Jump to content
TubeLover

CD Availability Nearing It's End And The Consequences

Recommended Posts

I agree Andy about the future of downloads, which is why I grab stuff I like now and back everything up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Iving said:

 

This is my first appreciation of your work and, so, please forgive me if I've not got on track.

 

May I address the main idea as I see it. The remedy you describe does not seem to be calibrated. It is an algorithm or process which is applied to recordings which are contaminated. Diserning whether a recording has been contaminated is not always straightforward - even for accustomed ears such as yours. Indeed, the tells you list 1) thru 6) convey the possibility that contamination is a matter of degree rather than category. Whether this is true seems vital. 

 

The simple/best scenario would be the identification of recordings contaminated or not contaminated. I wonder whether records exist even assuming the publishers mightn't want to confess. Otherwise we punters have to decide - and will we agree. The database would be simple - yes or no to a given recording. I feel I have seen the the same barcode used for different masterings of the same Album, so I'm not sure how that would work.

 

The loudness wars database as I read it is more sophisticated in that different recordings are affected by degree - both quantitavely and qualitatively. If the same applies here then the application of your process-remedy will have to be a great deal more sophisticated.

 

Again - apologies if I have misunderstood. I guess I am just interested in the potential for improvement of the valued medium under discussion in this thread.

Regarding the 'contamination' -- you have most of the idea correct.   The 'contamination' is relatively consistent though -- the mis-mastering (inexpensive and very fast)  appears to be a 2/3 regular and mechanized process.  The other part of it, when the 'regular' process doesn't result in a good sounding recording, so there is a last phase tweak, that can be done by any moderately well trained person sitting in the long laid off mastering professionals seat, to finish the 'feralA' process.  There is also an optional twisting of the L+R stereo image, where classical recordings tend not to

possess the image twisting, but POP usually does.

 

==========================================

 

The best ideal IS to find material which is not feralA -- PERIOD.  In some genres, the 'ideal' non encoded material either does not exist or is as scares as hens teeth.   Some MFSL recordings for pop ARE properly decoded/mastered*.   On the other hand, I have some Analog Productions material which is DEFINITELY NOT decoded.  Purchasing from HDtracks and other companies like that does NOT change the liklihood of getting a feralA vs properly mastered digital copy.

* Even though MFSL is at least sometimes properly mastered, I have been sometimes been able to produce better, more clean results because of the extreme quality of the DHNRDS DA decoder portion of the feral decoding process.

 

====================================================

 

The decoding process produces a result that is audibly and technically more accurate than the purchased feralA recording, but is NOT a perfect rendition of a master tape unless the decoding parameters are 100% correct.   The decoding process is more accurate & complete than a 'sounds good' tone control, because the 'settings' in the FA decoder are steps that are pretty close to what was orginally used to 'encode' the materal -- these are not just tweaks.   There is sometimes tweaking, but it is a very fine adjustment that most people wouldn't notice.  (Undoing FeralA, on unmolested material, can theoretically produce a master tape, and I can come close on some material.)

 

====================================================

 

Also, the feralA decoding effects a much more complete cleanup than just a tone control, but corrects/re-expands a very sophsticated and repeatable -- I mean, repeatable with great precision, kind of compression.   This compression is 'DolbyA' encoding.  That is, feralA is precisely the following:

 

1)  A mid-side DolbyA encoded signal, with some scaling of the L+R matrix BEFORE encoding.

2)  A fixed EQ from the LF through the midrange, same or very nearly so for all recordings. (fixed AS FAR AS it seems)

3) A tricky set of treble boost shelving filters between 2.5kHz through 3.25kHz. (fixed, AS FAR AS IT seems)

3)  A variable EQ from the lower highs (2.75kHz) on up, and the EQ is zero, one or two well defined 1st order simple filters. (generally selectable in steps.)

 

=============================================

 

Where there might be some confusion:  this is not primarily related to the DR thing.  The feralA compression does have a minor effect on dynamic range, but where the feralA compresses the audio, it is a less prominent part of a typically measured dynamic range.  For example, I  use a non-hearing weighted dynamic range measurement in the command line program SOX.  It is less sophsiticated in some ways than the community accepted 'DR' measurement, but it is still very useful for my purposes.   When I decode material, the SOX version of 'DR' only changes a little bit -- but it IS improved by decoding.  The best ideal IS to find material which is not feralA -- PERIOD.  However, importantly, the feralA encoding is the SMALLEST part of the 'loudness wars' DR problem.

 

Also, unlike DR, there isn't much of a VARYING damage in feralA, it is a fairly well controlled set of 'damage' or 'contamination'.   FeralA is ON or off -- no in-between.  Loudness wars compression is highly variable, where the damage can go from 'slight improvement' for certain uses of the recording, to 'total destruction, only intended for playing on a moving motorcycle.'.

