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Author Topic: Are The Beach Boys letting their fans down with digital only archival releases  (Read 3061 times)
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« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2020, 07:20:54 PM »

I like mp3s.
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« Reply #51 on: January 29, 2020, 07:52:19 AM »

I looked this up for a little while, I came across an audiophile forum post from 6 years ago that talked about 24 bit audio:

ďAll CDs are 16-bit / 44.1 kHz. They are not "capable of handling" 24/96. SACDs are not standard CDs, and instead are encoded with DSD on the SACD layer...but if the same master is used, they still sound the same. If a CD has ever been released with 24/96, then it is a data disc containing actual 24/96 digital files instead of a standard optical compact disc that does not contain digital files on it.Ē

I donít know if any of this information is correct, but it sounds logical that an optical compact disc would not be able to handle the amount of information of 24 bit audio unless it was converted to digital. Thus I wonder: why would the ones and zeros on a compact disc sound any different than the ones and zeros on a hard drive? When used digitally, a compact disc is merely a miniature hard drive. They are both being translated from digital form to audio through your speakers.

Iím not even a huge connoisseur of high-rez audio, but this is all kind of overcomplicating the CD vs. high-rez issue.

A standard CD is 16-bit/44.1. Thatís the maximum resolution that a standard CD can contain. This same resolution (and its equivalents) can also be sold as digital downloads. This is what we would generally call ďlosslessĒ quality.

Beyond that, there are high-rez (high resolution) options, available both on physical media and as downloads. SACDs (and, when they were available, DVD-Audio discs) contain high-rez audio, higher rez than the 16/44.1 standard. An SACD can either *only* have an SACD layer, or it can be a hybrid with a ďstandardĒ CD layer and an SACD layer.

Various high rez options can then also be sold as digital downloads.

You of course need certain types of equipment to properly hear high-rez files. 

Then, in the ďlossyĒ, sub-CD-resolution category, you have MP3 or iTunes digital downloads (which sound at this stage pretty good usually), and then streaming. (There may be avenues to stream high-rez; but I think high-rez is already so niche that those inclined to listen that way would prefer non-streaming options that would be compressed).

Itís mostly as simple as that. Yes, there debates about the limits to human hearing and how many people can hear a difference at various higher resolutions. There are also sometimes allegations that unscrupulous companies might take literally a standard CD and then just encode it as a high-rez file.

But for instance, when the same team is releasing, day-and-date, something like recent Beach Boys releases, we can be as certain as is humanly possible that high-rez releases are sourced and mastered correctly.

For Beach Boys releases, there arenít a ton of choices one has to make. If you donít need high-rez, then when a release comes out on CD, that solves the decision problem right there. If itís a ďdigital onlyĒ release, you can either stream, or download MP3s (or iTunes format, etc.), or download a ďlosslessĒ version that is CD quality, or download a high-rez version.

Once you have your legit digital download, there are then countless options for how to get that back onto physical media if thatís your choice.

Other than the truly muddy, iffy area of modern vinyl releases, this covers most scenarios.


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« Reply #52 on: January 29, 2020, 08:00:07 AM »

No way is music going to sound better coming out of the tiny little speakers on my laptop or smart phone. And I don't want my computer or phone being bogged down having hundreds of music files in it. I've got enough other stuff on it already - photos, resumes, applications, etc.
I like a physical music collection that I can see. I'm a very visually oriented person, and in the past, I have been swayed to buy this album over that album partly because one album had a more appealing cover. Some of that was lost when we went to cd, but the bonus was we started getting reissues with very detailed liner notes.
i'm not trying to talk anyone out of downloading or streaming (although with streaming, there's the chance that a song or album may be removed from your favorite site someday); if you absolutely have to hear every studio utterance of Brian, Dennis, Mike, etc, then go for it. Myself, I am much more selective. The Beach Boys aren't the only artists I collect. I am also a die hard fan of Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Rick Nelson, the Kinks, Chuck Berry, the Lovin' Spoonful, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Little Richard, the Everly Brothers, Fats Domino, Carl Perkins, the Monkees, Phil Ochs, America, Bread, Cheap Trick, Squeeze....I never have time to listen to all the music I want to hear, and that will be even moreso if I make it my goal to collect every cough, hiccup, and cuss word ever uttered by these artists in the studio and onstage.


If what you want to listen to is covered by physical CD releases, then you're set. If there are items you want that are download-only, then you gotta download (or stream). It's pretty simple.

I'd say you don't have to be like the hardest of hardcore Beach Boys fans/scholars to find some download-only tracks pretty indispensable. So yeah, I'm guessing if you refuse to download anything, you're almost certainly missing out on substantive, key Beach Boys material that you'd absolutely enjoy. It's not extraneous studio chatter and whatnot.

The original post in this thread seemed to imply that someone *wanted* to hear all the takes/coughs/hiccups, and that's where the rub is. That often requires engaging in buying/downloading/streaming non-physical music product. Further, those that want to see an opening of the floodgates as far as Beach Boys archive material *absolutely* have to be open to and support digital-only releases. It's the *only* way it's going to happen.

