Ina Fried

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Neil Young’s Music Rescue Mission (Video)

Neil Young is on a quest to improve upon the MP3 file that dominates digital music.

Young isn’t opposed to the fact music is going digital, but he says the sound of today’s files isn’t good enough, with audio quality at just 5 percent of traditional recordings.

“My goal is to try to rescue the art form that I’ve been practicing for the past 50 years,” Young said, speaking at the D: Dive Into Media conference on Tuesday.

Isn’t this a losing battle? Walt Mossberg pressed Young.

“No,” Young insisted, saying that what is needed is just a better music-playing device — a better iPod, if you will. Who is going to produce this? Mossberg asked.

“Some rich guy,” Young said.

Young said that Internet-based sound files are the way music is discovered these days.

“I look at the Internet as the new radio,” Young said. “I look at radio as gone … Piracy is the new radio, that’s how music gets around.”

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