Recently I've been thinking of ways in which portable media devices have changed our perception of music. 
I read something about Jonathan Berger, a music professor at Stanford, about a little test he puts his incoming students through at the start of every year. He gives them a variety of music to listen to and then asks them to rate the songs in terms of highest and lowest quality. What he's found is that the mp3 formatted songs are on a steady incline to becoming most favorable over the other songs with superior audio quality. So this is kind of strange... Even music students would prefer the compressed, low bit mp3 sound vs. a song with much more dynamic range! Uncompressed audio on a CD has a bit rate 12 times as much as an average mp3! It seems as if the "mp3 player" (and it's stylishness) has had an inadvertent effect on our generation of music listeners. Perhaps we've become so accustomed to the lack of quality that our ears have tuned out the imperfections. I wonder if mp3's will become a fetish of some sort in the future like record players today?   


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