Home Theater Forum and Systems banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well, I, like many of you have a collection of DVD-A and SACD titles. Mostly Jazz and classical. And a few others, Santana, Donald Fagen, Earth, Wind, and Fire, etc.
What about high resolution music, on Blu-Ray?


An Open Letter To Audiophile Record Labels About Blu-ray For Music

* By: Jerry Del Colliano
* - Reviewer's System

* Category:
* Blu-ray Player News, Blu-ray Software News, Feature News Stories, Industry Trade News, News, Source Component News, Stereo Amplifier News, Stereo Preamplifier News

* Resources & Links:
* Blu-ray News
* , Dolby Digital (AC3)
* , Dolby Pro Logic
* , Dolby TrueHD
* , DTS
* , DTS Surround Sound
* , DTS-HD Master Audio
* , SACD
* , Source Components
* , View Jerry Del Colliano's Reviews


* April 6, 2009




To All Audiophile and Specialty Record Labels,


Today is the day to see the extraordinary opportunity in front of you. The days of selling retro-vinyl titles or dead-format SACDs are over. The Blu-ray era is here and you have every reason to get involved, as the reasons are so plentiful. The most compelling reason is the majors are distracted by the low-hanging fruit of downloads, even as there is an enthusiast base of music lovers who can buy thousands if not tens of thousands of your new and even more profitable back-catalogue titles right now.

To recap some of the many reasons why Blu-ray is something you should be jumping into with both feet:
- Blu-ray as an audio format can accurately replicate the master tape - no matter how high its resolution - with a one-for-one copy that blows away the audio performance of any other format on the market today, including vinyl, Compact Disc, DVD-Audio, DVD-Video, SACD and most HD downloads.
- Blu-ray is copy-protected at levels that would make Hollywood studios feel comfortable. It's pretty hard to steal the files, yet there is room to give MP3 files or other lower-resolution files to add value for consumers if desired.
- Blu-ray can be connected with one HDMI cable, unlike the ghastly nine-cable nightmare of DVD-Audio and SACD.
- Blu-ray players are downright affordable with retail prices of below $200, yet they pack audio performance simply not available from the best $15,000 SACD players and $50,000 turntables. Of course, audiophile-grade Blu-ray players could sound even better, but the barrier to entry is so low for consumers to get in on Blu-ray for music that the opportunity is just screaming at you.
- Blu-ray, unlike SACD (the current and only real audiophile format left), has video capabilities. Millions of people buy HDTVs every month for HD video. Imagine selling HD music discs to even 1/100th of one percent of them.
- Labels like 2L from Norway are bundling SACDs with Blu-ray discs for audiophiles to make the most of both formats and to open up the possibility to sell more music to more people.
- Blu-ray as a format can do 5.1 audio or even 7.1 audio to recreate a surround sound experience that makes DVD-Audio or SACD sound "last decade," even if the audiophile print magazines think "last decade" is somehow more desirable. DTS Master Audio and Dolby True HD are incredible audio playback formats.
- Every receiver on the market today and dozens of more audiophile-grade AV preamps have HDMI inputs and can reproduce master-quality audio for very little money.
- I could go on and on and on...

Today the opportunity is sitting right in front of your noses to be more like Microsoft than Micromega and to sell your entire back catalogues all over again on Blu-ray. Today, the opportunity to license important music from the past and remaster it for HD will get the attention of bigger record labels in ways it wouldn't have done even five years ago.

Imagine an audiophile or specialty HD audiophile label selling 1,000 copies each at $20 per (the discs don't have to be cheap, as you need room to pay the artists and labels for the better music, the remastering costs etc.) - think of the sales for your smaller labels. If I were going to start an audiophile/specialty label (don't think it hasn't crossed my mind, but my plate is pretty full producing movies in 4k like April Showers, in theaters on April 24, 2009 - shameless plug), I would go to DTS and see if I could license their back catalogue of 5.1 mixes of the music of Sting, the Eagles, Queen, Lyle Lovett and many others. Some were on 5.1 CDs, others on DVD-Audio, but all are close to being ready to be re-released. What happened to AudioQuest Music? Could there be a stash of music waiting to be released in HD on Blu-ray? How about JVC Music? Think Concord would take your call for you to re-release Telarc recordings on Blu-ray? Why wouldn't they, if you do the heavy lifting and they share in the profits? It's worth a call to ask, but before you make that call, dial up your banker, because as financial institutions free up their lending in the coming months, you might need some upfront money to land and remaster the goodies. Trust me, it's worth it long-term.

