Neil Young And Steve Jobs Talked About Creating Higher-Quality Digital Audio
February 1, 2012

Neil Young And Steve Jobs Talked About Creating Higher-Quality Digital Audio

Neil Young said on Tuesday that he was working with Steve Jobs on a project that would help bring a higher-quality digital music to consumers.

The rockstar said in an interview with Peter Kafka and Walt Mossberg at the AllThingsD conference that he had been talking with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs about the project.

“Steve Jobs was a pioneer of digital music, but when he went home he listened to vinyl,” Young told Kafka Mossberg at the Media Conference. “I have to believe if he lived long enough he would have tried to do what I´m trying to do.”

Young is working on a device that downloads each song at the higher possible resolution, taking about 30 minutes to complete each download.

“I look at Internet as the new radio and radio as gone,” Young said. “Piracy is the new radio; it´s how music gets around."

He said he and Jobs were working on a new device to follow-up the iPod to listen to the high-resolution audio on.

Young told the conference that he and Jobs met to work on new hardware that could store the large music files Young prefers.  However, since Jobs died in October, Young said there is "not much going on."

The 66-year-old rockstar said an audience only gets about 5 percent of the information contained on master recordings.

"What everybody gets [on an MP3] is 5% of what we originally make in the studio," he said. "We live in the digital age, and unfortunately it's degrading our music, not improving."

Apple does currently support a lossless audio format called ALAC, which offers audio compression without any loss in audio information.  ALAC is said to compress files only by "about half" as compared to the originals.

The ALAC format is supported by all of Apple's iPods and iOS devices, but these files take up considerably more space than standard AAC or MP3 files, and are not sold on the iTunes store.


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