back to article Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray

Apparently, 60 per cent of the population has access to Blu-ray players. Who’d have thunk it? Really, if you include the Sony PlayStation consoles and now the Xbox One, it all adds up... possibly. The statistic came from Olivier Robert-Murphy, global head of new business at Universal Music Group, during an event held at …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, a bit like the oh so successful DVD-Audio then? Pass...

    1. Michael Strorm

      Not really- DVD Audio might have succeeded better if it had been supported by default by all existing DVD Video players. (*) Effectively, that *is* the case here.

      FWIW, it might be good if the audio discs were required to include a facility that allowed basic control of the discs through the player's own control panel without having the TV displayed turned on (I don't know if this is or isn't the case), even the facility was only supported by higher-end players designed with it in mind. There's something a bit naff about requiring the screen to be on to play music.

      (*) And maybe also if it hadn't been in a battle with SACD... I say "maybe" as it's open to question whether the format battle actually was a pyrrhic, er.... stalemate, since it still isn't clear that either format would have succeeded without that factor.

    2. g e

      Not forgetting, of course

      That everyone (naturally) has listening equipment and environments conducive to eking out the very lowest bits of resolution for their enjoyment.

      You know, like non-rectangular damped rooms with KEF/Dynaudio/whatever speakers and pro-audio valve amps and so on (and on and on). Or whatever the current trend is for listening environments.

      Not to mention the ears to appreciate it.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Not forgetting, of course

        I certainly haven't forgotten to add those monster cables to the shopping list.

      2. Wilseus

        Re: Not forgetting, of course

        "Not to mention the ears to appreciate it."

        Presumably then, that means you're unable to tell the difference between a performance in a concert hall and the the same thing played through the stereo in your living room?

    3. WraithCadmus
      Joke

      I did try learning more about it from presentations

      But I kept getting blocked at work when I searched for 'DVDA videos'

    4. roger stillick
      WTF?

      DVD-Audio ?? try VHS-HI FI...

      Lossless hi quality audio has been available since the venerable SONY VHS-HI FI recorders...

      Using the SONY recorder as an audio processor to the HI-FI audio system works...as a kluge...

      My Blue Ray n DVD stuff feeds through it to a NTSC ch4 RF modulator for (yes) TV Video...

      caveiat= Hi Def Stuff is done w/LINUX laptops at our home...RS.

      1. Anomalous Cowturd
        Unhappy

        Re: DVD-Audio ?? try VHS-HI FI...

        I seem to remember my circa 1990 Aiwa (I think) VHS being able to take an RCA line level input, and record audio only at about 4 > 1 on a tape. eg. 8hrs music on a 2hr tape. Sounded fine into a Quad 33 into Yamaha PA + active speakers... 'Til a burglar took the VCR, TV, camera, cash, and my big rucksack :o(. But left the stereo...

        If only he knew.

        Arse.

        1. DiViDeD

          Re: DVD-Audio ?? try VHS-HI FI...

          Same thing happened to my brother back in the very early days of CD. The burglar left his spanking new Philips CD player, the Quad 44/404 combo, the Celestions with the fronts off and the very expensive linear tracking turntable, but he made off with the Binatone radio cassette player from the kitchen and his wife's fake Gucci bag.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: DVD-Audio ?? try VHS-HI FI...

        It wasn't Sony - they bought them in

        Sony did make Beta HiFi though and PAL HiFi was rather good

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    A good whine

    So Blu-ray players can provide ultra-high quality sounds (and pictures that aren't too bad, either).

    Big deal.

    We know from everyday life that apart from a very few, who live in complete silence / solitude, that decent sound quality and reproductive apparatus (!) will never get used to its full potential - or anything close too that. When was the last time that any city-dweller had a moment of perfect quiet? With no sirens, passing trucks, passing aircraft, pissing toilets a'flushing, fridges humming, other occupants talking, playing computer games and people in the flat above with their trendy (and utterly selfish) bare wooden floors, or even the death-watch beetles chomping through your joists?

    Having the ultimate in signal to noise ratio emanating forth from your speakers is pointless, if the ambient SNR is lower.

    It's like video. We are constantly told to buy bigger screened TVs, ultra 4K resolution - yet so many people watch most of their video content on a tiny little phone or tablet and listen to highly compressed audio through Poundland's ear-buds. As for Youtube: how can something soooo lo-res be so popular? If the claims for HD (and other) TVs are valid?

    So yes, have your FLAC formatted music if you live in an anechoic chamber, or your 4K TVs if you have a perfectly darkened room. But for most people, these things are wasted on us. Just like most of us couldn't tell the difference between Dom Perignon and Lidl's cheapest.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A good whine

      Dom Perignon and Lidl's cheapest......

      Actually I think you'll find it's the "experts" that tell can't the difference....the rest of us can, we just look at the price and go, yup, that one.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2328599/First-10-gin-Aldis-12-99-champagne-trumps-rivals-costing-times-taste-tests.html

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: @Lost all faith...

        Thanks for that champaign comparison!

        Though I now feel a bit dirty having visited the Daily Mail site.

      2. foxyshadis

        Re: A good whine

        In the world of Champagne, £12.99 isn't all that cheap; perfectly acceptable bottles exist at £4 or £5, although that's definitely "cheap" and lacks some of the fun bits of bubbly that real sparkle lovers appreciate. By the third glass you'll be too tipsy to notice anyway.

        With Dom Perignon, Cristal, and Krug, all you're buying is the name... in other words, impressing your client into a contract or your date into sexytimes. Quality doesn't matter at all.

    2. davemcwish

      Re: A good whine

      Don't forget your £1600 1m ethernet cable

      1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Re: A good whine

        Those cables look great, and get a great review too.

        I bought a pair and now my ones and zeros are much one-ier and zero-ier than before, when often my ones would barely get to 0.95...

        1. src

          Re: A good whine

          Never have my zeros been so empty. They are like the zeros that must have existed before the universe began.

        2. Tom 11

          Re: A good whine: @Cupboard

          What the hell! is that site real? I have read it twice now and I am still howling, might have another dip in later. Has been shared with all my producer friends. How can that tool have such a self belief that he will bare facedly ignore the operational principals of digital music and data transportation.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A good whine

        OMFG "Anyone streaming their music to a decent system really does need to try the Sarum Tuned ARAY Ethernet cable. The proof is in the listening" ... really, what a complete and utter flat out lie..

        How do these people get away with making such statements, a case for trading standards...!

        Just shows some people have more money than sense...

        Digital is Digital, this will perform no different at a 1m length to any other off the shelf cat5e cable.

        1. 's water music

          Re: A good whine

          OMFG "Anyone streaming their music to a decent system really does need to try the Sarum Tuned ARAY Ethernet cable. The proof is in the listening" ... really, what a complete and utter flat out lie..

          ...was going to check it out at work for lolz at lunchtime but:

          The page you've been trying to access was blocked.

          Reason: Forbidden URL. URL Category is

          -Obscene/Tasteless

          Someone at the url categorisation service with a sense of humour?

      3. Suricou Raven

        Re: A good whine

        And the little tag thing will still snap off five minutes after you get it out the box.

      4. Snar
        Thumb Up

        Re: A good whine

        Fantastic....

        This is bollocks of the highest order! I wonder if they make magical PHY's to go with them - not forgetting the connectors that the things are supposed to plug into....

        A more cynical exploitation of the gullible than Peter Belt and his audio quackery in the 90's.

        I take my hat off to them!

    3. DaveFace

      Re: A good whine

      Not quite true, really - FLAC is a way of avoiding needless MP3 compression artifacts. I listen to FLAC on my home speakers, and convert it down to 256kb/s MP3 for my phone and car stereo where quality is less important. Same with HD video - I will seek out high quality video because I don't like seeing compression artifacts. It's not going to ruin a film, but I'd rather not see it.

      1. P. Lee

        Re: A good whine

        The real reason for hi-res sources is so you can re-rip it when better tech comes along without compounding lossiness.

