December 1st will be an exciting day for Neil Young fans. the musician has announced via facebook that he will be releasing a "filing cabinet" full of all his recordings, which will be available to the public, and initially, it will be free to stream. Further, the complete catalog will be available in the highest quality that your device can deliver. And further still, that evening Neil Young will be offering a free webcast of a live musical performance!
Young posted a note about the archives to neilyoungarchives.com stating, "Every single, recorded track or album I have produced is represented. It is always current. You can browse through the music I made between today's date and 1963, when I made my first recording in Canada and it was released as a 45 RPM single." In addition to the music, it also looks as though the "filing cabinet" will offer detailed information about every album and song he has recorded. Young states that the songs in the archive will be "stored on info cards with their associated credits, memorabilia, films or video, press and photographs. Information is still being added. The NYA is a living document."
It will be interesting to see how much the higher quality audio service, called XStream, will be noticeable on my listening devices. Rolling Stone magazine's Daniel Kreps describes the service, "Young, a longtime critic of digital music quality, also explained how the Xstream Music – a high resolution 'adaptive streaming service' (and, as Pitchfork points outopens a new window, the name of the entertainment company on Fox's Empire) – will vary the quality of the stream depending on the bandwidth the user has available. At its best, XStream will deliver super high-res, 6,000-kilobits-per-second (kbps) quality to visitors of the Neil Young Archives; for visitors using data on their mobile devices, a 700-kbps stream would still bring compact disc-quality audio. XStream will also have access to the 'pure uncompressed masters,' Young promised.
As if all that were not enough, fans will get to see Young perform live on December 1st via webcast on his facebook page.
To view Pima County Public Library's Neil Young offerings, click here.