Ome interesting – or ominous
– press releases trickled in this month, amongst a torrent currently
dominated by headphones. Sony sent us a modest e-mail about their new interest
in pushing high-resolution audio downloads. This will worry all those who want
nothing to do with downloads – just read our Letters this month. When the
earth’s magnetic field changes all download users will be damned!
Salvation from magnetic wobbliness
may lie in another press release, from United Artists about a new range of
ultra high-quality audio-only Blu-rays, in stereo and surround-sound.
Unfortunately, whilst the sound formats are those common to Blu-ray, the
actual resolution of the recordings on offer is not mentioned – curious. You
can see for yourself at this
Launch titles are from Amy Winehouse, The Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Marvin Gaye
and many more, we are told. You have to order these discs on-line from United
Artists. I have been playing 24/96 music videos on Blu-ray and titles from 2L
that are music-only, for many years now and they’re undoubtedly good. All
the same, I have reservations about silver discs going round and round –
even if they are impervious to magnetic field variations – having become
used to 96GB of music in my pocket, stored on SD cards.
I rather liked Sony’s new hi-res
effort. Go to this
link to see for yourself. In
this scenario there’s yet another disc going around, this time in a hard
drive. But Sony do at least mention DSD, 24/192 and things like that, which
gives me some hope sound quality has been given consideration. I’m glad
they’ve finally recognised the existence of hi-res and the value of better
audio quality. To be frank though, I suspect it is high-quality headphone
sales, tightly linked to portable stereo audio (meaning not AV) and the iTunes
generation that is driving this.
Curious that stereo audio has now
become the way ahead. That isn’t something I would have dared predict ten
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