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Old 02-08-2012, 08:55 PM   #61
rock, stone rock, stone is offline
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True, but at the time Amazon didn't have the ecosystem to support the music sales - and still don't. There is no Amazon music player. The success of iTunes wasn't that it was the best, it was becuase it was the easiest to use. Amazon could put out hi rez audio if they wanted to, but they have no way to promote it. Apple could upgrade an iPod specifically for hi rez audio and create a new market.



Apple added color screens to their iPods in 2004. The iPod Touch debuted in 2007 (after Zune) with the releases of the iPhone, which was being worked on years prior to any knowledge of the Zune. I'm not saying the Zune didn't speed up that development, but Apple did have a clear idea a touch screen iPod for some time.

My point is, Apple does react to trends - sometimes - but it also paves new paths. To say that iTunes Plus was purely reactionary would be a disservice to the company. There is hi rez audio downloads available, it hasn't been all that successful. I'm just hoping that Apple takes a stab at it.
I clearly said color menu artwork, which Zune had first. I think my point with both the Zune and Amazon examples is that Apple doesn't (or hasn't for some time) like to upgrade because they can, they upgrade for marketing reasons.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:59 PM   #62
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I have very modest equipment, but even doing an A/B comparison on a couple discs makes it difficult to hear the difference. Now, if I stick in WYWH SACD and do an A/B - that is a completely different story. Its like hearing the music for the first time all over again.
In the very early days of SACD I was on many forums online trying to explain how realistic it sounded. I was mostly met with rude people telling me that nothing could sound better than CD. In particular one guy hounded me about the guitar intro on the title track of the WYWH CD. He claimed there was "no way" it could sound more realistic because it already sounds like a live guitar on CD, according to him. Of course at that time there was no SACD version of WYWH but today the difference is inescapable.

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And I'm not talking about the difference from Stereo to Suround - I'm listening to all these tracks through two speakers. The same way I can hear the difference between a well produced Blu-ray and a rushed Blu-ray, I can tell the difference between a well produced SACD and a rushed SACD.

Unfortunately, many were rushed to the market and sound barely better than their CD counterparts - IMHO.
Yeah, you've said that but which barely sound better than their CD counterparts? I don't think Sony or any other label rushed these to market. The quality control was good and even J Lo On the Six featured a great audio engineer in Robert Ludwig. In some cases, the SACDs were sourced from poor recordings or source material but why should that be held as a negative? It's a reflection of audio realities. I like a lot of stuff that will never win any audio awards, and always find it worthwhile for that added resolution in DSD. Even the '20s recordings of Louis Armstrong included as bonus tracks on Satch Plays Fats which are sourced from acetate sound significantly better than any other version I've heard.
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:12 AM   #63
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I have very modest equipment, but even doing an A/B comparison on a couple discs makes it difficult to hear the difference. Now, if I stick in WYWH SACD and do an A/B - that is a completely different story. Its like hearing the music for the first time all over again.

And I'm not talking about the difference from Stereo to Suround - I'm listening to all these tracks through two speakers. The same way I can hear the difference between a well produced Blu-ray and a rushed Blu-ray, I can tell the difference between a well produced SACD and a rushed SACD.

Unfortunately, many were rushed to the market and sound barely better than their CD counterparts - IMHO.
I believe a lot of SACDs were sourced from CD-quality PCM masters. It is similar to many LP releases of modern music that are from the CD source instead of the master recording. You'd think that the studios would want to tout a high fidelity format (as they can make more money off it) but I guess they were too cheap/lazy to do it correctly.

For example, I wanted to get the 2001 Journey album "Arrival". I'm enough of a fan where I was willing to pay $50 for the SACD but I found out that it was from a CD master. I also wanted to get the import LP of Journey's "Eclipse" that came out recently but again it is a copy of the CD.

