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Thread: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

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    Surroundaholic Moderator Bob Romano's Avatar
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    Default Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 04, 2012

    Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format



    Neil Young, always the innovator, had filed for a trademark on a number of terms associated with his new "studio quality" digital audio format.

    Rolling Stone reveals that Young has filed trademark applications for various terms, including: "Ivanho ", "21st Century Record Player", "Earth Storage", "Storage Shed", "Thanks for Listening" and "SQS (Studio Quality Sound)".

    The application included the description: "Online and retail store services featuring music and artistic performances; high resolution music downloadable from the internet; high resolutions discs featuring music and video; audio and video recording storage and playback."

    They were filed in June 2011 and Rolling Stone reports that there will be a year of paperwork before they can be registered.

    Young has long been obsessed with new audio technology and has also been vocal about the inadequacy of the common mp3 format to accurately represent proper studio sound. He said that he had met with Apple CEO Steve Jobs about developing new hardware that could store higher-quality digital recordings.



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    1K Club - QQ Shooting Star wavelength's Avatar
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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    That just feels like really good news.

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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    Yay. More competing formats.

    FLAC and Apple Lossless already exist. The new hardware that will make that all worthwhile will be to get even bigger HD space, at lower cost, inside IPhones to make it worthwhile for people to store more than mp3s. Surround is waaaaaaay down the line in this game, if even at all.

    Of course, this is just my opinion, and my opinion alone.

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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    Quote Originally Posted by DKA View Post
    Yay. More competing formats.

    FLAC and Apple Lossless already exist. The new hardware that will make that all worthwhile will be to get even bigger HD space, at lower cost, inside IPhones to make it worthwhile for people to store more than mp3s. Surround is waaaaaaay down the line in this game, if even at all.

    Of course, this is just my opinion, and my opinion alone.
    Thanks for the reality check. You are probably right.

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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    Quote Originally Posted by wavelength View Post
    Thanks for the reality check. You are probably right.
    I think I said this in another thread once, but I actually think there's a demand for higher quality audio growing. Young people (dear god, I'm using the phrase "young people") aren't spending $200 on these "Beats by Dr. Dre" headphones to hear the imperfections of an mp3, and I see more of them every day. If you provide the medium for them to upgrade the quality of what they're listening to, they will buy.

    The trick with surround is getting people to sit back down, and technology and a sedentary society are not a good match right now. When I say "way down the line," it's because I think that's where the challenge is. Our biggest technological developments in the last several years with media have been in the portable realm. That's just where it is right now.

    This crowd here, whether we're here because we were quad enthusiasts in the 70's, or just became younger audiophiles somewhere along the way in life, is a niche crowd. It's a frustrating thing, but not a bad one. A guy like Neil Young? Probably developing for that niche crowd. If he had a meeting with Steve Jobs, unless Jobs was looking at this as a way of selling better Apple TV's, though, I could imagine Jobs was trying to figure out how to get that quality into the palm of your hand.

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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    Quote Originally Posted by DKA View Post
    ...Young people (dear god, I'm using the phrase "young people") aren't spending $200 on these "Beats by Dr. Dre" headphones to hear the imperfections of an mp3, and I see more of them every day. If you provide the medium for them to upgrade the quality of what they're listening to, they will buy...
    Boy I hope you're right, but I think the multicolored Beats are more of a status symbol/fashion thing than a desire to upgrade the sound. They remind me more of high priced sneakers than high fidelity. I still think they're listening to 128 kbps MP3 with these things - but still I hope you're right!

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    Musician / Writer Old Quad Guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    On face value, "SQS" sounds like a Trademark for marketing or Trade name for High Resolution downloads and Discs of course. I don't believe we're talking about any new formats necessarily, but a way to get titles out there using existing technology. In a way one could even consider the "SQS" mark as an homage to SQ and QS. Let's hope the marketing for "SQS" makes clear what is what though.

    As a side note, had SQ and QS trademarks been active in 2012, there might had been some doubt this mark would get approved or that the companies owning SQ and QS might oppose such a mark, perhaps.

    You'll notice there is no "Date of Use" as this mark under the 2 different classes are "Intent to use" applications. Meaning, one must actually use the marks in the manner described and file a "Statement of Use" within 6 months of approval. Or file for a extension for filing a "Statement of Use." But at some point, the mark in both classes must be used or will be considered "abandoned" by the Trademark office and in such cases marks get cancelled. One would think this much trouble to file for marks wouldn't be bothered with unless they're actually going to be used. At this point, they're in the middle of the application process. But baring no problems, they could get on with this once the applications are finally approved and a "Statement of Use" filed.