To the specialty retailers of the world, like Acoustic Sounds, Music Direct and even Amazon.com: how about putting out a purchase order for enough discs so that these small labels can feel the effect? How about priming the pump a little, the way the Federal government is trying to stimulate the economy? There is only so much risk a small label can take when it is selling its music directly to the consumer. Look at these labels as your partners and help them gain some market traction.

To audiophile and home theater electronics companies: stop fearing making a higher-end Blu-ray player. Where is my Meridian Blu-ray player? Yes, I want a Sooloos media server, too, but I want a player with all of Meridian's (or Krell's, or Levinson's or EMM Labs' or DCS's or ...) insight and experience for Blu-ray music and movie playback. I would pay thousands for it and there are thousands of others like me. Goldmund can't be the only high-end company on the planet with enough guts to make a high-end Blu-ray player. It's time to step up and invest. OEM companies can help and it doesn't have to be that painful or outlandishly costly.

To the audiophile and HD-loving consumers: what if you bought a $200 or $300 Blu-ray player today for your best audio rig and looked for some of the newest titles on Blu-ray with the same enthusiasm as you seek out rare vinyl or high-resolution SACDs? They are out there. Buy the Neil Young catalogue. Buy some stuff from 2L. Buy some concert videos on Blu-ray. As soon as labels see that you are out there and are willing to spend the money that you might spend on a hot dog and a Coke at a baseball game on a Blu-ray music disc, they will make more. Record execs and RIAA statisticians track the sale of music on new formats like Blu-ray and your support makes a difference.

To specialty AV retailers who still care about selling audio and home systems to make profitable audio sales in the future: what if you made 100 percent certain that every person who walks in your door gets a demo of some music (even if it's in HD stereo) hears what Blu-ray can do in reproducing music. Show these people the future and ask them if they want to invest. How about calling every audiophile client you have sold a stereo preamp to in the past 20 years and send your salespeople out with a player and a Blu-ray music disc under their arms to do an in-home demo for 10 minutes? Think you might get some people back in the store for some sales? Do your salespeople have anything to do better right now than this kind of grassroots movement?

Computer software companies and Hollywood studios make their vast fortunes selling the same basic data over and over again, each time with new twists and performance enhancements. The major record labels used to follow same business model until the mid-1990s. As much as the major labels want to blame Napster and peer-to-peer file sharing for their ills, that's not the issue. The issue is that the compact disc isn't an HD format and consumers want everything HD today. Blu-ray is HD on all levels. Blu-ray is good for surround sound in HD resolutions, it's copy-protected and it's cheap to get started. It's a stunning value proposition for audiophiles, as well as for consumers far more mainstream in the marketplace today.

My open challenge to you, the HD-loving, performance-oriented audiophiles, is to embrace Blu-ray for audio right now. Buy a player. Buy some discs. Write letters. Send emails. Post about HD audio on Facebook. Talk about Blu-ray on Linkedin's audiophile group. Ask your local record shop to start a Blu-ray section. Do the same at your local audio store. Start your own small movement. Get 10 or 20 of your music-loving friends to support the movement. It gets viral and that's how things get legs these days.

Meaningful HD downloads are coming without question, but won't be mainstream for years to come. Time will tell how you respond to the challenge and vast opportunity that I outline for you here. I see a bright future for HD audio if the people who truly love HD look to the future more than they cling to the past.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
With all the threads on the future of Blu-ray, this is an area that I don't see mentioned. It seems to me that Sony would lead the way with getting music on to BD as a way to make the format more attractive to a wider audience. Just like with movies, there could be the SD version of an album and the HD version which would be on Blu-ray with some extras to entice the consumer to accept the higher cost.

I'm an old guy and I appreciate that some of the classics are available on SACD and DVD-A, but I also like the new music and would really like to get it in something other than an over compressed, lossy format.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
With all the threads on the future of Blu-ray, this is an area that I don't see mentioned. It seems to me that Sony would lead the way with getting music on to BD as a way to make the format more attractive to a wider audience. Just like with movies, there could be the SD version of an album and the HD version which would be on Blu-ray with some extras to entice the consumer to accept the higher cost.