        It's why I tend to rip my DVD's to iso format rather than straight to mp4.

        However, I do agree that content is king and a bad film can't be saved by good media formats and a good film will probably still be good after cropping and compressing.

        Thus saith TPB.

  3. AceRimmer

    Finally

    Audio quality to match my speaker cables:

    AudioQuest Terminated Speaker Cable

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Finally

      You forgot your joke icon.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Finally

        "You forgot your joke icon."

        Smoke him a kipper.....

      2. Evil Auditor

        Re: Finally

        Lost all faith, stop laughing, t'is very serious matter! You know, after painting the rims of your CDs DVDs Blu-rays black with the most exquisite black marker on the planet to reduce whatever the fuck it reduces you shirley need those cables to reproduce The Sound.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Finally

          Don't forget to put them in the fridge / freezer as well.. It reduces the static or something like that

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Finally

            A thumbs down? For simply repeating, jokingly, the complete crap that was published in Hi-Fi magazines in the 1980s Or maybe you're one of the people who fell for it along with the marker pens and "dampening" rings.

        2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

          Re: Finally

          "after painting the rims of your CDs DVDs Blu-rays black with the most exquisite black marker on the planet"

          Hahahah! You've been conned - everyone knows you should use a green marker!

          1. DJO Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Finally

            Actually Lidls cheapest champagne tastes exactly what you'd expect a £15 champagne to taste like, but as they sell it for £14 and sometimes £10 it's not actually a bad deal if you want some cheap quaffing champagne - fine for parties & barbies.

            Icon - imagine it a bit paler and with a long stem.

      3. John Savard

        Re: Finally

        Given the price of those cables, you're right.

        However, I'm not joking when I say that I'm pleased to finally have audio quality to match my Meridian Audio Explorer. Pricey too, but not remotely in that class.

  4. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Coat

    I'll definitely be buying this...

    next time I upgrade my pet bat's entertainment system.

    Yes, the one with the oddly-quiet whistle in the pocket, please.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
      Joke

      Re: I'll definitely be buying this...

      Indeed, frequently range clearly designed with Agnes Nitt (a.k.a. "Agnes-who-calls-herself-Perditax") in mind. It might be a problem to filter out the occasional thud of a falling bat from the recording

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cuing the obligatory audiophile discussion regarding sample rates...

    This is required by law to include at least one misunderstanding of how Nyquist works (*) will probably include one person who does and might include yet another who points out that "perfect" Nyquist reconstruction isn't actually possible in practice either.

    It will also include a discussion on the limits of human hearing, someone saying that no-one can hear those above-the-limits-of-human-hearing frequencies, another insisting that though they can't be heard the "colour" the sound, and someone else thinking the fact they played two files together on their laptop PC at home in a not-remotely-blind-test proves something that scientists in a lab couldn't.

    (*) This must consist of the person pointing out the would-be-insightful observation that a 22 kHz sine wave sampled at 44.1 kHz won't look anything like a sine wave under the impression that you simply "join the dots".

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Re: Cuing the obligatory audiophile discussion regarding sample rates...

      So, your 22kHz sine wave. How does its reconstructed amplitude vary as I change the phase of the signal? Oh dear... that's a bit of a problem, isn't it? But don't you understand Nyquist? Or did you skip over the assumptions about phase...?

      Thing is, signal phase accuracy is very important in producing a realistic stereo sound-field. In human hearing, it's the timing of high-frequency transients that is significant in determining position information. Even for signals with low fundamental frequencies, a relatively low sampling rate limits the ability to accurately locate the sound's high-frequency transients in time. Sampling at higher rates allows better phase accuracy, and thus better spatial information.

      The second problem high sample rates can solve is more of a practical one: Low-pass filters do not have infinite attenuation in their stopbands. Alias signals do break through, but using a higher sampling rate ensures that most of the alias products are pushed into the ultrasonic region of the recorded spectrum. (You, of course, know that signal component just above fs is aliased to one just below)

      Comms engineers strive for intelligibility and efficiency, audio engineers strive for realism. Don't use the rules of one discipline to solve the problems of another; if that worked, they wouldn't be separate disciplines...

      1. Pete 2 Silver badge

        Re: Cuing the obligatory audiophile discussion regarding sample rates...

        > Thing is, signal phase accuracy is very important in producing a realistic stereo sound-field

        And let's not forget that at a frequency of 10kHz, the audio wavelength is about an inch and a half. So even slight head movements will affect the phase relationship. Therefore to get optimum listening pleasure, it's vitally important to staple your ears to the back of the chair.

        Real audiophiles recommend you use nothing less than gold-plated, oxygen-free staples and a hardwood chair - preferably 1,000 year-old, organically grown, english oak: to remove any possibility of unwanted reverberations.

        1. Kristian Walsh

          Re: Cuing the obligatory audiophile discussion regarding sample rates...

          So even slight head movements will affect the phase relationship.

          Yes, but while you were surviving to adulthood, your brain had plenty of time to learn how to compensate for the movement of your head.

          After all, a human race that couldn't place sources of sound while their heads were in motion would not have survived long enough in the wild to be able to eventually make specious arguments on internet forums.

        2. Jonski
          Boffin

          Re: Cuing the obligatory audiophile discussion regarding sample rates...

          But! But! But a violinist playing C8 (4186 kHz) and swaying back and forwards across the stage will be pushing that phase all over the place! That's why I always use a three-legged pinewood milking stool (imported via fairtrade and sourced secondhand from goatherding Albanian peasants, a snip at only £1799) in my anechoic room, so that I don't get antiphase reflections from the chair's back support destructively interfering with the incoming wavefront. For what antiphase I do get, I find the pinewood gives softer reflections and a warmer decoherence, allowing me to achieve that finest audio quality that Nickleback always intended to produce.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cuing the obligatory audiophile discussion regarding sample rates...

        @Kristian Walsh; You appear to think my comment on Nyquist was meant to be the "be all and end all" or that I was claiming to be an expert. I wasn't. I do know that (a) Nyquist does *not* assume a simple join-the-dots reconstruction(!!!) and (b) That for various reasons things that Nyquist says are theoretically possible are impossible in reality, or even practically using existing technology.

        Indeed, I acknowledged (b) in my original comment!

        As for your comment about the phase, I'm assuming that if the shift in phase was positive, the frequency of the signal would (in-effect) increase temporarily around that point (like the wave was being "squashed"); the faster and/or greater the phase shift, the greater the temporary increase. This would probably push the frequency briefly above the upper limit permitted by Nyquist and either case aliasing, or other distortion if such frequencies were filtered out.

        Pedantically speaking then, this wouldn't actually contradict anything I understood about Nyquist *itself*, since these temporary effects would go beyond what Nyquist claims is reproducible- assuming that's the point you're making- but it might support the point that there are aspects of sound *apparently* below the limit that can't be reproduced, and hence argue in favour of higher sampling rates than the human ear can hear. But this is all guesswork on my part.

    2. John Savard

      Re: Cuing the obligatory audiophile discussion regarding sample rates...

      Don't forget that the inability of the ear to directly perceive the phase of an audio signal... doesn't mean that the relative phase of harmonics doesn't affect the sound when it encounters nonlinearities. Which the human ear does have, not being designed with 99.9% negative feedback.

      1. DiViDeD

        Re: Cuing the obligatory audiophile discussion regarding sample rates...

        "....being designed with 99.9% negative feedback."

        Ah yes. I still remember the day I posted THAT comment!

    3. P. Lee
      Trollface

      Re: Cuing the obligatory audiophile discussion regarding sample rates...

      Also, below audible frequencies there is a spectrum where you can feel the sound.

      At least, I can when a Subaru with gold wheels pulls up next to me.

    4. Dave K

      Re: Cuing the obligatory audiophile discussion regarding sample rates...

      It's not the sample rate that bothers me, just the overall point of this. I simply do not see the point of introducing high-definition audio formats when the music industry is utterly and totally incapable of making proper use of the existing technology. Modern music (well, for about the last 15-20 years) sounds absolutely dreadful - not because of sample rates or MP3 compression, but because of the utterly abysmal mastering.

