With CD sales still in a slump, will the industry give DVD-A or SACD a second chance?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Dave Moritz, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    With movie studios now offering us HD formats and lossless audio to try and get us to repurchase many of our current titles. Will the music industry that just a few years back did little to promote high resolution music. Will they reintorduce high resolution music and start offering a larger number of top titles? Since CD sales are still in a major slump and record companies seem to be clueless on how to revitalize sales. Maybe the record industry is or should concider reintroducing high resolution music.

    DVD-A and SACD may have been ahead of there time and maybe the general public 4 years ago where not ready for it. But the record companies did not do much to make people want to run out and purchase the hardware ether. Personally I feel that the record companies had no intention of giving us close to master audio quality in our own home. I feel that the industry was scared that it would be pirated and they would loose control of there property. There is also another reason why CD sales are in a slump. People are tired of paying top dollar for CD's that only have one or two good songs on them. There are also a small number of consumers that just don't pay for music and act like music should be this free comodity. Most poeple IMHO don't mind paying for music, they just don't like getting a bad product.

    I see there being two solutions to this problem, 1). Record companies putting out a better product, meaning albums with more good songs. 2). Record companies releasing the popular titles that people want to buy on a high resolution format. Its kinda like the line from the movie Field Of Dreams: "If you build it they will come".

    I know that one of the reasons I stoped buying DVD-A's and SACD's was there where not enough great titles available. The record companies will have to do something and do it soon. They have not been good about embrasing new technologies and maybe its time they started. Its time they looked to replace the CD as it is very imparent that something needs to be done. The compact disc was a great invention that allowed us to take music with us no mater where we where. It was more durable than tape and sounded great. The compact disc has been around for aproximantly 20 years. And with sales slumping maybe part of the answer is to do what the movie studios have done. Embrase new technology and rerelease there current titles and upcoming titles on a new high definition platform. Maybe its time for the record industry to learn something from the movie studios.

    I am sure that there are alot of us that would go out and buy high resolution versions of titles like The Beatles - Abbey Road, Led Zeppelin - Zeppelin 4, Nirvana - Nevermind, Exile On Main Street - The Rolling Stones, Who's Next - The Who, Pink Floyd - The Wall, Appetite For Distructions - Guns & Roses and Born In The USA just to name a few. These new high resolution titles should have both stereo and 5.1 mixes available on the same disc. Those who want to listen to the best stereo mix available will not be forced to listen to a surround format. Those who find they like what the surround format brings to music will have a great reason to buy the new high resolution lossless 5.1 formats. I personally do not like buying CD's for two differnet reasons. The first is that alot of the newer titles have only a few good songs on them. That is not to say that there are not some good bands out there making some great music. And the other reason is after listening to what DVD-A and SACD do for music and the cost of building a movie library. I dont have the money to just buy CD's like they are going out of stlye like I use to. The record industry need to give us a better reason and more bang for our dollar. If they are to get us back in the stores and spending money on music again.
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I bet not. There's been other threads on this, but I believe that the average person doesn't care enough about multichannel audio for either of SACD or DVD-A to survive as mainstream formats. Heck, the average person is happy enough with MP3/iPod lossy quality stereo.

    But where I believe the record companies are missing out, is small volume, higher priced specialty DVD-A/SACD releases. Shoot, more vinyl is being released today than SACD and DVD-A combined! And people pay a premium for it. But will vinyl ever come close to CD sales? Nope. But for whatever reason, record companies will continue to do vinyl releases and not SACD/DVD-A. And I personally have no idea why.
     
  3. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    I'd be willing to bet that there are a select few 'record' stores spread out from coast to coast. Each of those stores sell more than enough vinyl to stay afloat. It doesn't matter to them that records are .0001% of total nationwide music sales because there are enough loyal customers to keep those stores in business.

    On the other hand the music companies could never get away with trying to sell records at Walmart. The stores wouldn't be willing to dedicate much shelf space to a product that 1/10,000 of their customers are willing to buy, and record fans wouldn't flock to a store that stocks one or two records along side thousands of CDs.

    SACD and DVD-A failed because of how they were marketed. If there were a select few SACD/DVD audio specialty stores that stocked copies of high resolution versions of titles like The Beatles - Abbey Road, Led Zeppelin - Zeppelin 4, etc... then the formats would have achieved cult status by now.
     
