In some odd way, Neil Young’s 1972 song “The Needle and the Damage Done” could’ve been predicting the audio mastering frustrations and debates of the past few years.
Guys like Young miss the crisp, full range of a needle on vinyl — and the damage, the way he sees it, is coming from the inferior sound of MP3s.
That’s why he’s working on a new audio format of his own to find something that’ll sound closer to vinyl, Rolling Stone reports.
Young applied for six trademarks last June, the magazine says: Ivanhoe, 21st Century Record Player, Earth Storage, Storage Shed, Thanks for Listening and SQS (Studio Quality Sound).
The trademarks seem to be part of a project called Pono, which Blue Rider Press — the publisher of Young’s upcoming memoir — mentioned in a news release issued last fall:
“Young is also personally spearheading the development of Pono, a revolutionary new audio music system presenting the highest digital resolution possible, the studio quality sound that artists and producers heard when they created their original recordings,” the release said. “Young wants consumers to be able to take full advantage of Pono’s cloud-based libraries of recordings by their favorite artists and, with Pono, enjoy a convenient music listening experience that is superior in sound quality to anything ever presented.”
Young, long known for his attention to audio details, spoke with Apple’s Steve Jobs just before his death last fall about developing an iPod-like device that could store about 30 vinyl-quality albums, Rolling Stone says.
So who knows?
If Young’s efforts pay off, though, we’ll be among the first to say “Hey, hey, my, my …”
If quality’s that important to you, contact us.