Emil Torick On Why The MP3 Was Good Enough
Here's my favorite quote:
"We had the MPEG-1 Layer II which seemed to be almost transparent. Ah, and then along came Layer III and it was pretty clear to most of us that it wasn't of, ah, adequate quality. But the fact is that it was good enough and today MP3 is the dominant encoding system.Since we know that different people hear differently, I'm of the opinion that "good enough" is not a universal value and Mr. Torick's comments make it clear that the MP3 was not of "adequate quality" for everyone involved. But it turned out to be good enough—"MP3, good enough for people who don't really listen." (I made that up).
We need to remind ourselves that there's something that is equally important than the absolute perfect quality and that is that the marketplace will accept something which is good enough if it has other desirable attributes."
From a Facebook post by John Krivit written on the occasion of Mr. Torick's passing in 2010:
Emil's career in Audio Engineering began in 1958, when he joined the professional staff of CBS Laboratories. It was the beginning of a twenty-eight year association, which resulted in more than sixty technical publications and sixteen U. S. patents, a number of which were awarded for his inventions of audio signal processing devices for broadcast and recording applications. As the CBS Vice President for Audio Technology, Emil led all advanced audio and acoustics research for the CBS Radio and Television and for CBS Records. He also served as Director of R & D for the CBS Musical Instruments Division which included such companies as Steinway Pianos and Fender Guitars. Emil Torick’s most lasting accomplishment came not from his great scientific mind but from his heart. He started in 1984, and ran for 25 years, the AES foundation which has awarded thousands of dollars to almost 200 students pursuing graduate degrees in the field of audio. This work lives on as scholarship funds that can be applied for each year.