Too loud, too tinny, not any good. Our fault? No, way. Rusted rockers Metallica are blaming the iPod for ruining their sound, specifically the rattle and hum on latest effort ‘Death Magnetic.’ Fortunately, the WSJ is on the case (love the stipple portrait of Rick Rubin):
“The battle has roots in the era before compact discs. With vinyl records, “it was impossible to make loud past a certain point,” says Bob Ludwig, a veteran mastering engineer. But digital technology made it possible to squeeze all of the sound into a narrow, high-volume range. In addition, music now is often optimized for play on the relatively low-fidelity earbuds for iPods, reducing incentives to offer a broad dynamic range.”
Making Metallica’s clatter barely listenable on an iPod.
For better or worse, iPods have changed the way we listen. The first time I really heard Mick Jagger singing backup on “You’re So Vain” it was on a secondhand first-generation iPod.