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Digital Disasters...
Oh no, not Sony again too.
Article By Steven R. Rochlin
Click here to e-mail reviewer


  As the major record companies can not decide on what to do about DVD-Audio (except for WMG who have just released information on their new DVD-Audio releases), the internet is streaming along. Sure i could rant on about the audibility of the Verance system, but why? This subject has been well covered on our Ultimate Audio and Hi-Fi News editorial sections. Not to worry as Sony's proprietary SACD format keeps going. Meanwhile a new "Artists Against Piracy" coalition are now looking to protect their copyrighted material on the internet. Simply check out Artists Against Piracy for more details. But let's get back to Sony for a moment.

During my trip to Italy one distributor/manufacture seemed to grill me about my stance against the SACD format. Look folks, i have never said it does not sound better than CD. Sure, the SACD format sounds good, but at what costs? Anyone remember Elcasette, Beta, Philips CD-I and other short-lived "newer and better" technologies? Now here comes Sony using their own label to schlock out a very unique and strange selection of SACDs. Worse is how they seem to be whoring out the audiophile labels.

Ok, so maybe the small audiophile labels could really use the subsidized funds Sony dishes out for them to release their music in the better than CD SACD format. But my goodness, how fast Sony can throw around money as i watch some of my friends, too, sell their souls in my opinion. Maybe i am too hardnosed here? Maybe i should just keep quite as the SACD format does seem to be better than CD. Of course those who decide to waste their money on these players and music titles can, for what may be a short period in their life, enjoy music at better than CD resolution. Then again, we have vinyl don't we?

Ahhh vinyl. The joys of it, the $1 a record garage sale finds with the millions of music titles available on vinyl. Of course any "real" audiophile label offers vinyl so that could make the SACD format, well, just another format to have a recording on. Yes, the digital disc is convenient. So is buying a Sony all in one $1000 rack system and placing it in the corner of your livingroom.

So fear not as we can expect even more proprietary SACD discs as in a year or two to WG-4 approved, industry standard DVD-Audio disc will reign supreme. Of course by that time you might be able to simply stream better than CD off the internet. Streaming CD-quality is being done today so that's old hat my friend.

Oh, and before i forget, what's the deal with the Sony proprietary (overpriced) memory stick when the industry has long settled on Smartmedia and the Compact Flash card??? i love Sony. They are my favorite company. Too bad the huge revenue they are getting each and every CD is going to expire soon. i cry every night for their loss. Yeah, and i love my Yugo car too.

Oh, and before i forget...

Enjoy the music,

Steven R. Rochlin













































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