Kids These Days Don't Know from Quality

A professor of music at Stanford tests his incoming students each year to determine how we become attuned to what we like:

He has them listen to a variety of recordings which use different formats from MP3 to ones of much higher quality. He described the results with some disappointment and frustration, as a music lover might, that each year the preference for music in MP3 format rises. In other words, students prefer the quality of that kind of sound over the sound of music of much higher quality. He said that they seemed to prefer “sizzle sounds” that MP3s bring to music. It is a sound they are familiar with.

So there we go. High fidelity is doomed. Have fun, kids, in your lossy, over-compressed future. I’ll be in my basement with Steve Buscemi‘s character from Ghost World. Or maybe not.


I hate my interests. You think it’s healthy to obsessively collect things? You can’t relate to other people, so you fill your life with stuff… I’m just like all these other collector losers.

2 thoughts on “Kids These Days Don't Know from Quality”

  1. Fogeyism indeed (not you, Jake, the Professor).

    Yes, you could explain explicitly why mp3’s are lower sound quality than CD or vinyl, but does it matter? The preference is totally subjective, so who cares if some kids prefer it over other media?

    Geez, you think mp3 sound quality is any worse than the shoeboxes of old,worn-out, copies-made-of-copies of cassettes I used to rely on?

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