Once again, it's all about conflating misused technologies and poor mastering in order to
promote another way of re-selling back catalogue music.
Everyone knows MP3s can
sound poor if used inappropriately, but equally it is also capable of extremely good
results if used properly. The mistake was allowing the 'suits' to insist on stupidly low
bit rate options in the first place.
However, most music sounds poor because of
the ludicrous use of peak normalisation and over-compression and linear 24/96 files won't
change that at all.
As we have discussed here before, 24 bit source material is
entirely pointless in any kind of domestic situation and I can absolutely guarantee that
not one Pono track will utilise the theoretical 141dB signal-noise ratio offered by the
format. 16 bit is actually entirely adequate and I look forward to analysing some of these
tracks when they are released to prove that fact!
The 96kHz sampling thing I have a little more time for -- it would overcome the inherent
compromises of the mass-market use of half-band converter filters which can result in
aliasing artefacts, for example.
But I suspect the real drive of this is to get
the record labels to remaster material in a more delicate and sympathetic way which will
make it sound infinitely better at a stroke...
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound