1. The HTF Tapatalk application has been discontinued. Please see the thread in the Forum Help & Feedback area for more information.
    Dismiss Notice

Questions as to the current status and future of high resolution music

Discussion in 'Music' started by Stan Rozenfeld, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. Stan Rozenfeld

    Stan Rozenfeld Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 27, 2000
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    That title is a mouthful, but the full title would have been:

    "Questions as to the current status and future of high resolution/surround sound music formats"

    The coming of the two high def dvd formats have me wondering as to what will happen with the current surround formats. I am actually more concerned about sacd than I am about dvd-audio.

    So my questions are:

    1) what is the current market status of these formats? Are they still being outsold by vinyl? The latest I heard, there were 3500 sacd titles out there, so I guess that's something.

    2) Is there a future at all for high resolution music?

    3) Will there be a support for sacds in the new hd players eventually?

    4) Could these formats be replaced by a high resolution music download service or a blue laser based format making these totally incompatible and obsolete???

    These questions have practical significance for me. I currently have a Sony 9100ES dvd/cd/sacd player for which I paid a nice chunk of change. When the new hd players come out, they will support both dvd and cd, and let's suppose that their playback ability for regular dvds and cds is adequate or better? That means that I am left with a conundrum of keeping an expensive dvd player just for sacds! Will it be worth it? That's a question I'll have to answer myself, but I would love to hear information or input on these issues.

    As a side note, I was looking for "Yo-Yo Ma plays Ennio Morricone" CD or SACD. I was intrigued to find that they both have the same list price. I then shopped around for street prices, and found that on the whole, from regular internet stores, I could get a bigger discount on CD, then on SACD, but not much bigger, so with SACDs' backward compatibility, you would think that the advantage would be with SACD. But then when you factor in bmg club prices, you could get the same CD for something like $6 or so, which will make it less than half the SACD price. So is it worth to play more than double for SACD?

    Another side note: Music industry might wonder why the CD sales are going down. I looked for Star Trek First Contact CD by Jerry Goldsmith and found that in its street price, it costs more, far more than the new two-disk DVD of the same film which not only has the whole movie, but tons of extras. So, you think CDs are overpiced? :) Thank God for BMG club is all I have to say.

    Stan

    Any information on the above questions will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Hartwig Hanser

    Hartwig Hanser Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 1998
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    0

    This depends: how important is sound quality to you? how annoying do you find CD sound? Everybody has different opinions. Personally, I prefer SACD sound and like multichannel music, so I would pay more. Double? Perhaps for some special titles, where sound quality is paramount for me.
     
  3. Stan Rozenfeld

    Stan Rozenfeld Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 27, 2000
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    Even though I already paid for the player, I could always ebay it to finance an upgraded receiver or better hd player. I've done that a lot with my old equipment and got a good chunk of change for it.
     
  4. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,185
    Likes Received:
    0
    You can get the "Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone " SACD for $13.98 from sonymusicstore.com. Enter the coupon code of WINTER and you will get 15% off of your total. If you buy more than $25.00 worth of stuff from the site, you'll even get free shipping, which means the "Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone" SACD can cost you as little as $11.85 shipped.

    I seriously doubt yourmusic.com will have this title any time soon.
     
  5. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is already at least one hi-res download service now so that's a distinct possibility.

    If they come out with a blue-laser hi-res/surround format and abandon sacd/dvd-audio, this writer will NOT be buying into it until he sees at least 30 surround titles with music he truly likes the first year that format debuts. We've already been disappointed by most hi-res/surround labels with their spotty output (mixed with release schedules that are hardly ever lived up to), sloppy marketing and strange title choices-I won't be duped again. [​IMG]
     
  6. Stan Rozenfeld

    Stan Rozenfeld Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 27, 2000
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    Danny,

    Thanks for the coupon! That makes things a lot easier!.

    Lance,

    One of the reasons I prefer SACD hybrids to dvd-audio is their backward compatibility. I can play them in my car, on my home theater system, on my computer. The problem is that of all the people who I know, even those who love music, none have even heard of sacd. Bad marketting I'd say!

    I think there is also the fact that when they came out, the only way you could connect them was the cumbersome analog cables, and there was no bass management or speaker distance adjustments. Now they have all that and firewire connection, but I guess it's too little to late.

    Another factor I feel is limiting is that just about every system I know is compromised in some way. I have a modest house and no room or money for two separate systems. Like most people, my home theater system is also my music system. If you go to telarc site explaining set up, you will see that they recommend same size speakers all the way around. This is an impossible situation since the center speaker will stand right in front of TV. My center speaker is horizontal of course. This is just one example. As a result, the improvement that I experience in sacd is not as great as it should be. My point is that it looks like they were designing this format for a very tiny niche market or were not looking at real world scenarios at all.