    International Class: 009
    Class Status: Active
    Audio and video recordings featuring music and artistic performances; high resolution music downloadable from the internet; high resolutions discs featuring music and video of music and artistic performances; pre-recorded digital media containing audio and video recordings featuring music and artistic performances for storage and playback
    Basis: 1(b)
    First Use Date: (DATE NOT AVAILABLE)
    First Use in Commerce Date: (DATE NOT AVAILABLE)

    International Class: 035
    Class Status: Active
    Online and retail store services featuring music and artistic performances, high resolution music downloadable from the internet, high resolutions discs featuring music and video, and pre-recorded digital media featuring audio and video recordings for storage and playback
    Basis: 1(b)
    First Use Date: (DATE NOT AVAILABLE)
    First Use in Commerce Date: (DATE NOT AVAILABLE)

    Overall, very good news! With a music insider and famous person like Neil Young, I have no doubt he'll get things done. He understands the market and it's potential for future growth.
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    Board Operator JonUrban's Avatar
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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    Neil has championed LPs over CDs, then DVD-A over everything, then 24/96 DVD-V audio, and then Blu-Ray over everything. Now this.

    The thing is, when he was championing DVD-A, we barely got a handful, another handful of stereo DVD-V audios, then with Blu-Ray, we got his Archives but not much else.

    i love NY and he's probably my favorite artist, but this guy changes his mind and changes his interests faster than I upgrade this forum software!
    :-jon

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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    really, don't know how actual this SQS thing are and would it have any practical usage in nearest future.
    but pretty obvious the grow of demand for lossless audio (as you may noticed, significant jump in use of
    flac in past few years and there are more and more brends, who did implements hardware support for lossless mobile formats)
    now to the physical media. 2012 just begun but EMI alone already issued bunch of releases in different formats
    surround and HiRes. i don't know what more they have in the work but seems they got back to SACD as there on
    amazon already was announced dozen of releases from classical vault.
    seems like finally this industry start to look for the way out of created by themselves crisis. i hope they will realise that
    mass market of the 70-80th is gone for good and to sustain themselves so call "niche" market should be explored and developed.

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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    This story was on our local San Francisco T.V. stations a couple of months ago and found this interesting:

    Neil Young: Steve Jobs listened to vinyl

    1/31/2012
    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/st...nyl/52904854/1

    DANA POINT, California – Legendary rocker Neil Young took his campaign for higher-fidelity digital sound to the stage of a technology conference Tuesday, saying a giant of the industry was on his side: the late Steve Jobs.

    Young said the Apple co-founder was such a fan of music that he didn't use his iPod and its digitally compressed files at home. Instead, he used a physical format well-known to have better sound.

    "Steve Jobs was a pioneer of digital music. His legacy is tremendous," Young said. "But when he went home, he listened to vinyl (albums)."

    Young told the "D: Dive Into Media" conference Tuesday that he spoke with Jobs about creating a format that has 20 times the fidelity of files in the most current digital formats, including MP3.

    Such a format, he said, would contain 100% of the data of music as it is created in a studio, as opposed to 5% in compressed formats including Apple's AAC. Each song would be huge, and a new storage and playback device might only hold 30 albums. Each song would take about 30 minutes to download, which is fine if you leave your device on overnight, he said.

    "Sleep well. Wake up in the morning. Play some real music and listen to the joy of 100% of the sound of music," he said.

    Although Young didn't have a practical plan for developing such a format — saying it's for "rich people" to decide — he said Jobs was on board with the idea before he died from cancer at age 56 in October.

    "I talked to Steve about it. We were working on it," Young said. "You've got to believe if he lived long enough he would eventually try to do what I'm trying to do."

    Young's opinion of Jobs was confirmed by interviewer Walt Mossberg, a journalist with News Corp.'s All Things D website, which has hosted Jobs at its conferences before. Mossberg said Jobs in the past expressed surprise that "people traded quality, to the extent they had, for convenience or price."

    Young, a 66-year-old singer and songwriter, was full of other surprising opinions, including his defense of recording labels such as his own Reprise Records, a unit of Warner Music Group Corp., as being a nurturer of artists, even as he said recording companies had botched the transition to digital music.
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    Bannedē cupboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    Neil Young talking about rich people. That's pretty funny!

    I guess he hasn't checked his account balance for quite a few years.

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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    Such a format, he said, would contain 100% of the data of music as it is created in a studio, as opposed to 5% in compressed formats including Apple's AAC. Each song would be huge, and a new storage and playback device might only hold 30 albums. Each song would take about 30 minutes to download, which is fine if you leave your device on overnight, he said.

