According to the Associated Press, (via The Seattle Times) folk legend Neil Young told an audience at the “D: Dive Into Media” conference in Laguna Niguel, California yesterday that he viewed the online piracy of music as taking the place of traditional radio as an acceptable outlet for prospective fans to preview low-grade versions of songs before purchasing the higher-quality copy legally. Young also stated that recordings official and otherwise are of a far lower quality than he would like (Young claimed that song files available on iTunes, for example, are compressed for easier sharing, and only hold five per cent of the sound data from the original studio recordings).Young went on to say that he and late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had discussed developing a format which would contain all one hundred per cent of that data. It could take up to thirty minutes to download a single song, he explained, but went on to say that he envisioned people simply downloading over night. “Sleep well. Wake up in the morning. Play some real music and listen to the joy of 100 percent of the sound of music,” he said.To get back to Young’s piracy statement, this school of thought isn’t exactly new (who out there hasn’t said something to the effect of “I’ll just download it for now, then buy it later if I like it,” if only to feel better about lifting it), but the direct line of comparison from internet music grabbing to formal radio isn’t one I’d necessarily drawn before. The break in the metaphor is that people own these downloaded copies, and–as many appear satisfied with the sometimes-low-sound-quality versions of songs–they aren’t quite as driven to pay for premium grade recordings. Thoughts?