  4. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I agree with this.

    For the "Average Joe" systems that most non-audio hobbyists own, old-skool CD still has more resolution than those systems can reproduce, so IMO a hi-res stereo format is a no-go for most of those people. And surround music needs a properly set up system to, um, properly hear it so IMO for most people they are just too much of a hassle.

    But there are obviously still people out there that enjoy quality sound, whether its audio hobbyists like those on this forum or just a person who likes music and wants it reproduced as well as his budget allows (from mid-fi gear like Pioneer to hi-end stuff like McIntosh). And I would inlcude "deluxe" packaging like a nice foldout digipak or dvd style case w/informative booklet and maybe a miniposter, that sort of thing. Make it something someone would really value by just holding it in their hand vs. some nebulous thing like a file on a hard drive (Beck's deluxe edition of Guero is a perfect example of this).
     
  5. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    double post
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    triple post!
     
  7. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    Seeings how 99% of the general public have no clue what 6 analogs are,its only up to us to keep the sales going. BTW,imo i think SACD,DVD-A,HD,BlueRay and all the rest will stop and take a back seat when its time for the analog to digital switch. I know one has nothing to do with the other but such a massive thing like that plus stupits will have such mass drawbacks for general public,i'm scared thinking about it but i'm most likly wrong.
     
  8. Matt Fisher

    Matt Fisher Second Unit

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    I think a point often overlooked when comparing hi-res audio to high def DVD's, is that the majority of people don't listen to most of their music in their living room (or theater room, wherever their HT setup may be)...meaning they do listen to it on their iPod, or in their car. The majority of people still watch their movies in their living room. You don't need hi-res quality to enjoy music on your MP3 player or in your car, but since everyone is still watching movies on their living room TV's, they will put the extra spending into that. This isn't the 50's anymore where families gathered around the living room to listen to music, and it just isn't going to happen again.
     
  9. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    I'd have to agree with the posts above. The interest in the hi-rez market is too small a %. I do think that the record cos. can do a better job of getting hi-rez out the door that would be profitable and sell. The original post indicated some popular artists that easily could be worth it. The Doors Box set on DVD-A/CD is due out on Nov. 21. I think the record cos. counted on getting a premium price and hi-rez going mainstream and when that failed they just gave up. I just think it is such a small part of their business (hi-rez), they just won't devote much resources to it. They could, however, easily farm it out to cos. like MoFi and just count anything they get as gravy. MoFi has had titles out that are just CDs (e.g. John Lennon, upcoming Yes album) as evidently they could not acquire the rights to hi-rez. The thing that irks me a bit is why not? If there is not intention of doing hi-rez why not let the audiophile lables do it?
     
  10. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    If they were smart, they would have made EVERY new release a hybrid SACD.
     
  11. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I heard this theory on another forum (hint: they talk about the Bee-uhls a lot [​IMG] ) where a lot of industry "insiders" seem to hang out : Why not? Because if that audiophile label actually ended up making a solid profit from that licensed album, the person at the Big Music Corporation who approved the licensing deal in the first place would not be looked upon favorably i.e. his job could be put at risk.

    Seeing how paranoid most large companies are about making profits nowadays, the above sounds like a reasonable theory to explain that confusing (to us outsiders) situation.
     
  12. Albert_M

    Albert_M Supporting Actor

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    I highly doubt it. I love music. I love my cds and frankly I don't even care for any other format, let alone Joe American who is content with Mp3s (which I don't care for either).
     
  13. David_Rivshin

    David_Rivshin Second Unit

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    One thing I'm looking to come out of HD-DVD and/or Blu-Ray, is a resurgence in high-res audio discs. High-res audio disks in either HD format should, in a few years, have a much higher potential audience than DVD-A and SACD had, since anyone who owns an HD player would be able to play them. Now you could say that DVD-A discs already had that to a certain extent, but I never considered DD or DTS to be high-res, and I'd rather listen to the CD most of the time [​IMG]
    Unless I've done my math wrong, 1 hour of 7.1 LPCM 192Khz/24bit audio is under 16GB. Even an HD15 disc has enough capacity for many audio-only discs, let alone BD50 disc. And the studio wouldn't even have to pay Dolby for the use of MLP.

    Concert discs could be absolutely great.