    "Sleep well. Wake up in the morning. Play some real music and listen to the joy of 100% of the sound of music," he said.
    Wow. new players only holding 30 albums each, and music you'd download overnight because the file size is so high. Sounds like a winning formula......NOT.

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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    He's shooting for better than MP3 quality? That's hardly high definition sound!

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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    Quote Originally Posted by DKA View Post
    Wow. new players only holding 30 albums each, and music you'd download overnight because the file size is so high. Sounds like a winning formula......NOT.
    I keep reading that shiny discs are on their way out, but I also read comments like this that seem to criticize downloadable files. No wonder the music industry can't seem to give us what we want.

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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    Quote Originally Posted by paligap View Post
    I keep reading that shiny discs are on their way out, but I also read comments like this that seem to criticize downloadable files. No wonder the music industry can't seem to give us what we want.
    I'm not criticizing downloads in any way. I'm criticiing the idea of introducing another format requiring another player into the marketplace. Someone posted a funny list of dead an unsuccessful formats and players a few months ago here. What did they all have in common? They either were competing with other formats trying to accomplish the same means, or the public was being asked to adapt and spend more when no one asked if they even wanted to.

    I'll take the time to respond to BMoura's comment as well, since my answer is the same to both. MP3 is the reference point because MP3 is as close to the current standard as can be. In 2012, portability wins out over quality. This is why we're playing Angry Birds and Draw Something rather than the lifelike games we'd thought we'd be at by this time. If the idea is to provide the highest possible quality and maintain portability, then you need to show how much better than MP3 you are. Whether fair or not, the goalpost has been moved.

    I think this is all silly because, in my world, you'd work on making hard drive space on IPhones 10 times it's current size, then have Jay-Z tell you how much better things could sound on your high-end headphones at a higher bit-rate.

    Of course, the industry hasn't come callin for me at any time.

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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    Yeah, DKA, I kind of knew where you were coming from, and that's why I used the phrase "seem to." And it does all come back to MP3 because, hey, that is the standard now. I just find it wholly inadequate on my sound system at home. At work, I listen to music I've ripped from my CDs to my laptop using WMP, and it's good enough for background listening.

    I'm old enough to just barely have missed out on the video game explosion. I don't have a smart phone. I don't feel the need to listen to music everywhere all the time. I don't look down upon those who do and for whom MP3 is good enough. I just want to be able to get quality music that sounds good, and it seems that the "tyranny of the marketplace" is conspiring to make that more and more difficult.

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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    Quote Originally Posted by paligap View Post
    Yeah, DKA, I kind of knew where you were coming from, and that's why I used the phrase "seem to." And it does all come back to MP3 because, hey, that is the standard now. I just find it wholly inadequate on my sound system at home. At work, I listen to music I've ripped from my CDs to my laptop using WMP, and it's good enough for background listening.

    I'm old enough to just barely have missed out on the video game explosion. I don't have a smart phone. I don't feel the need to listen to music everywhere all the time. I don't look down upon those who do and for whom MP3 is good enough. I just want to be able to get quality music that sounds good, and it seems that the "tyranny of the marketplace" is conspiring to make that more and more difficult.
    Oh, I agree with you on the "tyranny of the marketplace." They've been funnelling us in one direction since the late 90's and the clamping down of Napster. Our choices come down, more and more, to the industry-killilng Amazon and/or ITunes. As much as possible, we need to make those our very last resort when purchasing.

    The video game was just a parallel example, but it's true. Movies are spared because, no matter how you put it, it sucks to watch an movie on an IPhone (now an IPad, hmmm.....)

    At the end of the day, though, yeah, I spend a lot of time on surround forums, people associate me with surround upmixes, etc. You know what, though? I like portability. I like my IPhone. I like that I'm legally currently streaming the new Dr. John album on Spotify through my phone in the office while I type this. None of this is actually bad (well, except if you're the struggling young artist. They've moved the goalpost on you too.) It's just occurred at the cost of something else that's also near and dear to me. MP3's sound terrible on everything other than my phone. It's absolute true.

    I have hope in people who are now 15 years younger than me who are spending over $200 on a pair of headphones. I agree with Elmer that some of that is the status of having a big "B" on the sides of your headphones, but those things are actually pretty good quality headphones and are more unforgiving than what they were buying before that. Getting better quality music into their hands, on the devices they currently use, is a major step in the right direction. I would hope that was direction Jobs and Neil Young would have wound up going in.

