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Super Audio CDs Rolling Your Way

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the i-have-to-turn-my-head-until-the-darkness-goes dept.

Music 505

donutello writes "Slate is running an article about the Rolling Stones Remastered series discs having two layers: CD and SACD. The article contains some interesting information about how Sony is sneakily distributing SACD players without the buyers noticing it. This FAQ provides some information about SACDs. Don't expect to be able to play or reproduce these on your computer anytime soon. The SACD format contains a physical watermark on the disc. SACD players will only play discs with valid watermarks. Music watermarks had two opponents: The audiophiles who didn't like their music distorted and people who didn't like the watermarks preventing copying of the music. With the physical watermarks, they have found a way to appease the former while still stopping the latter thus causing a break in the ranks of the opposition."

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Flamebait, or Troll? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116052)

What's the difference between "Flamebait" and "Troll"? I have studied moderation patterns and cannot seem to find the rules governing the usage of such categories.

You would think "Flamebait" applies to posts intended to get responses (i.e., bait for flames) however I usually see it applied to posts like "Linux sucks! Fuck off!" which clearly was not bait for anything and where a moderation such as "Offtopic" would have been more appropriate.

You would also think "Troll" applies to the classic usenet-style "trolling for suckers"... YHBT, YHL, HAND [everything2.com] , etc. However, I see "Troll" being applied to everything, left and right.

In my opinion we need another category called "Jackass" or "Fucktard" to apply to all these -1 posts.

Or you can just call it "Offtopic", like this post.

Re:Flamebait, or Troll? (0, Offtopic)

HimalayanRoadblock (601900) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116075)

Flamebait is ASKING for a fuckin response. A troll is just stupid.

Re:Flamebait, or Troll? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116082)

As explained HERE [everything2.com] , there is no difference.

i dont hear any screams... (2, Interesting)

packeteer (566398) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116053)

... for a new better cd format

sorry but cd's work jsut fine and i dont see this catching on as a replacement for old cd's

Re:i dont hear any screams... (3, Interesting)

mstrjon32 (542309) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116063)

I've heard SACD's and personally they might not be a necessary replacement for everyone, but they do sound pretty good if you've got a higher end audio system. Once the players fall in price a bit...or maybe software comes out which will let me play back these things on my DVD-ROM (I wish.) I will start buying them. I've been looking forward to a higher end audio format for a while.

Re:i dont hear any screams... (2, Informative)

mpsmps (178373) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116240)

Then you aren't listening very hard (but I guess that's the point).

Many people now own 5.1 speaker systems for home theatre or computer games and would like more than stereo sound. Also, the quantization noise of the Redbook standard is audible on a good stereo and audiophiles have been pushing for higher-resolution digital recordings for years. A quick search of Stereophile [stereophile.com] gives about 100 articles hosted on that site alone. Whatever you think about audiophiles (and some of their beliefs are rather dubious to say the least), they represent a significant group of wealthy people who are willing to spend a lot of money on music.

What kind of CD (1)

batboy78 (255178) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116059)

Have these been approved my the Compact Disc forum? Has fair use gone out the window?

Re:What kind of CD (3, Interesting)

Hollins (83264) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116097)

Phillips, which developed the CD standard, collaborated with Sony in developing SACD. Sony appears to be trying to avoid repeating the Betamax mistake by licensing the technology.

I'm not happy about the watermarking, and won't buy them at first, but I think it has a good chance of catching on, since the transition path is virtually transparent, and costs nearly identical.

The audio quality of SACD is significantly better than traditional CDs, even on typical home audio systems.

The players still have analog outputs. I suspect mp3s ripped in real time will sound pretty decent.

Re:What kind of CD (4, Insightful)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116145)

No, they have not been approved, this is a Sony "standard". DVD-A (DVD-Audio) is a real standard, and more labels than just Sony's are producing material in this format.

There are players than support both SACD and DVD-A, I guess those are okay, not that I'd touch a SACD. Sony does make SACD only players.

Here are some facts about Sony's SACD players. They don't have a digital output. So that $1500+ DAC that you have is going to do no good. Sony wants only analog coming out of their box. Sony says this will get you better quality, cause most recievers won't be able to decode the 96kHz/24-bit audio as well as their built in decoder. I think they are wrong. Just about anyone who is adopting the better than CD formats at this point will surely have a better quality DAC than what they put in the box.

I'm not sure about the region coding on SACDs, but I know for a fact that DVD-A don't have any sort of region coding on their audio only portion. They are like regular CDs. If they include a standard DVD session it can contain all the usual DVD codes, including regions, but the ones I've seen have been region free. Also the DVD-A players I've seen have had TOS-link and/or S/PDIF outs.

I have a full Sony setup at my house, but I'm not going to buy any more Sony gear. They are restricting content more and more, while other companies are freeing up more (see the majority of DVD players with region hacks, except Sony's). You can't trust a content provider to produce content players that let you use the content as you want.

Two things (-1, Troll)

mcwop (31034) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116064)

First - I will not buy CD's that I cannot copy songs from into iTunes (thus move to my MP3 player etc...).

Two - The Rolling Stones suck!

Re:Two things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116110)

-1 Retard

The Stones rule!

