What Does Neil Young Have Against MP3s? Rock Legend Seeks Trademark for New Audio Format

Legendary rocker Neil Young reportedly does not like how his songs currently sound on his iPod. To remedy the problem, he is working on a new, high-resolution audio format to replace MP3s, as evidenced by several trademarks applications recently filed on his behalf.

Rolling Stone reports that Young applied for six trademarks last June: Ivanhoe, 21st Century Record Player, Earth Storage, Storage Shed, Thanks for Listening and SQS (Studio Quality Sound). The trademarks are described as follows: “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.” The address on the application was traced backed to Vapor Records, Young’s record label.

The trademarks will be published in the Official Gazette this month. At that point, anyone who believes it may be damaged by registration of the mark has 30 days from the publication date to file either an opposition to registration or a request to extend the time to oppose. If no one opposes Young’s marks, they will move on to the next step in the trademark process.

Young has been a vocal critic of the quality of digital music. He even reportedly met with Apple CEO Steve Jobs before his death in the hopes of collaborating to create a new device capable of storing studio quality music.

“When I started making records, we had a hundred percent of the sound,” said Young. “And then you listen to it as an MP3 at the same volume – people leave the room. It hurts … It’s not that digital is bad or inferior. It’s that the way it’s being used is not sufficient to transfer the depth of the art.”

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