Tapers: A Rant

I do not understand tapers that get upset about people using mp3. So rare is it that the final file format is the limiting factor that it’s just a non-issue for most of us. How often is a recording made by a microphone on a stick 20 rows back in a windswept acoustic nightmare of a concrete bowl going to be further compromised by file format? Does the resolution of the recording impair your enjoyment more than the comments of the people around you, the noise of them opening beers, standing up to get past, singing along…

Even in the best case scenario of a great desk mix with audience mics, I’d be surprise by someone who could tell the difference between FLAC and mp3 encodings of it.

All this for recordings you’re probably going to listen to on standard-issue iPod earbuds on the Tube.

PS.  I’m sure there are people out there who love to collect high-quality recordings of their favourite band and then sit in front of highly accurate, expensive hi-fis and listen to them, and these are the people for whom this sort of thing makes an actual, measurable difference.  To them I would simply say step outside, walk/drive/catch a train to your nearest pub/club/venue and stand in front of an actual band.

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