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Podcast #40 – A different take on the MoFi scandal + Future-Fi volatility?

  • A bit of 🌶 episode this one. In the wake of my recent Future-Fi video (below), I’ve seen a number of people raise the anxiety alarm about the short shelf life of streaming audio tech. I’ve been pondering this and, by way of reply, I ask : where do we find examples of now defunct audio streaming tech – or tech that’s clearly on its way out – and how is this hindering our ability to stream music with older hardware in 2022? Michael Lavorgna and I tackle this topic first before wading into deeper waters…

    The MoFi scandal is best encapsulated by this article in the Washington Post. It was first published on Friday of last week, the day after Lavorgna and I sat down to talk about the issue. However, our take on MoFi-gate is, I think, completely different from everyone else’s.

    Listen via SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn or the embedded player below:

    However, there are a few things that I didn’t say in the podcast that I would like to add here:

    1) The vast majority of all modern vinyl releases are cut from hi-res files. Not excusing MoFi here, merely pointing out that working from a digital encoding of the master tape is standard practice for most mastering engineers — even when the resulting record’s hype sticker reads “cut from the master tape” (Yeah, the record was cut from the master tape but not before it was encoded to a digital file).

    2) Mastering engineers using digital files in the mastering chain clearly see/hear that digital file as sufficiently transparent to the master tape. If they didn’t, we’d soon hear about it as they, like audiophiles, tend to have strong opinions on audio matters.

    3) We as listeners can’t confirm or deny digital’s transparency to the master tape because we haven’t heard the tape AND the digital file played back through the same studio speakers.

    MoFi-gate

    Michael – 45pm audiophile
    https://www.youtube.com/c/45rpmaudiophile

    Mike Esposito – The In Groove (Phoenix, AZ)
    https://www.youtube.com/c/TheInGroove

    The Smoking Gun: Eposito talks to Mofi engineers:
    https://youtu.be/shg0780YgAE

    MoFi releases
    https://mofi.com/collections/vinyl

    R.E.M. – Life’s Rich Pageant
    Original 1986 Bob Ludwig:
    https://www.discogs.com/release/10427456-REM-Lifes-Rich-Pageant

    MFSL 2011:
    https://www.discogs.com/release/3227296-REM-Lifes-Rich-Pageant

    Pixies – Surfer Rosa
    Original rough cover 1988:
    https://www.discogs.com/release/371355-Pixies-Surfer-Rosa

    MFSL 2009:
    https://www.discogs.com/release/1939822-Pixies-Surfer-Rosa

    David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust
    German original 1972:
    https://www.discogs.com/release/2070349-David-Bowie-The-Rise-And-Fall-Of-Ziggy-Stardust-And-The-Spiders-From-Mars

    MFSL 1981:
    https://www.discogs.com/release/1081924-David-Bowie-The-Rise-And-Fall-Of-Ziggy-Stardust-And-The-Spiders-From-Mars

    Recommended albums

    V/A – Planet Dub:
    https://www.discogs.com/master/149313-Various-Planet-Dub

    Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra – Promises:
    https://floatingpoints.bandcamp.com/album/promises

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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