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Surprise: Neil Young still hates digital music

‘Piracy is the new radio'

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Neil Young, who a few years back famously described Apple as the “Fisher-Price” of sound quality, is giving his “I hate digital music” can another kick, claiming that even the late Steve Jobs listened to vinyl rather than his own company’s inventions.

Speaking to Peter Kafka and Walt Mossberg at the “Dive Into Media” conference*, Young said that while Steve Jobs was a pioneer of digital music distribution, “when he went home, he listened to vinyl”.

Young’s going to save the world from over-compressed sound, however: as long as you don’t mind a 30 minute download, he says, the device he’s wants to work on will obtain music at the “highest possible” resolution.

While decrying the digital world for reducing the quality of music, the ageing legend added his voice to the list of musicians with something nice to say about piracy: “Piracy is the new radio; it’s how music gets around”, he told the conference.

Where that leaves record labels, Young doesn’t know, but he stated a hope that they could “hang around” to “keep encouraging artists to grow. That doesn’t exist on iTunes. That doesn’t exist on Amazon.”

With nobody currently pursuing higher-quality digital audio downloads, Young told the audience he hopes some “rich guy” will pick up the ball. “My goal is to try to rescue the art form that I’ve been practicing for the past 50 years.”

The full interview can be viewed here. ®

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