 

I KNOW that this is long, but I tried to keep each concept separate.  Read each section separately so it isn't confusing.  It is overwhelming for me!!! :-).

 

*  Note, my poor language/composition skills can result in confusing prose -- I think that the facts are right, but might require rereading from time to time 🙂

 

John

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, JoeWhip said:

I agree Andy about the future of downloads, which is why I grab stuff I like now and back everything up.

Actually, I grab every version of everything that I like (which I can afford it.)   Perhaps some percentage of the time, I find a good version, but so much material is fatally damaged, most useful for listening in moving car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, John Dyson said:

I think that the facts are right, but might require rereading from time to time 🙂

 

Thank you for these notes. I am printing them off for reading carefully later.

 

1 hour ago, John Dyson said:

Actually, I grab every version of everything that I like (which I can afford it.)   Perhaps some percentage of the time, I find a good version, but so much material is fatally damaged, most useful for listening in moving car.

 

I have many versions of some recordings which are on my computer as CD rips via EAC. Many = especially, say, Elvis tracks. Whether Elvis or not, the general rule is Quieter = Better on the main system. I presume this is related to extended DR. But the Quieter rule doesn't always hold. e.g. I have a quieter ZZ Top 'Legs' that doesn't sound as good as the louder one. I couldn't say why. Some of the Elvis rips are blatantly corrupt - Loudness. Distortion. Echo. Pitch. Even warble. The variation isn't so obvious with less frequent music. I presume that there aren't electronic "tells" in bad files such that an electronic sweep might id them. We have to use our ears. Given that "The best ideal IS to find material which is not feralA -- PERIOD.", have you created any kind of database yet? This would be useful not just for sanitising existing [feralA-bad] rips, but for seeking out good new or replacement music on CD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, ARQuint said:

 

I agree with George. And, IMO, the format at risk is the download, especially the high-resolution variety. For me, the first indication that this could happen came  over a year and a half ago when Primephonic launched their classical music streaming service and abruptly discontinued downloads—and they'd been an excellent source of HD material, PCM and DSD, stereo and MC. Though Primephonic's service is more user-friendly for classical than any other, I was still disappointed, as I'd rather own than rent. And, as we've seen with popular genres, content can suddenly become unavailable on a particular streaming service.

 

George is right about another aspect of this. It's the younger market that will determine the fate of CDs or downloads. And this includes  serious/mature genres (as GG describes them) that often  become of greater interest to music consumers as they get older.

Obviously, by serious/mature, I meant classical and jazz, BUT, I also meant older Rock music like Grateful Dead, The Who, Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane, Beach Boys, etc. in other words, the kind of rock and pop listened to by the more “mature” aficionados of “album rock” (IOW, Geezers, also known as Baby Boomers)!


George

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, gmgraves said:

Obviously, by serious/mature, I meant classical and jazz,

 Elitist ! :P

 My experience with many of the Classical recordings that I have heard doesn't live up to your claims of being anywhere near what the CD medium is capable of revealing .

 (Please check your PMs shortly)


How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 28-06-2020

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, sandyk said:

 Elitist ! :P

 My experience with many of the Classical recordings that I have heard doesn't live up to your claims of being anywhere near what the CD medium is capable of revealing .

 (Please check your PMs shortly)

I don’t remember saying anything about quality, and my comments about serious/mature vs. the kind of listening younger listeners engage in was not about quality of either the recording or the music genre. Sure, in this context, “serious” meant classical and jazz, but I was careful to note that older “more mature” listeners of the kind of “album rock” that they “grew-up” with, would likely still stick with the silver disc as would listeners of “serious music”. Hardly elitist.


George

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, sandyk said:

 Elitist ! :P

 My experience with many of the Classical recordings that I have heard doesn't live up to your claims of being anywhere near what the CD medium is capable of revealing .

 (Please check your PMs shortly)

I agree -- Alex (you) have recentlly impressed me with the best CD that I think that I have heard -- it was so good that I wasn't prepared for the quality.  It was classical, but not typical of what I have seen.

 

Perhaps of maybe 10 classical CDs that I have encountered recentlyin the last 5yrs - I do believe that it was the only one (maybe the 2nd, if I might have made an error somewhere) that was NOT improperly mastered.  In fact, I just checked one of my early Mozart collections, alas I ripped it mp3 over a decade ago when I cared about disk space - alas, just as I expected, it had all of the characteristics of latent DolbyA, benefitting from FA decoding.

 

As you know -- the sound of poorly mastered material actually bugged me so much that I dropped the audiophile hobby 20yrs ago.

 

EDITED:  30yrs ago.

John

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, John Dyson said:

I agree -- Alex (you) have recentlly impressed me with the best CD that I think that I have heard -- it was so good that I wasn't prepared for the quality.  It was classical, but not typical of what I have seen.

