The Quiet Revolution

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In the September issue of TAS (The Absolute Sound) magazine, Robert Harley touches on what I like to call the Quiet Revolution: moving the high-end to networked audio.

In his travels to France he was surprised to find that everywhere he went, not a single CD transport was to be seen. Instead, streaming audio servers were the norm. What’s interesting is that these weren’t streaming audio companies trying to impress the editor of the magazine with their new wares – these were speaker manufacturers showing off the sound of their speakers.

When an important reviewer shows up at your door, you put your best sonic foot forward. Fascinating they put their network audio foot right up in front.

I am reminded this is the fifth revolution I have personally witnessed (of those that mattered):

  1. Mono to stereo
  2. Tubes to transistors
  3. Vinyl to CD
  4. CD to hard drive
  5. Everything available over the network anywhere you are

The first three revolutions were widely publicized within our community.

Each went through the three steps of acceptance: ridicule, opposition, then embraced with much fanfare.

We’re right in the middle of the fourth and fifth revolutions but without much fanfare.

Why so quiet?

Tomorrow: the tiniest details