DualDisc Insights from an Insider

Discussion in 'Music' started by Lee Scoggins, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    This is perhaps the best story yet on the DualDisc launch.

    http://www.stereophile.com/news/080904dualdisc/



    I suspect that Sony may find a way to include SACD on one side or may keep hirez focused on a niche audiophile group. It would seem we consumers might win either way if DualDisc offers hirez from the DVD Forum participants.

    A very well done and balanced article. [​IMG]
     
  2. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    the music industry's ongoing problem with CDs—the "total lack of control over their intellectual property once a disc is sold" [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

    [SCREAMS OF PRIMAL RAGE]
    When I've paid for something, I expect to have the full and untrammelled use of it. I'm sorry, but if the industry wants to have control of the content after I have already bought the physical medium they can just shove off. I won't buy DVD for just this reason, and I sure as [deleted by censor] won't buy this. This kind of action on the part of the recording companies completely takes away the moral justification for not bootlegging.
    [/SCREAMS OF PRIMAL RAGE]
     
  3. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Christopher I think you touched on an important issue. Effectively our "fair use" rights are about to go away (at least for a little while) as advanced encryption may make ripping backup copies impossible.

    On the other hand, I understand labels wanting to get paid fairly for music that they have invested in to make available. And Peter Gabriel is right when he says he believes you get more and better quality music when you pay people something for it.

    I do agree with you that the consumer should be able to own a license of sorts in perpetuity to anything they buy. We may see that license be priced different than those of limited use.
     
  4. Michael St. Clair

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    How would 'fair use' rights be any different than they are today?

    DVDs are already encrypted, and the DVD side of DualDisc will surely be.

    CDs already have many copy protection available, and the CD side of DualDisc will surely have the same protection available.

    Any 'fair use' restictions will not be because of DualDisc. It's just a damned CD and DVD glued together, with all the same caveats of those two existing formats...
     
  5. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    So, are they saying that, since this disc isn't fish or fowl, that the CD side need not be a real CD, but some sort of copy protected, bastard child?

    And are the rights owners of the CD side NOT getting compensation from the purchase of CD-R(music) discs, and the purchase of standalone CD recorders? If they are, then there best not be any copy protection on there, methinks.

    And really, once users start taking these discs on the road, they are going to learn the hard way that a DVD is a lot more susecptible to scratches, grime, and dirt than a CD ever was. I for one would be very, very wary of taking a DVD in the car with me.

    I continue to think that this is a dumb product, that does nothing but add to an already confused situtaion in the marketplace.

    BGL
     
  6. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Just to debate myself, and to beat someone from calling me on this, that was a dumb argument. The copy protection schemes that I am thus far aware of only effect computers using non-music CD-R's. Copying CD's with a SA recorder using music blanks are thus far unaffected.

    So, never mind!

    Then again, I note that virtually all DVD's I own trigger the SCMS copy protection circuits in my SA CD recorder, even when trying to dub the 2 CH audio from music videos and such. I consider that an abuse of the SCMS system, and would be pretty peeved if the CD side of a dual disc resorted to such nonsense.

    Anyone with a current dual disc every try copying the CD side? Does it work?

    BGL
     
  7. Michael St. Clair

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    I've ripped 'em to WAV files, compressed them, and dumped to my Rio Karma with no problem.
     
  8. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    I believe I read that the encryption tech would be more comprehensive on the DualDisc CD side, or at the very least be included as opposed to limited inclusion currently.
     
  9. Michael St. Clair

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    Impossible. It wouldn't play on a single CD player in existence if it were encrypted. Not a one.
     
  10. DaveDickey

    DaveDickey Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, this is all good news to me. Any new format is welcome as long as I can buy more of the titles I like and use my existing universal DVD player. I personally don't care about copyright issues since I never burn discs (one is enough and I don't mind paying for it). I will forever scoff at the bickering and lack of cohesion amongst the large music companies. There is so much money to be made in the music business, you'd think that sound business practice would compel these people to work together. I'll never understand it. Dave
     
  11. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    A few other things concern me...



    1. The short length may benefit SACD in the audiophile community since this will be a problem with several important classical works.

