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The tremendous quality of digital sound

If you're old enough to remember the days before CDs, you may recall the sound of music played from cassette tapes, or vinyl records. And, to my amazement, many of these, uh, elderly people look back on the sound of music played that way with fondness. I don't. It was pretty awful.

The first time I ever heard music played on a digital device, through earbuds, I was absolutely blown away. I still remember hearing it. No hiss, no pops, just the sound. And it has only gotten better.

In my youth, I remember the clumsy way that music was played, on record players. A piece of vinyl had been imprinted with grooves that were *read* by a needle that touched them. Even the slightest amount of dust would impair the sound, and the slightest amount of vibration would make the needle skip. And if the vinyl got scratched (which it did, no matter how careful you were with the record), those scratches were played along with the music. And while cassette tapes were less prone to this, they were still pieces of thin plastic that rubbed up against a player. The tape stretched over time, the player head got dirty, and the sound suffered. I guess professional recording studios could use these analog devices effectively, but I never owned a professional recording studio.

To me, hearing a digitally-remastered recording of a song I've known since I was a kid is like seeing a digitally-restored movie. It's what the artist had in mind originally. No scratches, hisses, or anything, just music. And that's real ear candy!