Re:Two things (1)

Hilleh (561336) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116133)

Rolling Stones suck, eh? Do you honestly think people will be listening to Linkin Park in 25 years? Or the latest "fresh beats" by Generic Rapper? Face it dude, the classics are forever. *Goes back to broadcasting Zeppelin on his shoutcast station while ripping his friend's new Pink Floyd CD* Sony must love me :).

Re:Two things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116156)

I admire your stubbornness, and dedication to the boycott. But remember. If you can hear it, you can copy it. There isn't anything RIAA can do to really stop people from ripping the songs. True it's a bit harder to copy it into a MP3 from a CD but you can. Once it's done in MP3, that's all they wrote. They lost.

Yamaha CD Writer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116067)

Recent Yamaha CDRW drives can do watermarks on CDs, wonder if this is the same thing.

Innovation (2, Insightful)

batboy78 (255178) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116079)

Companies like Sony are spending all their time trying to make music "safe from piracy" that their hasn't been any useful upgrades to the CDR technology, other then 40X CD-Burners where is the next step? Blue-Laser? High-density CDR's?

Re:Innovation (2)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116265)

DVD-R seems like a useful upgrade to CD-R. But copying those 27GB Blu-Ray discs might be a problem if The Man never makes any Blu-Ray-ROM or Blu-Ray-R drives.

Mac Hall attacks! (2, Informative)

Hilleh (561336) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116080)

The excellent comic strip, Mac Hall [machall.com] , started a series of comics about this complete bullshit on monday. And I was just about to buy a new discman too..... What brands are "safe" to buy?

Re:Mac Hall attacks! (1)

xmnemonic (603000) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116197)

Excellent? Come on, the artwork is good, but they are rarely actually funny. Penny Arcade is far better.

The labels seem to have forgotten... (1)

sailor420 (515914) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116081)

While this seems like a pretty good idea, the labels seem to have forgotten... As long as the music can be listened to, it can be copied.

It doesnt take much to run a line out to a computer and record the input to whatever format suits your fancy. Sure, not as easy, and not *as* good sound, but it sure isnt bad, and it isnt hard either.

Whoops. There goes their vaunted Copy Protection. And Im probably in violation of the DMCA, too.

Re:The labels seem to have forgotten... (1)

saarbruck (314638) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116142)

they haven't forgotten at all... that's what the SSSCA and CBDTPA [slashdot.org] are all about: plugging confounding analog hole.

If they could silently slip copy protection into all the hardware don't you think they'd do that, too?

Re:The poster seems to have forgotten... (1)

sam31415 (558641) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116225)

...the `Digital' in the DMCA. Yes, there is an analog hole; no, the DMCA doesn't stop you from using it. I do agree that the labels seem to have forgotten about this for now, but given the current apparent stranglehold on Congress, can the AMCA be far behind?

How long... (0)

gearheadsmp (569823) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116083)

Until DePSP is published?

oh yeah? (3, Interesting)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116084)

If sacd becomes widespread, undoubtedly they'll make sacd-rom. When that happens, either they won't play, or they'll play right on to "pirates'" harddrives.

If they make drivers that prevent that, then the /. crew will find a way around it, or cry bloody murder (or both), a la CSS. If they don't make sacdrom, *I'll* cry bloody murder, because the only optical reader I have is connected to my 2nd IDE channel (and besides, audio-out --> line-in fixes that issue no problem)

Re:oh yeah? (1)

mstrjon32 (542309) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116120)

SACD's are pressed on DVD media. I would imagine that it wouldn't be too difficult to copy the SACD layer onto a blank DVD-R and then perhaps a mod-chipped SACD player could be used to playback/copy the disc. You should be able to read the disk in any DVD-ROM, of course you probably won't be able to do anything with it...yet. If the format catches on (and I hope it does!) then eventually a method will be developed by someone to copy the discs. SACD's should make for some high quality AAC mp4's...I must say.

pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116226)

SACD-rom would be pointless. DVD-rom hasn't even caught on yet, so why would they need a SACD-ROM, well i guess they could waste money....

SACD, DVD, Audio DVD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116086)

What happened to Audio DVD's. This looks like a DVD backword compatible with CD.

WhatMeWorry?

audiophiles use records (if they can be found) (0)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116089)

cd's have been intentionally made shitty to avoid the copying of perfect quality. I fucking hate the greedy people in this country. No wonder it's going to hell in a handbasket.

Greed != Good (or Greed Good for you ASP types)

Sony = Lick me where I pee. (2, Informative)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116092)

I have seen more articles on Sony and their attempts at denying the right of fair use then I care to.

Celine be damned, the software that comes with the new Sony PCs, and their mp3 'solution' on the the minidisk player. ect, ect. Whatever. I haven't been buying Sony's overpriced crap-tronics, or their over-hyped and under-talented CDs and I won't be in the future.

The giant will never fall unless *everyone* throws stones.

Re:Sony = Lick me where I pee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116103)

Sony = Lick me where I pee.

Your vagina?

Re:Sony = Lick me where I pee. (0, Flamebait)

Lochin Rabbar (577821) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116166)

If you think women pee from their vaginas I guess you'll need a roadmap to find a clitoris.