    2. The price point seems well off. Are consumers going to pay EXTRA to have video? I think not. I thought the point was to offer premium product features for a regular or full retail CD price. I don't see this being real popular. How many 15 year old kids will pay $30 for a disc+video? Not many...If they can get the price down to $15-16 then maybe....
     
  12. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    This quote still seems ominous to me, unless they are intending to use the easily defeatable copy protections currently in the marketplace.

    I still don't see this as a useful product for me unless one side is a fully featured DVD-A with 5.1 hi-rez, and the other side is an unmolested 2 CH CD of the same material.

    Having said that, most of my present hi-rez collection (+50 discs,I wager) is either of material I already own on redbook (DVD-A or SACD), or hybrid SACD. As such, ripping for use on the iPod has not been an issue.

    But I do have a couple titles that I don't own in any other format (Linkin Park and Porcupine Tree). It does piss me off that I have no avenue to copy the 2 CH tracks digitally for use in the car, iPod, etc. Having a CD on the other side of those discs would be welcome.

    BGL
     
  13. Michael St. Clair

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    Last I heard, the DualDisc folks were planning on reducing the price of the albums down to CD level prices (the test market discs were a couple of bucks more than a CD). I'm taking this whole news article with a big grain of salt.
     
  14. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    That's what concerns me. This article contradicts that by many dollars and is based on an insider's quotes. I think the article is well done and if anything fairly positive on the format.
     
  15. Michael St. Clair

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    An insider who doesn't work in marketing. An insider who says that publishing royalties is holding back downloaded audio (yet there is a TON of downloadable albums, including those from artists represented by Harry Fox, when compared to any high res format). Are we to believe that Warner, Sony, Universal, etc. actually think that CD is going to die and be replaced by a format that costs twice as much? Do we actually think they are that stupid? Does the article give a source for this pricing proposal? None of Mazer's quotes address the issue?

    If $30 discs come out, this format will fail miserably. It may fail regardless. I have no idea, but I don't think even record labels would be this stupid.

    The article repeatedly mentions high-res audio in conjuction with DualDisc...how does that fit in with your predictions?
     
  16. Jean D

    Jean D Screenwriter

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    Why cant you copy the 2 CH tracks using the optical cable? I think I can copy them to my mini-disc player and then upload them to my computer.

    I wouldnt want a cd on the other side. I dont want to get it scratched. I think I'd feel more at ease if the major labels would be willing to replace any damaged disc's.
     
  17. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Well, the two I tried via optical did the same thing.

    My recorder thinks they are DVD's and flashes "CAN NOT COPY". Not sure why that is, if SCMS is being invoked, or if its because the sampling rate is too high, but unless I feed it with a 44.1K/16bit source, it won't record.

    BGL
     
  18. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Mike, you are mixing threads. I said on a prior thread that I believe that hirez is more of an afterthought for DualDisc whereas video is viewed more importantly. I based this on reading the following article which came out before the Stereophile article:

    **********************

    Reuters
    Record industry faces duel over new "DualDiscs"
    Friday August 6, 5:39 pm ET
    By Sue Zeidler

    LOS ANGELES, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Plans to sell new hybrid CD/DVDs have hit legal and licensing snags that threaten to scuttle a mass rollout that the hard-hit music industry had been counting on to aid its recovery, people familiar with the matter said this week

    Record makers are enjoying a rebound after a three-year sales slump blamed largely on online piracy. Efforts to control piracy and the growth of legal Web music services like Apple Computer Inc.'s (NasdaqNM:AAPL - News) iTunes have helped.

    The labels also have spurred sales by packaging "bonus" DVDs with CDs. In February, several began test marketing the new hybrid discs -- CD on one side and DVD on the other.

    They see these "DualDiscs" as a next generation product that marries the booming market for DVDs with declining CDs.

    "It's not like the coming of the CD, but we did really well with them," said Greg Harrington, manager of Tower Records in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which took part in the test.

    Some 13 titles by artists like David Bowie and Linkin Park were sold in Boston and Seattle. The idea is to put music on the CD side and concert, interview or recording session video on the DVD. They have sold for about $18.99 in retail stores.

    But before the products can be ready for mass markets, several issues remain including a contract dispute between a technology developer and manufacturer and questions dealing with the licensing of "CD" and of music rights.