On the other hand, the SACD of their Greatest Hits collection sounds great, but I only know any of this because I found reviews online, something that wasn't very commonplace in the late '90s. If I were interested in buying into the format and couldn't tell if a disc was any good without purchasing it, I'd be quite hesitant.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:39 AM   #64
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The overwhelming majority of SACDs are painstakingly remastered from the best available source material. In many cases, a newly discovered original master tape was used that showed off the music like never before, e.g., Gil Evans & Ten.

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For example, I wanted to get the 2001 Journey album "Arrival". I'm enough of a fan where I was willing to pay $50 for the SACD but I found out that it was from a CD master. I also wanted to get the import LP of Journey's "Eclipse" that came out recently but again it is a copy of the CD.
I'd be skeptical of what you found out. It's not "a copy of the CD"; it may be sourced from a 16/44.1 master. Other SACDs like Agents of Fortune and Cheap Thrills are not great recordings, but they sound better than other digital versions. SACD isn't a cure for poor recordings or source material. Part of its appeal is it provides a clearer window to the source than lower resolution formats.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:43 AM   #65
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The overwhelming majority of SACDs are painstakingly remastered from the best available source material. In many cases, a newly discovered original master tape was used that showed off the music like never before, e.g., Gil Evans & Ten.



I'd be skeptical of what you found out. It's not "a copy of the CD"; it may be sourced from a 16/44.1 master. Other SACDs like Agents of Fortune and Cheap Thrills are not great recordings, but they sound better than other digital versions. SACD isn't a cure for poor recordings or source material. Part of its appeal is it provides a clearer window to the source than lower resolution formats.
Not to sound rude, but isn't a 44.1/16 source the same thing as "a copy of the CD" as it's the same sound quality? The LP for "Eclipse" is based off a 44.1/16 master, as is the CD. Therefore I'd call them identical in terms of their source.
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:23 AM   #66
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Not to sound rude, but isn't a 44.1/16 source the same thing as "a copy of the CD" as it's the same sound quality? The LP for "Eclipse" is based off a 44.1/16 master, as is the CD. Therefore I'd call them identical in terms of their source.
No, it's not the same. It's perfectly acceptable to source an SACD from 16/44.1 if it's an early digital recording. That's not "a copy of the CD". It's going back to the original master and transferring to DSD.
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:12 PM   #67
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In some cases, the SACDs were sourced from poor recordings or source material but why should that be held as a negative? It's a reflection of audio realities. I like a lot of stuff that will never win any audio awards, and always find it worthwhile for that added resolution in DSD.
I think it should be held in the negative, yes. I liken it to early Blu-ray releases where Warner and Paramount were using 1080i source material (because it was already on the shelf) and lossy audio codecs. One that I still have in my collection is The Fugitive. The source material was absolute crap, and it resulted in a video presentation that was blocky, crushed, and DNRed to death. The only thing the master did was expose how poorly it had been mastered in the first place.

However, if we look at a film like In the Line of Fire, a film from the same year and of a similar style (action), we see an infinitely better presentation. Video is crisp and details. Colors are well represented, and clear of artificats.

Why do we have two different results? Because Warner used what they had on the shelf and Sony went back to the drawing board and make it the best presentation they could (to their credit).

Its the same situation with audio. Had the studios gone back and remastered the tracks to expose everything the mic captured, these SACDs would be inifinitely better than their CD counterparts. Unfortunately, they rushed to the market with whatever they had, which as singhcr mentioned, was likely masters optimized for CDs. Sure, its an investment, but the only way to establish a format is to put your best foot forward.

