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Music Blu-Ray

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Hi, I've been catching up on my magazines and found this article in the BBC Focus magazine from August 2008.

I got to the end and I thought, wait a minute that sounds suspiciously like Hi-MD, but updated. Sony needs to get its head in gear and be at the forefront again. If Philips thinks its worthwhile then why not?

Rhythm and Blu-Rays

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Hi-Fi buffs are always after higher fidelity from more channels of surround sound. DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD discs have delivered the best quality mulli-channel sound to date, but they were a commercial flop because audiophiles had to choose between two incompatible formats.

Blu-Ray discs, recent victors in the HD format war, can store over 25GB - in other words 35 CDs - on a single side. That's enough for hours of uncompressed multi-channel audio. For examples, the Blu-Ray release of the 1966 cult film Batman will have Nelson Riddle's complete score in super sound as an extra. Meanwhile, a Norwegian company is claiming the first music-only Blu-ray disc.

What we need a standard for discs without picture: work is under way on what will probably be called Blu-ray Profile 3.0. The key will be the ability to find and play music tracks without a TV screen, as on-screen menus are useless for cars and the blind.

Philips engineers in Eindhoven have already developed a miniature version of a blue laser disc called Small Form Factor Optical (SFFO) storage. These 3cm discs store at least 1GB of data, putting Blu-ray technology into phones, cameras and personal stereos. SFFO could herald a new way to sell hi-fi music and movies that play equally well on an iPod or at home on a PS3.

The cost of solid state memory is falling by the day, but it is still nowhere cheap enough to compete with tiny discs pressed by the million. Expect to see a winner in the music disc format wars emerge some time very soon.

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Philips engineers in Eindhoven have already developed a miniature version of a blue laser disc called Small Form Factor Optical (SFFO) storage. These 3cm discs store at least 1GB of data, putting Blu-ray technology into phones, cameras and personal stereos. SFFO could herald a new way to sell hi-fi music and movies that play equally well on an iPod or at home on a PS3.

hmmmm.... interesting.

Come on Sony for god's sake, shrink a bluray disc, put it in the minidisc shell so we can have 5gb blu hi-md discs, redesign the laser bits and hey presto! - blu-md.

Even stick an oled screen on for video etc. perfect for sticking a dvd on.

Make it backward compatible for hi-md and legacy discs of course, this has to be a winner, not only for sony, but for tdk, maxell etc. also.

It's never too late - Long live Minidisc!

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You think Sony is actually gonna somehow resuce Minidisc? Not a chance. Why? Because they reject every single good idea, and adopt their own format killing regulations. Look at the PS3, way behind Xbox 360 and Wii. Sony just does not know how to market good products, make them cheap, and easy to use.

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Hi-Fi buffs are always after higher fidelity from more channels of surround sound. DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD discs have delivered the best quality mulli-channel sound to date, but they were a commercial flop because audiophiles had to choose between two incompatible formats.

I really don't think that was what killed them. IMHO 90% of the music buying public just didn't give a crap about the the higher quality sound. Most just wanted to see how many tunes they could cram into their iPods.

After all, many manufacturers (except for Sony of course) started making dual SACD/DVD-A players. I have one made by Denon. Yamaha and Marantz were couple of others.

I seriously doubt whether or not any type of Blu-ray audio format would ever catch on. It's a great thought, but too much of a niche format. Manfacturers are going to shy away from it. Especially after what happened to SACD and DVD-A...

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I really don't think that was what killed them. IMHO 90% of the music buying public just didn't give a crap about the the higher quality sound. Most just wanted to see how many tunes they could cram into their iPods.

The failure of SACD/DVD-audio has little/nothing to do with iPods. Those formats were introduced before iPods are even popular, and were never popular to begin with. Why? DRM. People want to listen to their music anytime anywhere with whatever device they want/have. SACD/DVD-audio doesn't allow that. People don't like having a restrictive media, let alone paying a premium price for it. People thus chose an already established format, the plain Audio CD. Plain old Audio CD is not-restricted, compatible players are ubiquitous, and cheaper. If the recording companies allowed SACD/DVD-audio to be copied easily, had manufactures making the hardware and portable payers for cheap, and release tons of selection on the format, the story would've probably been different. Claiming that the buying public skipped SACD/DVD-audio just because they "didn't give a crap about the higher quality sound" is an ignorant statement. It's more like SACD/DVD-audio didn't give any discernible advantages over plain old audio CD for their price. I have yet to see an ABX test showing the "higher quality sound" of SACD/DVD-audio over standard Audio-CD, other than obvious differences like surround/multi-channel sound or bad mastering.

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Those who want to listen to extremely high quality lossless audio should be allowed to, those who want to listen to extremely compressed low quality audio should be allowed to. The price differential / difficulties involved would separate the two groups of consumers and the industry could then profit from both. Or maybe it just isn't worth the effort. After all if you can manage to feed the masses with bread then why bother giving them anything better than that.

Personally I hope CDs continue to live on but I fear the move to wireless distribution will soon make them extinct.

Edited by kino170878

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The failure of SACD/DVD-audio has little/nothing to do with iPods. Those formats were introduced before iPods are even popular, and were never popular to begin with. Why? DRM. People want to listen to their music anytime anywhere with whatever device they want/have.

Perhaps I was a little harsh on the iPod here. I should have said digital audio players in general. I completely agree with your last statement.

Claiming that the buying public skipped SACD/DVD-audio just because they "didn't give a crap about the higher quality sound" is an ignorant statement.

I still stand completely behind this statement. The vast majority of the music buying public are not audiophiles. Compressed formats sound good enough for most people. Hell, most don't even know or care what music compression or DRM is. Do you think that even if they lifted DRM on these formats it would have changed things? Look at all the CD stores that have gone out of business over the past several years. Downloading is the name of the game and only a select few would put up with the extended time it takes to do so with the hi-rez formats.

Edited by culp4684

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Interesting topic,

It would be great one day to see a BLUE MD launched by sony, using the blue ray support... but i am not sure it will be sold, even if they market it.

I agree for the reason of the fail "The failure of SACD/DVD-audio has little/nothing to do with iPods" AT THE TIME.

Now, the audio cultures have changed. People are now used to compressed audio, and they like it because it is convenient.

You transfer, and you go with Thouthans of songs > then you can do audio zapping all the day...

Today, i doubt that any new format (cd, md or any real support) will work, even with full support of industrials.

The culture has changed and people would be reluctant to go back to less convenient systems. (it is my point of view).

Now, the question is more "what will be the next compression format?" that "what will be the next support used?"

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I don't want to buy new equipment to play these high capacity/ high quality audio..

The last generation of MD is good enough for me.. I'm somewhat confident that audio fidelity can be improved by not new disc equipment themselves but the means to deliver the audio.. and there are alot of companies out there whom are dedicated just for this.

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I would be great to have Blu-MD!

But Blu-disc is only optical PB/R and MD magneto-optical PB/R, plus Blu-disc uses another laser diode to read, so 2 lasers would be joint to the unit....it's a little dificult but why not?

I started into MD world at 2002 (which the MZ-N505) and now I just buyed my third MZ-RH1 unit...so I'll continue on MD for the years to come

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