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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer Neil Young's full back catalog has returned to Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, and elsewhere, less than two years after he pulled his collection from all streaming services due to his belief that streaming delivers the "worst quality in history," according to Music Ally.

neil-young-itunes.jpg
Young stopped streaming his songs in July 2015, and at the time said "it's not because of the money" but rather "about sound quality" in a Facebook post.
Streaming has ended for me. I hope this is ok for my fans.

It's not because of the money, although my share (like all the other artists) was dramatically reduced by bad deals made without my consent.

It's about sound quality. I don't need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution. I don't feel right allowing this to be sold to my fans. It's bad for my music.

For me, it's about making and distributing music people can really hear and feel. I stand for that.

When the quality is back, I'll give it another look. Never say never.
Young's catalog first returned to streaming service Tidal's high-fidelity CD quality tier in April, although his songs were also made available through its standard tier with a max quality of 320 kbps. Apple Music has a max quality of 256kbps. Both services use the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) encoding format.

Young himself launched Pono, a music download service with high-resolution audio, in early 2015. The digital music service delivers high-resolution 24-bit 192 kHz audio. However, the store has been temporarily offline since July after its primary cloud-based infrastructure partner Omnifone was acquired.

Young has yet to provide a reason behind his decision to bring his catalog back to additional streaming services.

Article Link: Neil Young's Catalog Returns to Apple Music After He Said Streaming Has 'Worst Quality in History'
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,288
"Worst quality in history"?! Talk about hyperbole/short memory.

Back when I was a whippersnapper, we had to piece together an album using Limewire. Providing you didn't download Tupac.exe and brick your computer, you'd be lucky to find anything that wasn't in wma format.

Aaah... those were the days.
 

Mac Fly (film)

macrumors 68000
Feb 12, 2006
1,709
4,765
Ireland
It sounds like this Neil Young fella isn't too bright...

Lame emphasis. In all seriousness though Young is one of the great folk/rock artists of all time. Soft of his albums are amazing. I particularly like his less well known stuff. Huge varied catalogue of greatness. Comes a Time. Greendale. Trans. Old Ways. Unplugged. Impeccable albums.
 
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kingtj

macrumors 68030
Oct 23, 2003
2,606
747
Brunswick, MD
I'm glad someone mentioned that Pono music player he backed, because iMO, that's really the only reason he went on the "no streaming" crusade. He had to put his money where his mouth was, if he wanted people to really believe there was enough value in his player to spend what it cost.

Personally? I'm no Neil Young fan but he wrote a few songs that have found enough popularity so other artists enjoy remaking them, and his lyrics said something of meaning to quite a few of his listeners.

I'd say you must have an odd set of standards of what's "good" if you proclaim he never did anything "remotely good" in either his singing or his guitar playing style? (If *nothing* else, you can at least give him credit for causing Lynyrd Skynrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" to be written.)


Perfect for his music then. ;-)

Completely subjective, of course, but I don't understand why he is so popular amongst musicians and especially guitarists. I have yet to hear anything remotely "good" in his singing or playing.
 

Supacon

macrumors member
Jul 7, 2011
90
175
Canada
Any scientific blind ABX testing of supposed "ultra high fidelity" music, such as that sold by Neil Young's Pono outfit showed that people could not tell the difference between good quality sources like normal CD-Audio or modern iTunes downloads. And yes, even supposed audiophiles with "golden ears".

The only reason Neil Young pulled his music from streaming services was to force his fans to pay a premium to download oversized ultra-high bitrate music from Pono at exorbitant prices. Everyone saw right away that it was snake oil and it failed.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,615
13,065
Europe
"Worst quality in history"?! Talk about hyperbole/short memory.

Back when I was a whippersnapper, we had to piece together an album using Limewire. Providing you didn't download Tupac.exe and brick your computer, you'd be lucky to find anything that wasn't in wma format.

Aaah... those were the days.

Or... AM radio had awful sound quality. FM radio is also pretty bad. Tapes had terrible sound quality. CDs, although they had great sound quality, were so fragile that skipping from scratches ruined the sound quality sometimes.

Spotify isn't great, but I'll take Spotify quality over radio or tape any day.
 

Nozuka

macrumors 68040
Jul 3, 2012
3,008
4,664
Any scientific blind ABX testing of supposed "ultra high fidelity" music, such as that sold by Neil Young's Pono outfit showed that people could not tell the difference between good quality sources like normal CD-Audio or modern iTunes downloads. And yes, even supposed audiophiles with "golden ears".

The only reason Neil Young pulled his music from streaming services was to force his fans to pay a premium to download oversized ultra-high bitrate music from Pono at exorbitant prices. Everyone saw right away that it was snake oil and it failed.

Actually many people can tell the difference. They just don't know which is the better one. ;)
 

simonmet

Cancelled
Sep 9, 2012
2,666
3,659
Sydney
His Pono mumbo jumbo didn't work for him?
I gues there isn't as many audiofools as I thought there were.

There are. But it had an awkward design and specs that were quickly superseded.

These days the trend is toward dedicated portable DACs and away from Digital Audio Players (DAPs). This is because everyone is carrying a phone with storage anyway so there's little need to duplicate the screen and storage capabilities of a phone in the DAP.

Edit: I read "audiofools" as "audiophiles". Can't tell which was intended.
 
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