Sony invested heavily in Blu-ray (likely after seeing the failure of multiple other formats) and won big. Had they (and other record companies) put the same level of dedication into SACD, we wouldn't be talking about Blu-ray Audio at all, because SACD would have been it.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:05 PM   #68
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Its the same situation with audio. Had the studios gone back and remastered the tracks to expose everything the mic captured, these SACDs would be inifinitely better than their CD counterparts. Unfortunately, they rushed to the market with whatever they had, which as singhcr mentioned, was likely masters optimized for CDs. Sure, its an investment, but the only way to establish a format is to put your best foot forward.
There has been a lot of controversary about some content at HDTRACKS, because some of their offerings have been sourced from SACDs, DVD-A's, or other old transfers of unknown origin. Since the FLAC files are easy to examine in various tools, telltale signs of hard cutoffs as 22KHz become possible to spot. It turns out there does appear to have been content that may not be considered fully "high res" that was previously sold on high res discs. It just was never as easy to spot previously. Some of it may still sound fine of course, and this would not be charactertistic of most releases. Then as now, best to research and read reviews prior to purchasing. (HDTRACKS has taken steps to eliminate such issues)

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Old 02-09-2012, 08:50 PM   #69
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I think it should be held in the negative, yes. I liken it to early Blu-ray releases where Warner and Paramount were using 1080i source material (because it was already on the shelf) and lossy audio codecs. One that I still have in my collection is The Fugitive. The source material was absolute crap, and it resulted in a video presentation that was blocky, crushed, and DNRed to death. The only thing the master did was expose how poorly it had been mastered in the first place.

However, if we look at a film like In the Line of Fire, a film from the same year and of a similar style (action), we see an infinitely better presentation. Video is crisp and details. Colors are well represented, and clear of artificats.

Why do we have two different results? Because Warner used what they had on the shelf and Sony went back to the drawing board and make it the best presentation they could (to their credit).

Its the same situation with audio.
It's not the same. Your example of The Fugitive is totally valid. The studio could have gone back to the film source and done a proper transfer at 1080p with lossless audio. Instead, Warner failed. That is not the situation at Sony. I don't know how many times I need to say this, but early digital recordings only exist at 16/44.1. Sony did not go to a 16/44.1 source out of laziness or incompetence. The fact is that high resolution digital recording did not exist in the early '80s.

Further, as with titles like Miles Davis - Jazz at the Plaza, some recordings are just crappy, done with poor microphones and bad mic placement in a live, chaotic atmosphere. That didn't stop Sony and digital audio engineer Mark Wilder from painstakingly transferring the recordings to DSD using the best possible source material and releasing it as SACD. Does Jazz at the Plaza SACD sound good? No. Does it sound better than any other digital version? Yeah, but it remains a crappy recording. To expect it to sound great just because it's on SACD is ignorant. And even though you can hear the problems, warts and all, the SACD still provides a window to the original performance unlike any other digital version. Now that did not stop ignorant listeners from hearing Jazz at the Plaza (likely for the first time) and declaring SACD to suck, out of sheer ignorance.

There is tremendous variability in recording quality and source material, and people just don't get that. So when an SACD sounds bad, they rail on Sony and paint with a broad brush. The fact is Sony and engineers like Mark Wilder painstakingly and at great expense did things right. The titles were not rushed. They appeared slowly over many years.

Quote:
Had the studios gone back and remastered the tracks to expose everything the mic captured, these SACDs would be inifinitely better than their CD counterparts.
First of all, these are not studios we're talking about. They're record labels. You're confusing yourself by trying to superimpose an analogy on SACD that simply doesn't fit. You can't turn a bad recording into a good one just because DSD comes along. You also can't pretend a better source than 16/44.1 exists for certain titles just so you can rail on Sony. In the case of many '80s digital recordings, there only is a 16/44.1 master. This isn't like The Fugitive.

Quote:
Unfortunately, they rushed to the market with whatever they had, which as singhcr mentioned, was likely masters optimized for CDs. Sure, its an investment, but the only way to establish a format is to put your best foot forward.
Sony did not "rush to market with whatever they had". They took their time to review their catalog and get approval for certain titles and entire segments of Columbia's catalog. David Kawakami and the other hardworking people in Sony's DSD and music group went back to the best possible source and in a labor of love remastered in DSD from the original master tapes a couple dozen Miles titles, 15 Dylan titles, a dozen Szell and the Cleveland orchestra and many, many more. Sony didn't have to do this. It took a lot of balls and money to release a high resolution consumer format and market it properly to give it a shot. We as an audiophile community failed to recognize the opportunity and apparently some of us are still failing.

