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Sony Single-layer SACD's, beancounters, and the slow new release list or lack of such


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#1 of 66 Rachael B

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Posted April 12 2004 - 01:25 PM

This thread is along the lines of are single-layer SACD's stille the bane of Sony's effort, or How I Learned To Love The Bomb And Buy Hybrid SA-CD's Elsewhere?Posted Image Are the single-layers a cause (amongst others) of the stand-stille in their Sack-Dee welease schedule? Sony is a big, stupid, plodding corporation that and in my experience, the right hand frequently is clueless of the left, and vice-versa. So, are the beancounters slowing up releases because they're not profitable, don't sell, high inventory cost, ect.?

It's a theory that fits the facts, seemingly? I think Sony is so dope for leaving all these single-layers on shelves, mostly collecting dust. Sony single-layer Suck-Dees must be one of the slowest selling items possible in a software section...?

Universal has "sinned" a few times with S-L's too but they seemed to have learned their lesson, mostly...? When I'm on the lonely, loneliest, aisle at Busted Buy, the hi-rez aisle, of course, in my lonely spaciousness, I consider the Sony discs as in the way. Posted Image Granted, there a few of 'em so good, myself I already got'em, that they're worth buying for some new to the format. Sony only has about a half dozen hybrids that live on the loneliest aisle. Bobby Z. got out of the ghetto and lives in the 'D' section that's so close, yet so far away!Posted Image

Conclusion: Sony should cease and desist with the S-L's. They should, pick one or more of your favourite answers from this list: Liquidate them at bargain prices, recall them, splatter paint on them a'la Pollack, give them to the homeless, give them to Somalia as a token of good/bad-willPosted Image, use them for Sony Officer's annual skeet-shoot, other__________.

If ordinary people accidentally buy a S-L it will get returned because of, "hell no, it don't play". It gives the foremat and the Sony brand a black eye. Experienced hi-rez'er's don't want the bleeders unless it's an especially appealing, to them, title. Universal, mostly, does much better as have most other participating labels. It's ironic that Sony is at or near the bottom of SA-CD labels by my estimation.

Is it smart for Sony to leave the, "we don't need no stinkin", single-layers sitting on the loneliest aisle? I say, resoundingly, no...not smart biz.
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#2 of 66 Dennis Nicholls

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Posted April 12 2004 - 01:44 PM

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I think Sony is so dope for leaving all these single-layers on shelves, mostly collecting dust.

I understand that the Sony single-layer classical Sack-Dees are being distributed "free" to Sony employees who request them. This would indicate they are aware that the current stock may never be sold. I wonder if they will then make hybrid versions of these titles at some point in time.

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#3 of 66 Rachael B

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Posted April 12 2004 - 02:25 PM

Wewease Bwoz Scwaggs, Wobin Twower, mas Wolling Stwones, welease Bwiran Jwackson & Gwill Scwatt Hairon! Posted Image
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#4 of 66 Ken Groulx

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Posted April 12 2004 - 03:25 PM

An indie music retailer here recently had a clear-out sale on single-layer stereo discs for eight bucks (quite a bargain for Canadian prices), and I still didn't get any. (Not much interest in Journey, Toto, or Cyndi Lauper). When I asked about them, I was told that they had been in the store for about three years; he just wanted to get rid of them once and for all. Over the course of two years, he sold two copies of 'Blow by Blow'.

#5 of 66 Rachael B

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Posted April 13 2004 - 07:23 AM

Dennis, your inside info speaks volumes!Posted Image

Ken, after being quoted prices by other Canadiens in threads around here, yeah, $8 is a major bargain! What'd they have about 6 titles to choose from?
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#6 of 66 Marc Colella

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Posted April 13 2004 - 08:12 AM

$8 for a SACDs is a good price - even if they are single-layer and titles that don't really sound much better in hi-rez.

I dropped by a used CD shop in Toronto the other day, and noticed they had a few Sony SL SACDs on the shelf. They were priced at around $17 CAD... and the Sopranos SACD was priced at $29.99 CAD. Posted Image
These were used discs! What a bargain. Posted Image

That's ridiculous, especially since an HMV (for the first time) had a new copy of Norah Jone's "Come Away With Me" for $25.99 CAD - which is still priced $10 too high, but it shows how out-of-touch that used CD store is.

#7 of 66 Phil A

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Posted April 13 2004 - 08:47 AM

There has been some discusssion about royalties on hybrids on some of the boards mainly based on this article:

http://news.com.com/...27-5139762.html

Among the comments:

"Similarly, on some Super Audio Compact Discs (SACD), a high-fidelity format sold in many record stores, ordinary CD-quality audio versions of songs are also included, so that the discs can be played in car stereos and other older players. Even hybrid DVDs are hitting markets, with such features as the entire soundtrack for a movie included along with the film itself.