I'm an old guy and I appreciate that some of the classics are available on SACD and DVD-A, but I also like the new music and would really like to get it in something other than an over compressed, lossy format.
I`m in full agrement with you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Agreed.

It is a shame the Beatles catalogue (that was remastered at 24/192) will only be (re)released on cd.

The notation of remixing and surround versions aside, it is disappointing the "full" versions will not be released, yet............................

Thanks
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
601 Posts
Agreed.

It is a shame the Beatles catalogue (that was remastered at 24/192) will only be (re)released on cd.

The notation of remixing and surround versions aside, it is disappointing the "full" versions will not be released, yet............................

Thanks
I agree, it's a money-grabber stint (& stink), again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
I have both the Tom Petty and Neil Young music Blu rays and they're amazing imho.....I hope as everyone else here does that other artists follow their examples in the not too distant future.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
78 Posts
There are a few now, I think! Inception included a 5.1 music soundtrack on the bonus disc. There's also a Bluray soundtrack of THe social Network.
 

·
Senior Shackster
Joined
·
365 Posts
As sad as I am about this, I don't think this plea will go anywhere with the music executives. It terms of music, downloads are the way to go, even for high resolution multichannel music. Looking from a record companies perspective, I could offer my entire catalog in high resolution surround online, and save on the pressing of discs, and shipment to the stores, and dealing with returned goods. It is far easier to just create a uncompressed 24/96khz(192khz) PCM file and put it on the net, than the common way of delivery that has been done in the past. I do not think we are going back to disc as a music delivery format now that the internet has become a large place of commerce easily used by billions.

I used to buy SACD and DVD-A by the truck loads. I have 450 SACD's, 261 DVD-A discs I have accumulated over the years, and I also now have about 225 concert and audio only Bluray disc. In saying that, my buying habits of multichannel high resolution music have switched to HDtracks.

I have devoted an entire bedroom in one of my houses as a media room full of 2200 DVD's, 1400 Bluray's, 450 SACD's, and 261 DVD-A's. I am quickly running out of room at this point, and figured that 10 terabytes of raid storage is enough to put all of my music in lossless form, and a great deal of the my DVD collection as well.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
78 Posts
Sir Terrence said:
As sad as I am about this, I don't think this plea will go anywhere with the music executives. It terms of music, downloads are the way to go, even for high resolution multichannel music. Looking from a record companies perspective, I could offer my entire catalog in high resolution surround online, and save on the pressing of discs, and shipment to the stores, and dealing with returned goods. It is far easier to just create a uncompressed 24/96khz(192khz) PCM file and put it on the net, than the common way of delivery that has been done in the past. I do not think we are going back to disc as a music delivery format now that the internet has become a large place of commerce easily used by billions.

I used to buy SACD and DVD-A by the truck loads. I have 450 SACD's, 261 DVD-A discs I have accumulated over the years, and I also now have about 225 concert and audio only Bluray disc. In saying that, my buying habits of multichannel high resolution music have switched to HDtracks.

I have devoted an entire bedroom in one of my houses as a media room full of 2200 DVD's, 1400 Bluray's, 450 SACD's, and 261 DVD-A's. I am quickly running out of room at this point, and figured that 10 terabytes of raid storage is enough to put all of my music in lossless form, and a great deal of the my DVD collection as well.
Didn't know that HDtracks sold multichannel media! What format are they in, and how do you play them?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
78 Posts
DUDE. Wicked sick avatar btw. I'm a huge DCI fan (marched in blue devils b) but cavies are definitely my favorite Corp.
 

·
Senior Shackster
Joined
·
365 Posts
Didn't know that HDtracks sold multichannel media! What format are they in, and how do you play them?
My mistake, I should have said my high resolution music purchases come from HDtracks. My processor detects any out of phase signals in each channel, and directs it to its corresponding surround speaker. The left channel is sampled, and the out of phase information in that channel goes to the left side and left rear surround, and visa versa for the right channel. Its not discrete surround, but the separation the processing does really expands the soundfield in a very natural way.

Another drum corps fan huh? We seem to be everywhere these days. I marched in the Cavaliers for seven years from 1980 to 1987. I marched in the San Francisco Renegades from 2003-2005. I am a true drum corps addict!