Some recordings just plain suck. Does that mean Sony shouldn't have released them on SACD? I think Sony was right to release that Journey stuff and Jazz at the Plaza among some other stinkers. SACD is a format. It's not magic. It doesn't go back and re-record a poorly engineered session. Nor does it alter the limitations of the source. All it does is provide a higher-resolution window into the recording so you can experience the musicians in the best possible way in terms of digital audio.

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Sony invested heavily in Blu-ray (likely after seeing the failure of multiple other formats) and won big. Had they (and other record companies) put the same level of dedication into SACD, we wouldn't be talking about Blu-ray Audio at all, because SACD would have been it.
Nonsense. Home video is a totally different ballgame than audio, which is now marketed for people on the go more than people at home. No matter how much Sony invested in SACD (and it was far beyond what you estimate, I assure you), it would never have put a dent in the rise of MP3/iTunes. Consumers chose that for their digital audio medium. SACD was unfortunately destined to be a niche market from the beginning but Sony went above and beyond the call of duty to try to make it bigger.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:32 PM   #70
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Gremal, I get what you are saying about how SACD isn't magic, it's source dependent. From what you say Sony and the recording engineers did make a lot of good recordings, and it's not fair to dismiss that effort as "rushing to market."

However, it would make sense from a marketing standpoint to release launch titles that take full advantage of the SACD format, such as DSD recordings of analog tape or 24 bit digital masters. If you tout the format as being superior to CD, you should have your best stuff on display so people don't have to investigate whether the SACD sounds bad because of the poor source. They should just pop in the disc and say "wow!" Even though the majority of SACD releases sounded good, it just doesn't make sense to release SACD titles that don't show off the format during its inception as consumers are only going to purchase a title or two to see if they like the format.

Imagine if there were a flood of BD titles at launch that were like The Fugitive or were based off of pristine Beta SP tapes or 8mm prints. They show off the full resolution of the source material, but they are a far cry from what BD can do with a good 35mm or 70mm print.

What won me over to listening almost exclusively to vinyl was how much better the LPs sounded compared to the CDs I already owned of famous artists like the Bee Gees, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, etc. If I heard a bunch of 44.1/16 sourced material early on, I wouldn't think much of the format.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:50 PM   #71
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Don't forget that it was not just the format war between Super Audio CD and DVD Audio. They were both coming after only ten years of the cd format so the general public weren't going to except a new format that soon no matter what.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:53 AM   #72
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It's not the same. Your example of The Fugitive is totally valid. The studio could have gone back to the film source and done a proper transfer at 1080p with lossless audio. Instead, Warner failed. That is not the situation at Sony. I don't know how many times I need to say this, but early digital recordings only exist at 16/44.1. Sony did not go to a 16/44.1 source out of laziness or incompetence. The fact is that high resolution digital recording did not exist in the early '80s.

That didn't stop Sony and digital audio engineer Mark Wilder from painstakingly transferring the recordings to DSD using the best possible source material and releasing it as SACD. Does Jazz at the Plaza SACD sound good? No. Does it sound better than any other digital version? Yeah, but it remains a crappy recording. To expect it to sound great just because it's on SACD is ignorant. And even though you can hear the problems, warts and all, the SACD still provides a window to the original performance unlike any other digital version. Now that did not stop ignorant listeners from hearing Jazz at the Plaza (likely for the first time) and declaring SACD to suck, out of sheer ignorance.

There is tremendous variability in recording quality and source material, and people just don't get that. So when an SACD sounds bad, they rail on Sony and paint with a broad brush. The fact is Sony and engineers like Mark Wilder painstakingly and at great expense did things right. The titles were not rushed. They appeared slowly over many years.