This may be more convenient for consumers, but it worries publishers and songwriters. Their livelihoods have relied on people buying versions of their songs in multiple formats--once on a DVD, and again on the soundtrack album, for example. They're worried that their income will be substantially reduced if people are able to buy a disc that combines multiple formats. "

The short of the discussions I have read is that record labels may be scared of artist royalty lawsuits for hybrid discs. Have no idea as to exactly the facts but it is something that could delay seeing hybrids being released by Sony.

#8 of 66 Ken Groulx

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Posted April 13 2004 - 09:24 AM

Wow, if it's indeed true that royalties are holding up hybrid discs (from Sony, or anyone else for that matter), that is really a shame. Considering the dire straits the music business is in, you would think that artists would be doing everything they could to actually encourage sales. It is absolutely shocking how many friends I have that are completely adamant about never buying another CD the rest of their lives; "it's all free now..." If no one's even buying redbooks, it's hard to fathom how long hi-rez can support itself, especially if it's relegated to single-layer discs.

#9 of 66 Lee Scoggins

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Posted April 13 2004 - 09:44 AM

Rachael,

We seem to agree more than usual that Sony is being slow in releasing titles. But I have a question for you:

Why just single out Sony?

What about Warner's extreme sloth on the DVDA side?

It seems that BMG and EMI are not exactly lighting up the hirez titles either.

There is plenty of blame to go around and Sony has been much better about issuing hybrids lately.
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#10 of 66 Ken Groulx

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Posted April 13 2004 - 09:58 AM

Indeed, the hi-rez output from all the companies you've mentioned Lee is pathetic. If it weren't for Universal, both SACD and DVD-A would be dead for me, considering my musical tastes.

#11 of 66 Michael St. Clair

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Posted April 13 2004 - 10:08 AM

Quote:
Why just single out Sony?

What about Warner's extreme sloth on the DVDA side?


1) Rachael has been pretty vocal about being a big SACD fan.
2) Sony owns the format.
3) Sony has promised more hybrids for years.

I love how the battle cry of the SACD apologists is 'DVD-A is worse!' Posted Image

Me, I think it is all capacity related. Large series of single-inventory discs like the Stones and Dylan seems to use up most of the capacity. More hybrids = more pressing plants = $$$$$.

#12 of 66 AricB

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Posted April 13 2004 - 10:20 AM

DTS has been decent about at least getting some new and interesting stuff out there on DVDA, even though their not a label.

Sure would be nice if some of the actual labels got behind trying some adventurous titles. I would have never even heard of Steve Stevens Flamenco a go go, or Porcupine Trees In Absentia if it werent for the DTS DVDA. Why cant the labels try some new and interesting artists like these, that really work well in surround instead, as I've said before, trying to squeeze some brilliant surround mix out of old and sometimes missing masters that are 30 years old? Sure Gaucho, GBYBR and DSOTM sound great, but look how much work must have gone into that vs. Steely dan and Fleetwood macs recent releases that were day and date releases, I bet a fraction of the mixing time to make these newer releases.

#13 of 66 Justin Lane

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Posted April 13 2004 - 10:59 AM

Week after week I see the same single layer Sony discs at the stores I frequent for music. They should recall all of the single layer discs and either reissue them or leave them off the market. Methinks people equate SACD with music that no one wants to buy.

Not too long ago, when chatting with one of the managers at Best Buy, he stated that his regional boss gave their store's cashiers the directive to let any customer buying a SACD to know that it was only playable on SACD players and not regular CD players. Of course we all know how attentive some of these cashiers may be, so such a directive is probably useless, or they may talk people out of buying Hybrid discs.

The regional boss was tired of single layer disc returns, and the money it was costing the company due to people who had the foggiest clue as to what was SACD. On second thought this may be Sony's best marketing strategy to date. By getting people to buy discs they can't play and then having to return them because they don't have a SACD player, at least they became aware of this unknown format. Anyway...

Sony has all but abandoned their format. Warner has all but abandoned DVD-A. SACD and DVD-A now seemed destined as audiophile niche products. The only sad thing is that because Sony and Warner do release a disc every so often, it is probably unlikely they will license their catalog material to other boutique type labels. Especially in the case of Sony, where they own the pressing plants, releasing discs at a snails pace on their own is ultimately more profitable.

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#14 of 66 gregD

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Posted April 13 2004 - 11:39 AM

Liquidate them at bargain prices


Hey, I'll grab a big bunch of em if they'll let 'em go for $5 a throw.

But not the Toto, however...

#15 of 66 Lee Scoggins

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Posted April 13 2004 - 12:10 PM

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I love how the battle cry of the SACD apologists is 'DVD-A is worse!


Where is my apology? SACD is very much alive and well and great titles are coming out. I am just pointing out that Sony seems to catch a disproportionate share of the blame when it comes to hirez problems. Why is that? Is it because they are a big, easy target?

