The Other Format War

March 9, 2008

One of the ways the music industry screwed itself was to allow the SACD vs. DVD-A format war to go unresolved: a mistake Sony understood it could not repeat in the video market.  Most music lovers who have made the comparison agree that CDs don’t sound better than the vinyl that preceded them, and it could be argued that had the music industry lined up behind a better sounding format, consumers would have been less satisfied with the further-degraded audio quality of the pirated mp3’s that have destroyed the marketplace.  With consumers used to CD’s at the high end and low bit rate mp3’s at the low end, the art of recording has suffered considerably as those consumers have lost their taste for music that isn’t compressed and processed to the absolute limit.   But now that the high definition video format war is officially over, can we please have high resolution audio – either DVD-A or SACD (the latter more likely since it was more popular and it’s Sony’s format) on our Blu-ray players?  It’s inevitable that we’ll end up with a higher quality digital format for music eventually, so please, please can we seize the moment to settle this now?