      The fact is that almost all music since the mid-90s has been mastered and released without the slightest bit of interest in quality. Instead, it's all dynamically compressed into a lifeless brick-wall of fatiguing distortion and clipping. CDs from the late 80s and early 90s showed how good basic 44.1Khz 16bit stereo can sound, but the format has since been utterly abused by the industry.

      In my opinion, this is what needs to be fixed first. Sod spending £17 on another copy of a classic album, just learn how to properly use and exploit the existing technology first before we worry about 92Khz, 24bit and surround sound. The old CD format has the potential to deliver MUCH better sounding music, if only the music industry would try exploiting that potential.

      1. Bronek Kozicki

        Re: Cuing the obligatory audiophile discussion regarding sample rates...

        you just need to be more discerning in your choice of music labels. Not all music available out there is identical pop-crap from underside of big companies, and some (not all!) small companies can and do produce music well.

      2. Wilseus

        Re: Cuing the obligatory audiophile discussion regarding sample rates...

        "Modern music (well, for about the last 15-20 years) sounds absolutely dreadful - not because of sample rates or MP3 compression, but because of the utterly abysmal mastering."

        Dave K, your entire post is *exactly* what I have been saying for years now. This is one of the main reasons that practically all of the music I listen to these days is 70s and 80s progressive rock. They're generally not remasters either; I scour eBay and Amazon for second-hand original CD pressings.

        It's rather telling that the titles in the picture accompanying this article are mostly titles from that era.

  6. Tom 7 Silver badge

    £17 for an album

    The greatest benefit I'd found from increased 'quality' of digital audio is it has encouraged me to look elsewhere for my music.

    And for that I really cant thank them enough - my music quality has improved enormously and costs less!

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: £17 for an album

      £17 for an album from the 1970s.

      Or George Michael.

      There must be - ooh - at least ten people who want to update their Genesis albums to the very latest format and play super-ultra-high-mega-total-incredible-fidelity digital remasters through the crappy converters on a typical BluRay box.

      Good to see the music industry still trying to party like it's 1989.

      1. Steven Raith

        Re: £17 for an album

        I think the problem is the lack of any well regarded, current music that has a high dynamic/frequency/pretty noises range. Most *cough* good (aka popular) music these days can be fun to listen to, but it's not as...well, interesting. Try some Led Zeppelin next to...and damn, I can't think of anything good. Some Elbow, maybe? I'm so not down with the kids.

        I for one would be interested in a SuperDuperHighDefinedBadgerTastic version of Queens Of The Stone Age : Songs For The Deaf, however - that's a thumping album filled with interesting little ditties. I'd need a hifi that could justify it though, and my bank manager - and my neighbours - would probably strongly suggest I stick to FLAC and £120 in-ear monitors, the dullards.

        I imagine in 15 years time, some of the more recent stuff will get re-appreciated (there's lots of stuff I liked from the recent hit parade, but nothing I've bought as I've been more into older, or more niche stuff) and that might get a second lease of life. Be interesting to see what that is, but I suspect that musical taste isn't what's at the heart of the matter here, and that I'm just rambling.

        Ramble on....*goes to dig out Led Zeppelin FLACs, headphones*

        Steven R

      2. smartypants

        Re: £17 for an album

        It's also quite a cynical ploy.

        Those punters tempted to get yet another 'remastering' of said Genesis albums are going to be jolly grateful if they can hear much above the pitch of a dog barking. They'll certainly be dreaming of the days they had hair in the right places and not in the wrong ones, and quite a few of them will still be bragging about how they've managed to hold on to their original teeth.

        All this technology to hear in pristine digital quality some albums which were recorded on a rusty roll of tape, often recording the playing of a musical instrument which had samples attached to each key by means of another rusty bit of tape (look up 'mellotron')

        (PS I happen to be someone who loves to indulge in a bit of Eno-rich 'lamb lies down on broadway' from time to time. Yes I have all my own teeth and hair, and I can still even hear crickets in the meadow on a summer's evening, which makes me some sort of superhuman apparently)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FLAC

    There's nothing wrong with FLAC. I have most of my music library in MP3 320 and I barely ever hear any artifacts, yet FLAC is just that special little something. It doesn't use up much more space, but you're guaranteed not to have any unintended artifacts due to lossy encoding.

    I see that MP3 320 is enough for every day use, works fine for normal Audiophiles etc. but why set our standards artificially low?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FLAC

      We should be phasing out MP3. It's the first hugely successful world-conquering audio codec, but it's really quite dated now. MP3-pro, Vorbis, AAC, AC3... they'll all beat MP3 at any bitrate. Hell, even WMA beats MP3! I support Vorbis, as it's the only one on that list which doesn't have patent issues.

      This is how I help Vorbis: http://birds-are-nice.me/music/UK-PublicDomain/

  8. PaulR79

    Pricing

    "what about £17 for a new release? Knock off a fiver and you might be getting close."

    Charge about a fiver and you're closer to what most would reasonably consider paying.

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Overcutting their artists...

      I bought the latest Goldfrapp album direct from their website, as 92k/24-bit WAV files.

      For this higher-quality audio experience (and it really sounds better than any of my 44.1k/16 albums), I was charged £2 less than the CD would have been, or the same price as Apple wanted for 48k/16 audio files sieved through a lossy compressor. Oh, and the band probably got more of the money.

      Or how about this way: a Peter Gabriel CD I bought last year had a voucher inside saying "Thanks for buying the CD. Here's your unique code to download a 48k/24bit version of the audio!" Wouldn't that solve the problem nicely?

      1. phr0g

        Re: Overcutting their artists...

        I bought some 24/96 music to do a test recently. I downsampled it to 16/44.1 and null tested the files (this involves making an inverse copy of one and combining them...which if you did with identical files would produce a file consisting of nothing).

        There was absolutely nothing audible in the difference file. 4 minutes or so of complete silence.

        It did have information in it, but that was a small amount at around 17 KHz and -80dB (one, it's a higher frequency than most can hear, 2, it's at a level well below that of "silence" in a normal listening room (or even studio)). There was some other stuff in the difference file, at over 20 KHz and at between -100 and -120 dB.

        I have done this test a few times now and it's always the same story.

        A CD is enough to give any human the absolute maximum fidelity they can perceive.

        The problem is that in recent years, CDs have been over compressed (dynamically) and often to the point of clipping (the peaks are simply cut off). This gives them an initial LOUD sound which is apparently great for radio, but makes them sound bloody awful.

        I have a stack of HD recordings now, which are all better than the CD. But each and every one of them sounds equally good when downsampled and burned back to CD.

        1. Bronek Kozicki
          Unhappy

          Re: Overcutting their artists...

          So basically we only need new technology because old one has been so abused, it's mostly useless now. Even though it is equally capable. And I'm quite certain that promoters of new technology will abuse it the same, when price of the goods drops below certain level and someone comes up with "new new" to be sold to the masses.

          Perhaps I should just stick to SACD - at least I know this is the technology that large labels do not care about, so hopefully they won't abuse it this much. Depressing.

        2. Michael Strorm

          @phrog

          phr0g: "I bought some 24/96 music to do a test recently. I downsampled it to 16/44.1 and null tested the files [..] There was absolutely nothing audible in the difference file"

          There have been allegations on more than one occasion that some music sold as 24/96 quality is simply regular CD-quality digital audio that's been upscaled.

          This is one thread I came across when I did a quick Google search on the subject just now:-

          http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=95343

          At any rate, if the file(s) you have were examples of that, the experiment proves nothing except (possibly) that upscaled CD audio is little better than regular quality. And even that's assuming the test was experimentally sound.

          1. phr0g

            Re: @phrog

            "At any rate, if the file(s) you have were examples of that, the experiment proves nothing except (possibly) that upscaled CD audio is little better than regular quality. And even that's assuming the test was experimentally sound."

