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Old 08-17-2007   #13
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Default Re: A Blueprint For the Future of High-Resolution, 5.1 Music

Originally Posted by timbre4 View Post
We want more surround product in DVD-A or SACD because we have the equipment and the space to enjoy them. We don't need an iPod per se, perhaps that is just a buzzword here that the format needs an attention getting killer app.
An excellent clue to solving this mystery!

Millions of 5.1 hi-res systems are already in place (ie. offering advanced razor blades to people who already own the razors?)

From my humble perspective, the industry execs who keep insisting that consumers only care about the simplicity, convenience and low price of music downloads, are ignoring how many expensive steaks are still being sold in fancy restaurants (with no golden arches or drive-thru windows!)

Two different business models, but both can be profitable.

The real questions are... how many people truly care about Hi-Res music recordings that offer no TV picture to focus on... and why would they pay real money for these new releases?

1) Recent advancements can result in perfect replications.

The recent advancements in microphones, electronic boxes and Hi-Res digital recording gear, can deliver an unprecedented sonic realism that is so lifelike that we can see and feel the music, even without a picture.

I fully understand the mass trend towards lo-res downloads. But I also know that MILLIONS of people are continually upgrading their sound systems, and will always be seeking out great-sounding content that fully exploits this expensive gear.

2) Many CLASSIC recordings are timeless works of art!

Older paintings increase in value over time, yet the finest music recordings of each era are supposed to be relegated to downloadable compressed files??

I honestly believe that there are hundreds of artists and labels who are leaving money on the table by not committing to a coherent Hi-Res marketing plan that re-introduces their finest recordings.

3) Surround mixes paint the entire room.

Stereo recordings provide the artists and engineers with a single wall on which to paint their musical visions, while Hi-Res 5.1 surround enables them to vividly paint the entire room.

To old-school diehards there is often a resistance to such creative freedom, as if there is something unnatural about listening to voices and instruments that are coming from all directions.

To the rest of us, we simply load in the 5.1 re-mix of Boys II Men "Yesterday", with the four vocalists re-mixed into the four corners of the room --- literally transforming a decent re-make, into a stunning tribute to this all-time Beatles classic.

4) Live concerts can sound pretty dead in stereo.

Since the advent of stereo, ALL live recordings have been forced to blend the audience sounds together with the music tracks, as if the crowd was originally on stage with the musicians. Huh?

In Hi-Res 5.1 surround, the audience is directly placed into the rear channels and balanced into the sides, is if we are sitting right there in the crowd… even when there is no picture!

5) Turn that screen off while you’re driving!

The latest CEA statistics confirm that factory and aftermarket installations are continually being upgraded to accommodate DVD 5.1 playback.

But needless to say, the video screen needs to be off, whenever there is nobody in the car besides the driver.

So wouldn't it be nice for all of us road warriors to have a collection of great-sounding new music discs in the glovebox... especially when our Bluetooth earpiece battery dies out?

At this point, we can only dream about what might happen if ALL of these factors were CUMULATIVELY taken into re-consideration by a select group of influential music execs.

And for those of you shaking your heads sideways, let’s re-visit this story in November, after the sales results are announced for the new Led Zeppelin re-issues in MULTIPLE media configurations: Jimmy Page Online


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Old 08-17-2007   #14
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Default Re: A Blueprint For the Future of High-Resolution, 5.1 Music

Originally Posted by DaViD Boulet View Post
A 5.1 listerner [...] is quality oriented and is most likely a "collector" rather than a mere "consumer" of music. I doubt that there's a strong need/market for downloading among such a group.
Dear DaViD, (and Bill),

Please do me a favor, go here Amjad Ali Kahn, download the track and play it on your DVD player through your surround system (burn it to a CD).

Please come back and tell me what you think of the experience.

Thanks, Gerben.
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Old 08-18-2007   #15
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Central New Jersey
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Default Re: A Blueprint For the Future of High-Resolution, 5.1 Music

I'm going to be a nay sayer on the 5.1 High Resolution format. I think that that ship has already sailed.

The 5.1 systems and more are home theater systems. The paradigm has changed from music listening for its own sake and enjoyment has benn left in the hands of a small group of people like ourselves.

The other crowd is the home entertainment group that is too tired from work and family responsibilites to go out to entertain themselves at movies or music shows. They want to be entertained at home in the recliner with the DVD or cable movie.

The focus is not on the music but the visual and auditory experience of the movie that simulates the theater with the conviences of home.

Microwaved popcorn and a pause control!!!

There maybe a market for the hi res format but I have to think that the record companies have excel spreadsheets with market share and profitabity projections that tell them that it isn't worth their time or investment for our piddling market segment.

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Old 08-18-2007   #16
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Default Re: A Blueprint For the Future of High-Resolution, 5.1 Music

Originally Posted by mcraghead View Post
Why all the talk about back catalogs? Granted the people who would be most interested in re-purchasing Pink Floyd, Queen, and Jimi are well established, but they, in general, do not make up the bulk of music buyers, at least not in the US. Even though they have the means doesn't make them (us) the best target.

I'm fairly certain that the music industry, what's left of it, lives and dies based on new releases. The number of new releases in either SACD or DVD-A was patheticly low. How could they ever have expected it to take off like that? Even without digital rights management that model sucks.


I must disagree here.

Back catalog sales are HUGE for the music business. No cost to produce and they make up the VAST majority of sales.