I think we have a shot at some select future physical releases for more prestige presentations. But if they ever open up the archives and put out like a dozen shows from 1971-1973, it's digital downloads or nothing at all.
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« Reply #53 on: January 29, 2020, 04:08:32 PM »

No way is music going to sound better coming out of the tiny little speakers on my laptop or smart phone. And I don't want my computer or phone being bogged down having hundreds of music files in it. I've got enough other stuff on it already - photos, resumes, applications, etc.
I like a physical music collection that I can see. I'm a very visually oriented person, and in the past, I have been swayed to buy this album over that album partly because one album had a more appealing cover. Some of that was lost when we went to cd, but the bonus was we started getting reissues with very detailed liner notes.
i'm not trying to talk anyone out of downloading or streaming (although with streaming, there's the chance that a song or album may be removed from your favorite site someday); if you absolutely have to hear every studio utterance of Brian, Dennis, Mike, etc, then go for it. Myself, I am much more selective. The Beach Boys aren't the only artists I collect. I am also a die hard fan of Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Rick Nelson, the Kinks, Chuck Berry, the Lovin' Spoonful, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Little Richard, the Everly Brothers, Fats Domino, Carl Perkins, the Monkees, Phil Ochs, America, Bread, Cheap Trick, Squeeze....I never have time to listen to all the music I want to hear, and that will be even moreso if I make it my goal to collect every cough, hiccup, and cuss word ever uttered by these artists in the studio and onstage.

Um... you donít have to use the built in speakers
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« Reply #54 on: February 03, 2020, 07:28:31 AM »

As convenient as digital and streaming music is, to this day the audio quality is still less than that of a CD what with compression still in play (at least if you're using iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, etc.).   Which is why I welcome physical releases since I can rip them to my still-functional iPod Classic at lossless quality.  Alternatively at least these releases can also be purchased at HDTracks.com at 24-bit lossless quality if you're willing to pay for it.  It's kind of sad to see the slow death of the compact disc but it's totally understandable.  At least vinyl is still popular.  Although I'm at a loss at how audio cassette's are making a comeback... Shrug
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« Reply #55 on: February 03, 2020, 11:15:29 AM »

As convenient as digital and streaming music is, to this day the audio quality is still less than that of a CD what with compression still in play (at least if you're using iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, etc.).   Which is why I welcome physical releases since I can rip them to my still-functional iPod Classic at lossless quality.  Alternatively at least these releases can also be purchased at HDTracks.com at 24-bit lossless quality if you're willing to pay for it.  It's kind of sad to see the slow death of the compact disc but it's totally understandable.  At least vinyl is still popular.  Although I'm at a loss at how audio cassette's are making a comeback... Shrug
Vinyl is for quality, cassettes are for nostalgia
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« Reply #56 on: February 03, 2020, 12:03:11 PM »

As convenient as digital and streaming music is, to this day the audio quality is still less than that of a CD what with compression still in play (at least if you're using iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, etc.).   Which is why I welcome physical releases since I can rip them to my still-functional iPod Classic at lossless quality.  Alternatively at least these releases can also be purchased at HDTracks.com at 24-bit lossless quality if you're willing to pay for it.  It's kind of sad to see the slow death of the compact disc but it's totally understandable.  At least vinyl is still popular.  Although I'm at a loss at how audio cassette's are making a comeback... Shrug
Vinyl is for quality, cassettes are for nostalgia

And, a lot of vinyl sounds bad too. Some of it is mastered straight from 16/44.1 CD masters, and even when the vinyl is high quality and mastered well, a budget system will not reap the benefits of it.

The proliferation of vinyl in the last several years is mostly due to trend, not due to higher quality. If people were seeking out higher quality and not something trendy, they'd be downloading high-rez tracks instead of buying overpriced vinyl at Barnes & Noble.

Vinyl's cool; I've got nothing against it and own plenty of it. But high-rez easily has it beat, and I'll take a nicely-mastered redbook CD over vinyl at this stage.
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« Reply #57 on: February 03, 2020, 01:41:30 PM »

As convenient as digital and streaming music is, to this day the audio quality is still less than that of a CD what with compression still in play (at least if you're using iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, etc.).   Which is why I welcome physical releases since I can rip them to my still-functional iPod Classic at lossless quality.  Alternatively at least these releases can also be purchased at HDTracks.com at 24-bit lossless quality if you're willing to pay for it.  It's kind of sad to see the slow death of the compact disc but it's totally understandable.  At least vinyl is still popular.  Although I'm at a loss at how audio cassette's are making a comeback... Shrug
Vinyl is for quality, cassettes are for nostalgia

And, a lot of vinyl sounds bad too. Some of it is mastered straight from 16/44.1 CD masters, and even when the vinyl is high quality and mastered well, a budget system will not reap the benefits of it.

The proliferation of vinyl in the last several years is mostly due to trend, not due to higher quality. If people were seeking out higher quality and not something trendy, they'd be downloading high-rez tracks instead of buying overpriced vinyl at Barnes & Noble.

Vinyl's cool; I've got nothing against it and own plenty of it. But high-rez easily has it beat, and I'll take a nicely-mastered redbook CD over vinyl at this stage.

