Well, I guess it was inevitable. Despite AC/DC’s best efforts, they couldn’t resist the might of iTunes any longer. Today it was announced that AC/DC has finally released their entire catalog on iTunes. All of the original studio releases have been remastered, along with some new live stuff. For an AC/DC fan who’s been ripping their own collection, you now have a new primary source.
There’s been a lot of complaining about how iTunes is ruining the overall quality of music. Scientifically and to a lesser degree, empirically, that’s true. Digital music, in its current form, is a compromise compared to the CD (which some would argue is a compromise from vinyl).
But the fact is that most people don’t sit and listen to music in a controlled environment with undivided attention. They need music in a much more portable format which means carrying it in their pocket as zeroes and ones. Until we make some kind of order-of-magnitude leap in broadband and storage capacity, digitally compressed music is going to be around. As musicians, producers and engineers we can either try to fight it, or embrace it and figure out how to take advantage of it.
I don’t know the story behind what finally got AC/DC to change the party-line on going digital. Maybe the iTunes-specific remastering program convinced them that they could achieve an acceptable level of quality. Maybe their accountants showed them the numbers of CD sales vs. digital downloads and they finally got wise. Who knows? The takeaway from it either is way is that, whether you like it or not, digital music is where music is at.
Now quit bitching and go pick up your guitar.