Dr Dre aims to "save digital music"

Dre's got his eye on MP3 quality
Dre's got his eye on MP3 quality (Image credit: David Barry/Corbis)

Rapper/producer Dr Dre is working with technology company Hewlett-Packard (HP) and chairman of Interscope Jimmy Iovine to dramatically improve the audio quality of digital music files.

HP will launch a range of premium laptops, headphones and software that will be marketed under the brand Beats By Dr Dre. They are expected to hit the US market this autumn.

The plan is for Dre and Iovine to "reconstruct the entire 'digital music ecosystem' from the sound file to the computer." Whatever that means.

"We have to fix the entire chain," Iovine told CNET. "Our position is to go to all the sources and try to improve sound and educate people… We can't put anything weak in the line. Whoever puts out things that sound bad shouldn't be as cool as something that sounds great."

Iovine hopes these actions are the first steps to improving the current state of the music industry.

"The record business committed many, many mistakes in the last 10 years, and I'm right in there, Iovine said." One of them was letting its product get degraded. It's one thing to let it get stolen, it's another to allow it to be degraded because then you really don't have a chance… video games and TV quality are getting better and the quality of our work is getting lower. If that happens, then music will become disposable. That's something we can fix."

Dre has already launched a headphone range earlier this year in conjunction with Monster Cable in the US.

What Dre hasn't managed to do is complete his album Detox, which has been nearly a decade in the making.