    As for why I brought this all up... I've been following high def DVD threads on AVS forum, and every time someone brings up sacd or dvd-audio, the answer is: "that's a dead format". That comes even from semi-official representatives that frequent the place. The best I've heard is that when someone asked Sony reps at CES what they're going to do about sacd, the answer was that they're not sure. Hardly a good indicator!

    Don't get me wrong... I love SACD hybrids. Being a classical music fan, there is plenty to choose from. But I don't want to get stuck with dead format again. Been there, done that with laserdiscs. If worst case scenario occurs, I don't have the resources or the shelf space to keep a separate player that plays the few SACDs that I will have knowing that that collection will not increase. Nothing would make me happier than the continued support of SACD though.

    As for blu-laser based format, I think that the music format can emerge from one or both of the current high def DVD formats. After all, they already have provisions for lossless codecs, uncompressed pcm and 8 channels. What more will they need?

    Stan
     
  7. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,185
    Likes Received:
    0
    Stan,

    You're welcome about the coupon. Sony really should re-organize its site since doing a search using "SACD" will not result in finding the new Yo-Yo Ma SACD. Same goes for all recent Sony SACD releases (i.e. Duran Duran, John Legand, etc.).

    As for being a classical music fan, I think you will be happy to see this bit of recent news about SonyBMG planning a year of classical releases on SACD.

    You know about sa-cd.net and superaudio-cd.com (the latter site operated by Sony Europe), right? These sites tracks new SACD releases, with sa-cd.net currently showing 3,541 titles and superaudio-cd.com currently showing 3,391 titles released worldwide. Just in case you wanted to know, sa-cd.net also tracks new SACD titles added to its database on a month-to-month basis.

    On the hardware front, a number of manufacturers recently joined the SACD camp....Parasound, Cambridge Audio, NAD and Harman Kardon (the latter 3 companies previously only released DVD-A compatible machines). There are rumors of Rotel hopping on the SACD bandwagon soon.

    Hi-rez and/or multi-channel music, no matter on what format, will always be a niche market as the mainstream has switched to downloading. Will SACD/DVD-A be replaced by hi-rez downloading? Eventually....but somehow I think there will always be a market for a physical hi-rez music format. Afterall, nothing can replace the smell or the tactile feel of a disc (no matter what size) in your hands.

    Regarding sales of SACD/DVD-A, the numbers provided by RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is kind of confusing/misleading. According to RIAA's 2005 mid-year report (I believe this is the latest numbers), sales of a DVD-A release (such as the DVD-A release of Dire Straits' "Brothers In Arms") will be counted as "CD" since it was released on DualDisc. And I believe a SACD sale is counted only when a single-layer SACD is sold; almost all recent SACD titles within the last 2 years are released on hybrid SACDs. And since the numbers from RIAA were generated from SoundScan-monitored retailers, does RIAA count sales from e-tailers such as Music Direct, Elusive Discs, or ebay?
     
  8. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2000
    Messages:
    3,861
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Hollywood, California
    Real Name:
    Paul
    These issues have been discussed and 'disgust' here so much. I'm still buying DVD-As I want via Amazon. As long as Telarc is making SA-CDs, I'll be buying.

    Stan, regarding your #3, we just don't know yet. This year may provide some answers/insight. If not getting stuck with a "dead" format and plowing the 9100ES' cost back into your system are the priorities they seem to be for you, ebay it now and replace it with a less expensive Pioneer universal, thereby decreasing the issue you appear to have with having 'wasted' money on the piece despite its ability to provide enjoyment as Hartwig alludes to above.

    Random note: although there's of course a (cost) difference between equipping a player with the chipset necessary to decode a format versus making a plastic indentation in a player drawer, isn't it interesting that despite how "dead" 3" CDs are it's difficult to find a player these days that does not have a 3" concentric circle in its drawer to accommodate those discs?

    -p
     
  9. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    3,729
    Likes Received:
    0
    The 8cm CD Single is alive and well, and living in Japan. [​IMG] Seriously, while you can hardly find a single one in the States, CD Singles seem to sell alright over there -- I've seen two different styles of packaging: in a case the height of a standard CD jewel-box, but narrower, and in a standard CD jewel box, just leaving the extra tray space empty. The second arrangement is often used where a CD Single is the "bonus" disc packed with a regular CD, in a double-disc case. Contrariwise, the only American CD Single I've ever seen was in a little pasteboard envelope.
    Not to mention the recent success of the "business card" 8cm CD-ROM.

    On the other hand, I much prefer the CDV Single, which uses a standard 12cm CD blank to record the same audio runtime as a CD Single, plus 5 minutes of LaserDisc video. [​IMG]
     
  10. Stan Rozenfeld

    Stan Rozenfeld Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 27, 2000
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the input, everyone!