Also re: new music versus back catalog - consider what Bose does so well. Yes, people SLAY them for their sound of their speakers but to me their stength is MULTI-CHANNEL-MARKETING. I don't mean selling 5.1 speakers. I mean their ability to sell clock radios in the NY Times or speakers at Circuit or on an infomercial or at an outlet mall. They are everywhere. Music is sold online and by the download. Fewer and fewer ways to fewer and fewer people. I think the music industry would be well suited copying Bose and sell music a lot of different ways. HELL, it might not be them. Perhaps you let other companies take your masters and resell it. Tell me if Mobile Fideilty put out the Led Zeppelin collection - you would wouldn't buy it in 24/192? ESPECIALLY if it was a limited edition? I would.
Yes, back catalog is big business but I was speaking in terms of multi-channel recordings (I thought that was the overall topic on this thread). Whether you are talking about back catalog or new release there is plenty of work to do, because as far as I know not much is done usually during the initial recording and mastering to prepare recordings for multi-channel playback. Engineers will have to re-mix for either new relases or back catalog. Given that takes time and money I still think it would be wise to take a top-20 selling artist and release their recording in multi-channel format when it is released on CD. The potential is huge if you can get some of those buyers to by the multi-channel version in stead. Say it's a platinum-ish CD in a year. If you could get 10% of those to be MC format sales that would be great. And combine that with other platinum-ish recordings at the same percentage and you're on a roll. And if the technology catches the percentages would go up.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that I believe the potential is far greater for new releases than it is for back catalog since the amount of work would roughly be the same either way. In a one for one comparison I would take a top 20 new release over a back catalog item almost every time.

Put another way (I hope I don't get too far off on a tangent), I don't think HD-DVD and Blue-ray would have made the a push that they have into the market place without the large number of new releases that are available as well as the back catalog items. I even believe that the new releases have been more instrumental in their success than the back catalog items.

If the back catalog was that much more powerful than new releases then why don't record companies just stop releasing new material and concentrate on selling what they already have? ;-)

I guess we just have to agree to disagree.

Michael K. Craghead
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Old 08-18-2007   #17
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Default Re: A Blueprint For the Future of High-Resolution, 5.1 Music

Originally Posted by jbk View Post
There maybe a market for the hi res format but I have to think that the record companies have excel spreadsheets with market share and profitabity projections that tell them that it isn't worth their time or investment for our piddling market segment.
Not every "investment" can yield the same rate of return, or pay dividends within the same timeframe... and your generalization is totally neglecting the financial reality that many of these labels already OWN these back catalog masters.

Now you didn't really mean to suggest that they should just throw away all these old original masters, because the market demand for re-releasing Hi-Rez versions is too "piddling", did you?

Personally, my "spreadsheet" would INCLUDE a plan to forever exploit older music recordings that still inspire millions of people to whip out their Visa cards.

In other words, continue to release new music in compressed downloads, but ALSO re-package my best classic recordings in the highest resolution possible, including surround re-mixes and other extras that help justify the higher prices.

And it seems that some record companies are not only aware of the intrinsic value of re-mastering these classics, but are even going to support the Vinyl "piddlers" on their upcoming MEGA-releases:

Mothership, a two-CD compilation of 24 remastered tracks culled from all eight Led Zeppelin studio albums is scheduled to be released on November 13th 2007 on the Atlantic/Rhino records label. The tracklist was handpicked by surviving Zep members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones and will boast such signatures as Whole Lotta Love, Stairway to Heaven, Kashmir, Dazed and Confused and Rock and Roll. Mothership will be offered in multiple media configurations:

* Standard Package – 2-CD set.
* Deluxe Edition – 2-CD/ 1-DVD featuring a 90-minute, premiere-version of the "Led Zeppelin" DVD.
* Collector's Edition – 2-CD/1-DVD ultra-deluxe, collectible limited edition.
* Vinyl Edition – 4 LPs, high-end, audiophile quality vinyl with collectible memorabilia.

And that's not all. Also scheduled to drop 11/13/07, on the Warner Home Video label, will be a new DVD version of the concert film The Song Remains the Same, in 5.1 surround sound and expanded to include all 14 songs that were performed during the 1973 Madison Square Garden shows in NYC. Among the extras are performances of Misty Mountain Hop, Over The Hills and Far Away, Celebration Day, and The Ocean; a 1976 BBC interview of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant and a Cameron Crowe radio show. TSRTS will also be offered in multiple media configurations:

* Deluxe Edition DVD.
* Deluxe Edition HD DVD and Blu-ray.
* Limited Collector's Edition – A 2-disc set which will include a collectible vintage T-shirt with original album artwork design, Soundtrack CD, lobby cards, reproductions of original premiere invites, tour schedule, and more.


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Old 08-18-2007   #18
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Default Re: A Blueprint For the Future of High-Resolution, 5.1 Music

A great discussion. SACD, RIP. And DVD-Audio, also -- except I always found sort of dead from my start in those high-res.

I await high-res music from my HD DVD player, or my DTS capable DVD/SACD player. Someday.

But I must interject that the back catalog, for some in SACD was worth it. Maybe because I am a bebop fan, and semi-locked in the 1940s and 1950s, I have gotten as many favorites as I wanted, usually, in (sometimes mono) SACD.

The approaching demise of SACD, if Sony pulls the plug, has inspired me to keep filling in new titles in my library, as well as new releases (sometimes multichannel) that attract me.

A boutique format, an eccentric collectors pleasure. I suspect that is what it always will be, and that DSD recording and SACD releases will continue by small companies even after the originator bails out.
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