First of all, these are not studios we're talking about. They're record labels. You're confusing yourself by trying to superimpose an analogy on SACD that simply doesn't fit. You can't turn a bad recording into a good one just because DSD comes along. You also can't pretend a better source than 16/44.1 exists for certain titles just so you can rail on Sony. In the case of many '80s digital recordings, there only is a 16/44.1 master. This isn't like The Fugitive.

Sony did not "rush to market with whatever they had". They took their time to review their catalog and get approval for certain titles and entire segments of Columbia's catalog. David Kawakami and the other hardworking people in Sony's DSD and music group went back to the best possible source and in a labor of love remastered in DSD from the original master tapes a couple dozen Miles titles, 15 Dylan titles, a dozen Szell and the Cleveland orchestra and many, many more. Sony didn't have to do this. It took a lot of balls and money to release a high resolution consumer format and market it properly to give it a shot. We as an audiophile community failed to recognize the opportunity and apparently some of us are still failing.

Some recordings just plain suck. Does that mean Sony shouldn't have released them on SACD? I think Sony was right to release that Journey stuff and Jazz at the Plaza among some other stinkers. SACD is a format. It's not magic. It doesn't go back and re-record a poorly engineered session. Nor does it alter the limitations of the source. All it does is provide a higher-resolution window into the recording so you can experience the musicians in the best possible way in terms of digital audio.

Nonsense. Home video is a totally different ballgame than audio, which is now marketed for people on the go more than people at home. No matter how much Sony invested in SACD (and it was far beyond what you estimate, I assure you), it would never have put a dent in the rise of MP3/iTunes. Consumers chose that for their digital audio medium. SACD was unfortunately destined to be a niche market from the beginning but Sony went above and beyond the call of duty to try to make it bigger.
I'm not very knowledgeable regarding how music masters are put together, but I do have a very broad understanding that individual tracks are recorded and then mixed together to produce a master. If the master is 16/44, that is unfortunate, but doesn't mean the original tracks were. It just means that at the time they mixed it together, they chose to do so at 16/44. If the tracks exist at a higher sample rate, then yes, I blame the record companies for not going back and remastering the albums. If not, then I blame them for picking an album to release that would benefit little if any over a CD release when there are plenty of other albums which deserve the SACD treatment.

And if those original tracks are analog, well, then we both know the sky is the limit and no excuses can be made.

I recently picked up an SACD copy of Zebrahead - Playmate of the Year because I enjoy the album. It was a single layer stereo presentation that sounds way too similar to the CD release. Not being a fly on the wall, I can only assume that this album was picked by Sony because it was released at a time when they were pumping out SACD releases. The album sold ok, and while the previous album did a little better, most people ask, "Who is Zebrahead?" That is the point. The SACD was made because it was timely, not because people were asking for it or the music would even benefit from it.

The record companies have tons of analog material that would benefit greatly from SACD, yet don't release it. Why? Cause it cost money and time. So yes, I would have liked record companies to invest more in the format, but that is the past, and we are left arguing who shot JR.
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:27 AM   #73
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but that is the past, and we are left arguing who shot JR.
I did.

And then I shot Pam ... AND Lucy
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:35 AM   #74
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I'm not very knowledgeable regarding how music masters are put together, but I do have a very broad understanding that individual tracks are recorded and then mixed together to produce a master. If the master is 16/44, that is unfortunate, but doesn't mean the original tracks were. It just means that at the time they mixed it together, they chose to do so at 16/44.
In the early days of digital tape, you couldn't record anything in greater resolution than 16/44.1. Converting even this resolution of PCM to DSD is advantageous, based on what I've heard (e.g., Passion Grace & Fire JSACD).

