"For music fans, current times would seem to be wonderful, with all sorts of music free off the net. But vast majority of downloadable music is mp3's, a format expressly designed to compress music into short-form. & many (or most) mp3's are ripped from compact disks, themselves an abbreviated form of superior fidelity LP vinyl recordings. Anyway, back in the 70's & 80's high-quality sound systems were popular. Now folks seem to have lost their taste for good sound--they're happy to listen to their own mp3 tunes thru earphones. Computers remain pretty incompetent at reproducing quality sound...most of the pricey soundcards are aimed at gamers & computer stores have cut way back on 5/1 quality speakers. One has the choice of cheapo sound systems or else $700 systems that can't even replicate previous levels of quality. Fake progress at work."
This particular gentleman is focusing on technical issues in the main...But we can take it even further...
I'll tell you what they've done to music, and I won't talk in purely technical terms, i.e. audio quality etc...They have REPLACED musicians and artists in a sense, and they have destroyed the sensitivity of the listeners...Take 'rap music' for instance: this is merely a 'cut & paste' form, with 'sound samples' pasted into digital programming software, a computerized beat, again available in various software packages, added, and then a 'rapper', who is nothing but a talentless knucklehead with a big mouth & ego, spouting some nonsense garbage/verbiage on top of all this...It is not music...Why do I say this?...Because a real musical creation involves an outpouring of the human spirit, sometimes inspired by the Creator, that is meant to uplift or relieve the spirit of other humans...Any of this 'cut & paste' style negates a direct communication between artist and listener...It is a form of de-sensitization...It is mechanical in nature...This 'cut & paste' format desensitization goes for any form of music...Digitization may seem to 'enhance' at first, but the end result is 'everything sounds the same'...It eliminates the human element.
As for the listener or musical audience, the 'throw away' nature of the digital download formats leads the audience into an apathetic state...Whereas formerly hearing live music was considered a special sensual experience, as well as a healthy social one, the availability of 'cheap' or 'free' music has all but destroyed the value of musicians, because why pay a musician or pay for a concert when the whole experience can placed on a FILE which can be listened to or viewed at home by loading into a computer?...Also, the greed of the corporate music monopoly has ensured that a steady stream of homogenized sound will be marketed...Music is simple a product, equal to brands of toilet paper or cat food...It can also become pornography, because isn't that a definition of something that is cheap and without substance?
Before you judge me as a 'Luddite' or 'getting soft in my head' in my old age, let me tell you that I don't oppose technological change, I only try to view it realistically...Perhaps the real change we are seeing is dulling of the human senses in general, and a boredom resulting from a supposedly 'limitless' set of possibilities.
I believe that people still crave art and culture, but have been deadened by the sheer volume of 'product'...Andy Warhol correctly predicted this, and his art reflected a certain sense of 'nothingness'.
In conclusion, the packaging of music and other media in 'file formats' means the art ultimately can lose it's substance...Whereas once going to a theatre to see a film was a big deal, an experience, and buying an album (or CD) by a favorite artist was special, now it has all moved one step beyond, into a virtual world where things 'only virtually exist' and can be flushed down the toilet/memory hole with a push of a button.