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AES New York Questions Place of High-Quality Audio

In May, the New York section of the Audio Engineering Society hosted a lively AudioCrossfire session to debate the question, “Does Quality Matter? Or Has the iPod Already Defeated the Listening Room?” Hosted by Allan Tucker, chairman of Audio Engineering Society (AES) N.Y., the topic was discussed by moderator Adam Sohmer and panelists David Baker, Chris Byrne, Kevin Clement, Elliot Fishkin and Elliot Mazer.

Throughout the evening, the panel and the highly vocal audience attempted to determine why engineers were laboring over high-resolution formats such as SACD and DVD-A when consumers seem to be demonstrating a preference for compression schemes like MP3. A variety of factors came into play, including the amount of promotion that consumer electronics manufacturers give the players, recent figures of 2 million illegal downloads a month and the importance of convenience. But with the technical talk came some perspective. “Content,” said Fishkin, “is more important than delivery.”

The AES AudioCrossfire panel included (from left) Adam Sohmer and panelists David Baker, Elliot Fishkin, Kevin Clement, Elliot Mazer and Chris Byrne, with host Allan Tucker

Photo: David Weiss