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  1. #26
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basite
    Well, there is still vinyl...

    *puts on flamesuit*

    but honestly, IMO, vinyl still offers the best resolution & sound quality, but I guess not everyone agrees on that...
    Indeed: please enter a dissenting vote.

    Quote Originally Posted by basite
    ...
    so to answer your question: CD's are on their way out too. Leaving you with PC stuff...
    ...
    Maybe, but don't hold your breath.

  2. #27
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    digital has almost caught up to analog in total quality. still, vinyl offers more value to those of us who will make the effort to play and maintain our LPs.

    the downloading requires a learning curve at this time (as does vinyl playback for those new to it) and makes the older audiophile/music lover hesitant to buy into it. its still under development for the consumer in terms of ease of use and cost of equipment and content.

    vinyl and digital lovers thrive on the used market for the bulk of their acquisitions, vinyl being more economical.

    in the big cities, there is a wealth of used vinyl, much in great shape. CDs are almost always more expensive used or not. plus, used CDs are harder to peruse. used sacd and dvda titles are very rare but i have found a few at good prices.

    new vinyl isnt as rare as one might expect and many times quite competitive with digital pricing. bluray players have become NEARLY ubiquitous because of the netflix phenomenon with wifi AND low pricing.

    in the meantime, i am still seeking out SACDs and DVDAs as well as the inherently hi rez vinyl.

    i am looking forward to bluray audio being mainstream and their cost normalizing.
    ...regards...tr

  3. #28
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    We won't get fooled again...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    As far as ripping is concerned, I am with copy protection on this one. Now that we have seen the devistation of the CD and DVD format behind ripping, it becomes impossible for any digital format to get to a point of maturity that LP has gotten to. Once you can rip it, then the freebie thought process just overwhelms the legit thought process. Let's face it, what we can get for free, we don't want to pay for.
    Good point, and I think Happy Camper had the right idea also.

    The music industry toasted themselves with the release of CD, and it's ever promising mantra..."Perfect Sound Forever". Well we know now that it's far from perfect, and as mentioned, can be had for free. Woops...

    If you could roll back the clock, I would bet most executives would have kept vinyl as the main format. At least this forced consumers to buy a product, and they made some money as a result. They were all toasting themselves when consumers repurchased their libraries, but then spewed when they found out about ripping. "They can what!?!..."

    Today, only one person is required to buy a CD and potentially, the rest of us can have it for free. So like Terrence said, how can anything develop when there's nothing to be gained by the companies adapting these technologies.

    The other issue is that digital still remains in it's infancy. Like a cat chasing it's tail, they are always looking for the next thing. Like most technologies, "improvements" are forever rolling. Perhaps BD has the disc solution for high rez or perhaps nobody cares and it dies on the vine. Hard to say.

    You guys know I like vinyl. These days I buy my new or used LP and rip it to my comp in FLAC format. Yes it's only 16/44.1 but hey it sounds great and prevents me from needing to buy a digital version.

    The record industry missed the boat with downloading. They thought people would want improved sound on a hard disc, turns out they want to download a file at only 128kbps.

  4. #29
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Bert,
    So much is going on with Bluray disc music, it is off your radar, and has no chance of following in the footsteps of DVD-A. There is FAR too much support for that to happen.
    well, might very well be...
    but no one actually cares except a small amount of freaks like us.
    and even if they do "care", they don't know.

    And by the time they care and/or know about blu ray audio discs, everyone is downloading music on the Internet.

    and btw: What support? "there are much titles available out there on blu ray audio?" yeah, they were there too for DVD-A and SACD, and see where they arrived now...

    Streaming is doing well, but not for high resolution music. You are overselling vinyl, that is for sure. Many of us have turned the page on that medium, and there is no chance of us going back. Digital is here to stay for the masses, and vinyl will remain a niche.
    not yet, but even you might be surprised. I mean, we can stream 1080p movies over the internet without a problem, so I guess music won't be any problem at all, just wait and see...

    alot of receivers, blu ray players, even dvd players, ... & all media servers have network connectivity, and applications for those are growing quickly...

    This is both the "problem" and the advantage of digital. it doesn't need to be on a disc. well, maybe a hard disk, but not a disc-disc, like a blu ray disc...
    why be so stuck to a medium? the masses don't want a "large collection" of discs lying around in house, and why should they? they don't care about quality, and they have everything they want on their ipod.

    What you're naming with blu ray audio is not revolutionary, it's not spectacular, it's not refreshing, it's not even new. it's just yet again "something different", "just another disc that's taking up space in my living room". Most people won't even notice it (again: except us, audio nuts...).
    Face it: for the masses, at the moment there are 2 options: "cd's" or "can I download it for my ipod?", and indeed, that small (but growing) niche market of vinyl nuts (I must admit: like me).

    so again, I stick to my point, it's already dead.
    and vinyl, even though you and many others (unfortunately) think that it's overrated: it's still here, sales have increased drastically over the years, and (this is important), to my ears (young, good, trained ears), it still sounds the most natural & "true" than all other mediums.

    and to all those with the argument that "digital is nearly as good as analog now", well, it's not there yet, the day it will, I'll go digital for sure, but the day isn't here yet.

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
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  5. #30
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    As far as ripping is concerned, I am with copy protection on this one. Now that we have seen the devistation of the CD and DVD format behind ripping, it becomes impossible for any digital format to get to a point of maturity that LP has gotten to. Once you can rip it, then the freebie thought process just overwhelms the legit thought process. Let's face it, what we can get for free, we don't want to pay for.

    Yes! Yes!
    very true

    and while I support copy protection, in this case, i'd felt ripped off...

    why? I go to a shop, buy a blu ray disc album, and come home. I can play it in my blu ray player, but I cannot play it on my ipod. Now I don't own an ipod, because I don't need one, but I do own a laptop with lot's of music on it, easy, when you're working somewhere, and you want some music with you, just grab your headphones...

    but the point remains: most people I know own an ipod, and others own other mp3 "and other formats" players. What would they have to do? buy the album twice? once for their blu ray player, and once more for their ipod?

    I don't think so...

    you could solve this by "adding a free album download", but that kinda kills the purpose of copy protection...
    so no thanks...

    I've found many new & old titles on vinyl that include a link & code for a free album download, "so you can enjoy your album with your mobile players"...
    Great idea!
    Just, totally useless on digital formats...

    Keep them spinning
    Bert.
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  6. #31
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    As far as ripping is concerned, I am with copy protection on this one. Now that we have seen the devistation of the CD and DVD format behind ripping, it becomes impossible for any digital format to get to a point of maturity that LP has gotten to. Once you can rip it, then the freebie thought process just overwhelms the legit thought process. Let's face it, what we can get for free, we don't want to pay for.
    This line of reasoning always reminds me of an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer meets a recording artist (Barry Manilow, if I'm not mistaken) and he says "I'm your number one fan, I taped all your songs off the radio!"...

