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During the last decade a lot of attempts to improve audio quality and improve sales of audio equipment were made, but virtually all of them were not successful. Sony has decided to offer yet another technology that can, according to the firm, improve quality of conventional audio CDs.

Sales of audio CDs have been declining for several years now since they cannot offer much higher sound quality compared to MP3 records sold by online stores like Amazon or iTunes. More advanced standards, such as super audio CD or DVD audio have not become popular, whereas Blu-ray disc audio is not used by anyone at all. Sony on Wednesday introduced its so-called Blu-spec CD standard, which, while maintaining compatibility with existing CD equipment promises higher quality of audio.

The Blu-spec CD uses blue laser instead of infra-red laser for recording, which automatically means more accurate data pits, which causes less distortion in the optical read-out process. According to Sony, this should improve quality of audio even on already available CD players.

Since standard-wise Blu-spec CD is just a CD with different recording technology, the discs themselves will still hold 650MB – 700MB of data, even though theoretically it is possible to expand the capacity to 800MB or even beyond, but compromise compatibility with certain players or drives.

The reasons why Sony decided to implement blue-laser diode (BLD) recording technology is simple: the company needs to unify replication equipment for various media and using blue-laser diodes is one of the ways to do that. In theory, Sony can also introduce Blu-spec DVD over time, if it finds it necessary. It should be kept in mind that BLDs are more expensive than infra-red lasers, which will inevitably be translated onto the end-user price.

The first 60 pre-recorded Blu-spec CD titles will be available late in December, 2008. The price of such discs will be in the range of ¥2500 - ¥4200 ($25.5 - $42.8), which is considerably higher than the price of CDs recorded with infra-red laser.

Blu-spec CD is a trademark of Sony, which means that such discs will only be available from its recording companies.

Tags: Sony, Blu-ray, Blu-spec CD

Discussion

Comments currently: 2
Discussion started: 11/05/08 07:57:01 PM
Latest comment: 11/07/08 05:46:59 AM

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1. 
Sales of audio CDs have been declining for several years now since they cannot offer much higher sound quality compared to MP3 records sold by online stores...

This is very stupid if anybody knows what I mean. How come an uncompressed audio sound worst than MP3. I have heard the difference of uncompressed audio and MP3. Uncompressed audio sounds a lot better than MP3 because nothing is being lost in the process.

Yes, audio CD sales are declining but is not the format. It is about brick 'n mortar VS e-retailers. Audio businesses have not caught on that selling individuals or singles are what the customer wants instead a complete album. Also selling products using the Internet is cheaper than selling in stores.

Sony is trying to spread the word or the ear about Blu-Ray by changing the sensor in audio CD players. This will not go far since Blu-Ray came out too late. Buying singles encoded in an lossless codec from e-retailers is what people prefer.

People stating that Sony does not own Blu-Ray is wrong. Blu-Ray was invented and invested by Sony. Sony is getting too greedy.
0 0 [Posted by: jmurbank  | Date: 11/05/08 07:57:01 PM]
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2. 
Duh... People were tired of being raped with $20 CD's and turned to the internet to get their music, whether legally or illegally. So lets tell them we've raised the quality of the music somewhat and charge them double what we were. Then tell them they MIGHT not even need a new player to listen to them with. With our track record of proprietary formats, suing customers and designing and infecting their PC's with Maleware they'll definitely trust us. Right?

This is Sony's logic?

It's an obvious ploy to sell to manufacturers these Blu-Ray recording devices that no one is buying in the retail market. AND jack up the price of CD's... again. In classic Sony style they need to take another 50% cut off the top for them because they're so smart.

I really hate Sony, they've always been about proprietary formats. Proprietary formats are there to monopolize the largest part of the market they can get away with, short of the antitrust regulators taking notice. It's always been about trying to squeeze another penny out of you and forcing you to come back to them. Not because they have a product you want but because they have a product that you need if you want what you already paid for to work.

Sony Blu-Ray is a disaster and nobody cares. It's not the jump in fidelity like VHS to DVD was and they're paying for it. Remember how they tried to push their Sony BetaMax over JVC's superior VHS? Beta was an overheating piece of junk and went the way of the 8 Track. I hope they go under and take the failures that are the BRD and PS3 with them.
0 0 [Posted by: Pixelated  | Date: 11/07/08 05:46:59 AM]
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