So much for the “Field of Dreams” concept. In the past, if you built quality, the users will respect that quality and admire you for it. These days, they’ll take your finely crafted work and jam it into an undersized, under-performing tin box.
Lou Reed’s views on modern music reproduction technologies, expressed during the keynote address at this month’s South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin Texas, were widely reported.
Here’s what Lou Reed was heard to say (apologies for the long quote): "If you want to record music that really sounds good you have a problem."
"The problem boils down to having the money to afford the best equipment. If you want to buy and listen to music that sounds really good you also have a similar problem - finding the receivers and speakers that can deliver really good sound.
"If you have a computer and you just want to make facsimiles of songs, you have no problem."
Reed specifically homed in on the iPod. "It shows you films on a screen the size of a postage stamp and reduces a song to the size of a pin drop," he said.
"Technology is taking us backward. It is making it easier to make things worse. If no one knows any better or doesn't care, it's gonna stay on a really, really low level, and people who like good sound are gonna be thought of as some kind of strange zoo animal."
Allow us to see Lou Reed as someone who knows what he’s talking about. Being the primary instigator behind Velvet Underground and having an exemplary solo career, he is the developer of a whole genre of music (which he refers to as ‘city-pure’ in the interview).