Simple. You just buy a new DVD player. The one you’ve already got is probably due for an upgrade anyway. Right?

Not quite. The Archives are not, as far as I can make out, going to be yet another box set like the other box sets sitting on the shelf beside Hughesy’s armchair.

I mean we’re talking Neil Young. You don’t expect anything to be that straightforward. He doesn’t operate that way.

The first set of disks are largely drawn from the years before he set himself up at the Broken Arrow ranch south of San Francisco, so I guess he’ll have had to trawl through all sorts of places to get the contents for the initial package. After that, however, the sheer potential mass of digital and other data threatens to stagger the imagination.

We know, for instance, that these days every Neil Young concert is professionally recorded, usually by his son Zeke.

Having been in a position to more or less shut himself away on the ranch, which has recording studio facilities, and play around to his heart’s content without anyone in the outside world being any the wiser, there will be stuff appearing in The Archives that even the most hardcore fan hasn’t heard the vaguest whisper about.

So once they’re released, you’ll be able to wander through the masses of pictures, lyrics, diaries and whatever else is included at the same time as you’re listening to high-quality digital audio (24 Bit 192khz Stereo, apparently) that won’t necessarily be linked to the stuff you’re looking at.

You’ll need a Bluray DVD player with a hard drive that’s capable of downloading upgrades and new material as it becomes available over the internet, which is why Mr Young is suggesting that we all shell out for a Playstation 3. 

More than likely you’ll  need to upgrade your audio-visual hardware as well. 


B© Ian Hughes 2012