 

Perhaps of maybe 10 classical CDs that I have encountered recentlyin the last 5yrs - I do believe that it was the only one (maybe the 2nd, if I might have made an error somewhere) that was NOT improperly mastered.  In fact, I just checked one of my early Mozart collections, alas I ripped it mp3 over a decade ago when I cared about disk space - alas, just as I expected, it had all of the characteristics of latent DolbyA, benefitting from FA decoding.

 

As you know -- the sound of poorly mastered material actually bugged me so much that I dropped the audiophile hobby 20yrs ago.

 

EDITED:  30yrs ago.

John

 

 

I regret my semi-hateful post above.  It isn't directed against anyone -- but the problem is that quality and the value of music enjoyment isn't really restricted to any genre.  Some kinds of music that are louded as 'elite' by some are intolerable to me.  I am sure the same is true of some kinds of music that I like, others can righfully barely tolerate it or not tolerate it at all.

 

A perfect example is that wonderful CD that Alex and I were discussing a few days ago.  It was the of the best mastered material that I have heard -- it totally blew away most of my technical evaluations...  However, the music wasn't my taste, and I don't even have the patience to listen to the entire CD.  That is NOT a complaint about the CD at all -- it just isn't my taste.

 

Some people MIGHT consider the CD contents as being an elite genre -- not to me, it is simply inapplicable to me, but is probably a great piece of music.   I couldn't even ponder the idea it being somehow more 'elite' than anything -- it is musically meaningless to me other than for technical evaluation.  I do RESPECT it though.

 

On the other hand, when I want a candy bar, I sometimes listen to ABBA.  I will NOT defend ABBA for example about their lyrics and many characteristics of their music, but I don't have to think when I listen to it...  It is like a candy bar -- too much 'ABBA' all of the time just might make you sick.  On the other hand, there is some real 1970s technical innnovation (sometimes failed - and the results show it) in some of the ABBA recordings.  I can appreciate ABBA on both the candy bar level and some of the technical aspects.  Geesh, some people like the girls, but those girls aren't really my own taste -- but are nice looking...

 

My favorite female friend was different in a lot of ways, too bad she and I couldn't be romantic, but even her parents would not have been angry if we got together -- it was my own feeling wrongness about  me grabbing a 19yr old genius out of the crib, totally beautiful & pretty, when I was an aged 32yrs old.  She ended up being a brilliant Bell Labs engineer, ending up with a corner office (a real bank officer, not one of those branch bank officers) in  a major bank on Manhattan.

 

So, each of us has different taste about all kinds of things -- and I'd suspect that my taste about Yelena would be VERY elite, but that is my opinion -- other people might be more comfortable with something different (or even different gender, I guess.)  She WAS a challenge in some ways -- her mind was certainly 'different'.   I didn't care -- we just got along.

 

Elite is in the eyes of the beholder.

 

AGAIN -- sorry for the intensity of my response...  I do care about how people feel -- and NEVER want to change any feelings towards the negative.

 

John

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/11/2020 at 4:44 PM, John Dyson said:

I agree -- Alex (you) have recentlly impressed me with the best CD that I think that I have heard -- it was so good that I wasn't prepared for the quality.  It was classical, but not typical of what I have seen.

 

Perhaps of maybe 10 classical CDs that I have encountered recentlyin the last 5yrs - I do believe that it was the only one (maybe the 2nd, if I might have made an error somewhere) that was NOT improperly mastered.  In fact, I just checked one of my early Mozart collections, alas I ripped it mp3 over a decade ago when I cared about disk space - alas, just as I expected, it had all of the characteristics of latent DolbyA, benefitting from FA decoding.

 

As you know -- the sound of poorly mastered material actually bugged me so much that I dropped the audiophile hobby 20yrs ago.

 

EDITED:  30yrs ago.

John

 

 

John, 

Try one of the Play Classics titles from our friend Mario Martinez. I highly recommend “Angel Cabrera’s Plays Debussy”. It is, without a doubt or exception the finest, most accurate and realistic sounding piano recording that I’ve ever heard. I think Mario will let AS members download it for free. Ask Mario.


George

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m a bit late to this thread but it really shocks me that anybody would miss CD as a format. 
 

My extensive CD collection has been ripped years ago and I can’t even remember when I last purchased one of these horrible plastic thingies, in these awful plastic containers. 
 

My current combination of lossless streaming with purchasing high res versions of stuff I really care about, plus easy access to my large CD back catalog is really just perfect. I really don’t get this “everything was better in the past” mentality here. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Musicophile said:

I’m a bit late to this thread but it really shocks me that anybody would miss CD as a format. 
 

My extensive CD collection has been ripped years ago and I can’t even remember when I last purchased one of these horrible plastic thingies, in these awful plastic containers. 
 

