Alan Parsons: MP3s need to go away fast

Alan Parsons
Alan Parsons (Image credit: Getty)

Alan Parsons says he’d like to see the back of the MP3 format.

Parsons, known for his studio work with artists including the Beatles and Pink Floyd, laments the sound quality of the format and says consumers are making the wrong choice.

He tells One On One With Mitch Lafon: “Some people poo-poo digital recording and stick to their analogue guns and say analogue is the only way to record and the only way to listen at home. And the resurgence of vinyl is a sort of testament to that.

“I’m a supporter of digital technology – I’ve supported it ever since the early days of CD and I recognise that, every day, it improves. Every day we have new systems, new converters which make digital audio sound more and more like analogue and more transparent with every passing moment. I think there’s a very strong future in digital recording.”

But when asked if something is lost when it comes to releasing music on the MP3 format, Parsons adds: “Absolutely. MP3s are the worst thing to happen to the industry in years.

“The trouble is, the consumer always makes the wrong decision. We thought the compact cassette was the way to go but that was a horrible format.

“We’ve now got MP3 as the main format, which is another big mistake. The only real hi-fi is high-resolution audio, which you can find on the internet. There’s various companies offering high-resolution audio – and the stuff that’s available on Blu-ray and DVD. That’s all quality. But MP3 needs to go away very, very quickly.”

Parsons recently released the album Live In Colombia under the Alan Parsons Symphonic Project banner. It was recorded with Medellin’s Philharmonic Orchestra at the Parque Pies Descalzos, Colombia, on August 31, 2013.

He’s currently on the road in the US and is planning further symphonic shows in the future.

The Prog Interview: Alan Parsons on Abbey Road, The Beatles and more!

Alan Parsons Live Project tour dates

Jun 04: Peachtree City Frederick Brown Jr Amphitheatre, GA
Jul 04: Barcelona The Barts, Spain
Jul 06: Madrid Jardin Botanico Alfonso XIII, Spain
Jul 09: Gavorrano Teatro Delle Rocce, Italy
Jul 11: Rome Via De Pointe Salario, Italy
Jul 12: Cattolica Arena Della Regina, Italy
Jul 14: Newton Theatre, NJ
Jul 16: Atlantic City Resorts, NJ

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.