Originally Posted by Gerben Van Duyl
For surround music there is no iPod, no other user interface than your browser, a library S/W and your surround music system. That is why I believe there is a play here for anyone willing to make the investment. Create the download market space, start the revenue, relief the music labels of making elaborate surround music albums and grow the audience. Hit Play!
Yet another flaw in this arguement. I don't think people REALLY want to be tethered to their computers to listen to music. I know that I surely don't. As has been discussed in the past, when all of those hard drives start crashing and people have to repurchase their entire iTunes collections, the wave of digital downloading will come to a sceetching halt. (Just happened to me recently, fortunately I have an external drive to back up that 2 year old hard disk that crashed.)
The future of which you speak sounds very much like the pay to play days of DIVX and DVD. Fortunately, the DIVX model failed (who has a spare phone line near their entertainment system to plug their DIVX player into anyway)
I think the opportunity is here for anyone who can convince the idiots at the labels (and probably more so - the artists and publishing companuies themselves) that licensing High Def music to companies who are willing to manufacture SACDs or DVD-As makes sense. Some $ is always better than none, especially when it is a market that the labels themselves aren't really willing to play in. It's really no different than the iTunes model (except for the low def quality of the iTunes product), license the material and let someone else worry about marketing and selling the product. All the labels and artists need to do is sit back and take in their %.
Finally, I believe the consumers will come if they are shown the benefits. I admittedly was a late comer to High Def music as I did not build out my home theater system to support 5.1 until 2 years ago. Up until then, I couldn't justify the expense of new/additional speakers, new receiver, and new Universal Disc player. Once I made the leap, it made perfect sense to be not only be able to use the system for a great home theater system but as an excellent home music system. Despite the current state of SACD and DVD-A, I have managed to purchase 70+ titles in the last year alone. My system is by no means top end, but everyone who has heard it clearly hears the difference/advantages of high def and MCH surround music.