Neil Young says he ‘felt better’ after leaving Spotify and its ‘poor’ sound quality


Even after leaving the platform, Neil Young is not done criticizing Spotify. Today, the rock legend published another letter on his website, describing Spotify as a provider of “more songs, less sound”. Young says he felt “better” after pulling his music catalog from the leading streaming music service earlier this week, noting that he strongly opposes censorship and that “private companies have the right to choose what they benefit from.” , just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that spreads malicious information.”

In the latest post, Young — a longtime advocate of high-fidelity sound — heavily criticizes Spotify for its lossy audio quality. “Amazon, Apple Music and Qobuz provide up to 100 percent of the music [quality] today and it sounds a lot better [than] Spotify’s crappy degraded and castrated sound,” he says, adding that “if you support Spotify, you destroy an art form.” Young begs his fans to “go to a new place that really cares about music quality.” It can be difficult to convince consumers of the fidelity of music streaming, as many people can’t tell the difference between something like Spotify’s “high quality” level and truly lossless — especially with the prevalence of Bluetooth headphones, earbuds and speakers. (Bluetooth is something that Young has touched upon as well.)

Since leaving Spotify, competing services like Apple Music have seized the opportunity to promote Young’s catalog. Apple went so far as to call itself “the home of Neil Young,” although it seems Young also roots for the much smaller Qobuz, which has been pushing hi-fi sound since launch. Young continues to completely ignore Tidal, which is downright brutal since Tidal led the lossless streaming wave before Amazon and Apple got involved.

Spotify’s failure to roll out the lossless streaming tier it first announced a year ago has left the door open for Young to continue to challenge the service’s audio quality. The company initially said HiFi would be available by the end of 2021, but that deadline came and went and Spotify has since declined to give a new timetable for when HiFi could be available.

In his note, Young directly mentions Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, explaining that he met Ek in the early days of the service. “It sounded to me like he was really going to get into it. I wonder what happened.” Young concludes by saying he is happy and proud of the decision he has made, which he says is meant to show solidarity with health professionals and others working to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. “As an unexpected bonus, I sound better everywhere.”

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