Lee, you're the first person I thought of upon reading this news. IF UMG does what they could/should do, this is arguably a harbinger--as you've called for in another thread a while back--of Blu-ray being the media for both hi def vid AND hi rez aud.
My fingers are crossed. If UMG were, say, half as aggressive with their sizable catalog in releasing BDs as they were with DVD-A and SA-CD, it would be a damned good thing.
It would also further complicate the notion of "One Format Only" . . .
Neither blue laser format supports DSD in the specs.
Blu-Ray supposedly has 8 channel discrete support for Dolby Digital Lossless, DTS-HD Lossless, and uncompressed LPCM.
24/192 LPCM resolution for at least 6 channel discrete audio, but where it gets confusing is whether or not 8 channel is only 24/96 or 24/192 as I've seen both mentioned.
You would think that with the amount of bandwidth given by Blu-Ray to just audio that uncompressed LPCM would be used for music only releases. There is plenty of room for it on even a single 25 GB disc.
The problem is that AACS requires audio watermarking, unless the studio releasing the disc opts to not use CP. Will it be the type that negatively effects the quality like Verance with DVD-Audio? Hmmm...
If none of SACD, DVD-A, or DualDisc has proven that they have any staying power with the mass market, why would a music version of Blu-ray be any different?
I have said it in the past, and I'll say it again: the iPod generation proves that most people don't care about quality audio reporduction, and they don't care about multichannel music either. Some people do, but most don't.
And then some: It seems to me that it's quite significant, Kevin. Although it's still too early to tell (thus my interest in wanting to keep up with new news), if HD DVD players are not going to support DVD-A and Blu-ray players are not going to support SA-CD, UMG supporting Blu-ray may be the only way to get more consistent hi rez aud on a going forward basis. UMG was the biggest mainstream label supporter of hi rez.
This is underscored by the lack of consistent presentation of true hi rez aud on DualDisc (above and beyond all the other problems those who frequent these pages know you have with the DD format).
I'm not trying to be unpleasant and bring up old arguments, but: use of Verance has always been optional. And when it is used, it is usually placed where it won't audibly affect sonic quality. But supposedly the only times it even has the potential to be heard is on recordings that feature something like solo flute or other "quiet" performances. So I can't imagine any audiophile label using it (do pirates care about jazz trio or solo flute perfomances?). And I have never read a disc review where watermarking effects-if it was used at all-were noticed. And don't get me started on all the flaky things (IMO) happening in the DSD format sonically-speaking.
BTW: other audio formats can use watermarking too.
But this is the problem. I don't think *most* people know or even care if they are getting high res on DualDisc or not. Not us, but *most* people.
Shoot, I remember the small hubbub when it came out that the stereo tracks on the Roxy Music Avalon SACD were found out to be 16/48 sourced from DAT. But in the big picture of things, didn't affect the sales of the disc positively or negatively at all.
I would really like to see *any* multichannel format make it. But one problem that might continue is simply the lack of titles that people want to buy. More releases by Pink Floyd have been rumored for a long time. Supposedly, quite a few of Genesis's discs have been already remastered. How about the rest of Nine Inch Nails and Yes's catalogs? I got my first universal player, geez, more than 5 years ago now. Know how many DVD-A's, SACDs, and DualDiscs I have right now? Not because I don't want them, but because the titles aren't out there that I'm interested in. 15. And 4 of those are test discs. :frowning:
Add to that list the 7(?) Moody Blues albums from the late 60s/early 70s. They are one of my favorite prog rock groups. I also own some Genesis albums, Trespass, ...and then there were three and I've owned Abacab since it debuted and still listen to it-same with their self-titled album that came out in 1984 I think (but don't listen to it nearly as much).
If all these came out on sacd only, that's when I would buy an sacd player.
I read somewhere that Elliot Scheiner said there are a lot of surround mixes already in the "can", but the labels won't release them for production. :frowning: In fact I heard this about The Cars self-titled first album three years ago-I was hoping that since Ric Ocasek is now working for Elektra it would be approved for release but oh well.
Don't know if this sounds nutty but in emails to Universal Music and DTS Entertainment I said I would pay up to $25 per surround album, but that the mixes would have to be truly immersive and feature artists I really like. As it is, so far I only own 14 dvd-audio discs (and I only listen to about half of them on a regular basis-no more musical experimentation!) and there are only about three more I would want to buy right now.
If surround music were available only on DTS-CDs I *would* buy those, but the title selection would HAVE to improve.
I'm not just sucking up here when I say that those two tracks are among my favorite 80s-era Genesis tunes. And even though Mama is creeeepy, it's still good. Though the cover for that album is so lame! "Put Another Record On" from Abacab is good too, but makes me feel old-ish now (couldn't really relate to the lyrics back when I was 18).
Let's not get too delusional here people. Let's look at the facts:
1.) DVD-A and SA-CD were around for years before Blu-Ray/HD-DVD were even rumored, and the consumer didn't care.
2.) Universal players and dedicated players for both formats are now available for 100-200 bucks and the consumer doesn't care
3.) First Gen Blu-Ray players will run 500-1000, and software will cost in excess of current DVD/CD/Dualdiscs. The consumer will not buy.
4.) UMD has stopped releasing SA-CD over the last couple years. (Remember those rumors of 200-300 titles to be released in 2005..well they never happened!).
5.) UMD has been trickling out Dual-Discs over the past year with Hi-res PCM, but sales are probably not there.
All this leads me to the conclusion that if Universal Music supports Blu-Ray it will be for concert/live video releases, not a music only product. There may be a surround track, but for a live recording, Hi-res will do very little to improve the presentation. DSD is out in Blu-Ray, so don't look for Super SA-CD.