Quote:
If the tracks exist at a higher sample rate, then yes, I blame the record companies for not going back and remastering the albums. If not, then I blame them for picking an album to release that would benefit little if any over a CD release when there are plenty of other albums which deserve the SACD treatment.
Again, Mark Wilder and other engineers did the best job they could with the best source material available on a wide range of titles negotiated for SACD release. No matter what they did, folks were going to rail on them and no matter what they did, MP3 was going to win the mass market.

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And if those original tracks are analog, well, then we both know the sky is the limit and no excuses can be made.
It's more complicated than that. Some recordings just suck. Some have missing masters and must be made from second generation sources. Others would be perfect candidates but obtaining permission from the artist or tracking down the source is impossible. There are many, many real-world concerns. Sony tackled these better than any label and consumer electronics company did before for high res digital audio. And the thanks they get is ceaseless railing. No wonder they threw up their hands.

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I recently picked up an SACD copy of Zebrahead - Playmate of the Year because I enjoy the album. It was a single layer stereo presentation that sounds way too similar to the CD release. Not being a fly on the wall, I can only assume that this album was picked by Sony because it was released at a time when they were pumping out SACD releases. The album sold ok, and while the previous album did a little better, most people ask, "Who is Zebrahead?" That is the point. The SACD was made because it was timely, not because people were asking for it or the music would even benefit from it.
Josh, the hardworking folks in the DSD group at Sony were just trying to include some new music along with the Miles and Szell catalogs that were being mined more deeply. Zebrahead doesn't exactly lend itself to airy acoustic instruments and I doubt the engineers who worked with them were going for anything beyond edgy sound that they hoped would get play on FM radio and cheap CD players. What were you expecting?

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The record companies have tons of analog material that would benefit greatly from SACD, yet don't release it. Why? Cause it cost money and time. So yes, I would have liked record companies to invest more in the format, but that is the past, and we are left arguing who shot JR.
I would have liked it too, but it just wasn't financially feasible. Sony gave it a helluva shot that I for one applaud and supported from the beginning. And I do think if more people were onboard like me, Sony could have kept the party going a little longer. Unfortunately, there is something about the audiophile mind that is way too critical and the very people who were supposed to be supporting SACD anded up being its most vocal critics. I really don't think we'll ever again get as good of a push from a major label and CE company for a high res digital audio format as we got from Sony for SACD.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:28 AM   #75
Josh Josh is offline
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It's more complicated than that. Some recordings just suck. Some have missing masters and must be made from second generation sources. Others would be perfect candidates but obtaining permission from the artist or tracking down the source is impossible. There are many, many real-world concerns. Sony tackled these better than any label and consumer electronics company did before for high res digital audio. And the thanks they get is ceaseless railing. No wonder they threw up their hands.

Josh, the hardworking folks in the DSD group at Sony were just trying to include some new music along with the Miles and Szell catalogs that were being mined more deeply. Zebrahead doesn't exactly lend itself to airy acoustic instruments and I doubt the engineers who worked with them were going for anything beyond edgy sound that they hoped would get play on FM radio and cheap CD players. What were you expecting?
I hope I'm not hitting a personal nerve with these posts. If I am, I apologize.

My point is, I think the format would have done better if they would have taken the time/effort/money used to make that stereo Zebrahead release and instead use it to create a multi-channel release from any one of their top selling artists of all time. As we have seen, record labels have been able to make some truly great multi-channel releases from stereo source material. I think that was another advantage of the format that was highly ignored (similar to how early Blu-ray releases ignored the formats ability to store lossless audio).

I still believe in SACD as a format, but the relatively limited amount of available titles makes it difficult for me as a consumer. If I had the means when the format was in its prime I would have helped where I could, but I missed that, so now I am pushing for Blu-ray Audio to take its place. It just frustrates me when I look at paying $50 for an OOP title that has horrible reviews that sounds (dare I say) worse than the CD. Specifically, I am referring to Oasis - (What's the Story) Morning Glory and Boston - Boston which are both subpar releases. The Oasis disc is reported to be a complete mess with regards to the surround channels and the Boston disc supposively is a brighter version of the CD.

