I feel it is time for a collective reality check for SACD and DVD-Audio. Some may argue that SACD has gotten a major shot of adrenaline with ABCKO's mass release of its 22 Rolling Stones albums on hybrid SACDs. The problem, as has been discussed here extensively, is that the Stones hybrid discs are being marketed as "Remasters", with little or no advertising of SACD compatibility. The packages for the discs make no mention of SACD. As a result, I am not particularly comfortable with the notion that the Stones hybrid discs have given SACD any sustaining momentum. Creedence Clearwater Revival is set to be introduced to the world of SACD, but as much as I love CCR, they do not have the widespread appeal of the Stones. Furthermore, the CCR SACDs are not going to be mass-marketed. So, while we music enthusiasts and audiophiles will Hoover up any CCR SACD that Steve Hoffman tosses our way, I don't see these discs amounting to an epiphany for the audio world at large. Another drawback of SACD, and one that has been discussed here for around two years, is Sony's insistence on releasing single-layer SACDs, meaning discs with no CD layers. Sony seems to have ignored the fact that the CD is the standard format and that people do not have SACD-ROM drives on their computers, portable SACD players, or SACD players in their cars. For the past two years, Sony could have been giving consumers SACD by default in the form of hybrid discs, but it has not. The picture isn't entirely bleak for SACD. Despite the dubious marketing by Sony and of the Stones discs and the small-world marketing of the CCR discs, the fact is that major artists are or will be on SACD. This could lead to a domino effect where other major artists might wake up one morning and say, "Hey, I wanna be on SACD too!". It remains to be seen whether or not we will ever see this happen. We can and should continue to hope that this will be the case. DVD-Audio, unfortunately, has struggled mightily from the beginning. We have seen some great titles from artists like Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, and Metallica, but the release of such blockbuster titles has been few and far between. In addition, the format has taken intense criticism from the audio pundits in four key areas. One is Warner's insistence on using a copy-protection watermarking scheme that some consider audible. The second is the DVD-Video-like authoring of discs to include on-screen menus for track selection, thus requiring a video display in one's audio system (some discs can be operated easily without the display, but others cannot). The third is the inconsistent inclusion of discrete stereo tracks on discs, even within one label (e.g., Warner). The fourth is the lack of stereo material provided at the ultimate resolution offered by the format, namely, 24/192. Despite the above-mentioned issues surrounding DVD-Audio, the format has a lot of merit. DVD-Audio represents an improvement over the CD. Also, more hardware manufacturers are currently on-board with DVD-Audio as compared to SACD (though the increasing number of universal players could balance things out over time). In all of this, I see the field of high-resolution audio wide open. Although one might argue that SACD has the edge, this argument is largely offered up from the subjective vantage point of the audiophile. The fact is that neither format has made a major dent in overall music software sales. In these early days of development of the two formats, a major release campaign of a top-shelf artist, meaning with effective marketing, coupled with a paradigm shift (i.e., hybrid SACDs from Sony or no watermarking on DVD-Audio discs), could truly bring one or both formats into the public consciousness. What do you think is necessary to bring SACD or DVD-Audio into the limelight? Is it a major artist? If so, which one or ones? If you are thinking of an artist or artists, consider which format will most likely bring them to the world of high-resolution audio (i.e., due to record label constraints). Let's try to keep a bias for one format out of the equation. In other words, let's avoid discussions of Madonna on SACD since it is highly unlikely that Madonna, a Warner artist, will come to SACD. Perhaps you think a marketing shift will make the biggest impact for one or both formats. What is the nature of the shift? How could it change the face of the recorded audio market? Maybe you think one or both formats is on the right course. If so, feel free to make the status quo argument. For example, some folks have countered negativism towards low sales of SACD software with early sales numbers of DVD-Video discs. If you feel one or both formats is already on the road to success, please indicate your basis for that opinion. So, that's it. Talk away!