Re:Sony = Lick me where I pee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116202)

Actually they do. You may as well call the location where the urethra ends the vagina. After all, the clitoris in a male turns into a dick, and the urethra is right below it in a female.

Independent recording? (5, Insightful)

Space Coyote (413320) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116094)

Is the watermark system going to affect how people produce music? Say for example, the SACD format becomes adopted as the standard audio format. If I own a small record label, how am I supposed to distribute my bands' music? Will I have to pay some arbitrary royalty fee to someone like Sony just so people can listen to music? Will such fees and required equipment make the barrier to entry for the recording business significantly higher? This kind of thing affects many more people than just your average slashdotter with an mp3 habbit.

Re:Independent recording? (5, Informative)

tato (and tato only) (525054) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116139)

If this law [slashdot.org] is passed, it will be a felony even to try to produce works in this format without a license, and there will be no obligation for a license to be made available to your small label at any price. Small labels and independent artists lose.

Keep your unimpaired CD players, people.

Re:Independent recording? (2)

RaboKrabekian (461040) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116249)

I think if SA-CD ever becomes a defacto standard, you'll see players that are backward compatible with CD-ROMs. There's no way that the majority of people are going to replace hjuge CD collections with SA-CDs.

That being said, the quality of the standard CD format is more than enough for home recording, I would think.

haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116098)

Don't expect to be able to play or reproduce these on your computer anytime soon.

HAHA haha HAHA

Unless there won't be any SACD-ROMs (because, um, nobody gives a fuck about a new music format copying is inevitable. Idiot submitter.

Re:haha (2)

Unknown Lamer (78415) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116172)

Not really...the discs have a physical watermark, so you could rip them with a sacd player (you can try to prevent ripping, but someone will always find away around it). The big thing is that you won't be able to burn SACDs because of the watermark. So, you'll be able to rip but not burn. Just get a portable ogg player whenever they get released (since vorbis supports an abitrary number of channels encoding those 5.1 streams should work, right?) or an mp3 player now. But then you'll lose the extra quality (mp3 can't use greater than 32-bits per sample, right? I have no idea). I really need to read more on what vorbis can do (it works for me now, so I don't have much of an urge to), but I bet it can (or will) be able to encode > 32-bits per sample (at least for input).

Re:haha (2)

Latent IT (121513) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116228)

Of course, SACD players play regular CD's... so uh... like Apple says, Rip, Mix, Burn.

*shrug*

Slashdot Loves Sony.... (0, Troll)

tealover (187148) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116099)

Because they make DVD players and PS2s, so I'm sure no one here will be bothered by Sony's actions.

Were Microsoft doing this type of underhanded business.....man, we wouldn't hear the end of it.

I just despise the hypocrisy of

a) the slashdot crew, who continue to lionize certain companies because of their products, while on the other hand they purport to be highly idealized young men who are fighting against the business practices, often led by these very same companies, which conspire to deprive all of us.

and

b) the slashdot readers who are often as bad as the slashdot crew.

Guys, you can't attack Microsoft and then go shovel Sony equipment in your homes because they look nice. You either take a stand all the way or shut the hell up.

Re:Slashdot Loves Sony.... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116122)

Sony are as evil as microsoft. They seek to control as much as possible of formats and standards.

Re:Slashdot Loves Sony.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116132)

Maybe you should read the other comments before you post. Nobody is supporting Sony. Maybe you won't buy anything without a Sony label, but don't assume everyone else is the same.

YHBT, YHL, HAND (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116231)

no text

Re:Slashdot Loves Sony.... (0)

byran lei (517143) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116163)

> Because they make DVD players and PS2s, so I'm sure no one here will
>be bothered by Sony's actions.
>
>
Why should it bother us? You can *STILL* make a copy of the music from the damn thing and it lets you RIAA and Microsoft supporter to continue deluding yourself that here people give a shit about you.

Re:Slashdot Loves Sony.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116168)

holy agreeing batman! That is the reason i own a gamecube, and thats it! not that PS2 doesnt have kickass games, which it does, but i choose to support a real game company that actually has ETHICS (a rare word in today's buisness environment)

WTF? Standards anyone? (1)

Dr.Zong (584494) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116100)

What about the Orange Book standard for CD's. Are they stamping a "Compact Disc" logo on it? 'cause they sure as hell are compliant if that's the case. Maybe someone should let Philips know... they might be interested in Sony's misadventures.

Re:WTF? Standards anyone? (3, Informative)

Hollins (83264) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116115)

Phillips collaborated with Sony on this. They share the licensing rights.

They will stamp both CD and SACD on the Rolling Stones CDs, since they play on both types of players. IF the format catches on, expect future releases to work on on SACD.

Re:WTF? Standards anyone? (3, Insightful)

flonker (526111) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116135)

You missed a word. IF the format catches on, expect future releases to work on an SACD ONLY.

Don't worry! (3, Funny)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116101)

Sony is just exercising their Freedom to Innovate(tm). Really! Just remember, whenever a technology company comes out with something new, even if it's actually subtracting value from technology you already have, and even if you don't really want it, it's innovation. And we all know that innovation is good.

Stop fair use! Innovate!.