    The RIAA was never able to and will never be able to get every person to pay for every song they listen to... Also, despite all the RIAA's claims that piracy was killing CD sales, the sales statistics just didn't support their claims... I remember when Napster was just gaining popularity and two of my friends introduced me to it... Each of them had downloaded hundreds of songs to their computers and were telling me I was crazy for buying CDs... Here's the thing: neither of them owned more than a handful of CDs before MP3 downloading existed... They just weren't interested in spending money on albums... When it was free, they'd download with wild abandon, but when they had to pay, they'd rather do without...

    The idea that all or even most digital pirates are persons who would have otherwise paid for content is nonsense... There's a MAJOR difference between what you would watch or listen to when it is free versus what you would watch or listen to if you had to pay for it...

    Copy Protection is just another example of how out of touch the RIAA is with what society wants...

  7. #32
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basite
    well, might very well be...
    but no one actually cares except a small amount of freaks like us.
    and even if they do "care", they don't know.

    And by the time they care and/or know about blu ray audio discs, everyone is downloading music on the Internet.

    and btw: What support? "there are much titles available out there on blu ray audio?" yeah, they were there too for DVD-A and SACD, and see where they arrived now...
    This is kind of a simplistic response(no offense). There were a multitude of reasons that DVD-A and SACD didn't succeed.

    1) Only a segment of the manufacturers supported either. You had a SACD camp, and a DVD-A camp(audio war). That does not exist with Bluray, all of the manufacturers are on board for the format(no competition).

    2)Complicated connections. Both DVD-A, and SACD required that you use the analog connection which required 6 cables between the player and the receiver or pre-pro. This was complicated to many folks, and that turned them off. Bluray requires one HDMI cable, and that same cable carries everything you need to explore everything about the Bluray format(i.e high rez music, video, 3D etc)

    3)There is already an established familiarity with Bluray disc, that was not there with either SACD or DVD-A. The latter paved the road for multichannel music on disc, and with that people are clamoring for more music on Bluray disc.

    4)Bandwidth was a problem with DVD-A, but not with SACD. Bluray disc has bandwidth to spare, one disc able to support everything from 7.1 multichannel to 2.0 channel stereo with no fold down or mix down necessary(as it was with DVD-A). It also does not require a special audio codec like SACD does. PCM audio(which is the basic wrapper for all of audio) is all that is needed, but it also supports DTS-HD Master audio and Dolby TrueHD if you receiver or pre-pro has it.

    As to whether one cares about Bluray or not, the answer lies in sales. From what I have been seeing on NDP, sales of Bluray music titles are doing very well, and sometimes quite spectacular. People obviously care about it, even if some others do not.

    not yet, but even you might be surprised. I mean, we can stream 1080p movies over the internet without a problem, so I guess music won't be any problem at all, just wait and see...
    Let us not confuse the wrapper with the actual substance. 1080p on the internet is just the label, it is not technically 1080p. True 1080p requires no filtering whatsoever, but 1080p streams(and only Vudu and Netflix have it by the way), are heavily filtered, heavily compressed, and do not have the visual characteristics of 1080p on disc. There is no way you are going to get the same results with heavily filtered and compressed video traveling through a 10mbps pipeline compared to an unfiltered, slightly compressed video traveling through a 54mbps pipeline. It is not possible. As far as being surprised, no not really. I know the 1080p stream is just a wrapper without the substance.

    alot of receivers, blu ray players, even dvd players, ... & all media servers have network connectivity, and applications for those are growing quickly...

    This is both the "problem" and the advantage of digital. it doesn't need to be on a disc. well, maybe a hard disk, but not a disc-disc, like a blu ray disc...
    why be so stuck to a medium? the masses don't want a "large collection" of discs lying around in house, and why should they? they don't care about quality, and they have everything they want on their ipod.
    Agreed, but not everyone wants everything on their Ipod. Surveys taken just do not support your comments. When surveys are taken on ownership of the physical disc versus a digital file, the disc always wins. While streaming has become ubiquitous among the tech savvy, that does not describe the masses. While real time streaming(not storage) is easy for everyone, storage is not. Once you start storing what is streamed, the complexities mount. I am not talking about a Itunes drop to a I pod. I am talking high resolution streams to a harddrive, and to your audio system. That is a bridge the masses have not crossed yet, and not many audiophiles either. However, popping a disc loaded with high resolution music(or video) is something that even a 3 year old kid can do.

    What you're naming with blu ray audio is not revolutionary, it's not spectacular, it's not refreshing, it's not even new. it's just yet again "something different", "just another disc that's taking up space in my living room". Most people won't even notice it (again: except us, audio nuts...).
    Face it: for the masses, at the moment there are 2 options: "cd's" or "can I download it for my ipod?", and indeed, that small (but growing) niche market of vinyl nuts (I must admit: like me).
    Bert, if it is not revolutionary, can you name another format that can store 1080p film images, 24/192khz audio(and every other variation as well) 3D, and 4K images all on the same disc? Can you name another consumer disc format with 50GB of storage with the ability to grow to 200GB and playable on today's player? While you may downplay Bluray's significance, quite a few others do not. Would you not agree that your perspective is yours, but not everyones?

    so again, I stick to my point, it's already dead.
    and vinyl, even though you and many others (unfortunately) think that it's overrated: it's still here, sales have increased drastically over the years, and (this is important), to my ears (young, good, trained ears), it still sounds the most natural & "true" than all other mediums.
    A format that is growing over 100% year over year is not dead, and not even close to it. Vinyl is not growing that fast, and probably never will. Yes sales have increased drastically, but not nowhere near 100% year over year, so it is still a VERY small niche format. Have you listened to every digital format out there? It would appear not based on your comments.

    and to all those with the argument that "digital is nearly as good as analog now", well, it's not there yet, the day it will, I'll go digital for sure, but the day isn't here yet.

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    I hate to bust your bubble Bert, but digital audio long surpassed what any analog format could do quality wise, and technically as well. 24/192khz surpasses what any analog system can deliver in terms of resolution and quality. DXD wipes analog off the face of the earth. If you have heard any music at 24/192khz and still think vinyl sounds better, then your young hearing is not all that trained. As a person who has actually compared analog and various resolutions of digital in a studio environment with the same recording, I can tell you the only thing vinyl or analog has going for it is a bunch of emotions based on familiarness, and nothing more than that.