And the worse part is, I'll have to pay over $50 each to find out if those numerous reviews are right.... which they typically are.
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:17 PM   #76
Gremal Gremal is offline
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I agree that Boston, Oasis and Journey and probably shouldn't have been released on SACD, but those titles aren't representative of Sony's effort. My own experience adopting SACD was much different, as Sony quickly released SACDs of Miles, Satchmo, Brubeck, Duke and R&B artists like the O'Jays, EW&F and Isley Brothers in multichannel...all of which sounded brilliant in two channel and then in surround when I got the PS3 and more recently the Oppo. Sony subsidized Venus to release fantastic jazz titles on SACD (none of which are available anymore) and then OJC (Fantasy, Riverside, Prestige, etc) pumped out many great titles, including Gil Evans & Ten that featured a recently discovered master tape that had never been used before. Sony did 15 of their Dylan titles, ABCKO did all their Stones and several of their Sam Cooke titles, Universal released a couple dozen titles including a couple Allman Bros classics and all the Police albums. It all sounded fantastic. Light years better than CD. I won't discuss classical since that is obviously not of interest to you.

It's not personal but just a major difference in perspective. I don't see how you guys can bash Sony over three titles that aren't good recordings to begin with, and second-guess their entire rollout when you clearly don't understand the challenges Kawakami's DSD group was up against, their accomplishments or the market forces standing in the way of consumer adoption of SACD. Even if the seas parted and everything from the Beatles to Brittney Spears came out on multichannel SACD, it wouldn't have translated to mass adoption of the format. The consumer is much more interested in going the cheap, lossy, portable route.

For me, SACD is the gift that keeps giving. My favorite label is Blue Note, and 50 BN titles were recently released on SACD by APO. Hopefully there will be more. APO is also releasing dozens of Verve, Impulse and Prestige titles and of course the Floyd and Cat Stevens, and lots of other great stuff. None of this would be possible without Sony taking a big risk on SACD at a time when the consumer was turning his back on optical formats, so it's hard for me to jump on the bash-Sony bandwagon.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:59 AM   #77
Aquel Aquel is offline
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How do you guys feel on the viability of Blu ray as a Audio Medium?

I'm more thinking of the Depeche Mode DVD route, so a documentary, album in 5.1, bonus songs and not the Blu-ray audio without a menu.
I was thinking about it and whilst they have they released their catalog on SACD and stopped with SACD with their Sounds of the Universe album, they did release it in DTS 5.1 via DVD, so they should believe in the commercial ability of 5.1 (or they are hard proponents of high quality audio, but then SOTU would more likely have been released on SACD).

Maybe it is because you don't need good speakers to hear the benefit of a native 5.1 recording over CD stereo (I mean, the difference on my previous soundset, Logitech Z5500, was quite large. Whereas it couldn't even handle the SACD properly).
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:47 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by Aquel View Post
How do you guys feel on the viability of Blu ray as a Audio Medium?

I'm more thinking of the Depeche Mode DVD route, so a documentary, album in 5.1, bonus songs and not the Blu-ray audio without a menu.
I was thinking about it and whilst they have they released their catalog on SACD and stopped with SACD with their Sounds of the Universe album, they did release it in DTS 5.1 via DVD, so they should believe in the commercial ability of 5.1 (or they are hard proponents of high quality audio, but then SOTU would more likely have been released on SACD).

Maybe it is because you don't need good speakers to hear the benefit of a native 5.1 recording over CD stereo (I mean, the difference on my previous soundset, Logitech Z5500, was quite large. Whereas it couldn't even handle the SACD properly).
BD Audio would make a great music medium. You could have 192/24 stereo and multichannel audio mixes and possibly even 1080p concert or behind the scenes footage, assuming it's not an audio only disc. Even if it was, it could do everything that SACD could aside from the CD backwards compatibility. I've never heard an DSD recording nor have I compared it to the same song recorded in PCM but from what I've read there's not a noticeable difference between the two so BD-A is just as viable a format as SACD is in terms of technical performance and it also has a far larger installed user base.

