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BBC Blind Test on CD vs iPod

November 15, 2009

When I went out with my family not long ago, after picking up my order of CDs and on our way to the movie theater, my aunt overheard two youngsters’ conversation, “Who nowadays is still buying CDs?” one of them said to the other.

That’s true. the sales of CDs continues to drop, and I wonder when the record companies would stop producing CDs. 😕 Going from LP to CD, we had already missed out some details and the richness in sound quality. Not mention from CD to MP3. Does it also imply our hearing has been degraded? (Possible)

In this BBC’s report, “Is the iPod generation missing out?“, the reporter does a little test on blind listening of these two systems: the new iPod dock and iPod vs the old amplifier and CD player:

The emergence of the iPod dock means that people are increasingly listening to MP3 music at home, instead of old-fashioned CDs.

Ipod docks tend to be smaller and more convenient than CD hi-fis, but can they compete in terms of musicality?

See how the people who were on the test said. Old way still rules.

Here let’s not question whether the test was done properly. That doesn’t mean the old way would win or stay in the battle. It still depends on how picky you’re on the sound quality and how you value on other matters (e.g. convenience). After all, in the previous battle LP already lost it to CD, not because it processes better sound quality but because it is fragile and inconvenience to carry around.

But today, with faster internet connection and larger storage devices, shouldn’t it be the time we move on to lossless format? DG has begun to offer some albums in flac format. I hope there will be more companies to offer the music in flac (well, I prefer flac over ape) and produce the home or portable audio devices that can play them.

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