Re:Don't worry! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116173)

they have the freedom to innovate

we have the right to stop buying their crap.

some other company will come along and see an oportunity.

two-layer media (3, Interesting)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116104)

Someone has tested the quality of CD layer on two-layer media, and noticed that it was noticeably worse than a single layer CD. Much higher error rate.

My undestanding of SACD is that it does not have a watermark but rather some encoding scheme which prevents it from being decoded. This is DVD-A which has a watermark.

Both formats may be marginally better than CD (there are mix opinions on this matter). Seems like that the properly mastered CD sounds just fine. Rolling Stones recordings certainly need new remastering, incidently I got rid of my CD Rolling Stones because coudln't stand the sound ('brittle highs'), but once again, that was not a CD limitation per se, but very bad mastering. Even so, I'm not going to jump into the SACD bandwagon because both SACD and DVD-A are mostly a gimmick and its real purpose is to introduce a built-in copy protection you can't defeat.

Re:two-layer media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116243)

People will get around SACD copy protection by mod-chipping the players.

Copying SACD hybrid discs (1)

RangerSpeedBumpp (250645) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116106)

I don't see what the problem is - this is a hybrid format playable just like regular discs. The disc just contains a second layer with higher-resolution audio. As an audiophile I think this is a good thing, especially since you'll still be able to rip your low-quality mp3 files from low-quality CD.

Re:Copying SACD hybrid discs (1)

MrOutlander (214901) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116144)

The problem is, Sony are trying to totally control the format that we have for audio. Standards and formats should not be controlled by a single corporation that will change/alter the format specs in order to gain more profits for themselves rather than to make a format better for the people. We need to steer clear of these corporations and whatever they create if it in any way takes control out of the peoples' hands.

Standards should be entirely open and free, and not decided by meglomaniacal corporations.

Well (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116210)

Once the Red Book patents expire, we will have an "open" standard. Don't forget that at the moment the CD is controlled by Sony and Philips.

forest and trees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116258)

the problem is that, yes these are hybrid discs now, in an effort to switch the market to the SACD format upon which they can slowly phase out the lower quality cd layer and viola. watermarking and indefeatable copy protection. so no one will be able to make any copies (aside from the analog hole), and fair use goes to hell. so are you just ignorant of the glaring problem, or myopic to the extent that 'as an audiophile' is really just a euphimism for 'i am a flaming asshole with no regard for the rights of anyone but myself'?

scratches? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116111)

so what happens when a scratch somehow obscures the watermark? on a regular cd you'd end up having a song or two skip/not play....on these I'm assuming it won't even read the disk

Re:scratches? (1)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116233)

watermarks are not encryption, where a messed up byte can screw everything. if one watermark gets messed up there will undoubtedly be others still intact. Hell, the watermark could even be an image when the data is manipulated correctly. If the image on the SACD is close enough to what it should be, it passes and the disk plays.

Vote with your wallet (1)

horse (70241) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116117)

If you don't like this (I don't), there is a simple recourse: stop buying their music.

There are enough old CDs and other sources of music to last me a long time...

Mod Chip (1)

HimalayanRoadblock (601900) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116118)

Mod chip for the player. I know pre-modded DVD players are quite a good selling product. 1st gen will probably be solder, but 2nd and 3rd will be plug and play or flash rom upload.

Re:Mod Chip (1)

HimalayanRoadblock (601900) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116162)

And since DVD-R drives are like 300$ now, I'm sure somebody could(read:WILL) find a way to copy the discs, albeit requiring a computer. But that's both ends of Sony's new security program, and I'm not even getting paid for this.

SONY, LAWMAKERS: THINK!!! (5, Funny)

edrugtrader (442064) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116119)

this point has been brought up 20,000 times so i'll try not to rant too much... if you can play it, and listen to it, you can record it.

sure you can't go digital to digital, but a couple good 24/96 digital to analog converters will make your copy sound nearly exact (if not completely exact)... if *1* person has the technology to copy the sound professionally (with no loss) into a digital medium, then everyone might as well have it, because the second that 1 person distributes the file, it is out there for everyone. (this includes they guy that works at the cd press shop and has access to the masters)

YOU CAN'T COPY-PROTECT MUSIC.

YOU CAN'T COPY-PROTECT VIDEO.

YOU CAN'T COPY-PROTECT CowboyNeal

Re:SONY, LAWMAKERS: THINK!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116170)

Sony makes DVD players with digital audio out. High end sound cards have digital audio in. You don't even have to go between digital and analog to copy, thanks to equiptment that Sony (and plenty of other manufacturers) sells. If SACD is adopted as the standard, I'll just get a SACD DVD player with digital out. I don't need professional equiptment.

Re:SONY, LAWMAKERS: THINK!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116203)

How do you know they can't COPY-PROTECT CowboyNeal. Weird things are going on these days! Watch out!

The key issue is labelling and freedom to choose (1)

anomalousman (316636) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116130)

Whether or not some company adds "feature X" to a CD player is not a problem, even if we don't want that feature. There will always be a market for the uncrippled players, so the uncrippled formats will survive.

As someone posted, if you can hear the music, you can copy the music anyway, so it's not even as if the distribution format of desirable content can control the market heavily.