    What is funny to me is that all of these analog versus digital comparison have been done with the highest resolution of analog, versus the lowest of digital. How fair is that? When you have done a comparison of the same recording in analog(vinyl if you will)versus 24/192khz digital or 24/952.4khz DXD digital files then come talk to me. But if you are using CD as a source of the comparison, you have not heard all digital can deliver, and the comparison isn't all that equal.
    Sir Terrence

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  8. #33
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    This line of reasoning always reminds me of an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer meets a recording artist (Barry Manilow, if I'm not mistaken) and he says "I'm your number one fan, I taped all your songs off the radio!"...

    The RIAA was never able to and will never be able to get every person to pay for every song they listen to... Also, despite all the RIAA's claims that piracy was killing CD sales, the sales statistics just didn't support their claims... I remember when Napster was just gaining popularity and two of my friends introduced me to it... Each of them had downloaded hundreds of songs to their computers and were telling me I was crazy for buying CDs... Here's the thing: neither of them owned more than a handful of CDs before MP3 downloading existed... They just weren't interested in spending money on albums... When it was free, they'd download with wild abandon, but when they had to pay, they'd rather do without...
    This is exactly why copy protection is needed, and exactly what I have stated. There is this stupid belief that we can get everything for free, and it will keep coming. If this mentality was to become standard fare, then it would become impossible to continue recording and distributing music period. Then there would be nothing left to distribute for free, as there would be no reason for a artist to write their music, or a studio to go through the expense of recording it and distributing it.

    The idea that all or even most digital pirates are persons who would have otherwise paid for content is nonsense... There's a MAJOR difference between what you would watch or listen to when it is free versus what you would watch or listen to if you had to pay for it...

    Copy Protection is just another example of how out of touch the RIAA is with what society wants...
    The RIAA cannot give society what it wants, or everyone would go out of business and there would be no product. It is just that simple. If society got what it wanted, no commerce would exist. If you were an artists that worked hard to create a product, would you just give it away for free? No way in hell you would. If you were a studio that paid more than a million dollars to record and distribute a product, would you distribute it for free? Hell no you wouldn't, you would go bankrupt after the first product was released. What society wants is unrealistic and just plain impossible.
    Sir Terrence

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  9. #34
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    ...

    The RIAA was never able to and will never be able to get every person to pay for every song they listen to... Also, despite all the RIAA's claims that piracy was killing CD sales, the sales statistics just didn't support their claims... I remember when Napster was just gaining popularity and two of my friends introduced me to it... Each of them had downloaded hundreds of songs to their computers and were telling me I was crazy for buying CDs... Here's the thing: neither of them owned more than a handful of CDs before MP3 downloading existed... They just weren't interested in spending money on albums... When it was free, they'd download with wild abandon, but when they had to pay, they'd rather do without...

    The idea that all or even most digital pirates are persons who would have otherwise paid for content is nonsense... There's a MAJOR difference between what you would watch or listen to when it is free versus what you would watch or listen to if you had to pay for it...
    ...
    I'm rather torn on this subject. Yes, I agree with Ajani that the position of RIAA and similar bodies that industry revenue loss = no.of pirated copies X retail price is totally bogus.

    On the other hand I'm with STtT that it's a proven economic fact that goods and service become available when and only when people in general are willing to pay for them.

    Part of the problem is that the recording industry is pricing their download copies 'way too high. IMO, there would be a lot less piracy of songs if they were, say, 20 cents a download instead of a buck. What's more, it's likely their total revenue would actually increase -- in microeconomic terms, the demand is a lot more flexible than they assume, especially when you take into consideration non-NA and European countries where $1 is still a whole lot of money.
    Last edited by Feanor; 11-27-2010 at 03:35 PM.

  10. #35
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    This is exactly why copy protection is needed, and exactly what I have stated. There is this stupid belief that we can get everything for free, and it will keep coming. If this mentality was to become standard fare, then it would become impossible to continue recording and distributing music period. Then there would be nothing left to distribute for free, as there would be no reason for a artist to write their music, or a studio to go through the expense of recording it and distributing it.



    The RIAA cannot give society what it wants, or everyone would go out of business and there would be no product. It is just that simple. If society got what it wanted, no commerce would exist. If you were an artists that worked hard to create a product, would you just give it away for free? No way in hell you would. If you were a studio that paid more than a million dollars to record and distribute a product, would you distribute it for free? Hell no you wouldn't, you would go bankrupt after the first product was released. What society wants is unrealistic and just plain impossible.
    Tell that to Google... The problem remains that the RIAA is unwilling to get with the times... The typical approach to pricing is the issue... Also the RIAA is just plain greedy and that is a major part of the problem... The pricing for CDs, and in more recent times downloads, has always been a joke... There has never been a real justification for why the prices for albums are so high... So the RIAA geniuses think that high prices and trying to prosecute every pirate is the answer... Good luck with that... Younger generations get that money can be made without charging directly for a service... Just check out the Vloggers on youtube... I would suggest going to youtube and looking up Philip DeFranco or Ray William Johnson, then you'll see persons making money by giving their content away for free... Also look at what Google does...

    Even if the RIAA doesn't want to be as radical as Google and distribute for free (which doesn't mean not making loads of money BTW), they should at least consider charging a sensible price for downloads/unlimited streaming... Customers will pay if the price isn't ridiculous...

  11. #36
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    I'm rather torn on this subject. Yes, I agree with Ajani that the position of RIAA and similar bodies that industry revenue loss = no.of pirated copies X retail price is totally bogus.

    On the other hand I'm with STtT that it's a proven economic fact that goods and service become available when and only when people in general are willing to pay for them.

    Part of the problem is that the recording industry is pricing their download copies 'way too high. IMO, there would be a lot less piracy of songs were, say, 20 cents a download instead of a buck. What's more, it's likely their total revenue would actually increase -- in microeconomic terms, the demand is a lot more flexible than they assume, especially when you take into consideration non-NA and European countries where $1 is still a whole lot of money.
    Here's the thing: I have never suggested just giving away content out of the goodness of your heart... The RIAA just needs to adjust their revenue model and they could still make a killing by "giving away" content (see my previous post to Sir T on Google and Youtube Vloggers)... Or at least, as you rightly suggest, charging a reasonable price...

  12. #37
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Bert, if it is not revolutionary, can you name another format that can store 1080p film images, 24/192khz audio(and every other variation as well) 3D, and 4K images all on the same disc? Can you name another consumer disc format with 50GB of storage with the ability to grow to 200GB and playable on today's player? While you may downplay Bluray's significance, quite a few others do not. Would you not agree that your perspective is yours, but not everyones?

    A hard disk drive...

    and about the comment regarding "simplicity of use"....

