Post-fidelity: a new age of technological innovation and music consumption Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Guberman, Daniel
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Music
  • Since the popularization of the iPod, the ideal recorded music consumption experience for most consumers has become one of quantity, variety, ease of use, and visual style. I focus on the contrast between these values and the emphasis on fidelity that dominated discussions of sound reproduction throughout the 20th century. I first demonstrate the extent to which fidelity dominated innovation and marketing during the 20th century, showing that even new devices which did not improve fidelity were advertised to give the impression that they did. I then examine the iPod as a breakthrough product, which changed the format of music and how we define the ideal listening experience in this post-fidelity era. Finally, I contextualize the importance of this trend in consumer culture: using print and internet sources to argue that even audiophiles have begun to value these other qualities as much or more than sound quality.
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  • In Copyright
  • Katz, Mark
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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