Musicians Plug Upgrades to Flat-Sounding Digital

'Unacceptable quality compromises' key move to improved downloads, CDs
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Jun 4, 2008 7:23 AM CDT
Audio High owner Michael Silver demonstrates a high-end sound system. Digital music players have replaced bulky stereos in most homes, but the quality of digital tracks is inferior to CDs and vinyl.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Musicians dissatisfied with the sound of digital media are releasing albums as higher-quality downloads, on high-definition DVDs and even on vinyl, USA Today reports. Last year, Amazon and iTunes agreed to boost the quality of their MP3s, but some groups are using even better versions to eliminate what Neil Young calls "unacceptable quality compromises" made for CDs and the like.

Some digital tracks are "not quite as good as CD quality but good for portable" listening, says a co-founder of, a site that offers albums from various jazz, blues, and other artists. Musicians have long criticized CDs for imperfectly reproducing studio sound, and MP3s capture even less. Higher-quality MP3s and other digital formats reverse some of that loss.