One of the most famous musicians of all time, Neil Young, spoke this week with Peter Kafka and Walt Mossberg of AllThingsD about the future of digital music, and how he’d be continuing Steve Jobs legacy in pioneering for it. A device which allows you to download music with the highest possible resolution is what Young aims to create. This device will allow ultra high-fidelity audio downloads, and because of Young’s talks with Jobs on the matter before he died, Young wasted no time invoking his name to spread the word about it.
Being a pioneer of music in the digital realm was what Young hoped to let us all know he’d be carrying on via Jobs spirit. The first and probably largest hurdle for this particular device right out of the box (or before the box exists, rather), is the idea that each song will be taking 30 minutes to download due to its gigantic size. In addition to bringing high-fidelity back to the world of music, as he sees it, Young hopes to do so while he makes legally downloaded music as convenient as possible.
In response to concerns that a much longer download time would lead to inconvenience and therefor a less likely download in the end, Young disagreed, saying:
“While you’re sleeping, your device is working for you.” – Young
In regards to how and why he came to speak of Jobs for this device, he noted that he’d been speaking with Jobs about the project for some time now, but that his death shut down development of the project pretty much completely.
“Steve Jobs was a pioneer of digital music, but when he went home he listened to vinyl. I have to believe if he lived long enough he would have tried to do what I’m trying to do.” – Young
Young spoke also about Piracy and the state of the record company, saying that he liked his own company, but that the industry that exists today might be going away sooner than later.
“I look at Internet as the new radio and radio as gone. Piracy is the new radio; it’s how music gets around. … What I like about record companies is that they present and nurture artists. That doesn’t exist on iTunes, it doesn’t exist on Amazon. That’s what a record company does, and that’s why I like my record company. People look at record companies like they’re obsolete, but there’s a lot of soul in there — a lot of people who care about music, and that’s very important.” – Young
We hope for music’s sake that Young can make something happen in the digital realm other than big business attempting to cut down on piracy. The way to the future is to fight the absolutely free downloads that exist right this minute widely, and if a new device which brings ultra-high-fidelity downloads after 30 minutes a song can do it, so be it!