maybe this is weird…

But I’m sort of annoyed that Wired runs a story every couple of weeks about how the iPod is the hi-fi giant-killer, how haughty vinyl purists are being brought low by the mighty iPod. (Current article here (,70901-0.html))

First off, the only people who are really downing the iPod are snobs. The iPod is a nice piece of technology, maybe the best thing Apple has made. But it’s not a substitute for a good hi-fi rig. Especially out of the box– those iPod headphones are gross. More than that, though, an iPod is still a digital source, which means you have to throw a bunch of money at it to get it to sound anywhere near as good as a low-end turntable.

I’m actually curious how lossless compression on an iPod sounds compared to a good CD player, say the Musical Fidelity A5 (about which I have dreams on a regular basis). (There’s that apocryphal story about the confounded audiophiles, but I want to hear it for myself) I’m pragmatic, and if I can get good sound out of an iPod, then great. But it seems really stupid to spend a bunch of money tricking out your iPod when you can just buy a good CD player.

I think it’s the spirit of the articles that really bugs me. It’s this nasty levelling attitude– that my iPod is just as good as your rig and you’re a snob and a fool for listening to vinyl and investing in stereo equipment.

It doesn’t bother me at all if you want to listen to your iPod (or hook it up to your Bose speakers) and that’s the furthest you want to go with music and sound. But I am more picky about that sort of thing, and I resent these articles popping up on my Wired RSS feed all the fucking time.


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