            No, I specifically chose music that was 1. Recommended to me by "audiophiles" and 2. Examples of "demo" HD music that was being used as "advertisement" of the wares of the particular, very respectable purveyor of quality music.

  9. wikkity

    60 per cent of the population

    Population of what? The UK, US, world? What does access mean, you can buy one?

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    This thing does not really do anything that DVD-A or even DVD-V couldn't already do, only tangles it in some extra layer of DRM probably (with all this vouchers stuff).

    This is an attempt to prop up a failed format (the failure being self-inflicted).

    On the audio side - I personally prefer 2.0 stereo to any multi-channel gimmicks, but that's just me...

  12. billat29

    Sign me up now!

    I'll just need a few bits and pieces to go with the player then..

    http://wathifi.tumblr.com/ (SFW)

  13. Graham Triggs

    Well, I guess there is no reason to avoid doing more, if you can easily.

    But dynamic range? We're limited to 140db of practical hearing capability, and have to contend with a 30db noise floor, and a noise ceiling limited by the proximity of our neighbours.

    Even in a concert hall you don't exceed 80db of dynamic range. There simply isn't any need for greater dynamic range than we have on CDs.

    Increasing the sampling rate to reduce quantization errors, and give a bit more room at the top end may be welcome, as could increasing the capacity beyond 72 minutes. In some circumstances, even surround could be (although the cost / value of providing equipment fidelity across multiple channels is somewhat prohibitive).

    But really, with the rise of digital downloads and streaming services, it seems the real battle is just preserving the fidelity that we are used to (and possibly increasing it - there's no reason why downloads can't go higher), rather than introducing more disc formats.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Dynamic range

      And at the time of the example album - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - you wouldn't have got much more than 80dB out of the analogue masters. Of course, mixing tracks together gives you a bit more range without necessarily increasing the noise floor, but you've still got a lot of room to play before you reach the limit of a CD.

      All of which is lost again when the listener turns the volume knob to an acceptable level.

      But this is all irrelevant since "Fidelity" is supposed to mean an accurate reproduction of the original...

      1. Refugee from Windows

        Re: Dynamic range

        At least analogue doesn't go all bitty at the bottom end of the dynamic range, it just goes into the noise. Note how these are "classic" recordings as I suspect the use of compression in more recent ones destroy the ambiance and dynamic range anyway.

  14. jonathan keith

    Preying of the foolish

    Hurrah for marketing.

    "I know - everyone's shouting about sample rates and bit depth and other technical stuff that they don't really understand. Well, let's sell them old material in a new 'high-def' format that they won't be able to actually physically gain any benefit from and actually just tinker with the music so it sounds a bit different."

    Worth reading:

    http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

  15. Jim 59

    Not Engineering

    16 bit CD is virtually faultless within the ability of the human ear. Certainly 24 will not correct anything audible. It is not engineering but a gimmick to snare the wealthy and gullible, as if they haven't been milked enough already by 35 years of nonsense in the high end domestic "audiophile" market.

    Just buying bigger speakers would improve most people's experience. However that isn't something people want to do, especially as house sizes have decreased over the years.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Morten
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Not Engineering

      Nobody can double-blind test the difference from CD-audio (16bit, 44Khz) and higher "quality" sounds, like 24bit/44Khz, 24bit/48Khz, 24bit/96Khz or 128bit/500Mhz or whatever... It is snake oil!

      True, for mixing and working with audio streams, choosing 24bit/96Khz will give you some headroom to work in. But for the finished product, anything above CD-audio levels is simply not needed.

      What would be nice in a "bluray" audio disk, would be to get FLACs with correct metadata and album art. Saves me some work ripping new disks into my main music repository. I could pay a premium for that.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not Engineering

          A good story about the NS10m and why I never used them. They were simply a fairly average monitor to reproduce the sound of a fairly average home speaker.

          http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep08/articles/yamahans10.htm

          1. Jason Ozolins
            Coat

            Re: Not Engineering

            That article did point out, though, that the NS10's port-less design made for a tighter transient response than other similarly positioned, better-spec'd monitors. That it so often gets described as "brutally unflattering" or similar also suggests that they were considerably more clinical than an average home speaker.

            Coat icon is for after I admit that I've only got some old Behringers... I'm not exactly high up the audio food chain.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Not Engineering

              If it can be ripped and uploaded to TPB, and someone creates a streaming player for it, then it just might have a market niche....

        2. Fuzz

          Re: Not Engineering

          "Even at home listening to NS10m's I can tell the difference between a Cubase track made at 16bit/44.1 and a track made at 24bit/96Kh."

          The important difference here is that you are listening to a track _made_ at higher resolution. Once you bounce that track down and do your mastering from your 24/96 session. You can convert the file to 16/44.1 and you won't be able to tell the difference.

        3. heenow

          Re: Not Engineering

          You are the s̶u̶c̶k̶e̶r̶ customer these snake oil salesmen are looking for.

          You really owe it to yourself to study the science recommended already by someone else, but I'll second it here:

          http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

          1. TheOtherHobbes

            Re: Not Engineering

            That Xiph piece is full of know-nothing idiocy and in no way deserves the 'science' label. It's clearly been written by a dilettante data compression geek who has no clue at all about what happens in real data converters. (Clue: hardware is not software.)

            If you want real science by someone who has been working with audio for a lifetime, has built real hardware and innovative DSP products, and demonstrably knows what he's talking about, try this:

            New Audio Formats by James Moorer

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not Engineering

          There is a conflation of snake oil with actual perceivable gains here.

          There are different ways to listen to musical performances. Some people just like a thumping beat, some just like screaming guitars, and some like the overall sound, vocals or whatever. Depending on what you enjoy, your sound system will provide what you like to hear.

          Some folk spend a lot of time listening to music critically and learn to pick out individual parts from the overall mix. They are no better or worse than the others, they are doing what they enjoy and their systems will reflect that. But that subset of people, who know a particular recording well on their own system, will likely be able to discern a difference between a properly mastered 24 bit recording (not just taking a 16bit recording and resampling it at 24bit, that would be pointless) and a properly mastered 16 bit recording, all other things being equal, of a recording they already know well. They do sound different and the ear is surprisingly capable of discerning even tiny differences in the right circumstances. I'd personally doubt you can hear a difference beyond 24bit, but maybe some can, and good luck to them if they can.

          But not everybody cares! Why should they? Enjoyment of music is a personal thing. Someone said higher up about people listening to music on poundland earbuds. If they do that, so what? If they are enjoying it that's fine. If they think it is crap and buy something better, that's fine too. If someone tells them they are wrong for enjoying it and they should buy this really expensive <insert snake oil/cable of choice> then that is exploitation of the gullible.

          IMH and slightly cynical opinion, this is all about pushing a locked down form of distribution again, loaded with DRM and controls on what you can and can't do with the content, and if "remastering" means compressing a program that previously had a fairly wide dynamic range, to make it sound loud and modern, and then sampling it at 24bits then no thanks!

          1. Jim 59

            Re: Not Engineering

            "...that subset of people, who know a particular recording well on their own system, will likely be able to discern a difference between a properly mastered 24 bit recording (not just taking a 16bit recording and resampling it at 24bit, that would be pointless) and a properly mastered 16 bit recording, all other things being equal, of a recording they already know well. They do sound different and the ear is surprisingly capable of discerning even tiny differences in the right circumstances. I"

            Hi AC the myth of people with "golden ears" has log been used to sell preposterous "hifi" equipment. (I am not talking about those with good pitch or equalization / mixing talent). Some have claimed to hear the effect of tying a knot in the speaker cable. The well known effect of "experimenter expectancy" surely operates. The difference is there, but in perception only, it is a psychological effect. Which is why the claims never survive a blind test.

