Neil Young's Catalog Returns to Apple Music After He Said Streaming Has 'Worst Quality in History'

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer Neil Young's full back catalog has returned to Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, and elsewhere, less than two years after he pulled his collection from all streaming services due to his belief that streaming delivers the "worst quality in history," according to Music Ally.

neil-young-itunesYoung stopped streaming his songs in July 2015, and at the time said "it's not because of the money" but rather "about sound quality" in a Facebook post.

Streaming has ended for me. I hope this is ok for my fans.

It's not because of the money, although my share (like all the other artists) was dramatically reduced by bad deals made without my consent.

It's about sound quality. I don't need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution. I don't feel right allowing this to be sold to my fans. It's bad for my music.

For me, it's about making and distributing music people can really hear and feel. I stand for that.

When the quality is back, I'll give it another look. Never say never.

Young's catalog first returned to streaming service Tidal's high-fidelity CD quality tier in April, although his songs were also made available through its standard tier with a max quality of 320 kbps. Apple Music has a max quality of 256kbps. Both services use the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) encoding format.

Young himself launched Pono, a music download service with high-resolution audio, in early 2015. The digital music service delivers high-resolution 24-bit 192 kHz audio. However, the store has been temporarily offline since July after its primary cloud-based infrastructure partner Omnifone was acquired.

Young has yet to provide a reason behind his decision to bring his catalog back to additional streaming services.

Top Rated Comments

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52 months ago

Young has yet to provide a reason behind his decision to bring his catalog back to additional streaming services.

I'm going with .... money.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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52 months ago
"Worst quality in history"?! Talk about hyperbole/short memory.

Back when I was a whippersnapper, we had to piece together an album using Limewire. Providing you didn't download Tupac.exe and brick your computer, you'd be lucky to find anything that wasn't in wma format.

Aaah... those were the days.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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52 months ago
He probably needs the extra cash to afford the new MacBook Pro.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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52 months ago
Any scientific blind ABX testing of supposed "ultra high fidelity" music, such as that sold by Neil Young's Pono outfit showed that people could not tell the difference between good quality sources like normal CD-Audio or modern iTunes downloads. And yes, even supposed audiophiles with "golden ears".

The only reason Neil Young pulled his music from streaming services was to force his fans to pay a premium to download oversized ultra-high bitrate music from Pono at exorbitant prices. Everyone saw right away that it was snake oil and it failed.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
52 months ago

"Worst quality in history"?! Talk about hyperbole/short memory.

Back when I was a whippersnapper, we had to piece together an album using Limewire. Providing you didn't download Tupac.exe and brick your computer, you'd be lucky to find anything that wasn't in wma format.

Aaah... those were the days.

Or... AM radio had awful sound quality. FM radio is also pretty bad. Tapes had terrible sound quality. CDs, although they had great sound quality, were so fragile that skipping from scratches ruined the sound quality sometimes.

Spotify isn't great, but I'll take Spotify quality over radio or tape any day.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
52 months ago

Who's Neil Young????


( KIDDING!)

A career in standup awaits you.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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