Thursday, April 16, 2015

Steve Albini isn't impressed with Tidal

It's not just a damning-but-amusing comparison with another celeb-led endeavour from Steve Albini [via NME]:

Now, the Shellac and Big Black member has spoken to Vulture, raising doubts over the platform and calling it a "budget version of Pono", Neil Young's high-definition music player
Albini also shows his working:
"Historically, every time there’s been a new technological progression, there’s been a new convenience format [for listening to music]," Albini is quoted as saying. "So the question is, is it possible for something to be more convenient than streaming? And the answer is obviously yes. If you want your music to play at the push of a button, convenience is going to trump sound quality 100 percent of the time."

"It's for the same reason that if you had a screen that displayed paintings in your living room, very few serious art enthusiasts would care for such a screen despite the fact that it might show you very high-resolution images of artworks. They want to own a piece of art that is a direct connection to the person who made it. Having an HD screen in your house that would display artwork might have a market, but it’s not the same market as people who are interested in owning art."
Actually, he might have wanted to go with the idea that most people are quite happy to stick up a poster with a Matisse printed onto it, even though that might not be the real thing. But aside from a poorly worked through metaphor, his basic point (that there's no mass market for paying through the nose for a product where there's a perfectly good-enough, cheaper, free version) is sound.

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