Quote:
Me, I think it is all capacity related. Large series of single-inventory discs like the Stones and Dylan seems to use up most of the capacity. More hybrids = more pressing plants = $$$$$.


I am sure that is a factor, but I think what happened is that Sony released a bunch of single layer discs and once all us audiophiles bought our share there was too much inventory left over. Lots of other discs are selling out...have you tried to find the La Stravaganza SACD lately? It's tough to locate!

Quote:
The only sad thing is that because Sony and Warner do release a disc every so often, it is probably unlikely they will license their catalog material to other boutique type labels.


Posted Image Damn Justin, that's most intelligent point I have read all year. Why doesn't Sony and Warner allow Acoustic Sounds and Red Trumpet and MoFi to buy rights to some of their titles?

Certainly they could do a better job getting the catalog gems out the door...boutique & audiophile labels are small, clever, aggressive and have tremendously loyal followings.

Can you imagine Steve Hoffman doing the Van Morrison catalog for hirez release? Hoooaaah! Posted Image
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#16 of 66 Seth--L

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Posted April 13 2004 - 12:12 PM

I understand that the Sony single-layer classical Sack-Dees are being distributed "free" to Sony employees who request them. This would indicate they are aware that the current stock may never be sold.


Which is a shame since they issued many great recordings from the catalogue.
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#17 of 66 Ken Groulx

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Posted April 13 2004 - 01:12 PM

Actually I don't think Sony is receiving a disproportionate share of the blame at all - they are after all, the ones who invented it. Unfortunately, they're doing the least to support it. Please list for me the titles they have released in the last six months - or even in the last year.

If it takes licensing product to 'boutique' labels to get more product out there, then fine, but I think that 'middle man' process really just gets in the way of getting the final release on the shelves. That third-party just brings in a whole new set of bureaucracy (royalties, management, artist control) that really isn't necessary if they just keep it in-house. Steve Hoffman stated on one of his boards that Sony/Columbia actually had the masters for three early Springsteen records packaged and ready to go for remastering, but Bruce's controlling management was such a pain in the ass, the whole project was dropped. Posted Image

There's absolutely no reason for Sony to be licensing anything out - just do it yourself for god's sake; they have all the tools in place, and they won't have to share any of their precious profits.

#18 of 66 Rachael B

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Posted April 13 2004 - 01:48 PM

Lee, I just got inspired from real life experience on the lonelist aisle yesterday. I did mention Universal, which on the surface seems far more responsive to consumers than the S-boyz! Sony is the mother company who's SACD magazine ads in 1998-9 touted hybrid discs. Then they refused to issue them. Then people refused to buy their S-L's. Now they refuse to recall or liquidate them. Ain't history a bitch!

Sony has to be beaten with a stick to get a reaction. If I have a big stick, it's because I'd like to be able to pressure Sony into actions that are, in my estimation, in their very own self-intrest. I dog Sony because I like their format. I don't like saying that Sony is a staggering, disoriented giant, but I believe it to be so.

I started this thread to talk about SACD, not DVD-A. I'm more intrested in SACD than DVD-A. I consider DVD-A an all but hopelessly, lost cause at this point. I believe SACD is a salvageable situation but it needs Sony's leadership. There lies the problem.... Best wishes!Posted Image
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#19 of 66 Justin Lane

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Posted April 13 2004 - 02:15 PM

Quote:
There's absolutely no reason for Sony to be licensing anything out - just do it yourself for god's sake; they have all the tools in place, and they won't have to share any of their precious profits.


As a business it makes sense for Sony to put out their own titles. As a music fan, I would perfer for them to license out their material to labels which are willing to release product, and generally do a better job from a mastering standpoint than Sony.

Quote:
Steve Hoffman stated on one of his boards that Sony/Columbia actually had the masters for three early Springsteen records packaged and ready to go for remastering, but Bruce's controlling management was such a pain in the ass, the whole project was dropped.


That's really disappointing to hear as the Boss has been one of the artists I have been clamoring the most about in regards to Sony releases (or lack thereof I should say). Maybe down the road once all of these artists royalty issues are ironed out.

J

#20 of 66 Rachael B

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Posted April 13 2004 - 02:16 PM

Ken, I can't get the names of all their few post-Dylan hybrids right. 2 James Taylor discs, The Thorns, 1 rap album...wasn't it Ludicrous (did I misspell it core-ectly?!)... beer was in the title...?, I think there are 1-3 more...? The live Heart album came before Dylan last summer. They've continued to quietly release a few S-L's too. About 6-8 weeks ago, 2 S-L's of relatively obscure female R & B singers were released by Sony. Least ways they showed up at Busted Buy and I looked at them and the dates were both either 2003 & 2004 as best I remember. 1 was Macy_____?....maybe Grey or Gray(?), and the other didn't register at all with my brain cells. Memorable futility? Posted Image

The point is, it's not much.
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!



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