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How ‘Digital Media Expert’ Shelly Palmer Gets it Wrong on High-Res Audio

2016 CEDIA Expo keynote speaker and 'King of the CES Tour Guides' Shelly Palmer says we don't need high-resolution audio because most people listen to music on earbuds anyway.

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4 Comments
Posted by Walt_Zerbe on July 2, 2019

Unfortunately, due to traveling this past week, I missed this thread on Linked-In.  Robert (I know your listening), as usual, excellent logic and great post!  I couldn’t agree more with you.  Why not strive to have the best you can have?  One can always reduce the quality or use multiple formats for different use cases.  Another analogy is photography.  We’re seeing insane increases in fidelity on smartphones, dedicated cameras, and specialized devices.  Headphone and IEM technology have also exploded in recent years.  They are striving for ever-increasing fidelity, much beyond that of compressed formats. How about 8k for video, OLED, and AMOLED screens on smartphones that support HDR?  Immersive audio anyone?  That’s on the rise too.  Resolution on all fronts is increasing, not decreasing, and audio is one of them.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on July 2, 2019

Thanks for commenting, Walt. I found Shelly’s long post just bizarre, as if he’d been hacked. Where did that come from ... from a “digital media expert”? I get it if his message was: Look, if you’re not going to listen to your music in a high-fidelity environment, then it’s probably not worth investing in a HRA streaming service, and here’s why .... But he just flat-out dismisses HRA as a concept. Just strange.

Posted by Robert Archer on July 2, 2019

Regardless of whether people can tell the difference between file types and resolutions, consumers should seek out the highest levels of quality whenever possible. With hardware prices becoming more affordable people should listen to high res content, especially when it is delivered through formats like MQA, which doesn’t require a lot of storage.

Posted by Adroit1 on July 6, 2019

I don’t understand people who think that just okay is good enough. My customers wouldn’t want just okay when I do my work. You wouldn’t want the car you drive to have been put together by a car company that is just good enough. It is also a fallacy that MP3 is good enough at all. It is what many have grown to accept, but it is terrible to listen to, except in loud environments, and then it wouldn’t matter because the music is just background noise, which is really the difference. When listening to MP3 you are simply avoiding listening to the world, when you are listening to HRA, you are listening to the music because it is what you want to hear.

4 Comments
Posted by Adroit1 on July 6, 2019

I don’t understand people who think that just okay is good enough. My customers wouldn’t want just okay when I do my work. You wouldn’t want the car you drive to have been put together by a car company that is just good enough. It is also a fallacy that MP3 is good enough at all. It is what many have grown to accept, but it is terrible to listen to, except in loud environments, and then it wouldn’t matter because the music is just background noise, which is really the difference. When listening to MP3 you are simply avoiding listening to the world, when you are listening to HRA, you are listening to the music because it is what you want to hear.

Posted by Robert Archer on July 2, 2019

Regardless of whether people can tell the difference between file types and resolutions, consumers should seek out the highest levels of quality whenever possible. With hardware prices becoming more affordable people should listen to high res content, especially when it is delivered through formats like MQA, which doesn’t require a lot of storage.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on July 2, 2019

Thanks for commenting, Walt. I found Shelly’s long post just bizarre, as if he’d been hacked. Where did that come from ... from a “digital media expert”? I get it if his message was: Look, if you’re not going to listen to your music in a high-fidelity environment, then it’s probably not worth investing in a HRA streaming service, and here’s why .... But he just flat-out dismisses HRA as a concept. Just strange.

Posted by Walt_Zerbe on July 2, 2019

Unfortunately, due to traveling this past week, I missed this thread on Linked-In.  Robert (I know your listening), as usual, excellent logic and great post!  I couldn’t agree more with you.  Why not strive to have the best you can have?  One can always reduce the quality or use multiple formats for different use cases.  Another analogy is photography.  We’re seeing insane increases in fidelity on smartphones, dedicated cameras, and specialized devices.  Headphone and IEM technology have also exploded in recent years.  They are striving for ever-increasing fidelity, much beyond that of compressed formats. How about 8k for video, OLED, and AMOLED screens on smartphones that support HDR?  Immersive audio anyone?  That’s on the rise too.  Resolution on all fronts is increasing, not decreasing, and audio is one of them.