Neil Young and streaming

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Lawrence Schenbeck, author of two books on music, and our columnist on classical music, is exploring streaming services in his column this month. Aside from a great article, worth reading, I am reminded of something that got under my skin recently; Neil Young and his comments on streaming. I like Young's music, but am uncomfortable when he makes over-reaching statements.
"AM radio kicked streaming's ass. Analog cassettes and 8 tracks also kicked streaming's ass, and absolutely rocked compared to streaming,"
I applaud Mr. Young for standing up to bad sound, but when's the last time he compared a high resolution audio stream to an 8-track or AM radio? Aside from being innacurate, doesn't that send an erroneous all-encompassing message about the state of the art in streaming? Yes, Pandora and Spotify aren't the best, but it's all relative. Compare the sound of anything over those two services to what's streamed on XM radio. Now there's a real travesty of quality. The drek XM radio puts out is unlistenable: compressed, overworked, strained, as if squeezed through a meat grinder. But the others? I don't think so. And what of streaming services like that of Naxos? And Tidal? When Young makes blanket statements that streaming sucks he harms the very industry he purports to support. His Pono player is a high resolution portable DAC and storage medium. Hopefully he's not just dissing all streaming services to build support for his product. I'd like to think better of him. Perhaps he could be a little more specific, like my comments on XM radio? It would help.
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Paul McGowan

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