I just recently purchased a stash of The Abso!ute Sound issues from previous years ('74 to '93) and am partaking in enjoying and reminiscing in the "style of the day", insightful wisdom, and old arguments.

Anyway, while reading an editorial letter by Pat Ramsey in the April 1984 issue (vol.9, no.33), I find an "ah ha" moment.

Mr Ramsey sais, "Despite our efforts to defend ourselves from the digital beast, I'm afraid we are doomed... The record company gods on hight, who see the digital encoding and pressings as the savior from lost revenue due to illegal bootlegging... ...high tech digital will stop this loss of revenue."

As we can see, historically speaking, Mr Ramsey is speaking of the 1984 impending CD replacement of Vinyl as being the standard of music playback and profitability. (and he is referring to unlicensed vinyl pressing as bootlegs)

I find this interesting because it reminds me as to our current day transition.

Today we see the industry pushing the new "computer audio" medium at us and, as it turns out, the record companies, again, find themselves in a revenue downturn. And again they have commented on the bootleg piracy, of course, now it's CDR piracy and MP3 piracy and so forth... Oh, and lets not forget that this new "computer audio" medium is a monumental "up grade" in sound quality -- kinda reminiscent of "perfect sound forever".


What intent does the industry really have... perfecting music reproduction quality /or/ continuously selling to provide profitability ?

"What intent does the industry really have... continuously selling to provide profitability ?

Don't mean to be rude but... YA THINK?????
I, being really old, can remember those days and reading the "doomsday" from Absolute Sound. Don't worry.. eventually they gave in. Some really oddball stuff back then.. but no worse than now. I particularly enjoyed Enid Lumley.. She gave us cable Risers...
Back then, 1984... the music industry did not know it was in for a fantastic couple of wealthy years... Every fool bought thier entire collection of music all over again on CD.. Too bad the Music Industry thought it was supposed to last. (that in a nutshell is the recording industry's problem.. they are locked in the years of fat, and cannot accept any years of lean. they are jerks.)
Have to laugh at the tiny "bootleg" LP industry... the bootleg download industry must be a 100,000 times bigger.
Industry and companies wanting to be profitable ....... What a concept ......
not to get off topic, the TAS of past was a fabulous mag when it was pocket size and full of great reviews and setup tips. I occasionally when I am at B&N look at the new offering of TAS and find it's equiptment reviews ridiculas and music reviews uninteresting.
"What intent does the industry really have... perfecting music reproduction quality /or/ continuously selling to provide profitability ?"

Given the trends in compression, and yes the artists bear blame as well, I would submit that perfecting quality is at best in the back seat. Personally, coming from an industry that was and continues to be destroyed my bootlegs, I see no issue in the artists and industry making a profit. Frankly I welcome it, given a free market.
I agree with you all - I expect a company/industry to be in business with an expectation (or hope) for profitability... Myself, I don't go to work for free.

My statement, "What intent does the industry really have... perfecting music reproduction quality /or/ continuously selling to provide profitability ?," is intended to make a point.

My point being, the industry continues to come up with new media NOT to best the old media but only to SELL it.

But we, as audiophiles, love to buy into and debate which media is superior and sounds better; Vinyl versus CD, tape versus CD, CD & vinyl versus SACD, SACD versus DVDA, computer digital versus etc... When the simple fact is, each media has it's own positives and negatives which stand individually as truth - NONE was ever intended to be superior to the senior but only to be what it is in it's own right - simply and only a new item to sell.
If we look at another media industry (movies) we can notice that rather than merely urging us to rebuy past collections, the lot of them really ARE trying to push technology forward. Bigger and better screens to watch on with exceptional integration of 2ch, 5.1, 5.1DTS, 5.1 THX, 7.2 and anything above that which is making it our way. There is higher definition, now a push to 3D (perhaps a fad now but eventually the art will be perfected) and who knows what else they have cooked up for us around the corner?

Disney for instance sells a new DVD for $22, the Blu-ray for $28 and a deluxe version which has the DVD, Blu-ray AND a ready to go digital copy for portable players for an extra 2 bucks.

the music industry instead locks SACD down so it can't be backed up, ported to a portable player and sometimes a layer doesn't work quite right on those hybrids. Had they offered a good package like the MPAA, we wouldn't see such a strong demise. SACD or better with a separate CD disc PLUS a digital album either in high bitrate mp3 or in lossless FLAC, all for $15. THIS Would have kept some momentum going. Instead they offer shoddier products from generally uninteresting cloned artists and they sue folks for kicks.

This new vinyl upswing may well be the last saving grace for the big labels. If they do this right (like so many indie labels) they can cut new albums on LP, provide the SACD and CD with it and a code to download the album, all for $15-20. GIve it 180g weight and put it on two slabs and the idea of forking over 20-25 isn't so hard to swallow for most.

Meanwhile I'm a young enough guy who grew up on CDs and mp3s and am saving my pennies to purchase 45 rpm jazz remasters from the greats half a century ago... At least the sound is outstanding, the music rich and original and the format = future proof.