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Why is SACD so restricted?


Norton

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As I understand it, copy protection means you can't rip DSD content from a SACD (unless you track down and jailbreak a particular obsolete model of pS3) and that SACD players can't output a DSD digital stream (unless in some cases via HDMI)

 

Just wondered why Sony (?) keep perpetuating this hassle bearing in mind that i. SACD sales must be a fraction of CD which can be freely ripped and ii. most Sacd players, sub OPPO, don't really do justice to the medium in the first place?

 

Better for the format if Sony were to sell/license a USB SACD drive and matching ripping software at a suitable premium and allow future SACD players to output DSD via USB (or maybe spdif?) to take advantage of DSD dac development

 

Or are they making more £ out of the format that I imagine?

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Unfortunatelly, SPDIF don't fit to transfering of DSD due low throughput.

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I can only presume that when SACD debuted in 1999 they were wary of online sharing services such as Napster - that along with the fact that PC's were shipping with burners that could rip and copy a CD.

 

SACD arrived long after the tolerance threshold of most consumers who had gone from LP and cassettes to CD's; from VHS tapes to laser discs and then to DVD's.

 

And then, along comes Sony with yet again another format, this time cleverly copy protected and once again at a premium. It was never even a blip on my radar screen. I don't know a single person who ever owned an SACD player.

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As I understand it, copy protection means you can't rip DSD content from a SACD (unless you track down and jailbreak a particular obsolete model of pS3) and that SACD players can't output a DSD digital stream (unless in some cases via HDMI)

 

Just wondered why Sony (?) keep perpetuating this hassle bearing in mind that i. SACD sales must be a fraction of CD which can be freely ripped and ii. most Sacd players, sub OPPO, don't really do justice to the medium in the first place?

 

Better for the format if Sony were to sell/license a USB SACD drive and matching ripping software at a suitable premium and allow future SACD players to output DSD via USB (or maybe spdif?) to take advantage of DSD dac development

 

Or are they making more £ out of the format that I imagine?

 

They're starting to license DSD downloads to some vendors (Acoustic Sounds?), so apparently someone sees a need to try to make more income from these recordings. And I believe SACDs are more popular in Japan and perhaps other places than they are in the USA. Still, they're not exactly a roaring success for Sony-Philips.

 

As for why they haven't opened things up more, my speculation is this would require a big change in corporate attitudes toward intellectual property that will be a long time coming, if it ever happens.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

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Also Native DSD sells downloads DSD both stereo and mch. They are owned by Channel Classics and they began their sell list with a very large selection of the Channel Classic hirez files that were first released on their SACD's. They have expanded to quite a few other labels.

 

Larry

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I can only presume that when SACD debuted in 1999 they were wary of online sharing services such as Napster - that along with the fact that PC's were shipping with burners that could rip and copy a CD.

 

Indeed. The music industry was extremely paranoid back then and thought the solution was more copy restrictions.

 

Remember that the first big legit download services offered only DRM-protected files. And Sony started releasing CDs with flawed copyprotection mecanisms, that lead to the rootkit scandal later.

 

SACD as a mass market format is dead, so Sony won't touch it again to release a new improved version with less restrictions.

Claude

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Some time ago (several years ago) was war "SACD vs. DVD audio" (if I mistaken, may be other same kind). SACD after it was lost.

 

I thought that DSD format also was lost. But 1-2 years ago DSD dramatically increased its popularity. And became almost as PCM.

I think popularity of DSD linked with simpler ADC/DAC structure.

 

SACD played its role for current situation with DSD format.

 

Claude, of course, restriction decreased SACD's popularity. Especially 48 kHz via digital output.

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Claude, of course, restriction decreased SACD's popularity. Especially 48 kHz via digital output.

 

That's actually a Blu-ray restriction (digital output over S/PDIF). SACD won't output anything at all, unless the digital output is HDMI.

 

The solution would be more DACs with HDMI inputs supporting DSD, to be used with Blu-ray/SACD players like Oppo or Sony.

 

I think most people don't mind copy restrictions, because they don't intent to share the music they buy. But in practice these are usage restrictions which affect people who just want to play their own discs. The industry has learned this lesson as far as downloads are concerned, but we'll have to cope with the restrictions on existing physical formats.

 

If SACD was more popular, maybe it's copyprotection would have been cracked much earlier (it took more than 10 years before the PS3 method was ready) and other ripping methods on computers would exist. With Blu-ray, the motivation to hack the protection was much higher, so it went very fast.

Claude

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I agree. It would nice to see Sony license some type of USB SACD drive as well as some type of program to rip the DSD layer of the discs. I have many audiophile SACDs that I really wish I could back up to 24/88.2 file but I can't.

 

As for a ripping software, I would rather have some type of free solution that employs the AccurateRip database. I have a feeling if Sony made it, it would cost too much money and the error correction would be about as good as iTunes.

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The solution would be more DACs with HDMI inputs supporting DSD, to be used with Blu-ray/SACD players like Oppo or Sony.

 

Claude,

 

If I correct remember, without DRM decoding we get low resolution (48 kHz), isn't it?

 

Yes, HDMI is modern digital interface with great capacity.