    I don't know how old your children, or grandchildren are, if you even have any, but I've seen more than enough 3 and 4 year olds working with simple versions of a pc, very similar to what one can find on a media center. I've seen kids too young to be able to properly write walking around with cellphones and MP3 players, perfectly being able to use them, and if they can do that, it's only a tiny step to media servers & centers.

    and on the other end, i've seen and read more than enough stories & experiences from people who's kids have ruined their cd/blu-ray/DVD/VHS/whatever because they simply wouldn't understand that the darned thing was not a toaster.



    And while I still disagree about blu ray audio being the next big thing: I most certainly didn't disagree about the fact that it was better than a cd. as a disc format, blu ray is most certainly appealing.
    Life is music!

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  13. #38
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    This is exactly why copy protection is needed, and exactly what I have stated. There is this stupid belief that we can get everything for free, and it will keep coming.

    while it is most certainly necessary to lower piracy, copy protection is NOT the way to do it IMHO.

    There is not a single copy protection that hasn't been cracked yet, and there probably won't be any, any time soon, without making things so complicated people won't even bother buying albums or movies anymore.

    Right now, copy protection is only pissing off the fair & honest buyers trying to put their latest album on their pc or ipod...
    Life is music!

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    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  14. #39
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    Here's the thing: I have never suggested just giving away content out of the goodness of your heart... The RIAA just needs to adjust their revenue model and they could still make a killing by "giving away" content
    I don't have a dog in the fight regarding the format discussion going on here but AJ does make an interesting point regarding pricing.

    I am curious if the model for developing and sustaining bands has changed dramatically enough that the costs to the music companies are not what they were say 30-40 years ago. As I have always understood it back in the day the music company put alot of money out up front finding, developing and promoting the artist. Now it would seem to me that the internet and technology has taken alot of the cost of that out of equation. At the same time radio is no longer a viable option for music companies to introduce new talent and music videos add a cost dimension. Is the net result of these changes substantial enough to lower cost-raise cost or have no affect on cost?

    I do know that back in the day the record stores used to have "cut-out" bins where alot of new artist or relative unknowns would end up at half to a third of the cost of other LP's. I am really not aware of a similar situation with CD's or other content and maybe that is somewhat AJ's point. People would often "discover" someone in the "cut-out bin" and then go out and start buying the artists newer stuff at the higher price point. I guess you could argue that iTunes and similar venues somewhat meets that model but I am not sure it is quite the same.

  15. #40
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
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    not only has the internet made things easier for all, the cost of producing the physical product dropped dramatically with the change to cd from vinyl which is fraught with physical problems such as cutting master acetates. ad infinitum.

    dont get me wrong, i LOVE vinyl and still buy new releases of such (like the boz scaggs 'speak low' jazz release). CDs are dramatically cheaper to put out and now even less money ends up in the hands of the artist.

    perhaps the impending death of sacd has more to do with the financial risks to be taken by the record companies.
    ...regards...tr

  16. #41
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Not trying to address each individual point, but just bringing reality into the picture. I do not think anyone on this thread has any idea of how much money it takes to bring a album to the public. It is far more than it used to be, and it is not because a record company CEO makes gazillions of dollars either. I think everyone strongly underestimates the cost of advertising over multiple platforms, distibution costs, liscensing costs, middle man costs, and various other costs in marketing a product.

    Ajani says this;
    The RIAA just needs to adjust their revenue model and they could still make a killing by "giving away" content (see my previous post to Sir T on Google and Youtube Vloggers)... Or at least, as you rightly suggest, charging a reasonable price...
    Here is my response to that: Giving away content does not equal a financial killing, and it can never in a market based economy. When the cost of producing and distributing an album fall, then it can address the fact that consumers want the product for less. At this point the pendulum falls for the latter far more than the former. While studio time costs have dropped(quite a few albums are home recording studio based), the sheer numbers of advertising outlets have not, which means in costs more to advertise the product than it did pre internet. Artists demands also keep increasing which keep costs up. Touring costs have increased, as has mastering costs. While manufacturing costs have dropped, licensing and copyright costs have dramatically increased. There is nothing in a market driven model that has decreased, so giving your product away pretty much guarantees bankruptcy if you don't scale your costs with market driven production costs.

    Google and Youtube products are mostly non monetized products. They are loss leaders to Google's advertising arm, which pretty much sums up retail at this moment. You use a lesser value product(at least in your opinion) to spur revenue in your more lucrative products, which with google is their ad revenue. This idea devalues audio and video in favor of advertisement, which is a detriment to the audio and video producer.

    Ajani says this:

    The pricing for CDs, and in more recent times downloads, has always been a joke... There has never been a real justification for why the prices for albums are so high...
    Downloading albums are high basically because the market is small. To justify the costs of licensing, royalties, distribution, and profit in a market driven economy justifies the cost. None of these has gotten cheaper with digital distribution, it has gotten more complex and expensive. While it has gotten cheaper to distribute over is physical distribution(CD, DVD's and Blurays) because that model is mature, stable, and predictable in some ways. Digital distribution is not. Once the digital file is sold over the internet, its distribution predictability becomes nil, and that drives up the cost of the file as a result of copy protection, terms of usage, and various other complexities that most do not think of. Also the apparent value of the product is diminished with digital distribution, which does not coincide with the cost of production, and why film and music concerns were too slow with dealing with digital distribution. The question becomes how can I produce a product with mass appeal, but with costs that are constrained by a consumers value beliefs. This is an impossible equation to equalize today.

    To Bert in response to this question, and his response.

    can you name another format that can store 1080p film images, 24/192khz audio(and every other variation as well) 3D, and 4K images all on the same disc?

    Answer from Bert:

    A hard disk drive..
    Upon first blush you are correct. However a deeper analysis would reveal that once you start storing 50GB from a single source, the financial feasibility drops precipitously. First the data rate of transmission is a problem with USB 2.0. Right now the typical data transfer speed of USB 2.0 is about 18mbps with MAC computers, and 33mbps with windows based PC's. With overhead, that drives the speed lower for transfer of the primary data. Bluray movies encode over a very wide rate, some as low as 15mbps, to as high as 54-60mbps for 3D, and that includes the lossless tracks. While the data storage is not a problem in this respect, the bandwidth to get the storage from the drive to the player is a big issue, and fails on close examination.

    Second issue, long term reliability. We all know that drives will fail, which is why backup drives are required. When you look at player failure versus drive failure, drive failure is more of an issue. When you talking about replacement, drive once again would lose in the face of the wide variety of Bluray players costs, versus the drive prices. We haven't even talked about the media players costs which are required in the equation, as you have to get the contents from the drive to the television or audio system. There is no direct access here like there is with a Bluray player.