The only possible problems here are legislation-enforced freedom from choice, or else the sneaky proliferation of devices with these cripple features. What is essential is enforced labeling of the affected drives so that we know what we're buying.

SACD, mp3, and more (5, Insightful)

cheinonen (318646) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116134)

First, if you're mad because you can't rip your SACD to an mp3 to listen to, then you're totally missing the point. Go buy a CD for that, it'll rip just fine, you can listen to it on your iPod, and everyone is happy. The point of buying something on SACD is to have far better sound quality, not to compress it down. SACD's secondary layer uses a DVD to hold the information, so that's 4.7 gigs of audio for the same amount of tracks.


The idea of buying something to listen to on your iPod, or in your car, or on your computer that is SACD makes no sense. You're going to have hardware that is holding you back far more than the qualify of the medium. Unless you're listening on a computer with a really nice DAC and some Grado RS1 headphones, you can probably stick to CD audio or mp3's and notice not much difference. However, if you are listening on a real stereo with decent speakers, then listening to a well made SACD compared to a CD will blow you away.


If I want to make a backup copy of my music, I can buy a copy on CD since I'm not going to be able to make a copy of a SACD myself anytime soon. To me, the compromise of incredibly high quality sound, that does beat the high end vinyl I've listened to, and having copy protection that doesn't interfere with that sound quality is a tradeoff I'm alright with. If you're mad over not being able to rip them for mp3's, then you should just buy the CD.

Grado?! Get Sennheiser! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116176)

This is what you need, the Sennheiser Orpheus [sennheiserusa.com] electrostatic headphones!

What a deal, at only $14,900 US!

Put me down for 3!

Re:SACD, mp3, and more (2, Interesting)

Tyrall (191862) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116205)

I believe you're missing the point.

If I want to make a backup copy of my music, I can buy a copy on CD since I'm not going to be able to make a copy of a SACD myself anytime soon.
SACDs supposedly play in regular CD players as a regular CD, and are only 'fully featured' in SACD players.
How long will it be I wonder before you can't buy a 'regular' CD?
If the only way to purchase a digital copy (can you even buy cassettes any more?) of an artist's work is on SACD, and to most consumers it's the same difference, I would venture not long.

Re:SACD, mp3, and more (5, Insightful)

Amoeba (55277) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116209)

You said:

If I want to make a backup copy of my music, I can buy a copy on CD since I'm not going to be able to make a copy of a SACD myself anytime soon.

Ya know, I though that same thing too.... initially. See, the problem is what happens when the day arrives that the only format available in drives and media is SACD? Can't make archival exact copies of your own media. Can't get a replacement for the disc if gets scratched. So much for Fair Use.

And that's my problem with it. Call me kooky but I'm wary of companies that try the "Oooh.. look over there, SHINY!" distraction tactic while they take away my money/rights/stuff. Sony has lots of practice in that particular area.

Amoeba

Re:SACD, mp3, and more (5, Insightful)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116256)

>However, if you are listening on a real stereo with decent speakers, then listening to a well made SACD compared to a CD will blow you away.

Are you sure about that? Until I see a few double blind ABX tests comparing a SACD with a CD mastered from the same source, I'm going to have to consider it all marketing. "Ooh! This format can store *four times* more sound than the human ear can discern, where a CD can just produce a little more than anyone can possibly hear!"

Bleah.

This is the same as with DVD (1)

malraid (592373) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116141)

Sony is bringing up a new (and improved) technology. They HAVE the right to protect their IP. If the technology is good, as with DVD, it will catch on. Of course someone will come out with a way around to copy protection just as with DVD's region code. I believe that this is the true right to innovate.

Re:This is the same as with DVD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116198)

right to innovate

thats someone's IP, you didn't come up with it, COPYRIGHT VIOLATION!

AND even if you did come up with it, you're using english, and i copywrited that 74 years ago, so even still COPYRIGHT VIOLATION! you've got another year till you can speak english

I say well done. (1)

The_Guv'na (180187) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116143)


Better quality and preventing piracy [though perhaps also some "fair use"].

There's really not much to complain about here as things stand, although what about royalties? Can people trust Sony not to screw people with fees for distribution by SACD?

Ali

It won't take too long... (1)

tuxlove (316502) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116146)

before people come up with ways to make digital copies of SACDs. When that happens, I'll buy them. Until then, they can suck dust. I do not play music from physical media any more. When I buy a disc, I copy it to my file server and store it away in the basement in a crate full of all my other previously-ripped CDs.

mp3 players (1)

DavidLeblond (267211) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116149)

I guess I spent $150 on an MP3 player for nothing. Damn.

$10 says SACDs will cost even MORE too.

Not that bad... (2, Insightful)

Hex4def6 (538820) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116151)

Sure its another CD format, but the bait that they plan on using to lure conumers is the improvements that SACD has over the traditional format, such as 5.1 souround sound. That is pretty cool, admit it :).

Re:Not that bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116241)

i havent listened to 5.1 audio (music at lease), but it seems that music is music, and unless it needs position (ie movies) i dont see a purpose

Sigh... (1)

I Love this Company! (547598) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116157)

I don't know why the record companies bother anymore. Sure, it may stop the casual copier, but the protection *WILL* be cracked by someone determined enough, for better or for worse. If it comes down to it a line-in to a sound card is sufficient.