            I don't object to that really, I just don't like seeing people being expensively duped, particularly people who are artistic, sensitive, knowledgeable and committed to music, high culture and black jumpers and (dare i say it) not too technical. And I like it even less when the chicanery tries to pass itself off as Engineering. It isn't.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Not Engineering

              "the myth of people with "golden ears""

              Hi Jim, Yes, that was what I was saying. ACTUAL differences are conflated with snake oil to confuse the unwary. Some people can hear some small differences in some cases, but conflate those differences with whatever you are trying to sell, add some expectation and it becomes the king's new clothes.

              But reducing it all to a black and white, right and wrong doesn't work either. Equating tying a knot in a cable with the difference between 24bit and 16bit sampling is not valid.

              My personal favourite pseudo science is the little cable risers to carry the speaker cable to "avoid the dielectric effect of the carpet". Hilarious.

        5. Jim 59

          Re: Not Engineering

          Hi Betacam you might "hear" a difference when you know which source is making the sound. Double blind you would not.

          http://douglas-self.com/ampins/pseudo/subjectv.htm

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AntiCopy AACS

    That is the **ONLY** reason this is being pushed. Everything else is PR bullshit.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: AntiCopy AACS

      That was my first thought, as how many Blue Ray players have DAC and analogue electronics that is even a match for studio quality 16-bit/CD style hardware, let alone enough to show differences (if any) in the standards?

      Oh yes, these disks will sound *different* but that is down to "re-mixing" for effect, not because you get a fundamentally better product.

      As others have pointed out FLAC is already better than CD (higher quality possible with less storage) and no DRM - what is there not to like?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: AntiCopy AACS

      I honestly tried to upvote you twice. There is no excuse in HELL to justify that we need the 192kHz sampling or whatnot to hear the recorded stuff better.

      And REALLY, 1970's Elton John? That thing was recorded at the source probable with Dolby range "mangling" so it could play on cassette tapes and not sound like a flock of geese with sinusitis. It's like re-recording a 35mm analogue video through a 120MP camera, but the 35mm was shot out of focus. No way in hell it will look or sound better if the source was 'poorly' recorded in the first place. Lame, lame, lame excuse.

      There used to be a tiny description label on Audio CDs, namely ranging from AAD to ADD, to DDD, meaning the stuff was recorded, mixed and mastered in Analogue or Digital. That gave you a hint whether the audio was recorded in Analogue or Digital, and if it did, already suffered analogue "compression" and much of its *purity* (as in, bullshit audiophiles say) was already lost.

      I've yet to see anything prior to 1985 fully DDD, namely recorded, mixed and mastered in full Digital and this should be no exception.

      As for Elton John, they should at LEAST throw in his live performance video from a concert, for those into unusual wardrobe choices and ultra-large pink or yellow glasses. My mom enjoys his music, and I would probably gift her.

      Complete waste of time. I want to listen to my stuff in the car, anyway, where it is absolutely not silent, nor quiet, and mp3s just get it sorted.

      The only people supporting blu-rays these days is Hollywood, for a reason and a reason alone, stupid AACS.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: AntiCopy AACS

        I quite agree. I have got here the latest blu-ray of the John Lennon album and I can hear the original tape hiss which the engineer on his equipment back when couldn't have heard.

  17. hammarbtyp

    Not interested..

    Had a blue ray player for about a year, basically bought as a replacement for a duff dvd player because it's cost was only a little bit more that the standard DVD player

    I have never played a blue ray disk on it. When I look at buying a DVD I think should I pay the £5 or so premium for the extra HD, then go nah. At the end of the day it is the content I am interested in, not it's screen resolution.

    DVD was a revolution over video. Blue Ray is small enhancement which you have to pay a premium for and they have never done anything compelling with the extra disk space. HD audio is the same. Some people will feel that they need extra audio quality, but the vast majority will be happy with the acceptable and cheaper alternatives.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Not interested..

      Ditto. But the best bonus from the new BluRay player is that the upscaler is much much better than the previous DVD player, so the picture quality from the existing DVD's is brilliant in comparison to before.

      And no, I haven't bought a BuRay yet. I did borrow one, looked OK, but only a small improvement over the upscaled DVD's

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Not interested.. But I am.

      The differences are similar. Just that you are happy with SD.

      Vhs was a terrible format, a well mastered DVD, anamorphic, encoded for quality, good source is near the top in SD video, I just watched a Superbit DVD last night still looks good, one of the best SD pictures I have seen. But a well mastered Blu Ray does look a lot better.

      I have seen a film on 3 formats, a Super Beta copy of the DVD (bad pressing so missed 20 seconds, so copied before posted back to be swapped), the DVD and the Bluray.

      The tape copy was quite acceptable on a wide screen tube TV of British SD resolution (TV was not properly a PAL TV as the main tuner was DVB-T), main issue was composite edge enhancement. But this Vcr pissed all over any Vhs deck,

      DVD looks good, best on THAT TV, via RGB of course.

      Newer HDTV with decent upscaling

      DVD looks good but a little soft.

      BluRay looks stunning and is at the correct speed without being in jerkyvision (3:2 pull down).

      So far I have replaced 6 films from DVD to BluRay.

      1) Remastered, 5.1 and directors final cut better than, grainy master, PooLogic and directors quick cut.

      I enjoyed the better presentation and the lack of messy grain, I also got a decent price for the DVD at a CBS.

      2-5) Box set at £15 too good to pass up, pity last one is best used as a drinks mat.

      I paid more for the DVDs but keeping them for the extras.

      6) One of my favourite films.

      Looks and sounds better.

      So to me with a large screen panel TV of good quality and a Cell powered Blu Ray player I get more enjoyment from a film with the better quality as it is more like my own personal cinema, better than huddled around a 14" portable with a rental tape in my old Beta portable.

      Mind you I have seen size and loudness substituted for quality, a work collegue from a previous job showed off his new TV and video, guess it was 29" about, but the size took away people from noticing the fuzzy picture and hissy sound. I noticed everyone else looking impressed and me thinking yes you have a TV and a crap VCR. I just sat 4 foot from my 25" between a pair of stereo speakers from Skipton, with a nice amp and the stereo out from one of my Beta HiFi VCRs, mainly watching films and TV from ITV (when they were good) because they had NICAM and BBC didn't.

      Some of us like quality.

      1. hammarbtyp

        Re: Not interested.. But I am.

        The question is not whether it is better(I am assuming it is or otherwise they would not of created it) but whether the improvements is worth the extra cost of the medium.

        In my case the perceived advantage is not worth the cost. The few films that i have wanted to see in digital perfection (Gravity, Avatar) I went to see at the iMax. After that getting them on blue ray would a pointless exercise and expense.

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Not interested.. But I am.

          What is the blue ray you speak of?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Not interested.. But I am.

            "What is the blue ray you speak of?"

            He's a porn star. Who coincidentally stars in a film called "Blew Ray".

    3. adnim
      Joke

      Re: Not interested..

      Perhaps if you had 5.1 ears your opinion would change

    4. JeffyPoooh
      Pint

      Re: Not interested..

      I've bought PS3s (when they're cheap) simply to use as very good DVD/BluRay players.

  18. Micky 1

    60% of the population have access to a Blu-Ray player, great

    So what percentage of that 60% have hooked up anything other than the standard TV speakers?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are you sitting comfortably?

    I have some 5.1 encoded CDs. I've listened to them in surround a few times. Most of the time whwb I'm listening to music I'm doing other things and not sitting in my living room.

    The whole thing sounds like a technological innovation trying to justify a market

  20. Fuzz

    no market

    There's just no market for this

    You've got the set of people who own a bluray player

    A subset of those being the people that own a bluray player that isn't just a playstation or an xbox (fan noise from these devices is going to negate any theoretical audio improvement)

    A subset of those being people who have their bluray connected to an audio system that isn't just the TV

    A subset of those being people who listen to music at all

    A subset of those being people who believe that they can tell the difference between music at 24/96 and a CD.

    You see the music industry thinks that the reason people bought DVDs over videos was because they were better quality. This isn't true, the main reason for DVDs becoming popular was that you didn't have to rewind them. Same with CDs, they were smaller than vinyl and unlike tapes they didn't get chewed up. Bluray audio is worse than CD for most people, can't play it in the car, can't put it on your iPod, costs more.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: no market

      I went DVD for multiple reasons.