    Thirdly, USB protocol leaves no room for copy protection, and let's face it, the studio require it on every format that releases movies. You are not going to get around that obstacle period. You may be able to rip DVD's(their protection was compromised long ago) but nobody has yet been able to widely defeat Bluray copy protection, which why you do not see true 1080p based streams all over the net(most have been heavily compressed for easier transfer).

    To answer Bert assertion that the average person is pissed off by copy protection, I would say this- show me. Most users just put the disc in the player, and press play. They are not trying to store BR content. Since nobody has cracked BD+, or BD watermark(don't think they have tried) and neither was SACD copy protection, then your assertion that all copy protection has been cracked is inaccurate.

    To answer thekid response.

    The cost of production for music has largely dropped overall, even in the face of higher mastering costs(you have to master over far more platforms than you use to). The use of home studios has cut recording costs(and quality IMO), but the costs of marketing over far more platforms has increased. So one can argue for cost remaining the same for production, as well as price of the end product. It does not support price reduction without a penalty to profit - which reduces the amount of product that can be put in the pipeline.

    Bert, nothing is stopping anyone from putting an vinyl based album on their PC, Poppachubby does it. There are no copy protections on vinyl. There is nothing stopping anyone from ripping CD's to their hard drives, there is no copy protection on it either. Neither one of these costs as much as a movie in terms of marketing, production and post production costs(they don't even come close), which is why copy protection exists on video based mediums. If one can understand the logic of that, it goes a long way to explaining why copy protection exists.

    Lastly, one driving point that everyone seems to omit from their logic is that we live in free market societies. That includes all faucets of the music and movie making chain. Once a movie or music becomes a freeby, all of those costs turn into non monetized debts. This assuredly means that commercialization comes to a halt, and production of the product does as well. Reduced price means reduced budgets, which always means reduced quality of the end product. All one has to do is look at products originating from China to see that dynamic.
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  17. #42
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Downloading albums are high basically because the market is small.
    And the reverse argument is just as (if not more) logical: the market is small because the prices are high... drop the prices and market share will increase substantially...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    To justify the costs of licensing, royalties, distribution, and profit in a market driven economy justifies the cost. None of these has gotten cheaper with digital distribution, it has gotten more complex and expensive. While it has gotten cheaper to distribute over is physical distribution(CD, DVD's and Blurays) because that model is mature, stable, and predictable in some ways. Digital distribution is not. Once the digital file is sold over the internet, its distribution predictability becomes nil, and that drives up the cost of the file as a result of copy protection, terms of usage, and various other complexities that most do not think of. Also the apparent value of the product is diminished with digital distribution, which does not coincide with the cost of production, and why film and music concerns were too slow with dealing with digital distribution. The question becomes how can I produce a product with mass appeal, but with costs that are constrained by a consumers value beliefs. This is an impossible equation to equalize today.
    So essentially DRM and other related nonsense, that the RIAA has imposed on itself and the consumer, is what drives up the cost of downloads?

    This is why I think the recording industry needs to get fresh eyes to look at the situation and devise a business model for modern times...

    Trying to revert things to how they were in the past can never work and just waiting for someone else to implement change, is a dangerous business strategy...

    What happens if more artists take a Prince like approach of delivering content direct to the consumer on the internet? Does the RIAA wait until the number of artists bypassing traditional labels, is large enough to threaten it's business, before taking action?

    Or maybe they should wait until Google or Apple launches an "internet label" and starts signing major artists...

  18. #43
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    And the reverse argument is just as (if not more) logical: the market is small because the prices are high... drop the prices and market share will increase substantially...
    No, not correct. The market is small because it is not mature market, and all of the pathways of adoption have not been explored or implemented. The prices of hardware has dropped dramatically(external hard drives are everywhere, and the per GB costs have dropped substantially) but high quality media streaming devices remain relatively high, at least those marketed by audio manufacturers. Maybe that is what has kept consumers away from downloads. You have to get past the hardware implementation to get to the software, and right now the streaming hardware prices are too high.



    So essentially DRM and other related nonsense, that the RIAA has imposed on itself and the consumer, is what drives up the cost of downloads?
    Sorry Ajani, the RIAA did not imposed that on themselves, the market imposed it upon them. DRM is necessary to keep the value of the end product in scale with the costs of production and distribution(and its associated costs as well). Copyright, liscensing and royalty costs are not decided by the RIAA, they are decided by BMG and ASCAP. Royalties are typically 10-25% of the total cost of the product, and that goes to the artists or the record companies, whichever has the rights to the music. Licensing also takes up a chunk, and has become more expensive as the amount of platforms has increased. None of these costs have been implemented by the RIAA. RIAA is not a liscensing arm of music, it is just the music industry version of the police department. Blaming them for everything completely misses the point.

    This is why I think the recording industry needs to get fresh eyes to look at the situation and devise a business model for modern times...
    They already have, its called the free market. When the free market drives prices down(segment maturity) that is when they fall. All one has to do is look at DVD and Bluray for that example.

    Trying to revert things to how they were in the past can never work and just waiting for someone else to implement change, is a dangerous business strategy...
    Nobody can do that now, the market has shifted too much for that. You need to check your perspective no how the market works from both sides of the fence, not just one side. A consumer perspective only tells one third of the equation. Understanding production, and distribution(the two thirds you continually leave out) goes a long way to understanding why things cost as much as they do.

    What happens if more artists take a Prince like approach of delivering content direct to the consumer on the internet? Does the RIAA wait until the number of artists bypassing traditional labels, is large enough to threaten it's business, before taking action?
    The RIAA does not cover artists that go their own way, they are on their own at that point. The unfortunate part of going your own is that you as the artists have to covered all of the costs to do so, which leaves them on the line if the product does not do well. The disadvantage of going it alone means that the artist pays all of the cost for production, marketing and distribution alone. No upfront payments like they usually get from a record company. That is one of the complaints from Prince. So your financial exposure is quite high, and if you lose, you lose big, not the record company.