I agree that high-res digital audio overall is going to sonically be superior.  That said I think there is a type of warmth that vinyl possesses which gives it its uniqueness. 
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« Reply #58 on: February 04, 2020, 11:41:07 PM »

As convenient as digital and streaming music is, to this day the audio quality is still less than that of a CD what with compression still in play (at least if you're using iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, etc.).   Which is why I welcome physical releases since I can rip them to my still-functional iPod Classic at lossless quality.  Alternatively at least these releases can also be purchased at HDTracks.com at 24-bit lossless quality if you're willing to pay for it.  It's kind of sad to see the slow death of the compact disc but it's totally understandable.  At least vinyl is still popular.  Although I'm at a loss at how audio cassette's are making a comeback... Shrug
Vinyl is for quality, cassettes are for nostalgia

And, a lot of vinyl sounds bad too. Some of it is mastered straight from 16/44.1 CD masters, and even when the vinyl is high quality and mastered well, a budget system will not reap the benefits of it.

The proliferation of vinyl in the last several years is mostly due to trend, not due to higher quality. If people were seeking out higher quality and not something trendy, they'd be downloading high-rez tracks instead of buying overpriced vinyl at Barnes & Noble.

Vinyl's cool; I've got nothing against it and own plenty of it. But high-rez easily has it beat, and I'll take a nicely-mastered redbook CD over vinyl at this stage.

I agree that high-res digital audio overall is going to sonically be superior.  That said I think there is a type of warmth that vinyl possesses which gives it its uniqueness. 
And with any kind of downloads, you don't get the packaging that comes with a vinyl album.
I might be swayed a little towards the whole downloading thing if they created online artwork, session notes, etc, to go with these digital only releases. Then I could just print it out and add it to my cdr.
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« Reply #59 on: February 07, 2020, 11:57:18 AM »

As convenient as digital and streaming music is, to this day the audio quality is still less than that of a CD what with compression still in play (at least if you're using iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, etc.).   Which is why I welcome physical releases since I can rip them to my still-functional iPod Classic at lossless quality.  Alternatively at least these releases can also be purchased at HDTracks.com at 24-bit lossless quality if you're willing to pay for it.  It's kind of sad to see the slow death of the compact disc but it's totally understandable.  At least vinyl is still popular.  Although I'm at a loss at how audio cassette's are making a comeback... Shrug
Vinyl is for quality, cassettes are for nostalgia

And, a lot of vinyl sounds bad too. Some of it is mastered straight from 16/44.1 CD masters, and even when the vinyl is high quality and mastered well, a budget system will not reap the benefits of it.

The proliferation of vinyl in the last several years is mostly due to trend, not due to higher quality. If people were seeking out higher quality and not something trendy, they'd be downloading high-rez tracks instead of buying overpriced vinyl at Barnes & Noble.

Vinyl's cool; I've got nothing against it and own plenty of it. But high-rez easily has it beat, and I'll take a nicely-mastered redbook CD over vinyl at this stage.

Agreed on vinyl. The Billie Eilish album is a great example of an album sounding better on cd or even mp3 than vinyl thanks to some truly asstastic mastering to the point where it literally skips at some points. You canít master the same way as you would for the cd format. Canít blame the artist either...it was thrown together by the label. Not the only instance by far of course just one where I have firsthand knowledge
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« Reply #60 on: February 08, 2020, 08:05:46 AM »

As convenient as digital and streaming music is, to this day the audio quality is still less than that of a CD what with compression still in play (at least if you're using iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, etc.).   Which is why I welcome physical releases since I can rip them to my still-functional iPod Classic at lossless quality.  Alternatively at least these releases can also be purchased at HDTracks.com at 24-bit lossless quality if you're willing to pay for it.  It's kind of sad to see the slow death of the compact disc but it's totally understandable.  At least vinyl is still popular.  Although I'm at a loss at how audio cassette's are making a comeback... Shrug
Vinyl is for quality, cassettes are for nostalgia

And, a lot of vinyl sounds bad too. Some of it is mastered straight from 16/44.1 CD masters, and even when the vinyl is high quality and mastered well, a budget system will not reap the benefits of it.

The proliferation of vinyl in the last several years is mostly due to trend, not due to higher quality. If people were seeking out higher quality and not something trendy, they'd be downloading high-rez tracks instead of buying overpriced vinyl at Barnes & Noble.

Vinyl's cool; I've got nothing against it and own plenty of it. But high-rez easily has it beat, and I'll take a nicely-mastered redbook CD over vinyl at this stage.

Agreed on vinyl. The Billie Eilish album is a great example of an album sounding better on cd or even mp3 than vinyl thanks to some truly asstastic mastering to the point where it literally skips at some points. You canít master the same way as you would for the cd format. Canít blame the artist either...it was thrown together by the label. Not the only instance by far of course just one where I have firsthand knowledge
That might also be because, as Billie Eilish has said in the past, her music isnít recorded very professionally. Most of it is recorded in her bedroom. So thereís probably not a lot of choices when it comes to mixing and mastering.
Also, her music is very bass heavy, and itís usually noted that Vinyl isnít the best at bass
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