      1) Picture and Sound Quality

      2) Tape rental market had gone totally rubbish - nothing available.

      3) Tape for sale companies were dumping their best duplicating decks.

    2. Suricou Raven

      Re: no market

      .. union with the people who are big Elton fans and have to buy every album with his name on it.

  21. Bad Beaver
    FAIL

    No thanks, I'm fine with SACD

    Being among those who were actually willing to shell out "400 quid" (where did that number come from? It'll serve for illustration, yet I think we are really missing a digit here…) for a dedicated SACD player I feel compelled to comment. Oh wait, that dedicated SACD player is also a reference grade CD player, reference grade DVD player and also happens to happens to play the two DVD-Audio discs (QUEEN!) I managed to acquire before the format tanked. Let's just say it was quite the good investment.

    But I digress. 99% of my considerable number of SACDs are hybrids with a DRM-free CDDA layer. They all feature DRM-protected high resolution stereo and the majority also comes with 5.1 content.

    The point: The format is very versatile, can be played everywhere or serve to make rips at the desired quality. There is also much more content that I could ever consume in any sense, with only crappy current pop being underrepresented. Everything that is actually worth listening to in high resolution audio is there in ample supply.

    So what exactly has HFPA on offer? It can only properly play on BR players, mind at a "mix" not "remaster" quality level, there is no CDDA layer in sight and instead, one will be forced to jump through whatever hoops the companies come up with in order to get one's hands on a ripped file of the content that may or may not come in the format or quality desired and may or may not be riddled with further DRM. Even thinking about it leaves me feeling exhausted.

    In short: I feel not at all compelled.

    1. MJI Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: No thanks, I'm fine with SACD

      £110 to get a SACD and DVD-Audio player.

      Also plays DVD and CD.

      And Bad Beaver I bet you have a Pioneer DV575.

      1. Bad Beaver

        Re: No thanks, I'm fine with SACD

        It's a humble Denon DVD-2900 ;) Was a steal when new and is even more of a steal today as you can pick it up for less then 200. Not the last word in terms of über-expensive audiophile technolust but excellent value for money and hard to beat in any of those dreaded "real world" environments.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Evil Auditor

    The good thing about CDs

    was and still is, I can buy any audio CD (at least, Red Book standard) and play them on a 15 or 20 year old CD player without any trouble at all and don't need to f****** update the f****** player every time I buy a new f****** disc.

    /rant

    1. Bad Beaver

      Re: The good thing about CDs

      Exactly.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What do I do with my old 78s ?

    as in "HiFi shop" by the Not the Nine O'Clock News team

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoPXQ9fotZM

  24. John Savard

    Unlike DVD-Audio

    they're not going to include stuff in the output sound that signals it's from a copyrighted recording... thus spoiling the high fidelity.

    So this will succeed, I hope.

    Incidentally, SACD can be played on a PlayStation III. And not just as a regular CD.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Unlike DVD-Audio

      Only 60GB with PS2 compatability

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Unlike DVD-Audio

        Only 60GB with PS2 compatability

        Yeah of all the sh-- S0NY had to go and remove. They removed that bit.

        But, the PS2 (Software emulator), is still in there, but you have to jailbreak it in order to get at it. Same with some PSP emulation stuff as well...

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Unlike DVD-Audio

          Not too bothered about PS2 emulation because on the shelf under the PS4 is a PS2 and a Wiiiii.

          PS3 lives in HiFi rack under my play anything Pioneer.

          Pioneer made really good DVD players

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Unlike DVD-Audio

            In fact, I ordered Dogfights from History Channel, and only the 2nd season in the same pack is region locked, and won't play on my PS3. D'oh. Why, oh why only one season was region locked? People either lock both or none.

            That's why I kept a Philips HDD with DVD recorder (a Tivo, without the big ™) that was unlocked to hell and back by those sneaky hold-power-button-with-empty-tray-and-type-mystery code sort of thing. Considering Phillips helped inventing the CD, a nice backdoor was left behind for DVD regions.

  25. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Personally...

    For me at least, this whole "audiophile" thing is a bit pointless. Listening to music for me is all about actually listening to the music. Rhythm, message, overall composition etc etc.

    I'm just as happy sticking on my 1978 copy of DSotM as I am my 2008 CD version.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Personally...

      @Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

      You are correct. I'd rather listen to the carefully- and expertly-curated World Music show from Mark Coles Shedcast than listen to an ultra-hifi disc over and over and over again.

      Variety.

  26. Paul Horstink

    One step forward, two steps back?

    Why go back to disk? Do I actually have to go to a shop to get it, or wait for it to ship?

    I would think it's more convenient to download it, have it on a share somewhere, and listen to it allover the house? Although I occasionally still buy CDs, I ripped my whole collection to FLAC long time ago.

    And, for that special music, HD music has been available online for quit some time. I've been buying mine from HDtracks, DRM free, 96/24 and higher, in all kinds of lossless formats, with liner notes and all...

  27. Eradicate all BB entrants

    Yet again you all seem to miss ....

    ...... the most important fact in the entire story. The 7 hour album time? The prog rock world will collectively orgasm at the thought of putting out a record that long.

    What have they done? Won't someone think of the children?

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Yet again you all seem to miss ....

      Compared to the sh-- you young'uns listen to... I for One would welcome 7h of uninterrupted Prog Rock goodness....

      1. Eradicate all BB entrants

        Re: Yet again you all seem to miss ....

        Young'un? Why Mr Habel, are you trying to seduce me? (Hint, one of my contemporaries was just inducted into the Rock n Roll hall of fame)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Four words ...

      Tales of Topographic Oceans

      Anything that enables this to be heard in a single setting should be classified as weaponry.

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        From

        Not of.

        Still, might be good for Yessongs.

        -A.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Four words ...

        A bit of fiddling around with SoundBlaster and Nero Wave Editor will set you right in. You can copy-paste Wave files (mp3s as well) into one large file. I suppose .ogg and .flac can be accommodated as well.

        I don't regret doing that to Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene and Kitaro's Oasis, that are meant to listen IN ONE GO, WITHOUT 2-SECONDS HICCUPS between songs. They are just numbered for filing purposes, but they are a *single* song, over 40 minutes long with fade-ins and fade-outs in and of themselves, not meaning they should be played apart. These are just like the Beethoven Symphonies, that usually have 4 movements and are meant to play in order.

        1. John 62

          Re: Four words ...

          Call me an heretic if you want, but here's my JMJ opinion:

          Oxygene is a good album, more listenable overall than Equinox, but I really only want to listen to movement IV. Equinox on the other hand has three movements that are really worth listening to: IV, V and VI. I think every computer game music composer of the 80s must have listened to Equinox at some point!

      3. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: Four words ...

        Are you rejecting the Revealing Science of God? You. Mister.

  28. Martin Silver badge
    WTF?

    And another thing...

    This was alluded to in the article - but the original albums were mixed in a certain way, which we're all used to from the original LPs. These new mixes just sound odd. I bought a copy of Argus (Wishbone Ash) when it first came out on CD; I then bought a new "remastered" version. OK, arguably, the sound was clearer. Actually, it was probably just at a higher level which meant less dynamic range - and the mix was a complete mess. Awful.

    So when I play that album, if I'm feeling choosy, I go back to the vinyl; otherwise, I play the original CD which I'm fairly sure was just a direct transfer from the final master of the vinyl - and frankly, as a result, is closer in sound to the original vinyl that anything else. And I think it's a crying shame that more CDs of classic albums are not simple direct transfers from the final master of the vinyl.

    And yet another thing - who the hell WANTS to listen to Bennie and the Jets in 5.1 audio? Why would I want to hear music coming from behind me?

  29. Michael Habel Silver badge

    This is whats wrong with music today...