    Or maybe they should wait until Google or Apple launches an "internet label" and starts signing major artists...
    The fact they haven't already ought to tell you a lot. Using the download model for distribution, you would never be able to pay the upfront costs of producing the product, there just isn't enough profit generated by the completed digital files. Now when downloading can produce the huge upfront costs(and the associated back-door profits), then it is feasible for both Apple and Google to get on that side of the business. Itunes is a loss leader for Apple to sell Ipods, they have no interest in the value of the audio file itself. Google uses Youtube to drive ad sales, not to generate profits. They don't value the videos on their site, they value the income it generates from ads. Neither one of these companies business model drive video or audio profits, and they shouldn't either, that is not their business.
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  19. #44
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    No, not correct. The market is small because it is not mature market, and all of the pathways of adoption have not been explored or implemented. The prices of hardware has dropped dramatically(external hard drives are everywhere, and the per GB costs have dropped substantially) but high quality media streaming devices remain relatively high, at least those marketed by audio manufacturers. Maybe that is what has kept consumers away from downloads. You have to get past the hardware implementation to get to the software, and right now the streaming hardware prices are too high.
    What? So MP3 players aren't cheap like dirt and widely used? Clearly there is more than enough hardware to support the market... Audiophile streamers are a small and relatively insignificant portion of the market... So you are incorrect in trying to blame hardware for the market share... the issue is that the price of downloads is too high...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Sorry Ajani, the RIAA did not imposed that on themselves, the market imposed it upon them. DRM is necessary to keep the value of the end product in scale with the costs of production and distribution(and its associated costs as well). Copyright, liscensing and royalty costs are not decided by the RIAA, they are decided by BMG and ASCAP. Royalties are typically 10-25% of the total cost of the product, and that goes to the artists or the record companies, whichever has the rights to the music. Licensing also takes up a chunk, and has become more expensive as the amount of platforms has increased. None of these costs have been implemented by the RIAA. RIAA is not a liscensing arm of music, it is just the music industry version of the police department. Blaming them for everything completely misses the point.
    Fine, I'll use the term "Music Industry" rather than RIAA... So the Music Industry imposed DRM and other such nonsense on itself... Low prices would have negated the need to implement DRM in the first place... The Music Industry decided that DRM was the solution to the problem, not the "market"...

  20. #45
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    can you name another format that can store 1080p film images, 24/192khz audio(and every other variation as well) 3D, and 4K images all on the same disc?

    Upon first blush you are correct. However a deeper analysis would reveal that once you start storing 50GB from a single source, the financial feasibility drops precipitously. First the data rate of transmission is a problem with USB 2.0. Right now the typical data transfer speed of USB 2.0 is about 18mbps with MAC computers, and 33mbps with windows based PC's. With overhead, that drives the speed lower for transfer of the primary data. Bluray movies encode over a very wide rate, some as low as 15mbps, to as high as 54-60mbps for 3D, and that includes the lossless tracks. While the data storage is not a problem in this respect, the bandwidth to get the storage from the drive to the player is a big issue, and fails on close examination.

    that is, of course if you only look at usb... smart, but these days we have esata for connecting HDD's...
    reaching speeds much higher than a blu ray player can achieve.

    price of a HDD: these days, you have a 1TB drive for around €50, a 2TB drive for around 80, respectively being able to store 200 and 400 blu ray discs without any compression at all. any somewhat modern pc can act as a media center giving you a gazillion more options than your blu ray player will ever give you. I'd be happy to pay a €100 more for that.


    Second issue, long term reliability. We all know that drives will fail, which is why backup drives are required. When you look at player failure versus drive failure, drive failure is more of an issue. When you talking about replacement, drive once again would lose in the face of the wide variety of Bluray players costs, versus the drive prices. We haven't even talked about the media players costs which are required in the equation, as you have to get the contents from the drive to the television or audio system. There is no direct access here like there is with a Bluray player.

    reliability: "HDD's FAIL" yeah yeah, so do cars, and pretty much everything else. And honestly, asking your three year old to "pop in the disc" (see your previous response), won't exactly give the disc a long life term too. Because that's a problem with discs: scratch them, and they fail. And us audio&videophiles might respect their gear & software, but the average man might not. And then, The oldest HDD in house here is about 10 years old, still working just like it did back then.


    Thirdly, USB protocol leaves no room for copy protection, and let's face it, the studio require it on every format that releases movies. You are not going to get around that obstacle period. You may be able to rip DVD's(their protection was compromised long ago) but nobody has yet been able to widely defeat Bluray copy protection, which why you do not see true 1080p based streams all over the net(most have been heavily compressed for easier transfer).

    that's a problem, yes, but seeing a movie on a hard disk drive, you can see it as a bit of software (well, you could make it like that), and software opens new possibilities for copy protection.

    To answer Bert assertion that the average person is pissed off by copy protection, I would say this- show me. Most users just put the disc in the player, and press play. They are not trying to store BR content. Since nobody has cracked BD+, or BD watermark(don't think they have tried) and neither was SACD copy protection, then your assertion that all copy protection has been cracked is inaccurate.

    you're missing my point here.

    if I buy a cd today, i put my disc in my player and press play. After that, I have to go to work, I rip the cd and put it on my ipod, so I can have my music with me.

    tomorrow, I buy a BR AUDIO disc, I come home and put the disc in my player, I press play. After that, I still have to go to work, and I STILL WANT MY MUSIC WITH ME. now I cannot take my br player with me and go to work like that. SO I want the music on my ipod. AND I CAN'T do that wit BR, unless, I'm downloading the content illegally, because I'm not going to pay twice for the same album, oh no I won't, you wouldn't either.

    see?

    and your comment on "copying" vinyl is just plain wrong. you're not copying it, you're recording it, and for average joe, with serious quality loss. If you were to use that method, you'd be able to "copy" everything, INCLUDING blu ray, even if the "copy protection" consisted out of 3 tall men with sunglasses, a black suit, and some serious firepower, because they wouldn't even know you're copying stuff...

    From your point of view of "copy protection" you want on BR, vinyl is still the only format that has not been "cracked", and copied. Simply because it is not possible, it has a "physical copy protection", so to speak. "interpretations" of that is often found with more expensive software for PC's, which use a usb dongle, which you have to plug in, before the program works. You cannot simulate this physical USB dongle, nor can you download it.

    but, doing that with BR discs, would result in pure chaos. not only does it make playing a movie much more complicated, but the darned things are so small and easy to lose.

    and just like you say "copy protection" on BR discs hasn't been widely cracked yet, this is, like all digital formats in the past, just a matter of time before this too becomes "available" for the masses.

    So, in the end: copy protection, is it REALLY necessary: Absolutely YES.
    Does it help in the long term: No, because eventually people will find a way around it.

    Regards,
    Bert.
    Last edited by basite; 11-28-2010 at 09:33 AM.
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  21. #46
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    What? So MP3 players aren't cheap like dirt and widely used? Clearly there is more than enough hardware to support the market... Audiophile streamers are a small and relatively insignificant portion of the market... So you are incorrect in trying to blame hardware for the market share... the issue is that the price of downloads is too high...
    I thought we were talking about high resolution audio, not low resolution audio. If we are talking MP3, then I have no comment on the price or players. I am not interested in discussing that at all.