    Surround? Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    Quote Originally Posted by DKA View Post
    Wow. new players only holding 30 albums each, and music you'd download overnight because the file size is so high. Sounds like a winning formula......NOT.
    30 minutes for each song does not seem right. what kind of connection does Young use, 56k modem? If he is talking broadband, the file size would be enormous. And why, as hi rez files can be downsized with flac easily.
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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    Remember T-Bone Burnette's Code format for the last John Mellencamp record? 2 years ago - the next step in audio evolution! Now, gone and forgotten.

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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    Quote Originally Posted by cupboy View Post
    Neil Young talking about rich people. That's pretty funny!

    I guess he hasn't checked his account balance for quite a few years.
    Back in the 90's when we lived in San Francisco, my wife used to travel regularly for work and always tried to get a first class upgrade on her flights. On one particular flight she was told that first class was sold out. As the plane was getting ready to depart she said a family got on board and occupied the entire first class section, leaving many seats vacant and led by someone who she described as "a homeless looking guy." She pointed out the vacant seats to her neighbor who looked up and informed her that it was Neil Young.

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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    I DO look down upon those for whom MP3 is good enough. Many have never heard a good hi-fi system. Yet, in our priveledged society, I find it impossible to believe that people are unaware quality sound reproduction exists.

    On mentioning being into high fidelity, I've been chastized by some who remember mono being the only choice. "Haven't you heard, girl, they invented a thing called stereo." They've heard stereo, and maybe surround, too. But they wouldn't know HIGH FIDELITY if it bit them in the ASS!!

    And we wonder why a viable Quad/surround format is SO elusive, at least from a marketing standpoint. Let's face it, people dig pink slime.

    Quote Originally Posted by paligap View Post
    And it does all come back to MP3 because, hey, that is the standard now. I just find it wholly inadequate on my sound system at home. I don't look down upon those who do and for whom MP3 is good enough.
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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    Quote Originally Posted by Quad Linda View Post
    I DO look down upon those for whom MP3 is good enough. Many have never heard a good hi-fi system. Yet, in our priveledged society, I find it impossible to believe that people are unaware quality sound reproduction exists.
    In 2012, portability trumps quality. It doesn't matter whether they've "heard a good hi-fi system." Today's listeners prefers packing as many songs onto a 32 GB IPhone as can be. We can identify any number of better formats from the past, but the past is just that.

    The question is whether this idea, as supposedly pitched by that bastion of modern taste, Neil Young, to Steve Jobs, has a prayer, and I think that you need to work with people where they are at this very minute in order to get them to better quality sound.

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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    Quote Originally Posted by Odys View Post
    Back in the 90's when we lived in San Francisco, my wife used to travel regularly for work and always tried to get a first class upgrade on her flights. On one particular flight she was told that first class was sold out. As the plane was getting ready to depart she said a family got on board and occupied the entire first class section, leaving many seats vacant and led by someone who she described as "a homeless looking guy." She pointed out the vacant seats to her neighbor who looked up and informed her that it was Neil Young.
    The nerve of that guy, buying first class tickets for himself and his family. I bet Frank Zappa never did anything like that.

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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    DKA, I agree with you completely. With all due respect, I think you missed what I had written between the lines. I'll spell it out: between the size of these files, the storage space needed, and mainly people's disinterest in high fidelity, this format doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell. The patent(s) may get approved, and it may even come to market. It will sink like a stone.

    The average consumer doesn't care about fidelity or surround sound. All they care about is convenience and hearing the music, regardless of fidelity. I hope someone can find a way to bridge the gap between that and performance. I don't see that happening in this case.

    Quote Originally Posted by DKA View Post
    In 2012, portability trumps quality. It doesn't matter whether they've "heard a good hi-fi system." Today's listeners prefers packing as many songs onto a 32 GB IPhone as can be. We can identify any number of better formats from the past, but the past is just that.

    The question is whether this idea, as supposedly pitched by that bastion of modern taste, Neil Young, to Steve Jobs, has a prayer, and I think that you need to work with people where they are at this very minute in order to get them to better quality sound.
    KWAD KITTY

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    500 Club - QQ All Star Odys's Avatar
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    Default Re: Neil Young Files For Trademark on New Digital Audio Format

    Quote Originally Posted by paligap View Post
    The nerve of that guy, buying first class tickets for himself and his family. I bet Frank Zappa never did anything like that.
    I guess I would too if I could afford it. My point was that his family only took up 4 or 5 seats of the 12-16 seats in first class, depending on the size of the cabin, yet he bought out the entire cabin.

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