Why is the industry so lame?

I'm a 40+ audiophile who just can't understand why the industry is so tied to the past. Countless audio manufacturers will eventually go the way of the buggy makers if this continues. Consider:

In 1998 the Diamond Rio was introduced and Diamond was sued by the RIAA.
In 2001, the Ipod was introduced and it held 1000 songs.
In January 2003 Flac was introduced.
In 2003, Sonos was founded.
In November 2003 the Squeezebox was introduced.
In April 2004 Apple introduced its own lossless codec.
In 2005, Apple sold over 20MM Ipods for the first time.
In December 2007, Apple sells its 125 Millionth Ipod.

As we head into 2008, this is where the industry finds itself:

A growing number of mfrs now have proprietary Ipod docks to enhance their revenues to the tune of $100-300.

Krell now has a dock dubbed the KID that includes a preamp for about $1300. Matching power amp TBD.

The vast majority of preamplifiers have no DAC or DAC option.

Bryston and Naim have integrated DAC's into one of their integrated amplifiers (Bryston's is an option).

Only Outlaw has a 2 channel receiver with built-in DAC.

Rather than seeing the emerging new technology as something to be embraced the entire industry seems to regard it as something to ridicule. Sure, not everyone wants a DAC in their amp but how many are buying $2500 CD transports these days or even $1000 phono cartridges.

When will the industry wake up and smell the coffee?

I've owned an Ipod for four years now so I'm not arguing for/against a product I'm unfamiliar with. I copy my CD's to my iPod in WAV format to avoid the audible problems evident with compression, but the iPod still isn't all that great sounding. Like you I'm 46 years old; I also work in semiconductors so the technology thing isn't a foreign concept either.

There are many that will argue digital is finally as good as analogue, no one will argue it's better (for what it's worth a decent analogue rig still stomps any digital source I've ever heard). And when I say digital source material I'm referring to store bought music in uncompressed format, not the "lossless" or "lossy" compression techniques that are used by Apple and others.

My reference point is my analogue front end, followed by several quality CDP's (feel free to browse my virtual systems), iPod doesn't even come close to even my kid's systems for sound quality.

You feel that high-end companion products ought to be offered up by the likes of ARC, BAT, CJ, etc.. The fact is you can't fix problems downstream: Garbage in, garbage out. Why create "music-first" products when the source is compromised from the get-go?

So.... some value ease of use, others will go the extra step because quality matters to them. Audiophiles are passionate about their music and as such, we forego convenience.
what happened to analogue ? lps are timeless. why all the fuss about digital formats ? there is enough hardware and software out there , even it is not ipod friendly.
T_Bone: You raise good points about the economics. I do think that there is a move towards integration for a lot of consumers. Witness the rise of the integrated amplifier in the past few years. Everybody, including ARC, Krell, CJ, Rowland, VTL and so on now have one or more. A few mfrs are even offering 2 channel receivers again (Krell did a few years back, Music Hall is in, Outlaw is in). Putting an appropriate DAC on a $1000-2500 integrated would add a few hundred to several hundred dollars at retail.

Next, consider the 125MM Ipods out there. I'll bet more audiophiles have one than a turntable. Those Ipods are connected to computers that can stream the files all over the house. Not in one room, but many. There is revenue to be had there. How many audiophiles have only one system and how many more would like a 'decent' background system in other rooms?

Ghanson: You're right that some just prefer a different medium whether it is perceived sound quality, familiarity or whatever. But with all due respect, I think the 125MM Ipods is probably a lot higher a number than the number of turntables in current use. Even among 'audiophiles.'
Until the software (music and entertainment industries) changes, there isn't a standard for the hardware industry.

Music Giants is a step in the right direction, but only a start.
Hack: You and I are of about the same vintage. I was born just before the end of the 50's. We are not far apart in our thinking, though.

I don't delve into the analog vs. digital fray because I switched to digital back in the late 80's. Maybe that reveals my bias for ease of use, but in any case....

It is sad that the industry hasn't given us a format (with its marketing muscle behind it) that tops what was available almost 30 years ago when the 16 bit 44.1k standard was adopted. We should have digital resolution light years ahead of that standardized by now. I remember 360k one sided 5 1/4 floppies and the like in college. The CD resolution standard was developed several years before that.

With SACD and DVD-A flopping (like HDCD before them) we are left with analog and the CD standard. Everything else is pretty small potatoes.

The industry has accepted CD as a legitimate. Rega was probably the last to succumb in the late 90's. ARC, CJ, ML, Krell and others did before.

So, lossless or WAV files if you want to be a purist represent a benchmark that has been accepted in the high end (save maybe Goldmund and a few other mfrs).

Several, including J Atkinson of Stereophile and R Harley of TAS have said that a computer driven lossless file properly reproduced is equal if not superior to a CD in sound quality. Even at the highest level of the high end. My opinions of these editors and their biases I'll reserve for now.

A few renegades in the '70's (ARC, CJ, ML, Krell, Linn to name a few) were singing their own tune when the rest of the industry went to transistors and direct drive tables with high power/ great specs/ lousy sound. A few, like JGH of Stereophile and HP of TAS called a spade a spade. The market realized these mfrs had something special and rewarded them.

Today the market has seen a move from vinyl to CD to digital formats as noted above. The opportunity to stream this source material across the home exists. Not just one room but many can have source material equal or better than the quality from a CD playback system.

So, why won't the heavies who began the High End revolution in tyhe 1970's wake up and realize that they have a bona fide opportunity here?

Please, help make this happen. Incorporate wifi and DAC's to enable a whole house music of high quality? Think of the opportunity - multiple amps instead of one, multiple speaker pairs instead of one... the opportunities go on.