    Fine, I'll use the term "Music Industry" rather than RIAA... So the Music Industry imposed DRM and other such nonsense on itself... Low prices would have negated the need to implement DRM in the first place... The Music Industry decided that DRM was the solution to the problem, not the "market"...
    What is a low price? How can you define that without knowing the cost of production and marketing? Have you ever recorded and album and had to release it? Have you ever incurred the cost of marketing and distribution? Probably not, hence why you think folks can just offer a product for a "low price".

    Low price has never deterred piracy. A single song costs 69 -99 cents on Itunes, but you still have people trading them on peer to peer networks. So what do we do, just give away our tunes for free? Do we just swallow the costs of recording, marketing and distribution, then practically give away the song for free just to curb piracy? That does not make good business sense at all. DRM is here to protect the value of the product, if even for a short window of time. There is a balance that must be struck here, and since you are not familiar with the costs of production, you are not going to find that balance with a diffusive couple of words like "low price".
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  22. #47
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    For a start, I say we owe a debt to Sir T who is willing to share is professional knowledge and insight with us. Nevertheless there are a few points where, just maybe, Sir T is burdened with conventional "insider" thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    ...
    Giving away content does not equal a financial killing, and it can never in a market based economy. When the cost of producing and distributing an album fall, then it can address the fact that consumers want the product for less. At this point the pendulum falls for the latter far more than the former. While studio time costs have dropped, (quite a few albums are home recording studio based), the sheer numbers of advertising outlets have not, which means it costs more to advertise the product than it did pre internet. Artists demands also keep increasing which keep costs up. Touring costs have increased, as has mastering costs. While manufacturing costs have dropped, licensing and copyright costs have dramatically increased. There is nothing in a market driven model that has decreased, so giving your product away pretty much guarantees bankruptcy if you don't scale your costs with market driven production costs.
    ...
    Interesting points. As for advertising, it isn't an inherent production cost; you spend just and only as much as you thing you need to to sell product at a profit.

    Licensing & copyright costs may well have risen: Aye, there's the rub.

    Artists demanding more? Really? Well, some artists no doubt. Others are just glad for any exposure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    ...
    Downloading albums are high basically because the market is small. To justify the costs of licensing, royalties, distribution, and profit in a market driven economy justifies the cost. None of these has gotten cheaper with digital distribution, it has gotten more complex and expensive. While it has gotten cheaper to distribute over is physical distribution, (CD, DVD's and Blurays) because that model is mature, stable, and predictable in some ways. Digital distribution is not. Once the digital file is sold over the internet, its distribution predictability becomes nil, and that drives up the cost of the file as a result of copy protection, terms of usage, and various other complexities that most do not think of. Also the apparent value of the product is diminished with digital distribution, which does not coincide with the cost of production, and why film and music concerns were too slow with dealing with digital distribution. The question becomes how can I produce a product with mass appeal, but with costs that are constrained by a consumers value beliefs. This is an impossible equation to equalize today.
    ....
    Let me propose that downloading is "small" because prices are high -- like I said earlier, the alternate theory may well apply which is that consumer demand is much more flexible than insiders presume and the lower prices would boost demand to the point where revenues would actually be higher.

    It's pure balderdash that digital distribute is more expensive than physical -- this is assertion is just as outrageous in fact as it seems on the face of it. If the value of the product is diminished in the eye of the consumer, it is for the intuitive and valid reason the digital distribution is cheaper.

    ... Or it ought to be. If iTunes can't make a profit selling songs at $1 per, that's corporate incompetence. We had this out a few weeks ago. Per unit distribution cost appears to be under 8 cents a song; it's the exorbitant licensing that accounts for most of the all the rest, possibly excepting advertising ... about which see the comment above.

  23. #48
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    that is, of course if you only look at usb... smart, but these days we have esata for connecting HDD's...
    reaching speeds much higher than a blu ray player can achieve.

    price of a HDD: these days, you have a 1TB drive for around 50, a 2TB drive for around 80, respectively being able to store 200 and 400 blu ray discs without any compression at all. any somewhat modern pc can act as a media center giving you a gazillion more options than your blu ray player will ever give you. I'd be happy to pay a 100 more for that.
    I am very familar with ESATA, that is now my drives are connected to my media center. Once again, what is easy for you and I, is not easy for average joe.If it was, they would be doing it already. It is certainly easier for somebody to rent or buy a disc, pop it in the player, and press play than it is to manage a media center and several terabyte hard drives.

    reliability: "HDD's FAIL" yeah yeah, so do cars, and pretty much everything else. And honestly, asking your three year old to "pop in the disc" (see your previous response), won't exactly give the disc a long life term too. Because that's a problem with discs: scratch them, and they fail. And us audio&videophiles might respect their gear & software, but the average man might not. And then, The oldest HDD in house here is about 10 years old, still working just like it did back then.
    When my kids were three, they could load a laser disc into the player, and press play. Training is a wonderful thing. I still have those disc, so every kid is not clumsy and clueless.

    Not trying to be disrespectful, but you comments are BS. I have had two drives fail, and I still have the discs just as pristine as the day I bought them. Maybe you haven't heard about the durabiltiy of the Bluray disc. There is nothing a kid can do to make the disc unplayable. Check out this demo to see how tough the disc is.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxyiA...eature=related

    Here is another with a pretty scratched up disc, and guess what, it still plays!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1un6h...eature=related

    So much for the scratch argument!

    that's a problem, yes, but seeing a movie on a hard disk drive, you can see it as a bit of software (well, you could make it like that), and software opens new possibilities for copy protection.
    There is no way I would call a hard drive software. The drive can fail(and will), but you can scratch and damage a Bluray disc, and it will still play. Why reinvent the copy protection wheel when the one if place is already working? Doesn't make much sense to me.

    if I buy a cd today, i put my disc in my player and press play. After that, I have to go to work, I rip the cd and put it on my ipod, so I can have my music with me.

    tomorrow, I buy a BR AUDIO disc, I come home and put the disc in my player, I press play. After that, I still have to go to work, and I STILL WANT MY MUSIC WITH ME. now I cannot take my br player with me and go to work like that. SO I want the music on my ipod. AND I CAN'T do that wit BR, unless, I'm downloading the content illegally, because I'm not going to pay twice for the same album, oh no I won't, you wouldn't either.
    see?
    Wow, you have not been keeping up little brother. You can take your Bluray music with you, I do all of the time. Let me introduce you to the Bluray portable player.

    http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMP-.../dp/B001VYZVBC

    While it is not as small as a Ipod, it does give you portability, and you can watch Bluray movies on it to boot. Try that with a Ipod! It is lightweight(only 2.4lbs with the battery) which means you can pop it over your shoulder in its carrier and be on your way. I can play all of my high resolution music discs on it(try that with an Ipod) while on the go.

    and your comment on "copying" vinyl is just plain wrong. you're not copying it, you're recording it, and for average joe, with serious quality loss. If you were to use that method, you'd be able to "copy" everything, INCLUDING blu ray, even if the "copy protection"
    Ummm, no Bert, you are copying an already recorded album. Yes it is degraded, but no more so than a MP3 file or the files you get from Itunes. And no, you cannot copy a Bluray disc that way. You may be able to get it on the drive, but if you try and play it back, it is a no go. The BD+ and BD watermark will look for the handshake protocols, and if they are not there, it will not play.