Nothing new.

Sounds great... (2)

aralin (107264) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116158)

Hey, the format sounds great. Could you guys wait a little before it will be widespread to publish the crack to decrypt the music in DVD players? I would really love CDs to get distributed with 5.1 surround. Its was about time to get good 2.8Mhz bitrate too :)
Basicly, don't tell these guys too soon or you ruin it all...

haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116161)

this is awesome! but I think dvd-audio is much better........ DVD AUDIO RULES!~

Riiiight (0, Redundant)

machine of god (569301) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116165)

The sound still has to come out of it though. This still won't stop me from putting an audio jack from my discman to my computer, and then ripping it from there. Nor will it stop anyone else, which means I will still be able to download whatever they have locked up so tightly. It's moot and stupid.

From the department of redundancy department.

No real problem (3, Insightful)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116167)

Give it a few years, some manufacturer in china will release a combo DVD/DIVX/WMA/OGG/SACD/CD player with digital out.

Oops! Another brilliant copy protection scheme bypassed.

confusion... (0, Redundant)

z01d (602442) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116171)

is there anyone can explain to me how come the Music Industry think they can prevent CD copy? i always think i can play it thru speaker, then record it as any format i like, or be more professional, rent a recording studio...

There is a diagram of (5, Informative)

eclectro (227083) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116177)



how it works here [philips.com]

Meant to stop mass piracy operations...? (3, Insightful)

hattig (47930) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116179)

The physical watermarking on these SACDs actually looks more like a method to prevent mass piracy of SACDs, which apparently sound a lot better, have more features (5.1 channel sound?) higher resolution, etc.

SACD players can play your normal CDs just fine, there is no forced upgrade inherent in the technology, and there is backwards compatibility using the hybrid disks with a CD stereo audio layer.

Real issues are the lack of a standard digital output on current SACD players - there is a proprietary one which will presumably connect to DACs that also implement the proprietary interface and will not provide a raw digital bitstream.

As I buy all my music (well, most of it) I am not too worried. And as everybody has said, you can record it once it is a sound wave at the very worst.

If you want to make your own music, record it on a CD - you aren't in a worse position than before...

Now the real issue is what will happen once SACD has taken over... will new players suddenly stop supporting CDs, forcing music upgrades? ...

Re:Meant to stop mass piracy operations...? (3, Informative)

Amoeba (55277) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116266)

SACD players can play your normal CDs just fine, there is no forced upgrade inherent in the technology,

For now. It's not being forced upon us, it's being snuck in quietly.

there is backwards compatibility using the hybrid disks with a CD stereo audio layer.

For now. You need a carrot on the end of that stick.

If you want to make your own music, record it on a CD - you aren't in a worse position than before..

For now. God forbid the content-cartels have *any* competition. Or do you think it's just a coincidence that along with our Fair Use rights the big media companies are pushing to restrict even our ability to produce content without them getting a slice of the action?

Now the real issue is what will happen once SACD has taken over... will new players suddenly stop supporting CDs, forcing music upgrades? ...

You really think this won't happen? I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that this is what they will push for.

Call me a cynic but I can't be the only one that sees where this all can lead.

Seen these... (1, Interesting)

bomb_number_20 (168641) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116180)

I was at my local Tower Records a month or so ago and saw several SACD players and a small section devoted exclusively to the cd's themselves.

I wasn't very impressed. The price on the players seemed reasonable- considering they are a new technology, but the price on the cd's was ~$30 each. minimum.

What I got from reading the cd covers is that most of the cd's seemed to be recorded in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround or DTS, much like dvds. To me, it's still not worth it.

I will gladly pay $30 for a dvd of a movie I like, but there is no way in hell I'm going to pay that much for a cd- especially when I only like 2 or 3 songs on the disc. I don't care how good it sounds. The difference, to me, is that with a movie I get superior sound (for some movies) and eye candy to boot. Plus, I like the WHOLE movie- which equates to more bang for my buck.

I never understood why they don't release albums (do people still call them that?) on dvd.

On the upside, I remember when I got Skinny Puppy's 'The Process' and being blown away because it was recorded in Dolby Surround. I thought to myself, 'wow- they should do this on dvd'. Imagine what minds like that could do with this stuff (well, if they were still around).

There could be some really interesting music in the future if this catches on. So, as much as I don't like it, I think it could fuel the imagination machine in really cool ways.

It's still too damn expensive for me, though.

Honky Tonk Women (-1)

The Lyrics Guy (539223) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116183)

The Rolling Stones are quite possibly the best rock band EVER.

The Rolling Stones - HONKY TONK WOMAN
(Jagger/Richards)

I met a gin soaked, bar-room queen in Memphis,
She tried to take me upstairs for a ride.
She had to heave me right across her shoulder
'Cause I just can't seem to drink you off my mind.

It's the honky tonk women
Gimme, gimme, gimme the honky tonk blues.

I laid a divorcee in New York City,
I had to put up some kind of a fight.
The lady then she covered me with roses,
She blew my nose and then she blew my mind.

