Sometimes one can't help but to look back. Perhaps it is December and one begins to realize that 2017 has passed by so fast! Many music lovers have just starting streaming Hi-Res Audio during 2017 and are rediscovering, and discovering, some great tunes. Dare we mention the massive variety of new analog hardware and software available today? Vinyl LP, reel-to-reel, cassette tape....
It should surprise no one that, in a sense, what's old may be new again as we are enjoying our music in a variety of ways. Yet there's one particular item that brings Yours Truly some serious déjà vu. It is this whole better than CD sound quality thing. So I bring you Enjoy the Music.com's Industry News for November 1999 (yes, 18 years ago!).
11 / 18 / 99
11 / 22 / 99
11 / 23 / 99
11 / 28 / 99
Warner's technology VP Jordan Rost said his company's first DVD-Audio discs will include a compressed Dolby Digital 5.1 mix playable on current DVD-Video players. Meanwhile Universal Music's production director Jim Belcher said his company is "looking at" uncompressed 96kHz/24-bit stereo PCM tracks on its future DVD-Audio discs. This could possibly spell the demise of and real mainstream acceptance Sony's new SACD format whose only real advantage seems to be the backward compatibility with legacy systems low bit and sampling rate 16-bit/44.1kHz CD systems.
"You've felt... that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad." – The Matrix (also in 1999, hmmmmmm)
Substitute a few words, perhaps change MB to GB (perhaps TB if you're reading this 18 years after 2017) and does anything seem even a teeny tiny bit familiar? Frankly, there were many, many more items I could have posted that almost seem like headlines and info from today; if you merely swap the word CD for Hi-Res Audio download, or, now on TIDAL in MQA, or Cactus Data Shield....
MP3pro -> HDCD -> DSD -> MQA (which separates the signal akin to mp3PRO)
As we all simply swap one format for another as time passes. Isn't that what many of us have done as we moved from:
Vinyl LP -> CD -> Digital Download -> Hi-Res Audio Streaming -> Vinyl LP (wait, what?)
What's old is indeed new again. Look around as people are wearing the now-fashionable ugly sweaters. But I digress, so back to audio.
Look, we all know what's going on. Or at the very least, you have some splinter in your mind of what's going on in the audio and music biz and you just want to enjoy the music on whatever format type/way it happens to be at this very moment. There's virtually never been a greater time to enjoy your tunes, be it via physical or virtual format. Vinyl playback in the main listening room. Hi-Res Audio streaming within your car. Grab your custom in-ear monitors and digital audio player for the airplane ride to ____. Sure 1999 was a great year for the early digital, and 18 years later we've come a long way in availability and music choices. What took the major music industry 18 years to adapt / adopt is a discussion for another time.
Let's all give thanks to musicians, recording/mastering engineers, equipment manufacturers, record labels, online sales/streaming music services, and many others. Something tells me that 2018 could be something quite special for music lovers worldwide. Who knows, maybe a Hi-Res Audio commercial during the Super Bowl? Maybe some popular and influential people breaking out the promotion to finally move mainstream music lovers into re-discovering their fave tunes? How is Big Industry going to get everyone excited about Hi-Res Audio? Is Sony going to give more than a mere two minutes during their CES keynote to Hi-Res Audio (not musical light bulbs and/or a Hi-Res Audio... $400... wait for it.... turntable).
Yes, a $400 Sony Hi-Res Audio vinyl LP turntable. What's old is new again.
Are we there yet?
As always, in the end, what really matters is that you...