May 12, 2010

Mobile Mania and Music Quality - Net Gain!

The New York Times is running an article that discusses how the spread of mobiles as music devices has brought down the quality of the music being reproduced. What the article misses is the service that these devices are doing to artists across the world. 

Consider the dynamics of the previous era of music:
1. Gramophone Disc and Player
2. Audio Cassette and Player - Smallest Size - walkman
3. Compact Disc and Player - Smallest Size does not fit in a pocket.

All the 3 above are oversized, they have limited song carrying capacity but each had reached good sound reproduction quality. Now, consider the mobile phone that fits in your pocket and can carry theoretically hundreds of songs in a small chip. 

Mobile phone is a device that is almost omnipresent. So the number of music fans who can access music has increased manifold. Earlier it was restricted and mobile phone has brought about this change.

It is like that classical question of recent times - who sold most cameras in India? Not a camera manufacturer but a mobile phone manufacturer.

So yes, I am sad for the loss of quality but am happy for the music lovers and for the artists. Especially the artists, who otherwise had a much smaller audience. 

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