 

But, if I don't mistaken, some time ago one audio engineer (manufacturer) here (at CA) wrote that HDMI is enought expensive for low number series of audiophile DACs due licensee fee.

 

I agree. It would nice to see Sony license some type of USB SACD drive as well as some type of program to rip the DSD layer of the discs. I have many audiophile SACDs that I really wish I could back up to 24/88.2 file but I can't.

 

As for a ripping software, I would rather have some type of free solution that employs the AccurateRip database. I have a feeling if Sony made it, it would cost too much money and the error correction would be about as good as iTunes.

 

Keyser,

Me seems now DRM and licensing of music must be more flexible (individual, family licenses as example). Must be free copying to any own device.

 

Optical disks more like to gift subject then casual music medium.

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But, if I don't mistaken, some time ago one audio engineer (manufacturer) here (at CA) wrote that HDMI is enought expensive for low number series of audiophile DACs due licensee fee.

This was what I posted a couple of years ago...

 

To use HDMI a manufacturer needs to pay an annual license fee of $10,000 plus license fees for each device sold.

 

In addition a device also needs to license HDCP (copy protection) for which the company needs to pay $15,000 per annum plus device keys for each device at $1000 for 10,000; $2500 for 100,000 and $5000 for 1,000,000 keys. Obviously a pay scale oriented towards larger manufacturers.

 

Anyway the costs may not seem a lot, but the quantities of DACs a manufacturer sells can often be counted in the 10s per year for some manufacturers (for comparison in 2010 the whole market for CD players was around 40,000).

 

I would suspect that Sony will never break their own copy protection to allow ripping as they will piss off all those who have paid license to Sony on the understanding that SACD have DRM.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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...

 

 

 

I would suspect that Sony will never break their own copy protection to allow ripping as they will piss off all those who have paid license to Sony on the understanding that SACD have DRM.

 

Eloise

 

The most direct solution in the USA would be to apply to the Patent and Copyright Office for a safe harbor for those who want to play their own SACDs in DSD format via computer.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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The most direct solution in the USA would be to apply to the Patent and Copyright Office for a safe harbor for those who want to play their own SACDs in DSD format via computer.

 

Or get a PS3...

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Or get a PS3...

 

This would create an unambiguous legal/regulatory safe harbor for those who wanted to use their PS3s to allow them to play back their own SACDs at best fidelity.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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  • 6 years later...

Hi @ASRMichael

I was thinking it may not be any reason to keep the DRM etc on this format anymore. 
Releasing it and allowing for digital transfer over Ethernet, USB, AES/EBU (if possible) would be beneficial. 
 

HMDI for audio isn’t the best transfer technology from other discussions as well.

 

Sony could even earn money on selling ripping SW for SACD 😀

 

And we may even see format being used again if royalties was removed. 
 

@Norton

Maybe you have something to add ?

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SACD was originally designed as a way to backup masters by Sony/Philips. This was told to me in a discussion with people from DCS who helped design it.

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I assume very few SACD players is produced today. There can’t be much royalties to collect these days.

If the same DRM etc is used in PlayStation, maybe it’s an issue ?


I was thinking maybe someone was able to get in touch with the right people as Sony, to see if the format could be “set free”. Is their plan to keep it forever? Is it for sale ?

 

I know of one product that is legally able to extract SACD out to SPDIF. Cost $1000. 

 

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6 minutes ago, R1200CL said:

I assume very few SACD players is produced today. There can’t be much royalties to collect these days.

If the same DRM etc is used in PlayStation, maybe it’s an issue ?


I was thinking maybe someone was able to get in touch with the right people as Sony, to see if the format could be “set free”. Is their plan to keep it forever? Is it for sale ?

 

I know of one product that is legally able to extract SACD out to SPDIF. Cost $1000. 

 

 

It is not that, it is the chips (in the laser drives) to help decode the data stream are no longer made by Sony. As such, there is a limited amount of drives that can be made. Also there are few manufacturers of those drives, Esoteric is one.

 

SPDIF only allows 96/24 max for output so not sure about how good the copy would be. 

Current:  Daphile on an AMD A10-9500 with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Rotel RC-1590

Amplification - Benchmark AHB2 amplifier

Speakers - Revel M126Be with 2 REL 7/ti subwoofers

Cables - Tara Labs RSC Reference and Blue Jean Cable Balanced Interconnects

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20 minutes ago, botrytis said:

SPDIF only allows 96/24 max for output so not sure about how good the copy would be. 

Did you read the review by Kal ?

 

BTW it’s 192/24 😀

Toslink is 96/24 

 

20 minutes ago, botrytis said:

It is not that, it is the chips (in the laser drives) to help decode the data stream are no longer made by Sony. As such, there is a limited amount of drives that can be made. Also there are few manufacturers of those drives, Esoteric is one.


Meaning you also thinking no need to comply with HDCD copy protection?

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You still need both sides to be compliant with that 192/24 of the SPDIF or it will be just 96/24 - just saying.

 

The chip is used for the protection of the SACD format.

Current:  Daphile on an AMD A10-9500 with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Rotel RC-1590

Amplification - Benchmark AHB2 amplifier

Speakers - Revel M126Be with 2 REL 7/ti subwoofers

Cables - Tara Labs RSC Reference and Blue Jean Cable Balanced Interconnects

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