2003 January 6

(entry last updated: 2003-01-06 18:27:21)

  • Paul Boutin gives a rundown on the new CD formats over at Slate. Importantly, he points out that the market seems to have already spoken on the tradeoff between computer compatibility (i.e., "RIPpability") and sound quality – coming down heavily on the side of rippability. I also recall that the audiophile magazines have told everyone to eschew the SACD players out today because, even though they are able to read conventional CDs, their sound reproduction of these "old CDs" is TERRIBLE. Hmmmm….I wonder why? (Supposedly, they’re getting better, though)

    (Note: Everyone agrees that SACD on a SACD player is fabulous, but the audiophiles seem to have some other gambit that’s also pretty good – this is a typical piece of jargon from Stereophile – this article

    As regards 16/44.1 media, well…I still prefer upsampling on both the Accuphase and the dCS 972-driven Elgar. But there wasn’t a single recording I didn’t enjoy more in SACD mode when that choice was available, and by a wide margin.

    Clearly there are some tricks out there that the audiophiles use to wring everything out of conventional CDs – but the industry probably isn’t going to promote it too much….

  • This article from Wired News discusses one of the latest reports from the Pew Internet and American Life Program – something to chew on the next time you see one of those "instant polls" online.

  • Pursuant to the posting yesterday on Sendo-Microsoft, the Slashdot cimmunity weighs in here.

  • For more details on the Pavlovich ruling, check out this entry from Bag and Baggage.

  • Ed Felten has picked up on Jack Valenti’s speed bump analogy from the article in yesterday’s NYTimes. Ed points out that this analogy exposes the flaw in the way that the DMCA "thinks" about DRM – speed bumps are not absolute proscriptions on driving, merely architectural "suggestions." This may be a rhetorical wedge that can be used to point out why absolute proscriptions on decryption/circumvention are not appropriate.

    Update: (related, sort of) Fortune has an interesting article on hair-splitting the definition of circumvention when it comes to TiVos. Slashdot discussion

    Donna Wentworth adds some more insighs

  • Another form of music trading gets coverage in the NYTimes today. Unsurprisingly, the RIAA is not terribly concerned – after all, it’s not their money!

    Bootleg trading is not as widespread as Internet file sharing, however, and it does not provoke as much concern from the music industry, which worries more about piracy, as when counterfeit CD’s and song-file downloads cut into the sales of official releases.

    Cary Sherman, president of the Recording Industry Association of America, said the association cannot determine how much bootlegging occurs. But, he said, “the piracy problem is obviously a lot larger in scope, both in the physical world and online, because more people are trading and pirating best-selling discs than bootlegs of live concerts.”

    This explains why the association has not been especially aggressive in clamping down on bootleg trading. There are practical considerations, too. Musicians must object to specific live recordings before the association will step in. While some artists might grouse about retailers who profit from selling their bootlegs, online trades rarely involve money. Artists who prosecute individual fans for merely indulging in music beyond their official CD’s would be about as cool as a Guy Lombardo record.