    It sure does seem that sacd and dvd-audio have a pr problem, if they can't get the accurate sales figures for them even.

    If the new hd players are really spectacular in playing regular dvds and cds, as well as high def stuff, I might for a time shelf my sacd playback ability and sell my expensive unit while the going is good, but there is just too much good stuff going on with sacd to abandon it completely, so even if hd players do not support sacd, I will try to set aside the money to buy a cheaper/used stand alone sacd player. Because I just don't see anything definite on the horizon that will match the quality and flexibility of sacd hybrid. And here's hoping that at least Sony's Blu-Ray player will support SACD!

    I am also skeptical of this all download philosophy. Don't get me wrong... I like it myself for certain things, but for something I truly care about, I prefer a sense of physical ownership.

    I remember predictions on how computers would turns us all into a paperless society... fat chance! All those print outs! and book publishing is as strong as ever.

    Best Regards,
    Stan
     
  11. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    4,697
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Knocksville, TN
    Real Name:
    Rachael Bellomy
    Stan, you're totally jumping the gun worryin' if blue laser formats are gonna suddenly take hold and have a bounty of music releases. ....format war, possibility of hi-rez over HDMI only...if either of these two alleged formats go beyond niche status anytime soon, I'd be suprised. [​IMG]
     
  12. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Danny: didn't know about the way dvda/sacds are still counted. I thought they fixed that a couple years ago! [​IMG] So maybe these formats aren't doing (quite) as bad as it seems.........maybe.

    Stan: don't let Telarc's 5.1 set-up advice deter you from 5.1 music*. That is the *optimum* configuration for surround music, something I wish I could implement myself, but sound quality is not a black/white or yes/no proposition. I.e. maybe a horizontal center channel will not produce the BEST result, but it still can produce a VERY GOOD result. Same with using less-than-full-range speakers (& the recommendation for using speakers the same size is probably just to make sure they all sound alike, no matter WHAT size they actually are-this goes for movie soundtracks too). My own satellite speakers make it to "only" @40Hz but I think overall my system sounds quite good (most music starts to fizzle out below 40Hz anyway so that's probably one of the reasons). And my sub can take care of the really low stuff if the artist wanted such frequencies to be heard.

    And like some here have suggested (including Rachael [​IMG] ) a small sub could be used with a small center channel and another small sub with the rear channels, for a truly full-range system.

    * I couldn't find it on their site, so am going on what you and others have described. BTW: they have an icon for pop/rock titles, but nothing is listed there. Maybe they're working on a Tool, 311 or Art Of Noise surround sacd-wouldn't that be awesome!?
     
  13. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,185
    Likes Received:
    0


    Lance, you do know that there are a couple of Art of Noise multi-channel SACDs, right?
     
  14. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2000
    Messages:
    3,861
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Hollywood, California
    Real Name:
    Paul
    Curious--it used to be at telarc.com/surround but now going there simply redirects to the main site. Maybe they gave up their educational efforts regarding height channels . . . [​IMG]

    -p
     
  15. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    3,764
    Likes Received:
    0
  16. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, but according to reviews, neither was very good. IIRC one was a live album where the perfomance itself wasn't all that great (I'm not surpirsed since AON's music is so highly produced) but the other one-Daft-is the one I was really disappointed with, and which I have owned in CD form for years. This is a studio album but the few people that bought the sacd reported that it was an "ambient" mix with only occasional effects popping up in the rear channels & sounding very much like a Silverline release. [​IMG] So it looks like the stereo master was simply run through a DSP system.

    For such far-out and no-rules music, the use of such a tame mix was a major disappointment for me. I really thought they would have used a mix like what the Flaming Lips used for their album.

    I truly would have scrounged up the money for a basic sacd player by now, but there are only about 6 sacd surround titles I would buy right now (including Roxy Music's highly-rated Avalon*) & that just isn't enough justification right now for such a purchase.

    BTW: I also own In Visible Silence, Best Of The Art Of Noise, and The Seduction Of Claude Debussy, and thought eventually one of these would be remixed into 5.1, especially the latter since it was newer (1999; though I like In Visible Silence** better) and relatively speaking was a more mainstream album. But nothing so far.

    * this album was one of the first CDs I ever heard, in 1985 at an audio shop in San Marcos Texas. I got to hear this sultry/classy music through Harmon/Kardon electronics and a pair of large Genesis Physics 210 speakers. Very impressive, both the sound and the music.

    ** this album unfortunately seems to be out of print, which is weird becasue it gets some of the best reviews. It also turns out that I was lucky to have (unknowingly) bought the rare version with the extended version of the Peter Gunn w/Duane Eddy theme song. Check out some of those stratospheric prices on Amazon for USED copies!
     