It's the honky tonk women
Gimme, gimme, gimme the honky tonk blues.

(Yeah!) It's the honky tonk women.
Gimme, gimme, gimme the honky tonk blues.

(Yeah!) It's the honky tonk women.
Gimme, gimme, gimme the honky tonk blues.

Way back when... (3, Interesting)

Mulletproof (513805) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116188)

They don't seem to realize they're still going to be screwed. I guess none of these people were alive back before digital ripping became popular... Or maybe it's just they've all had lobotomies, because myself and many others were creating high quality analog rips back in "the day". All you need is a player, recording source and an RCA cable. Did it all the time with my Minidisk player. You don't even need skill since most players come equipped with line-out jacks. It won't be as fast, but once you get the copy onto the computer, it's over.

As to the "Don't expect to be able to play or reproduce these on your computer anytime soon" bit, does anyone honestly believe that? And how fast was the last so called unbreakable copy protection cracked? Riiiigggt. It's DATA. 1's and 0's? Here's a clue:

Q. Can I play SACDs in my CD player and/or DVD player?

A. The CD-compatible layer of hybrid SACDs can be played in all CD players and some DVD players. Single and dual layer discs can be played in a SACD player only.

Subtext: My CDROM can read it, they're screwed.

Q. What's the difference between single layer, dual layer and hybrid SACDs?

A. A single layer disc contains the DSD high resolution signal only. This may include both a stereo and multichannel signal. A dual layer disc contains two high resolution layers for nearly twice the length of music. Both single and dual layer SACDs can be played in a SACD player only. A hybrid disc contains a sandwich of a CD-compatible layer and a single high resolution layer for optimum playback in both CD and SACD players. Sometimes hybrid SACDs are incorrectly referred to as dual layer.

Subtext: So either way, I'm getting a high quality signal, just the dual layer can store more stuff ala DVD and can be only read by SACD players. I assume all discs are slated to be dual layer, market penetration providing, but then all resteraunts are suppose to be Taco Bell too.

Personally, and I'm sure bunch o' people agree with me-- I don't want another disk-like product. I want it digitally. No skipping, take it where I want, total flexibility. But then, the recording industry isn't about your flexibility. It's about their pockets and your cash in it.

Copy protection only digital (2, Redundant)

Devil's BSD (562630) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116191)

As long as there are ways to plug headphones in, there's no way to stop copying. For example, if you hook up your SACD player to your home theater reciever, you could potentially hook up your computer to the headphone jack of the reciever to record it using analog, or use a Toslink cable to record it using pseudo-digital (the SACD to reciever connection is most likely analog). It just takes longer, but it's still possible to copy a CD.

Gimmie Shelter (-1)

The Lyrics Guy (539223) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116196)

The Stones.. best band ever?

The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter
(M. Jagger/K. Richards)

Oh, a storm is threat'ning
My very life today
If I don't get some shelter
Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away

War, children, it's just a shot away
It's just a shot away
War, children, it's just a shot away
It's just a shot away

Ooh, see the fire is sweepin'
Our very street today
Burns like a red coal carpet
Mad bull lost its way

War, children, it's just a shot away
It's just a shot away
War, children, it's just a shot away
It's just a shot away

Rape, murder!
It's just a shot away
It's just a shot away

Rape, murder!
It's just a shot away
It's just a shot away

Rape, murder!
It's just a shot away
It's just a shot away

The floods is threat'ning
My very life today
Gimme, gimme shelter
Or I'm gonna fade away

War, children, it's just a shot away
It's just a shot away
It's just a shot away
It's just a shot away
It's just a shot away
I tell you love, sister, it's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
It's just a kiss away
Kiss away, kiss away

Favorite line (3, Interesting)

xpccx (247431) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116208)

Emphasis is mine...
Ordinary CDs can transmit frequencies as high as 22 kilohertz, or 22,000 vibrations per second (44,100 divided by two).
Last I checked 44,100 divided by two was 22,050. If the author wasn't going to mention Nyquist, why bother mentioning that 44.1kHz > 2*20kHz?

Some useful info I read on 44.1kHz here [jthz.com] .

44.1kHz was chosen to fit a digital audio signal onto video tape, in the area used to store the picture. Video was the digital audio storage medium before we had CD, and the rate of 44.1 is a logical result of that and the need for a safe rate that could include up to 20kHz, which was considered to be the human threshold of hearing back then. The first rate that simply worked (and was interchangeable with video, since CD-mastering was done on video) was 44.1 The 44100 Hertz comes from the calculation using video-frames, where you can have 3 samples per field of 490/2 lines;
3 x 245 x 60 Hz = 44100 Hz
Oh yeah, down with Sony!

Fine, but this encourages unauthorized MP3 use. (0, Redundant)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116211)


When audio players can't play the songs, the only rememdy for users is to get the MP3, and burn themselves another CD with the music they otherwise can't listen to even though they purchased something that should give them the right to.

Don't think that nobody will just patch the audio over to their PC and record - that analog hole hasn't been patched. Therefore all the songs should be available on any major P2P network fairly quickly.

