This is humorous to me on a number of levels:
1. I’m no fan of Neil Young’s music, but I’ve heard a fair amount of it in my life because my dad was a fan. Young’s work isn’t exactly the sort of “music” that would benefit from a higher-grade sound system, and his vocals and guitar work make me question whether he can really hear the difference anyway.
2. Sure MP3 files may not be ideal, but at higher quality levels (like the 256k files from AmazonMP3 or iTunes Plus) any loss from a CD is hardly noticeable to the average ear, especially on the sound systems that the average listener can afford.
3. Young shouldn’t blame the playback technology too much either – the phrase “garbage in, garbage out” from computing works in the recording industry, too. An overwhelming amount of recordings are created to maximize volume and even out the levels for the sake of radio singles.
But go ahead, Neil. Blame the technology. I’ll keep blaming your tin ear.