  17. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,185
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks on the info, Lance.

    Here's a new article at TWICE (This Week In Consumer Electronics) about hi-rez dated 01/30/2006....

     
  18. Stan Rozenfeld

    Stan Rozenfeld Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 27, 2000
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting news, Danny.

    I am not much for dual disc, but Sony's comments regarding sacd give me some hope. I hope they walk the walk and choose to support sacd in their blu-ray players. Of course a cynical way to look at it would be that they always scream loudest about success before closing down the shop (those Sony betamax ads befor capitulation).

    Notice the reference to "obscure music" in sacd. Since a good portion of SACD releases are classical... well, I don't know what to say regarding how you can call a music that lasted more than a hundred years, and will probably be performed and listened to long after most of today's "hits" disappear from memory. (End of rant :)

    Stan
     
  19. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2000
    Messages:
    3,861
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Hollywood, California
    Real Name:
    Paul
    Re the main piece: Yes it's significant that the labels are largely not releasing DVD-A anymore, but I'm not entirely comfortable with main piece's diminution of the future of DVD-A because of Dual. There are still more DVD-A titles out there than Dual, the article makes no mention of true hi rez being less prevalent on Dual and we just don't know yet if HD DVD players may support DVD-A at some point in the future.

    I was also not pleased to read ". . . Denon Link 3, a single dedicated cable that transmits all six Dolby audio channels from SACD player to receiver." I think the word "Dolby" is not supposed to be in that sentence.

    Re the side bar: Didn't know Silverline had gone all Dual.

    Inaccuracies include calling Springsteen's Devils Dual only (there were so many reported problems with the Dual Sony later released a CD) and saying Dual contains DVD-A (only sometimes).

    “The 'CD' side is not recognized by some of our DVD players,” adds [Denon] Talmadge. “We tell consumers to play the DVD side.”

    LOL. [Groan.]

    -p
     
  20. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nothing personal to Danny, but that article is full of errors. It seems like both were written by someone not fully educated on the sacd/dvd-a/DD formats. The most glaring problem for me was that he kept making it seem that most DDs have a dvd-audio side or that most include surround mixes-based on what I've seen personally most do not include either! And of course, no mention that most of those "surround" mixes on DDs-particularly DDs from Sony/BMG and especially Silverline/5.1 Entertainment-reportedly are of the fake/ambient type made from a stereo master that was simply run through a DSP box. To me these two labels are helping to seriously weaken the acceptance of surround music in general with these (excuse the following outburst) shitty and incredibly boring 5.1 mixes....IMO of course.

    And IMO there seems to be some marketing department-generated stuff about sacd stuck in there too, like this:
    "In the studio" (my emphasis), "format of choice" and "Digital Rosetta stone"? Really? The overall opinion of all of the pro audio forums I lurk on definitely don't agree with such sweeping statements. And are all these DSD recorded albums actually coming out in *sacd* form? And is all the external processing gear in the studio also based on DSD, becuase if it isn't that means nasty ol' PCM will very probably be involved (analog might be in there but that's getting more and more rare). Gawd will Sony ever stop with this stuff?!

    And that junk about all the cables being a "colossal headache"-what the hell!? Jeez they make it sound like you'll need a hospital visit after hooking up a surround player. Because after hooking it up all you do is push "6CH input", push play, and that's it. >>> This same procedure includes listening to the surround tracks on a dvd-audio disc.

    Just a reminder about Mr. Trickett: he is the president of the Dvd-Audio Council (how in the hell did he get THAT job?!), and based on the quality of his other job's products i.e. Silverline, in my opinion it is not difficult to see why the dvd-audio format is on massive life support. So I sure hope UMG, Warner, DTS Entertainment, etc don't allow this guy to dictate what they sell. Dvd-audio could be a decently successful niche format, mostly I think because of its backwards compatibility-i.e. 5.1 Dolby Digital, 5.1 DTS, 96kHz/24bit LPCM stereo-if only it was marketed better by people who truly cared about it and *true* surround music.

    Lastly: DualDisc to me is a half-baked, works-most-of-the-time [​IMG] mutant product invented by the accounting and marketing departments of certain clueless companies in the music industry.

    Want to sell more music on a LONG-TERM basis and still have a music industry? As so many business people are so fond of saying, gotta keep up with the times: that means realizing it's the 21st century & that the glory days are over with, realizing the fact that the Internet is not going away, selling the summer house in Malibu, buying Buicks instead of 500SLs, and dropping the regular prices of *all* your CDs to $5 to $10 apiece. And finding/developing more actual musical talent might help too. [​IMG]

    IMHO.
     

Share This Page