Hi-Res Audio Update Brings Big Streaming News

The Hi-Res Audio Initiative just announced two exciting items at their Update press conference. The first was the new “Stream The Studio” awareness campaign. Second was the announcement that Napster will be streaming Hi-Res audio by this spring. In addition, Pandora and HD Tracks will be involved in Hi-Res streaming, along with Tidal.

The press conference brought together music industry executives, producers and engineers, all who are highly passionate about making Hi-Res Audio a mainstream product. In fact, the sentiment of Craig Kallman, co-chairman and CEO of Atlantic Records summed it up quite succinctly by stating that when the CD was released, it was the sonic downgrade of vinyl; where vinyl was euphoric and musical, the CD was cold, brittle, harsh and shrill, and was the death of vinyl. After 30 years of downgrading our format, Hi-Res Audio is finally bringing it back.

Others expressed a similar sentiment. Audio has been getting worse over the years while video has progressed from SD to HD, from 4K to 8K. Perhaps the most telling comment came from the security guard checking name badges at the door. “So is Hi-Res for audio the same as 4K for video?”

Most people realize that for Hi-Res Audio to become widely accepted, it needs to be available in the same convenient package as standard audio. Streaming can attract over 12 million subscribers, and the industry is convinced that once people hear Hi-Res Audio, they will insist on it throughout their listening repertoire.

The industry is hopeful for the future. About 90% of consumers surveyed said that sound quality is the most important factor when purchasing music. As more and more streaming services make it easily available, Hi-Res Audio stands a chance for becoming the industry standard.

thehun's picture

crap! And wonder why the public rejects these things time after time.Anyone who understand the Nyquist theorem knows that increasing sampling rates or bit depths won't increase "resolution" it simply increase the file size nothing more.Yes in theory the noise floor and dynamic range improves, but there is no recordings out there that can take advantage of the 16/44.1 noise and dynamic range let alone above that. CD was never the weakest link. What we need is the end of the loudness wars, and competent recording producers/engineers.