Today I had lunch with 5 of my co-workers. Earlier in the day I had read some comments about how hi-res music will always be a niche market, so I decided to ask my fellow lunchers a few questions: Have you heard of DVD-A? All 5 said no. Have you heard of SACD? All 5 said no. Do you have a DVD player? 4 yes, 1 no. When watching a movie on DVD, do you play the sound through the TV speakers or through external speakers? 3 through TV, 1 through external speakers, guy with no DVD player also has no TV! For the one guy who played through external speakers, is it a 5.1 system? Yes. Do you ever listen to music as more than background sound, i.e., as a dedicated activity? 2 yes, 3 not really. Wierd how none of them gave a strong "no". Their wishy-washy way of responding makes me think that listening to music as a dedicated activity was a totally foreign concept to them so they didn't know how to answer. I explained a little about hi-res, surround, and compatiblity with DVD players and CD players, then asked more questions: Now that you know a little about hi-res music, does it sound interesting to you? 4 no, 1 kind-of If the same music were available on CD and hybrid SACD, but the SACD was $1 more expensive, which would you buy? All 5 said CD If the same music were available on CD and DVD-A, but the DVD-A was $1 more expensive, which would you buy? All 5 said CD, although 1 guy actually had to take a second to think it over. What if the hybrid SACD was the same price as the CD? 4 said hybrid, 1 said CD because he didn't want to risk having it not play in a PC. What if the DVD-A was the same price as the CD? All 5 said CD, but the same guy who had to think about the previous question said he would at least try a few DVD-A's to play at home. If he was extremely impressed with surround music he might switch from CD. For this group of guys, being able to play music anywhere is important, especially in the car. One of them is big into MP3s and went off about how music on disc - any disc - is an outdated concept. Only the guy with the 5.1 system cared about surround sound. Improved sound quality didn't matter in the least to any of them. They certainly aren't willing to buy a new player to get improved sound quality, whether for home, the car, or a portable device. This is obviously too few people to be a definitive representation of the general population. And it's not meant to be a launch pad for another format bashing thread. I just thought a sample data point might be interesting to some of you. It sure was to me!