    From your point of view of "copy protection" you want on BR, vinyl is still the only format that has not been "cracked", and copied. Simply because it is not possible, it has a "physical copy protection", so to speak.
    It is possible. You can copy the album with a 24/192khz bit and sample rate, and it will capture all that is on that vinyl easily. My Sound Devices Model 722 is perfect for the job.
    The file will be large, but it will have all that is in the grooves on the file. So it is not necessary to crack anything with vinyl, I can copy it with all of its resolution intact. I cannot do that with BR.

    and just like you say "copy protection" on BR discs hasn't been widely cracked yet, this is, like all digital formats in the past, just a matter of time before this too becomes "available" for the masses.
    Fortunately for BD+ and BD watermark it is not a static copy protection like CSS on DVD, or any other copy protection used in the past. It can be altered on the fly, just ask Slysoft about that. They have been trying for four years to crack BD+, and when they thought they figured it out, the BDA changed the code. Each time this little merry go round happens, Slysoft has to start all over again. This has happened at least twice already, and I have heard nothing more about it since. Cracking BD+ takes a lot of work(as Slysoft has found), and it is a very expensive proposition(as Slysoft has found out), and I have not heard any other reports of it being cracked since 2008. So it will be quite a while until it becomes "available" for the masses. I wouldn't hold my breath in the meantime.
    Sir Terrence

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  24. #49
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    For a start, I say we owe a debt to Sir T who is willing to share is professional knowledge and insight with us. Nevertheless there are a few points where, just maybe, Sir T is burdened with conventional "insider" thinking.
    This is possible, I am not perfect you know!


    Interesting points. As for advertising, it isn't an inherent production cost; you spend just and only as much as you thing you need to to sell product at a profit.

    Licensing & copyright costs may well have risen: Aye, there's the rub.

    Artists demanding more? Really? Well, some artists no doubt. Others are just glad for any exposure.
    Actually Feanor, advertising is an inherent production cost. You cannot expect any sales if you don't advertise. These days with the hype and chatter being so high, advertising is a must, and it is a must over several platforms that didn't exist just five years ago(facebook, my space etc).

    Some are glad for the exposure, but a record company is not usually supporting those acts, at least not a large one with the cash to promote a group. Right now, the little guys are not driving the market, they are leaving it.


    Let me propose that downloading is "small" because prices are high -- like I said earlier, the alternate theory may well apply which is that consumer demand is much more flexible than insiders presume and the lower prices would boost demand to the point where revenues would actually be higher.
    Once again, you have to weigh production costs against this "lower price" concept you guys are promoting. Since very few people outside of the recording industry know exactly how much it cost to produce an album, then they need to learn that before promoting this "lower cost" concept. What is the use of a lower cost if it cannot cover expenses? What is the use of the higher demand when the low cost does not recover expenses. That is the rub we are facing right now.

    It's pure balderdash that digital distribute is more expensive than physical -- this is assertion is just as outrageous in fact as it seems on the face of it. If the value of the product is diminished in the eye of the consumer, it is for the intuitive and valid reason the digital distribution is cheaper.
    I don't know Feanor. Physical distribution has been going on a very long time. There have been many efficiencies figured out over those years. There is a huge infrastructure in place already. Digital downloads are a relatively new concept, and a lot of figuring out still has to take place. One thing is certain, the right balance has not been struck between the cost of production, and the price of the file being sold. That is a new world indeed.

    ... Or it ought to be. If iTunes can't make a profit selling songs at $1 per, that's corporate incompetence. We had this out a few weeks ago. Per unit distribution cost appears to be under 8 cents a song; it's the exorbitant licensing that accounts for most of the all the rest, possibly excepting advertising ... about which see the comment above.
    You are missing the point here. Apple is not trying to make a profit from Itunes, they are trying to sell software for their Ipods and Ipod touch. The object is to sell the hardware, not make a profit from the songs. The folks that are just selling songs have no hardware to sell, and they must sell songs to get a profit - hence why downloads are currently high priced. Secondly, the market is small, too small to push prices downward at this time. I am sure when the demand for songs only(sans pushing hardware) grows, the prices will fall, we are just not there yet.

    Per unit distribution is not stuck at 8 cents a song. That value changes over the life of the song being on the server. I don't know where you get your 8 cent value, but that does not jive with what the manager of the Apple store told me.

    Many of you have no idea of the particulars when it comes to either physical distribution or digital downloads(let alone production, advertising and distribution costs). Many of you are just pure guessing at costs, and basing your opinions on what you think it is, rather than the reality of what it actually is. Maybe somebody here can find out what the exact costs are, then you can form a fact based opinion, rather than a fact less one. I do not know ALL of the answers, but I do know enough from first hand experience that many are just not in the ballpark when it comes to the expense side. So when you begin to talk about "lower costs" in a world where costs are going up, all I can do is just shake my head. Folks demand quality, but they want it cheaply. These two do not go hand in hand. If you want something at a "lower cost", then you really need to lower your quality demands dramatically. An album with high production values is not cheap, and therefore you cannot sell it cheap. That is the bottom line.
    Sir Terrence

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  25. #50
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    I'm only going to respond to a couple of minor points, Sir T.

    By long-established accounting convention, advertising is not a cost of "production", nor a cost of "distribution" for that matter. Both of these traditionally pertain to units of physical product and the related physical processes. Advertising does not meet this definition; it is discretionary and not related to physical product; in this respect it resembles licensing costs. Granted, it is obviously necessary to promote sales.

    The 8 cents per song number emerged a few weeks ago in this forum, based an online report of Apple's margins for download music and iPhone apps. It's not a certain number, but it is within the parameters implicit in total cost and margins that were reported. Yes, as you say, it is a number that can change. Specifically, since it must include a lot of fixed or semi-fixed cost, if the volume of sales were to increase, the unit cost would be less, perhaps much less, than 8 cents per song. This only supports the argument of those us who believe downloads are overpriced.

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