Do you know they now have the championships on Bluray thanks to my(and several other Cavaliers) heavy lobbying of Tony Blair productions who produce the championship DVD's. Tony Blair is a former Cavalier!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
78 Posts
Ah, got it. So something like Dolby PLII or similar then?

And yes! DCI on Blu-Ray looks AMAZING. Unfortunately I haven't been able to afford them...although I do own the BD2010 Blu Ray so I own a sample, at least! I guess I have you to thank for that =)

PM sent regarding DCI! Haha.

My mistake, I should have said my high resolution music purchases come from HDtracks. My processor detects any out of phase signals in each channel, and directs it to its corresponding surround speaker. The left channel is sampled, and the out of phase information in that channel goes to the left side and left rear surround, and visa versa for the right channel. Its not discrete surround, but the separation the processing does really expands the soundfield in a very natural way.

Another drum corps fan huh? We seem to be everywhere these days. I marched in the Cavaliers for seven years from 1980 to 1987. I marched in the San Francisco Renegades from 2003-2005. I am a true drum corps addict!

Do you know they now have the championships on Bluray thanks to my(and several other Cavaliers) heavy lobbying of Tony Blair productions who produce the championship DVD's. Tony Blair is a former Cavalier!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
359 Posts
2L has some neat stuff:T. I got their "Flute Mystery" Blue ray and love it ( It comes packaged along with an SACD).
It's music by Fred Jonny Berg performed by Emily Beynon and the Philharmonia conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy and is audio only, 5.1.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
311 Posts
Didn't know that HDtracks sold multichannel media! What format are they in, and how do you play them?
Q: What is an AIFF, a FLAC, and a 320kbps MP3 file? Which one should I choose?
A: AIFF is a CD-quality digital-audio format. It is an uncompressed CD-quality audio file that is compatible with several players, including iTunes.

FLAC is a CD-quality lossless digital-audio format. This means that it does not lose data like other types of compressed audio files. Lossless compression still retains low-level resolution of a standard CD. The advantage of FLAC is that it takes up less room on your computer than an AIFF. Additionally, FLAC will play gapless audio, an advantage for albums and playlists which feature segueing between tracks. Several players are compatible with FLAC, including Winamp, Media Monkey, and Songbird (iTunes is not compatible with FLAC without a third party plugin).

320kbps MP3's are compatible with most players on the market, including iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, Media Monkey, and Songbird. We recommend that you use this format if you are not sure what to choose, or you do not have a lot of space on your hard drive.

https://www.hdtracks.com/index.php

I have already bought 24 bit FLAC from HDtracks, as well as B&W Society of Sound. I find that both of these outlets have restrictive catalogs. (Of course B&W is producing and selling so this is understandable.) I certainly hear the plea about BD audio, and this format should have been pushed by Sony Records from the beginning. Music industry executives are perhaps the most parochial capitalists I've ever encountered, and I expect they will follow up their failures of the last 10 years by failing to provide a meaningful product for their listening public, meanwhile complaining about the declining sales of CDs.
 

·
Senior Shackster
Joined
·
365 Posts
I was not aware 225 even existed, where might I parlay such a collection? Where do you shop? Do you have some favorites you can list?
I am a music reviewer, so I get advanced screener's to review. Also check Amazon, there are plenty listed their for you to gander and parlay(I love that word:D ) if you so choose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
HDtracks:
They have a huge hi rez catalog but I've heard some might just be upsampled from CD. Some reviewers have tested a variety of the more expensive hi rez downloads and found them to be the same quality as the standard rez.
HDtracks does not scrutinize their inventory very well. A label may upsample some tracks and then sell them to HDtracks as hi rez, and HDtracks doesn't test for it.
HDtracks is run by Chesky, so probably the most reliably true hi rez downloads would be from the Chesky label.

iTrax:
Very small hi rez catalog but they say they authenticate every single one to make sure they are hi rez.
iTrax has multi channel downloads.

Playing hi rez on your BR player:
So you don't have a DVD-A or SACD player? You can download hi rez music and then have your computer burn them onto a DVD-V disc and it will play hi rez through your home BR player.
http://audioplex.sourceforge.net/
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,363 Posts
We had a concert night last night with Jewel The Essential Live Songbook. It was very good with both audio and video being outstanding. If you're a fan of Jewel it's worth checking out.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top