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<nettime> SONY admits that CD/44.1PCM is inferior
David Mandl on Sun, 12 Feb 2006 20:40:15 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> SONY admits that CD/44.1PCM is inferior

The people at Irdial Discs deconstruct (to put it politely) Sony's  
hype about their newest audio technology:




"...you don't have to throw out your old CDs, although once you have  
experienced SACD you may want to."


"...the true sound in every recording from the inception of digital  
mastering in the PCM era, from Betamax PCM 501 up to the CDRs and  
Exabytes that are now regularly sent to pressing plants, is now, by  
the admission of SONY lost to mankind. The true sound of these  
recordings will never EVER be heard by anyone, ever. Of course all of  
the labels that took our advice and mastered onto tape have been  
spared this disaster, but the truth is most record labels deafly  
embraced CD and digital mastering, and now, we all have to pay."


Wherever you stood in the vinyl vs. CD debate, it was not hard to see  
this coming.  For years people have been predicting (or joking) that  
the record companies would at some point try to make everyone replace  
their entire music collections *again*.  No one ever lost money  
overestimating the chutzpah of the record industry.

But much more interesting is the question about information-loss that  
Irdial alludes to above.  Will every record recorded in the last  
twenty years sound like digital garbage to listeners in 2015 (the way  
the "amazingly accurate" digital samplers of the eighties sound like  
shit now)?

There are also frightening parallels here with Nicholson Baker's  
brilliant "Double Fold" (about libraries burning gorgeous old books  
and newspapers en masse to replace them with unreadable microfilm).   
Ditto for the situation with genetically engineered crops, but I'll  
save that for another time.


Dave Mandl
dmandl {AT} panix.com
davem {AT} wfmu.org

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