Neil Young Dubs Piracy the New Radio

Neil Young has often been critical of digital music, but it turns out it’s the quality of digital files he’s worried about more than the piracy that takes money away from artists.

“It doesn’t affect me because I look at the internet as the new radio. I look at the radio as gone” Young said at the D: Dive Into Media conference earlier this year. “Piracy is the new radio. That’s how music gets around… That’s the radio. If you really want to hear it, let’s make it available, let them hear it, let them hear the 95 percent of it.”

But he touched on the low-quality audio provided by compressed files that are shared on the internet, stating that the average MP3 contains only around five percent of the original audio recording, and that Apple Lossless files only offer “10.3 percent” of the original recording. He uses Steve Jobs, who was known as a huge music appreciator, to illustrate his point.

“Steve Jobs was a pioneer of digital music, his legacy was tremendous,” Young said. “But when he went home, he listened to vinyl.”

Young’s upcoming album with longtime band Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill, will be released in a high resolution 24/192 full fidelity version on Blu Ray. The official website for Young states that this is the “recommended” version of the album, which also will come as a two-CD and triple-vinyl set. The album is set to be released in October, though an exact date has not been set.

The album will be the first set of original material Young has recorded with Crazy Horse since 2003’s Greendale. The set features only eight songs spread across the two-CDs or three-vinyl albums (not including an alternate mix of the title track that is listed as a bonus track).