I realize that shameless promotion is part of writing about the music industry, but is it really so hard to understand why DVD-Audio hasn’t taken off? DVD-Audio discs amplify music’s sights and sounds
Unless you’re a serious audiophile, there are only two things you really need to know about DVD-Audio (DVD-A) discs. Yes, you can play them in your current DVD player, and yes, they deliver sound far superior to anything available on regular CDs.
No, they won’t work in CD players, and true, for the best DVD-A sound — advanced resolution multichannel — a DVD player with full DVD-A capabilities is required. Still, even those with modest home-theater setups (a surround-sound receiver, five speakers, and a subwoofer) will be blown away by DVD-A, which takes full advantage of the Dolby 5.1 surround-sound technology common on most DVDs.
And because they are essentially tricked-out DVDs, in addition to enhanced fidelity they can offer videos, documentaries, on-screen lyrics, commentaries, photo galleries, and snazzy features such as allowing listeners to isolate instruments or remix specific tracks. (Super Audio CD is the other high-fidelity format, though it features only music.)
Somehow, the recording industry has been unable to get this message across, which may explain why high-resolution formats like DVD-A have yet to catch on. Still, some industry types believe DVD-A discs could help boost their sagging profits. DVD-A releases aren’t yet as plentiful as CDs and DVDs, but record labels have been picking up the pace. So far many of the releases have been back-catalog items such as REM’s ”Automatic for the People,” Neil Young’s ”Harvest,” and Frank Sinatra’s ”Sinatra at the Sands with Count Basie & the Orchestra.” Some new recordings are being released on both CD and DVD-A, packaged together in special editions.
Hmmm - maybe something about the expense of new equipment and the difficulty of ripping an MP3 from a DVD-A disk would explain this? How about not falling for the same trick (buy everything all over again in yet another format) twice?