    Where there used to be scores of Labels all fighting it out to sign the next BIG ACT before someone else got to them with a ~somewhat~ better offer. They've all been reduced into the big three (S0NY, UMG & Warner). And none of these idiots have any intention of looking for any decent acts when they know their sitting on a trove of sh-- that they can polish up, to keep reselling us over, and over and over again.

    I'm sorry but this format is about as doomed as the HD-DVD Audio Disc that's also been know to lurk around. 5.1 Audio isn't exactly portable.... yet... And the days of lugging around Disc Players are well and truly over.

    These guys should just stick to pressing Vinyl for their retro stuff, 'cause I'd sooner buy that, then this.

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: This is whats wrong with music today...

      Signing? Why would they sign an act up when they can invent or reinvent one to order?

      That's why every major pop song now is about how much the singer loves some unnamed girl, and why mainstream rap consists almost entirely of men singing about how drugs, money and hos while slinging around as much offensive language as they can. These things are made to meet what committees determine are the optimum marketability criteria. As is the stars carefully cultivated public image.

      Those bodyguards that escort Bieber aren't just for his protection, as could be witnessed when he got into that fight with the photographer. They are there to stop the still-immature star from doing something embarrassing. They are his handlers, employed by the studio.

  30. southpacificpom
    Facepalm

    Well FLAC me

    And as usual, we now have super HDTV where we can't really tell the difference between this and normal HDTV. And now this Blu-Ray regurgitated crap where most of us can't hear all the standard audio range anyway.

    I won't be conned into getting either!

  31. Neill Mitchell

    Is this what your ears have been waiting for?

    No. I've been waiting for a cure for tinnitus.

  32. Tom 35

    And here we go again

    Another record company attempt to repeat the "everyone buy another copy of all your stuff" that they had with CD.

    Yes lots of people have BluRay players in their home, most are connected to TV speakers, a sound bar, or home theatre in a box.

    - So for most people ...

    - Will not hear a difference over CD.

    - Will only have one player, not in the car.

    - Can't use iTunes to ripp it to your phone (a + on record company PowerPoints)

    + can put a whole box set on one disc (a - on record company PowerPoints)

    So expect another DVD Audio type whimper.

  33. Bod

    Meh

    Blu Ray has never really been as big as they wanted. Even now, DVDs still outrank Blu Ray in your average high street shop. Well, what's left of HMV that is. Bringing music into the equation you've just got to see the rapid decline of the CD and that the vast majority of the population are happy with compressed MP3s playing on the shittiest of ear buds, or even out of a mono speaker on the phone (I've seen many kids "enjoying" music with their mates this way), to know where the market is. It isn't audiophiles, and appealing to them isn't going to save Blu Ray from cheap and crap quality streaming downloads replacing it or people hanging on to DVD for years to come.

    1. Pookietoo

      Re: a mono speaker on the phone

      Brilliant - just like the pocket transistor radio when I was a kid. :-)

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: a mono speaker on the phone

        But the pocket transistor radio had an actual speaker of reasonable quality.

        Phone speakers are just shit

  34. cmannett85

    I spend hours every week finding new bands to try out from genre sites and music blogs. The bands I like invariably put their stuff out to stream for free so you can try before you buy (usually from Bandcamp or Sound Cloud). If I like their stuff I buy it on vinyl or tape, and with that I get a FLAC download which I can stick on my phone.

    And I think that's what their market research has failed to grasp - if you're going to buy a digital release, why would you need a physical medium for it? People buy physical releases nowadays because they want an emotional connection to it: vinyl sleeves have a particular smell that changes over time, the 'ritual' of wiping dust off a side and carefully aiming the needle, etc. CDs, DVDs, SACDs, BluRay, etc. have none of these qualities which is why no-one is interested in them anymore.

    I take music playback seriously and I actually work in digital pro-audio, so before anyone spouts something about the old analogue formats' deficiencies, here's a John Peel quote:

    "Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don't have any surface noise. I said, "Listen, mate, *life* has surface noise.""

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      And unlike CD's, DVDs or BR-A... You can still play a Vinyl 78, 45 or 33 1/3 back with the most crudest of needles and a Paper Cone, come post apocalypse. When we're all thrown back in to the dark ages. So points up for Vinyl. Cause you're never gonna be able to play any Laser Disc with out the proper equipment, or electricity.

    2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Happy

      Excellent!

      "Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don't have any surface noise. I said, "Listen, mate, *life* has surface noise.""

      I may steal this.

  35. Tim99 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Not again

    When I was younger, and even more foolish than I am now, I managed to put together a really nice Linn/Naim analogue system. It sounded really good, and in spite of what the digital people tell you, most of the time you did not notice the clicks and pops from LPs.

    I have bought the stuff that I like on 45s; EP; LP, cassette, CD, DVD and DAT (I had a couple that I played through a DAT backup drive). I will not be buying any more. I have owned "Help!" on mono LP, stereo LP, digital remastered LP, CD and 5.1 surround sound. The quality did not improve, and after "digital remastering" it was notably worse. So, being an idiot, I have paid for the same music 5 times.

    I now have about 12,000 tracks which will probably see me out - When I want to listen to something new I look on YouTube or try streaming internet radio.

  36. Mage Silver badge
    FAIL

    High Fidelity Pure Audio

    Codswallop!

    Where is the decent 5.1 Audio Music Content?

    Do more than 1% of BD player owners have decent speakers?

    Anything distributing sampling above 44 to 48KHz is pointless. Yes, by all means sample at 192kHz so the anti-aliasing analogue filter in front of ADC in studio isn't affecting audio. But then you can down sample to 44.1K or 48K samples per second and lose nothing.

    We don't need more than 16 bits either.

    Also the problem is many newer CD pressings are CRAP mixes. Too compressed and processed. Rubbish studio mixing is still rubbish at 192kHz and 5.1 and 24 bits.

    I'd be surprised if there are enough AudioPhools out there to make this a success. It's as pointless as SACD (or whatever it was called), even though in theory any BD player can play it.

    Just release the flippin' music properly mixed and engineered on CD, and at a sensible price . Why are many CDs (esp. old titles that already made the money) same price or x2 the price of a DVD?

  37. gary27
    Meh

    high quality audio welcome - disc format not

    I have an £800 blue ray player but have not used it for 2 years - use apple tv instead - i wish itunes would offer better quality audio and music videos (surprisingly little choice on itunes) - i would pay a lot for this - i hate sky music channels, poor quality and constant advert interruptions. cd quality is poor but convenient, such a shame the standard lasted so long - records sound much better ( before they get scratched). Live music is so popular because, digital music sounds clinical and soulless.

  38. Robin Bradshaw

    Audio wankery

    Don't tell me its better, show me:

    http://www.home.agilent.com/en/pc-1000000520%3Aepsg%3Apgr/spectrum-analyzer-signal-analyzer?nid=-536902453.0&cc=GB&lc=eng

  39. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    FAIL

    Another DRM failure

    You get a better-than-ears encrypted Blu-ray and a worse-than-ears MP3 to download. I have nice computer speakers at home and work that clearly display the defects of MP3. It causes some screeching, mostly on European rock/metal bands, unless pre-filtering has reduced the highs a bit. I don't see how an MP3 is going to make audiophiles forgive DRM locking the music to Blu-ray player.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Another DRM failure

      MP3 and rock

      I find that never actually works, always sounds off.

      Some CDs sound grating at high frequencies.

      SACD and DVD-A both sound good, but it is likely the production which helps rather than resolution.

      Vinyl still has a place.

      People argue to CD quality and they will continue argueing for as long as they are around.

      I have a small number of high resolution discs and they do sound good, I don't care about the reason, may be as simple as mastered properly, or may be the higher resolution, I don't really care why, if it sounds better to me it is worth it. There are so many poorly produced CDs around now, it is a minefield trying to buy something listenable.