However, considering that the music market is nearly 100% focused on easy access through iTunes and portability via iPods and cheap earbuds with low-bitrate MP3 files, I personally doubt that BD-A will ever be utilized. Heck, even the DVD Video format allowed for 96/24 stereo, and that wasn't used either.

When the CD format is abandoned, we might get lucky just to have CD quality downloads but I personally (and sadly) believe that music will be released exclusively as MP3 quality digital downloads. Just for kicks I bought a Journey cassette tape and listened to it. I haven't listened to a tape in years but despite the limited audio quality compared to my LP, it still sounded much richer to my ears than an MP3 does. I think I'll be listening to my vinyl collection and adding few if any new "albums" (if you can even call them that if they're all downloaded) due to the poor quality. It's honestly hard for me to listen to CD let alone MP3 audio anymore because the sound is so lacking compared to vinyl or 24 bit audio sources. My, how far we've regressed over the last few decades. I can only imagine how frustrated the members here are who grew up when records were still king.
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:15 AM   #79
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NINETY PERCENT of the music industry?!!! It's practically a niche market in comparison to what it once was. That's like killing the goose then holding just the beak telling me you still have the goose. Nope. Gone.

Still doesn't give one person out there to steal the first copy righted product. Proof in human behavior that given the opportunity most everyone will reason in their minds to commit crimes as long as they think that they can get away with it. If that's not true...then where is the music industry? The worlds best selling recording artists won't bother any more because there is no money to be made selling recordings.
I still buy music Cd's all the time as you can see from my music collection in my gallery where my Cd's number over 800. 99% of the time the CD quality beats the crap out of my downloaded music.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:25 AM   #80
Aquel Aquel is offline
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Originally Posted by singhcr View Post
BD Audio would make a great music medium. You could have 192/24 stereo and multichannel audio mixes and possibly even 1080p concert or behind the scenes footage, assuming it's not an audio only disc. Even if it was, it could do everything that SACD could aside from the CD backwards compatibility. I've never heard an DSD recording nor have I compared it to the same song recorded in PCM but from what I've read there's not a noticeable difference between the two so BD-A is just as viable a format as SACD is in terms of technical performance and it also has a far larger installed user base.

However, considering that the music market is nearly 100% focused on easy access through iTunes and portability via iPods and cheap earbuds with low-bitrate MP3 files, I personally doubt that BD-A will ever be utilized. Heck, even the DVD Video format allowed for 96/24 stereo, and that wasn't used either.

When the CD format is abandoned, we might get lucky just to have CD quality downloads but I personally (and sadly) believe that music will be released exclusively as MP3 quality digital downloads. Just for kicks I bought a Journey cassette tape and listened to it. I haven't listened to a tape in years but despite the limited audio quality compared to my LP, it still sounded much richer to my ears than an MP3 does. I think I'll be listening to my vinyl collection and adding few if any new "albums" (if you can even call them that if they're all downloaded) due to the poor quality. It's honestly hard for me to listen to CD let alone MP3 audio anymore because the sound is so lacking compared to vinyl or 24 bit audio sources. My, how far we've regressed over the last few decades. I can only imagine how frustrated the members here are who grew up when records were still king.
SACD does require a SACD enabled player, whereas Blu-ray players are more common. Don't know how common 5.1 sets are (and I'm going to include HTIB's in this one, as it is the general consumer the market needs if it wants to become than a niche market) but as I already stated, since it is an easy discernible difference (even on the Samsung 5.1 HtiB you can hear some difference, whereas stereo is very dependent on your equipment in order to appreciate the differences) combined with the Depeche story I do believe there is a market for High Res audio if they market it with the 5.1 and the bonus materials (maybe include all music videos of the singles of an album for example).
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