Some of you know that I’m been dealing with some serious challenges over these past 24 plus months. A flooded house, separation from my wife and family, some challenging health issues, and other struggles forced me to set this blog, my new book, and other audio related responsibilities to the side…temporarily. I apologize for the absence and hope to do better over the next several months. Life is full of unexpected turns and I’ve certainly had my share recently. But I’ll try to write more often and focus on getting the new book finished, printed and distributed soon.
Not long ago, I interviewed by Scott Wilkinson of AVS Forum, which spawned a number of comments and contacts from the audiophile community. I was encouraged by the response and decided it’s time to start writing again. And there is no shortage of things to write about. The Mobile Fidelity fiasco made national news (I heard about it on Sirius/XM!) a while back, caused a great deal of embarrassment for the company and a staunch group of vinyl purists, and has resulted in a class action lawsuit. T. Bone Burnett tried to launch a new audio format and sales of physical media have virtually ended. And recently I noticed a Facebook post in an audiophile group that involved my good friend Steve Davis (founder of AXPONA) making a substantial wager that he could tell the difference between expensive “designer cables” and normal interconnects. I haven’t followed up on the initial messages but am confident that Steve is making what could be a costly mistake. Readers of this blog know that cables are NOT a determinative factor in audio fidelity.
I may address the other topics in future posts but today I thought I would talk about the demise of physical media. A recent comment on this blog asked for a list of the currently available AIX Records – on discs (DVD or Blu-ray). It turns out that a number of my productions are out of stock AND I will not be re-replicating them. The days of physical media are behind us. I realize that many in the audiophile community cherish their vinyl and others have huge collections of optical discs of various formats but the truth is virtually all music is consumed as streams or as digital files on a music server. I’m a member of that group.
A couple of years ago, a new tenant in my studio building asked that I clear out the upstairs area so their clients could have a place to relax or game play games. I have used the area above the offices and studios for storage while I occupied the space. The rear of the building uses bow truss construction. The sloping roof means you can’t stand up except in the small area at the top of the stairs. I took advantage of the space to store printed materials, unpackaged discs, plastic cases and other stuff associated with my recordings. There was a lot of boxes up there. I’ve kept a reasonable number of packaged discs at home but whenever I needed to replenish my inventory, I would head to the studio and grab finished discs or the components to assembled them. However, the new tenant insisted I clear the storage space and I agreed. It was time to let go of the printing, raw discs, and boxes. I had long recognized that I would be storing lots of boxes forever if I didn’t decide to clear the decks. And so I did. With some help from the staff of the tenant, I took a couple of hundred boxes and loaded them out to the driveway. Later that day, a large truck came and hauled them to the dump. It was very hard to see all of that material disappear, but there was simply no way that I would ever sell even a fraction of the stuff. It was a cathartic moment.
A migration to to Youtube…
As of a few days ago, I’ve decided to upload all of my content to the AIX Records Youtube channel. In the past, AIX Records previewed our recordings and videos on Youtube…but only a couple of minutes worth of each video. The hope was that viewers would seek out the DVDs or Blu-ray discs on the AIX Records website and make a purchase. But sales are a mere trickle of what they used to be. I noticed that the video of Dave Mason performing “We Just Disagree” has already racked up almost 200,000 views! Maybe there’s money to be made from my productions on Youtube. It’s time to find out. I’ve recently uploaded the album Afro Cuban Latin Jazz Project and and currently working on Mark Chesnutt’s album “Your Room.”
It turns out that in order to monetize content on Youtube, you have to have at least 1000 subscribers and over 4000 views. So I’m gently asking that you SUBSCRIBE to the AIX Records Youtube channel and encourage your audiophile friends to sign up as well. Simply click on this link to SUBSCRIBE. I appreciate your willingness to help build an audience for AIX Records and you’ll be able to see and hear ALL of the albums I’ve produced. The audio is 96 kHz/24-bits on the upload but is downsampled by Youtube. I’m going to investigate whether 5.1 surround tracks can also be associated with Youtube.
If there’s a particular album that you want me to prioritize, please let me know. I choose Mark Chesnutt’s “Your Room” because his album generates a lot of streams and some revenue from my distributor. Let’s see what happens over the next few months. But first I have to get to 1000 subscribers. Thanks for your help. The link again is AIX Records Youtube Channel.