    Major labels like Vivendi Universal's (NYSE:V - News; Paris:EAUG.PA - News) Universal Music Group, EMI Group Plc (London:EMI.L - News), Warner Music and newly merged Sony BMG Music Entertainment (BERT.UL) (Tokyo:6758.T - News) have high hopes for the DualDiscs but have stayed relatively quiet about them. They all declined to comment for this story.

    Retailers had expected the discs for the fourth quarter, but industry sources said they now believe the labels, which have grappled with playability and thickness issues before, are now targeting early 2005 in light of new snags.

    NEW SNAGS

    "They're hijacking our technology," said Phil Carlson, North American Division president of German-based DVD Plus International Inc, who said "there are ongoing conversations" between lawyers for his firm and the major music labels.

    DVD Plus founder Dieter Dierks claims Warner Music's distributing and manufacturing arm, known as WEA, breached a 2000 contract in which Dierks bought the patent position for hybrid disc technology and perfected it.

    That agreement called for the DVD Plus logo to be placed on the discs for a set period of time, but WEA's manufacturing operations were later bought by Cinram International Inc. (Toronto:CRW.TO - News). Cinram is now making the hybrids and calling them DualDiscs for most of the labels, except for Sony.

    A Cinram spokeswoman said there were no issues preventing it from making DualDiscs, but DVD Plus's Carlson disagrees.

    "We did have a signed agreement and are disconcerted the industry should attempt to call it by any other name," Carlson said.

    Philips Electronics (Amsterdam[​IMG]HG.AS - News), the licensor of the CD logo, has refused to allow the hybrid discs to be sold with the CD logo unless the labels guarantee to assume responsibility for "read errors" on the CD side, a spokeswoman for Philips said.

    Discs involved in the industry's February trials included warnings of possible playback problems on some devices, but retailer Harrington said there were no issues. "We got a couple of emails, but nobody came back to us with them," he said.

    Finally, record companies normally license content separately for different formats -- cassettes, CDs, albums or DVDs. The new hybrid discs require new licensing agreements that have yet to be worked out, industry sources said.

    ************

    In many of the press releases and articles on DualDisc there is often little or no mention on the hirez layer. I think what we will see is that there will be more emphasis on the video features than this layer but we won't know until we see the first few groupings of titles. I hope hirez is a standard part of the format but I have my doubts. I also doubt how much the labels will promote it. Neither Sony or the comatose Warner have done a good job promoting hirez titles, although Sony has been better on updating people at AES and audio/video shows.

    Now as far as price goes...let's assume this article is more correct and they sell at the launch price of $19. Is a 15 year old kid going to spend that much money to get video features and/or hirez? I have my doubts...
     
  19. Michael St. Clair

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    Considering MSRP for new CDs is already $16.99 to $18.99, I wouldn't see $19 as any problem whatsoever. I know lots of people who'd pay an extra $.01 to $2.01 for video, surround, extras...

    I'm not predicting success or failure for DualDisc, just surprised at all the negativity. In the past, when members have been even slightly critical of SACD/DSD, you've criticized them for negativity, and even 'left' the forum a few times. This new format isn't even out yet...
     
  20. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Well that's certainly rich considering all the negativity you have shown toward Super Audio. How many threads did I create discussing new titles and then you chimed in and wondered (threadcrapped?) if the disc would be made by Crest?

    I am just expressing my doubts here given the track record of all major labels. I initially thought Sony and others might be able to make SACD more mainstream but over the past few years I have seen only big gains in the niche audiophile market. This is quite good by itself but it does cause me to be more cautious going forward about basic marketing and business sense in the music business. I'm not just for Sony though even if I admire DSD; I think Sony is making a big mistake by not focusing on a joint BluRay/hirez launch.

    Look at the trial runs in Seattle and Boston, for example, there was little positive press during the runs and no story I am aware of that concluded the trial run showing adoption stats, how many were sold, etc. just basic unbiased data on how well DualDisc did. We listen as the DVD Forum describes it as a "success" but what does that mean? It seems to me that if it were a success some good sales stats would be available.

    As far as pricing goes, most pay far less than $19 for a new release. I think asking a $2-3 more dollars is going to be tough even if some of us will line up gladly and pay that $2-3 for hirez.
     

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