"Whatever Happened To The Audiophile?"

NPR Story: http://www.npr.org/tablet/#story/?url=/2011/03/05/134256592/whatever-happened-to-the-audiophile
Yeah well, to each his/her own. Media will always try to create a "broadbrush wash" of a view about a particular subject with occasional detail glimpses to avoid the inevitable yawn. I read this and was slightly amused, which is better than that I am often horrified.

The bottom line, is, we all know what we like and why we're here amongst other music lovers and appreciators of equipment that provide that indescribable satisfaction, or not. And when not, we seek advice as to how to achive our goals, or experiment with gear, simply because the music comes first and always has, and part of the enjoyment is finding our own path to listening satisfaction. The more you appreciate an art form, the more you appreciate quality tools that increase such enjoyment.

To me this is what being a hobbyist in audio is about. It's not complicated, it's simple and we know it when we hear it.
Very well said Steve!
Better link to the article mentioned above:

NPR Audiophile article
what difference does it make ? enjoying music is a higher priority than being an audiophile. the medium is less important than the message. in this case the medium is the equipment and the message is the music.

you can be an audiophile or a non-audiophile and still attain enjoyment when listening to music. whether its in the foreground and listening is the primary activity--typical of audiophile behvior, or the music is in the background, as a secondary activity it can be equally appreciated.
The most chilling stat was the 60% drop in sales in a little over a decade. If that's true, we're dropping like flies.
according to the npr article, "high end" sales totalled $200m in 2010 (i'm not sure about the statistic; i've read $1 billion elsewhere). for all the talk about vinyl's resurgence, only 2.4m total units were sold in 2010. these are staggeringly tiny numbers-- by way of comparison, apple sold $3.4 billion worth of ipods alone in 2010 and lady antebellum (whoever she is) and justin beiber sold more than 3m cds each. all of which points to the rapidly increasing marginalization of traditional audiophilia, at least as we think of it--there seems to be little or no economic incentive to continue to develop or manufacture high end products, and this little community (like a group of latin scholars) looks ever more like a dying breed.

I also read the npr article and was surprised at the $200 million figure as well; but I have no hard numbers. Just seems like from being in this hobby and actively attending audiophile events and field trips, etc. that the industry would have higher sales. On the other hand, from going to the same events, etc. that I mentioned, and talking to well respected professionals in the industry--this industry IS contracting. Notwithstanding, I would still be interesed in the definitions used by npr to determine what the basis of the $200M figure was.

Also, contracting or not, I enjoy this hobby and the people involved in it and have happily made, for me at least, a significant commitment of time and resources to the hobby with no regret.