Neil Young trademarks music format, online store
According to documents filed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Young applied for six trademarks in June 2011, Rolling Stone reports. The nature of the trademarks suggests that Young is planning to develop a music format to rival current industry standards, like MP3 or AAC.
Young also filed for a trademark that suggests a possible music distribution service, as well. The description from the USPTO office states: "Online and retail store services featuring music and artistic performances, high resolution music downloadable from the internet, high resolutions discs featuring music and video, and pre-recorded digital media featuring audio and video recordings for storage and playback."
Plans for a high-quality music format may have been in the works for years. Young revealed he was working with the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, on the next iPod in February at an All Things D conference.
According to Young, Jobs wanted to create a format that had 20 times the fidelity of current electronic music files. Young claims, Apple's AAC format only holds 5 percent of the full recorded data, while compact discs hold about 15 percent.
"Steve Jobs was a pioneer of digital music. His legacy is tremendous," Young said. "But when he went home, he listened to vinyl," Young said at the "D: Dive Into Media" conference in February.
Jobs and Young agreed there was a lack of high-quality music formats. They wanted to work on new hardware that was capable of storing files with 100 percent of the data recorded in a studio. The only problem is a music file of that caliber would take 30 minutes to download one song.
"I talked to Steve about it. We were working on it," Young said. "You've got to believe if he lived long enough he would eventually try to do what I'm trying to do."
The "D: Dive Into Media" conference was held my All Things D. Co-executive editor Walt Mossberg, interviewed Young and confirmed Jobs' sentiment over digital music.
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