16bit and 24bit (SACD) in blind testing, so the real life improvement is debatable.

    SJ most likely preferred vinyl because that's what he grew up with....
     
  24. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #24
    I think most people listen to lesser quality systems no matter what age they lived in.
     
  25. Carl Sagan macrumors 6502a

    Carl Sagan

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Location:
    The Universe
    #25
    People like it due to sentimentality and nostalgia...
     

Share This Page