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High Fidelity For The Future

11/03/2008 12:32:00 PM Eastern

New York — D&M Holdings joined music industry professionals and audio journalists to spread the word about high-performance audio to the MP3 generation here at the recent College Music Journal Music Marathon.






D&M VP Jeff Cowan demonstrated the sonic advantages of high-quality music

The marathon is an annual five-day consumer event that features panel discussions, a film festival and hundreds of artists performing in different locations in Manhattan. During this year’s event, D&M training development VP Jeff Cowan played back an MP3 music file through an iPod speaker system and then through a Marantz integrated amplifier. That was followed by a demo of CD and LP playback to “reinforce how premium audio products enhance the listening experience and allows the listeners to experience music the way the artist and producer intended for it to sound,” a spokesman said. D&M’s Snell- and Boston Acoustics-brand speakers were also used in the demos.

Panelists noted that almost 80 percent of the music is lost when music is compressed into an MP3 file and that, when given the opportunity to hear different formats, the MP3 generation does care about “what they've been missing,” the spokesman added. The panelists agreed that educating today’s youth, who are focused on music portability, about high-performance audio equipment is crucial to the home audio industry’s future.

Panelists also spoke about the higher-resolution digital music formats available as a high-quality alternative to MP3. One of the panelists, music industry executive David Chesky, spoke about HDTracks.com, his newly launched download service offering music in high-quality digital formats, including better-than-CD-quality 96kHz/24-bit stereo in the losslessly compressed FLAC format. The site also offers CD-quality tracks in the FLAC format and in the uncompressed-PCM-based AIFF format. Songs are also available in the lossy 320Kbps MP3 format.

The seminar’s title was “As Gen X Becomes Gen MP3, What’s the Future for Hi-Fi?” Other panelists included Stereophile reviewer Michael Fremer, Sony Entertainment senior VP Steve Berkowitz, mastering engineer and New York University professor Jim Anderson, and CNET editor Steve Guttenberg.

Each year, the CMJ festival attracts more than 100,000 musicians, fans, filmmakers and industry professionals. Past panelists have included David Bowie, Robert Christgau, Mark Cuban, Brian Wilson and Yoko Ono.