Ryan Fenton

What about digital outs? (2)

asv108 (141455) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116223)

What about the fiber optic and coax digital outs on my receiver? Can't I just plug the SACD in to my receiver and plug the output in to my Audigy? Its not nearly as convenient has a CD-RIP, but it can still be done and distributed with P2P.

Sheep follow me (0, Offtopic)

attobyte (20206) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116224)

bhhaaaaaaaa bhhaaaaaaaaa bhaaaaaaaaaaa

Come this way

bhhaaaaaaaa bhaaaaaaaaaa bhaaaaaaa

magic marker (2, Funny)

pmineiro (556272) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116227)

the magic marker is increasingly becoming the h4x0rs tool of choice.

clearly, they will be illegal soon.

-- p

So it just makes it harder to copy music... (1)

Pyrion (525584) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116242)

This isn't going to stop people from introducing analog loops to copy music. They'd just need to hook up the output of a SACD player to the Line In of a computer and record. The sound quality may not be all that great but it's not like you can fit perfect sound quality into a 128kbps CBR MP3 anyway.

The Truth on SACD (3, Informative)

zygan (100177) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116246)

The recording industry is run by morons, make no mistake of that, but SACD does have quite a few technical advantages.

1) Essentially it's a brand new technology. It doesn't use PCM that everything now uses (including DVD-A). It uses a formula called DSD ( Direct Stream Digital ). It's designed to give a direct representation of the orginal analogue signal using a one bit protocol. It tries very hard to avoid the decimation artifacts that are part of the PCM process.
2)1) It has a sampling rate far in excess of standard cd's.
64* 44100 = 2.8224Mhz/s

3) SACD isn't like DVD-A in that you HAVE to have a DVD-A player to play back the audio, It is a dual layer format that has standard red book audio on one layer and the SACD audio on another layer. (It also has multi-channel capability ). To play the SACD part though you do have to have a player capable of reading the DSD info stored on the disk.

Yes, I know this sounds like a Sony Ad, it is the way that audio needs to go, as far as quality goes. CD's are really bad in comparison. If you can't hear the difference between SACD and red book, then your ears need checking.

As far the copying issue goes...If it can be listened to..it can be copied in some way.

How is this going to stop copying? (2)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116247)

I don't get it.

The Napster users of the world are, for the most part, satisfied with the sound of .mp3's. Which is noticeably lower-fi than the original CD.

Sony's assumption seems to be that restricting the copying of the SACD layer will accomplish something.

But if people are satisfied with the sound of .mp3's, why would they care whether they are capturing the CD layer or the SACD layer?

SWEET! (2)

yeoua (86835) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116248)

So when can i expect to find such awesome quality mp3 rips of this stuff on kazaa?

Not a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4116252)

Analog outputs?...I've got a 24-bit capable recording soundcard (no, it's not an Audigy). As long as it has analog outputs I can record it no problem.

Noise in the outputs? damn, professional souncards are so good these days that I would have to do a few passes before I start to notice the added distortion.

Pretty clever.... (5, Informative)

GRH (16141) | more than 12 years ago | (#4116254)

For those of you more interested in the tech than the politics, I'll try to explain how I believe SACD works.

First off, this is not a new concept. Manufactuers in another industry (AC induction motor speed control) came across this same idea over 10 years ago. Except they call it PWM (pulse width modulation). Anyway, to control the speed of an AC motor the frequency of power applied needs to be varied from the baseline of 60Hz (50 Hz in many other areas of the world). These manufacturers were concerned with 2 things: 1) An accurate reproduction of a sine wave, 2) maximum efficiency (since inefficiency generates heat).

The way PWM (and SACD) works is that the output to the motor (or speaker) can only be ON or OFF. THat's right, it's "true" digital. Each sample interval (2.8 MHz) only holds one piece of info, ON or OFF. So how does this produce good quality analog waveforms? Well, motors (and speakers) are largely inductors and electrically speaking, current cannot instantly change in an inductor. So, when an ON pulse is sent, the voltage immediately spikes, but the nominal current only rises a slight amount in the period that the pulse was in the on state for. If the next period interval has a 0 coded (OFF), then the nominal current will decrease a bit. Thus, by sending pulses in this fashion, it is possible to "steer" the current and output to the motor (or speaker).

It may sound like a crude joke, but believe me, on an oscilloscope this method (PWM or SACD) is much superior to the older methods used. Yes, the motor guys used to do it the way current CDs are too, but they paid a huge efficiency penalty and the results were not as good to boot.

If your an audiophile type of guy, look up Class D amplifiers, which use a similar technique to improve efficiency.

The only drawback that occurred with motor control is that these Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) cause a characteristic motor whine that is the carrier (or sampling) frequency. This was quite obvious in the first drives which could only muster about 1kHz. However, improvements in the switching transistors have raised this to 12kHz and higher. So, the audible whine is disappearing. Don't worry about whine with SACD. It would occur at 2.8MHz, and I doubt if you could hear that!

Overall, I'd say this has potential (if only from a technical point of view) because it does not need any D/A convertors or filters and only uses switching transistors in the output, which are much easier to keep matched.

There's a bit more at http://www.avguide.com/newsletter/AVg_051502/howto _sacd.jsp [avguide.com] but it's kind of fluffy.

Greg
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