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Dark Side Will be an SACD Print E-mail
Friday, 27 December 2002
Two sources close to AudioRevolution.com have confirmed that Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon will be released on the SACD format on March 3, 2003 – the 30th anniversary of the album’s original release. Sources say that Sony reached out the band, convincing them to do an SACD version of the record and is likely paying for part or all of the production costs of the new 5.1 mix. The title is likely to be officially announced at Sony’s SACD event at the upcoming CES show on January 9, 2003. EMI has 6 more SACD titles coming in the next few months from artists like Nora Jones, Cassandra Wilson, John Coltrane and others. Does this mean EMI has jumped the fence in the format war between DVD-Audio and SACD like Universal Music Group? “No” says one source at EMI. The SACD deals were done before EMI committed to DVD-Audio as their predominant format and were compelling to the label because Sony paid for part, if not all, of the production costs for the titles.

Confusion is still king with consumers and label executives alike which fuels the on-going format war. Execs don’t want make the wrong decision about who to support but more than anything have to return to profitability to keep their jobs. With Sony willing and ready to cover the cost of development of titles on SACD, that format can often be tempting to labels looking to test the water of high resolution audio.

At the same time, the parent companies of the record labels make billions of dollars each year selling DVD-Video titles and know full-well the consumer success of the DVD format. They would love to parlay the success of DVD-Video to DVD-Audio. The result is a mess of weakly constructed political alliances, poor dealer support and even worse consumer support. A breakthrough needs to be made soon to develop some consumer momentum for one of the two formats or both DVD-A and SACD might be destined to be a niche player to the CD, DVD-Video disc or the mysterious blue laser disc.

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