    -- Dave
     
  14. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    Thats all nice except to many ifs. If it seems like a good idea, they'll screw it up for us somehow.
     
  15. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    The industry has to do something because what they have been doing doesn't work any more. One of there biggest complaints the record industry has had is piracy. They cried about the consumer making copies or LP's to cassette. Then they cried about consumers making copies of CD to cassette and then later making CD to CD copies. SACD is to my knowledge the most secure audio format there is currently. At least there is no way to make a pure digital copy of SACD. I am not so sure if digital copies of DVD-A is possible but that most likely is most like secure. One of the ways you keep them secure is to keep them from being playable on PC's. That might suck for people that have PC's but thats why you would have lower quality MP3's. I see no reason why high resolution music could not be done by high end companies in lower production runs compaired to CD's. At least that way they could give those who want high resolution audio the oprotunity to own something better than CD's.

    There is one thing that has been a constant and that is the record industry has been blaming something for there loss of revenue. At least ever since I can remember they have used the same excuse every time new technology comes out. While there are plenty of consumers out there with substandard audio setups. That should by no means keep high resolution audio from becoming a reality. The record companies never really gave ether format a chance. At least as far as releasing enough strong titles that would attract people to ether format. Why purchase a format when you can not buy top notch titles? The same thing could have happened with CD many years ago if there was very few titles to create interest. Thats one of the major reasons why I feel DVD-A and SACD failed.

    CD has been a great format and still offers a good platform for music. It has been a very convenient format that allows you to listen to music in your car and home and take it many other places. What should be the next step in audio? Do we let the progress of audio playback stagnate? Do we get to a certain point and say that it good enough so why bother? What is the next step? How long do we accept CD as being good enough before something better is allowed to take its place? SACD hybrid was a great way to give two different consumers what they want. That idea should be reintroduced IMHO, SACD hybrids should be once again sold giving consumers a choice. This would eliminate there being two seperate formats and bundle them both together basically eliminating risk.

    Would love to hear input on this.
     
  16. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    Next step? More and smaller harddrives and chips. Chips that do everything that cds,SACD,HD does.
     
  17. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    I don't know about most people but I want to have a hard copy of an album. Something that I can own and collect at the same time. I have most of my CD collection riped as 192kHz mp3's and I dont listen to them as mp3's. My Computer is completly seperate from my computer though so when I want to listen to music. I do not want to be tied down to sitting in front of my pc as well. When I relax and listen to music I want to hear the best posible presentation that I can possible get. And while CD's are good I honestly think that it can be done better.
     
  18. Mathew_M

    Mathew_M Extra

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    SACD and DVD-A came out about ten years too late. By this time most audiophiles had invested too heavily in expensive CD players and vinyl rigs to re-invest in a new format. For regular consumers most who even bothered to sample a high-rez format were probably left underwhelmed. Reason being that on the entry level players there isn't a decernible difference between high-rez and CD. I mean you can hear the extra 'air' and refinement but it's not night and day. Couple that with the .mp3 revolution and that's why the high-rez formats are at best a niche format and will probably forever be that.

    The reason vinyl still sells (abeit in small numbers) besides sounding good is that it's different and fun. There's something very satisfying about putting a lp on the platter, dropping the needle and chilling back looking at the cover art. There's a 'heft' to owning and listening to vinyl that the digital formats just can't compete with. Of course some of that fun disappears in the face of a crapload of surface noise and skipping but nothings perfect.
     
  19. Mathew_M

    Mathew_M Extra

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    I just wanted to add that I think the future of high-rez is on the PC audio side. I own a Squeezebox and a ripped CD at lossless quality sounds pretty good. Of course you're still at the mercy of the mastering which in the case of CD usually means compressed and in your face. Now the studios need to just release a high-rez audio format and make it possible to download like an iTunes store for Audiophiles. They can DRM it as long as they make universal codecs for devices like the Squeezebox.
     
  20. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    [​IMG]

    And, what looks more substantial in a rack of gear: a bland black box with some buttons on the front? Or a deck with an elegant tonearm delicately tracing a groove while a large circular metal platter slowly spins as music issues forth? The turntable, no contest! Even a basic deck like my Technics SL-BD22 easily "outstyles" all my other gear, including the Pioneer DV-656A hi-res player.
     

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