Gail Zappa, the widow of Frank Zappa, is furious with iTunes and other digital music services, complaining the service offers music that is far too compressed – more so than the artist himself ever intended.
“It was Frank’s concept to limit to a format so that it was accurately represented, that being 16-bit technology – CDs. He didn’t want it compressed. So we’re currently in a lawsuit over this issue,” she said.
Zappa’s widow stressed that the music her husband made was meant to be heard at a certain quality – 16-bit, in fact.
“iTunes has been from the get-go massively compressed,” she said, “That’s fine perhaps if you’re Britney Spears… but it’s not fine for Frank Zappa’s music, and he was interested in protecting that,” she told the LA Times.
Speaking to Distorted Loop, musician Toby Marks (Banco De Gaia) has made similar complaints, saying “I absolutely hate the fact that it’s possible to release music at the same quality it was created, yet the market has moved backward to something that’s little better than cassettes.”
It remains a huge puzzle as to why it is that CD-quality download services haven’t yet made any wide appearance – after all, if films can be purchased and downloaded online, then why not CDs, which max out at 650MB, after all?