Previous reports of Neil Young’s upcoming "Archive" release–a 10-disc set of live material from 1963-72 that will come out this fall–suggested that the material will only be available in Blu-ray disc format. But according to an Billboard interview with the man published today, "Archive" will also be made available on CD and DVD format. In the interview, however, Young effuses about the superiority of the format’s sound quality and navigation system. He goes on to explain, "the fact there aren’t many players out there now doesn’t meant that much to me, because it is the future, so I would rather focus on what’s next."
This does sound a little out of character for a man who has built a career on his obsession with America’s agrarian past. And although forecasts of the recording industry’s financial situation are well-worn cliches at this point, it’s hard not to see this gesture as part of a growing trend to jump to new, less lossy digital formats as a way of recapturing profits lost to downloading. This is something Sasha Frere-Jones, the pop music critic of the New Yorker, has been speculating about on his blog, and it begs the question of whether it’s just a matter of time before Neil Young starts pumping FLAC downloads of his back catalog. [Billboard]