  40. David 45

    Won't catch on methinks

    Can't see this "deja vu" happening.......er........happening. How many so-called super high quality formats have been tried in the past and failed? The majority of folk are not audio buffs - hence their apparent satisfaction with the foul, highly compressed processed sound emerging from most radio stations these days - even digital ones that mutilate the sound beyond belief. Painful. Even so-called re-mastered CD's are manipulated to iron out a lot of the dynamics and sound pretty flat, instead of actually producing a sound more like the original master tape, or whatever medium was used. Can't see even the most dyed-in-the-wool audio enthusiast forking out for yet another system that can maybe live up to Philips' original inflated claim of "perfect sound for ever".

  41. JeffyPoooh
    Pint

    Admittedly, I still buy CDs as...

    I still buy CDs as they're sometimes (perhaps even 'often') cheaper than "buying" (sic) the album (sic) from iTunes or whatever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Admittedly, I still buy CDs as...

      I will stick with "or whatever." - I have done my best not to pay a penny to the copyright cartels ever since DeCSS.

  42. phil dude
    WTF?

    not a troll...

    The mathematics of the Nyquist theorem is: if a function x(t) contains no frequencies higher than B hertzit is completely determined by giving its ordinates at a series of points spaced 1/(2B) seconds apart.

    (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyquist–Shannon_sampling_theorem ).

    If I mount to microphones (one for each ear) in front of an orchestra, sampling at 44.1 khZ, then I am guaranteed to capture all frequencies less than 22050 Hz, in the correct phase. i.e. the phase of the 44.1 kHz sampler.

    The harmonics of muscial instruments are often much higher than 44.1 kHz and can be out of phase. I believe this is why professional equipment mixes at so much higher sampling rates, because of out-of-phase harmonics. Whether this is the stated reason or empirically derived I do not know, but it seems reasonable as to why higher sampling is used, but then again it could be because it became cheaper....

    In short, there is very much a difference between a live performance and the recording, the perception depending on the quality of both. Since the characteristics of the amplification that deliver the sound to will degrade once converted to sound, the recordings are usually taking directly from the mixing desk.

    There was an interview Jimmy Page who describes why he remixed Led Zeppelin's music with modern equipment.

    The scandal here is that crappy quality MP3s some how can be sold for as much as they can be. AND with sodding watermarking that make it sound awful in my car. Absolute disgrace.

    We could do with the audio being the best that it can be at source, and just sell it like that.

    P.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: not a troll...

      only in theory, using 'perfect' microphones ;)

      if hf content is so damned important then how come a vast majority of microphones (caps and dynamics) don't extent their 'flatness' much beyond ~15k ?

      https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=microphone+frequency+response&biw=1366&bih=704&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=diFNU-jfDeeX1AWBkoGoCw&sqi=2&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAg

      surprised nobody mentioned intermodulation distortion as a result of higher samplerates - when recording at high frequencies can actually be detrimental to the results ....

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermodulation

      this is marketing plain and simple.

  43. Rattus Rattus

    "...format can’t be ripped..."

    Hahahahaha, hohohohoho, *snigger*...

    Whoever made that claim has just thrown down a gauntlet which will be taken up by a great many, er, "content transfer specialists"

  44. TReko
    Trollface

    144dB Dynamic range

    144dB - wow now I can hear the flutter of butterfly wings next to the space shuttle launch. Just what audiophiles needed!

    1. John Savard

      Re: 144dB Dynamic range

      Well, admittedly it won't help much unless the sounds in question are in different critical bands.

  45. Annoyed Grunt

    Really?

    The world is moving into a "streamed" route for music and video delivery; with high profile players such as Apple, Google, Sony all providing disc-less music services and also promising to deliver HD audio through their online stores. On top of that Hi-Fi manufacturers such as Denon are now actively supporting network delivered HD audio content. Sales of CDs are declining by the looks of current research and even console games are now being delivered over the internet where possible.

    So why does UMG think we will actively discard this progress and go back to an antiquated method of music delivery? Oh and also fork out large amounts of money on systems to appreciate the HD audio - they must be aware that although 60% of the UK may well have BluRay devices, 60% do not have the AV equipment capable of realising the quality of HD audio?

    and then store the music in 2 formats instead of one if the consumer is "mobile"...

    What are they smoking!

  46. Dr. Tone

    No love for the audiophiles, but I get it...

    I just purchased around a dozen of these discs and am pretty pleased with the sound quality. I am mainly a vinyl listener, so anything I post should be taken with a grain of salt.

    I disagree with the comment the CD is perfect and that humans cannot discern differences in formats. I have never played a CD and then an LP and had someone tell me they sounded the same. I think the selling point for this new format is the inexpensive hardware for playback and the higher quality of sound over the Compact Disc.

    That being said, I totally agree with the comment about the price. Over here in the States, these "Pure Audio" discs sell at $29.99. If I recall, SACD was also about that price in its heyday and that was just more than I wanted to spend on a format that also forced me to buy a new player. I think if the price of the software comes down about 35%, it might make a go. SACD is still around, albeit only from online Audio retailers.

    For those of you who think the format is ridiculous, read up on Super High Material (SHM-CD) cds that are coming out in Japan. I draw the line there!

    So, my 2 cents... These discs sound great and come closer to the analog sound than CDs. However, high end audio is a niche market, so I wouldn't expect anything like what CDs did in the 80s or DVD did in the 90s to happen. That being said, if you are an audiophile, check these out! I am enjoying the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road right now as I type. Cheers...

  47. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Coat

    I was going to 'Meh'

    But I see you've all 'Meh'd first.

    The one with the memory stick in the pocket.

  48. J__M__M

    I just invented the next new audio buzzword

    From this point forward we shall call the process of remastering a remastered master.....

    Rebrickwalling (or Rerebrickwalling, depending)

    You're welcome.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > 96kHz

    96kHz may be well beyond what we can hear, but the sampling frequency must be at least twice the frequency that you wish to faithfully reproduce, according to our dear friend Mr Nyquist.

  50. psychonaut

    WHAT

    dicks. If your amp doesn't go up to 11 then you have no fucking idea. Clipping? Thats when the crossover coils in your 767's start melting the plastic on the back because you ran the output of your technics mash cd player through the denon drm800a rec in and then back to the pioneer a400 because it wouldnt play welcome to the jungle loud enough. Ever been to a gig? Or a festival? Festival drift? Or you cant heat the treble cos you are in the front row and you are being pushed and pulled by evrryone else as the crowd pulsates back and forth? try feeling your music instead of trying to hear it.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: WHAT

      That may work for the music you like.

      The music I prefer has to be listened to.

  51. psychonaut

    furthermore

    Otherwise get a gramaphone and a chair. Maybe even get dolby with that, grandad

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where is the research and evidence that says SACD failed because players cost around £400? This is surely real nonsense? I paid £130 for my SACD multichannel player! I think this misinformation is promulgated because the the major record labels never really understood SACD, a format that is much better in my view than BDA. They ended up with: dual inventory, higher priced SACDs, released many obscure titles that many would not want to buy, never marketed SACDs that well and never educated retailers about them and how to sell them. Also if SACD had failed because the players were so expensive why is it that many very successful independent record labels have been releasing their albums in hybrid SACD surround for over a decade at the same price as an average CD, so we can enjoy higher quality surround sound at no extra cost, yet the UMG BDA discs many of which are only in 2 channel (how can you get that so wrong and not release discs with a 5.1 option, especially ones that were released as 5.1 SACDs) are often sold at a much higher price than a CD?

    There are many SACD players out there, in Sony PlayStations and many Sony BluRay and Universal players. I think this is all a smoke screen for the fact that the majors messed up SACD and don't want to admit it. I have been enjoying high quality SACD surround sound releases for over 10 years. The SACD is altogether a much better option, it offers surround but can also be played in any CD player elsewhere in the house or car or PC or on the move and yes, digital copies can be made from the CD layer to play on that iPod. The arguments for BluRay Audio, don't seem that attractive to me, given the success of SACD, but I guess it compensates for the failure of the major labels who don't seem to really understand the music market at all, unlike the independents who do and care about their customers and have a serious dialogue with them!

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