Do you see high resolution audio, and digital in general, replacing CDs and other physical media?
David Chesky: I see CDs being phased out over time as they’re not as interesting physically as vinyl is, or necessary in today’s digital storage market. Nor do I see “Cloud” storage taking over as a delivery/distribution method for high resolution files — it is too involved and it would cost a fortune to pull it out. And when you consider how cheap a 4TB drive is these days, there’s really no reason not to have the audio being stored locally.
What reason is there to choose a portable high resolution player over that found in a home theater?
David Chesky: The same person who has a good system at home will want to have a good system when traveling or out of the house, so that they are listening to music at the same level of quality that they are used to. Me, I have a portable system for playing high resolution and use it a lot when traveling — I can use it when in a hotel room in Poland or wherever. Of course I’d be listening to my speakers if I was at home, but the important thing is that the level of quality isn’t different when I’m not at home. The high resolution provides me with the sound quality I’m expecting and I get it.
Do you see any way of speeding up the process of bringing high resolution to the forefront?
David Chesky: It takes a collective mentality — a group effort by the major companies as well as others to get the word out about high resolution audio. Sony is certainly doing it, others too, but to be realistic there is a higher end cost to bear with, unlike the mass availability of players handling low-resolution audio files like MP3.
We’re looking to align ourselves with as many hardware companies as we can to get the word out — that we’re there to provide HDtracks for any hires device that is available. Like anything else, getting the word out and getting acceptance of and for high resolution audio is going to take time. Right now it’s definitely a luxury market — think of it as a Ferrari and for a higher adoption it needs to become BMWs or Mercedes that more can afford, but not all. And to make another analogy, over time more will become enamored of high resolution audio and the end result will be more people grooving on a lush and full bodied sound.