Tuesday, March 06, 2012

the hipstamatic and beats headphones: why style beats fidelity

As my recent photos will attest, I am a fan of the hipstamatic. Recently some critics have argued it cheapens photojournalism now that hipstamatic photos are regularly published in major publications (Time, NY Times, etc) and winning major photojournalism awards, but I think the lesson is that people don't care about fidelity. Digital photography surpassed a decade ago the level of fidelity that any human could possibly detect. And yet the the number of megapixels keep growing. The hipstamatic showed, that it is megapixels that matter but style.

Similarly, when Dr Dre's beats headphones were introduced they were roundly bashed, as having the lowest fidelity of any high end head phone. But just a quick survey on people on the subway show that people don't care. It is style, both in the look, but also in the frequency response (the booming base that makes the headphones sing), that people are drawn to.
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