Originally Posted by amirm
Peer review? You mean when someone creates a piece of music they have to get someone else's approval before they can publish it? In your own line of work, do you advocate regulations like that?
Artists can and should be able to publish whatever they want. However, in order to be allowed to put the "hi res" label on it, it should adhere to a higher standard.
In my line of work (structural design, detailing, fabrication, and erection of steel buildings and other structures), we have many different codes and regulations we are required to follow. In addition to the basic international, national, state, and local codes and regulations we must follow, there are additional certification requirements that may or may not apply to a particular job, at the owner's discretion. One such certification that our company has chosen to obtain is the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction) certification for the fabrication of steel buildings. In order to obtain this certification, our company was required to develop and document our own procedures (based on AISC guidelines) for everything from drawing and document control to revision procedures to how and where we purchase our raw materials, how we calibrate our tools and equipment, how material is tracked from the time it leaves the mill until the time it arrives at the job site, our adherence to AISC standards for the design of connections, AWS standards for welding, SSPC standards for cleaning and the application of protective coatings, how we conduct quality control inspections, our safety procedures, etc, etc. We then had to submit an application to AISC for their review (fee included) and undergo an audit from an AISC inspector. After passing the inspection and obtaining our certification, we were then eligible to submit bids on and be awarded projects that require an AISC certification. Because most of our work is in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, there are quite a few government and other large construction jobs that require it. Every year, we are required to pass another inspection in order to keep our certification. If any issues are found then corrective actions must be made within a certain period of time. To the customer, this means that they are getting a product of the utmost quality.
Even with all of these "optional" requirements on top of all of the standard codes and regulations, there is still some room for each and every AISC certified fabricator to do things a little bit differently...to use our own "artistic license" if you will.
Do I think the music industry needs to be as tightly regulated as the commercial construction industry is? No. For one thing, AFAIK
, nobody has ever died after listening to a poorly recorded, mastered, and produced album. That said, I do believe there is a market for music that meets a higher fidelity standard, that goes above and beyond your typical album. This is what "hi res" music production should be. Unfortunately, not everyone is in agreement on what the minimum standard in order to be labeled as "high resolution" should be. Perhaps Dr. AIX is correct. Perhaps the horse is already out of the barn when it comes to everything being labeled as "hi res" and we need a new term such as Ultra High Definition Music to describe this higher standard of fidelity.
Until this is sorted out, I suppose we have no choice but to resort to consumer reviews (as Amir has suggested), as flawed as that may be. I say "flawed" because, in many cases, people base their reviews on whether or not they found a tune catchy or how it made them feel, which may have more to do with the memories evoked when listening to a certain piece of music than the actual fidelity of the track/album itself. In many cases, the reviewer has never actually compared the "hi res" track/album to the CD version to see if they can even tell the difference to begin with. Note: I am not claiming that there is never a difference, but simply that sometimes there isn't.
What I would advocate is some way of making it transparent to the consumer that a particular piece of music was recorded, mixed, mastered, and/or produced in a manner that preserved the fidelity of said music to a higher standard that goes beyond 16-bit/44.1 kHz quality rather than just telling you what the final format is.
p.s. If "UHD" music takes off, is it ok to refer to it as 4K music?