My current combination of lossless streaming with purchasing high res versions of stuff I really care about, plus easy access to my large CD back catalog is really just perfect. I really don’t get this “everything was better in the past” mentality here. 

 

Well, I would really miss the SACD format if it goes away. I actually prefer physical formats. I purchased high resolution downloads of audiophile recordings which were not released as SACDs, or individual tracks for those in which I didn't want to purchase the full SACD.

 

Only about 5% of my music is on my computer. Not even my few CDs are ripped to my computer as My Mac Mini does not have a disc drive and I would never purchase one as I don't have room on my desk for more stuff.

 

As for streaming, my apartment complex doesn't allow streaming with their free wi-fi internet.

 

My concern is the death of CD may take SACD with it.


I have dementia. I save all my posts in a text file I call Forums.  I do a search in that file to find out what I said or did in the past.

 

I still love music.

 

Teresa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Teresa said:

 

Well, I would really miss the SACD format if it goes away. I actually prefer physical formats. I purchased high resolution downloads of audiophile recordings which were not released as SACDs, or individual tracks for those in which I didn't want to purchase the full SACD.

 

Only about 5% of my music is on my computer. Not even my few CDs are ripped to my computer as My Mac Mini does not have a disc drive and I would never purchase one as I don't have room on my desk for more stuff.

 

As for streaming, my apartment complex doesn't allow streaming with their free wi-fi internet.

 

My concern is the death of CD may take SACD with it.

I also fear for SACD's demise, but it's held on this long despite many downs. Please remember, SACD has a huge following in Japan, SACD players are still being made with new models, examples from less than a month ago, Luxman, and Technics, their first SACD player. Even for popular music, SACD is easy for me to engage, I like what I hear, and still prefer it to digital files, even ripped SACD. 

Can make a whole afternoon roll by, one disc after another, totally enjoyable. Same, but not so much with vinyl, it's a different medium with flaws, can also play records one after the other. Must be something with rotating discs :)  


AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/10/2020 at 12:50 AM, Rexp said:

The introduction of CD was a crime against humanity - good riddance! 

I disagree.  I played records and avoided CD players for a long time, and I suspect that a lot of the issues were with the CD players themselves rather than the sound quality of the disc.

 

Yes, I understand and respect John Dyson's opinion - but he was in the enviable position of hearing it recorded and then hearing how the CD sounded; for most of us only the latter is possible.

 

I never bought into "perfect sound forever", but you have to admit the CD did one thing that was never possible until then.  It made music portable.  You could take it to the beach, play it in the car, give your favorite track to your wedding DJ (fill in your choice here). 

 

So many things that the CD provided - it made the music quality the same every time and, as you could afford better gear it rose to the occasion, or as much as it was able to.  

 

I still buy CDs, and that with a response to the OP.  For any new music I look to HDTracks first, and then give that same big sigh, asking myself "When, when will they realize that nobody is going to buy an album for $24.99?"

 

Then I look on Amazon and buy the CD for much less than that.  Looking at my bin of CDs that I will eventually send to my brother, I see a bunch of things that I can't get except on CD, things like the Nels Cline Singers or Bill Nelson's Whimsy.  

 

And if it doesn't sound as wonderful and as magical as some might like?  To me, it's about the music.  If I can only get in on CD, I would rather that than not at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, SJK said:

I disagree.  I played records and avoided CD players for a long time, and I suspect that a lot of the issues were with the CD players themselves rather than the sound quality of the disc.

 

Yes, I understand and respect John Dyson's opinion - but he was in the enviable position of hearing it recorded and then hearing how the CD sounded; for most of us only the latter is possible.

 

I never bought into "perfect sound forever", but you have to admit the CD did one thing that was never possible until then.  It made music portable.  You could take it to the beach, play it in the car, give your favorite track to your wedding DJ (fill in your choice here). 

 

So many things that the CD provided - it made the music quality the same every time and, as you could afford better gear it rose to the occasion, or as much as it was able to.  

 

I still buy CDs, and that with a response to the OP.  For any new music I look to HDTracks first, and then give that same big sigh, asking myself "When, when will they realize that nobody is going to buy an album for $24.99?"

 

Then I look on Amazon and buy the CD for much less than that.  Looking at my bin of CDs that I will eventually send to my brother, I see a bunch of things that I can't get except on CD, things like the Nels Cline Singers or Bill Nelson's Whimsy.  

 

And if it doesn't sound as wonderful and as magical as some might like?  To me, it's about the music.  If I can only get in on CD, I would rather that than not at all.

Like I said, plenty of folks like (or can tolerate) CD. I just wish it was invented in the first place. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hadn't mentioned it before , but yes, losings any availability of new SACD's would also be a severe blow.

 

JC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/14/2020 at 4:40 AM, Teresa said:

My concern is the death of CD may take SACD with it.

 

SACD already is in the "post-death" phase.  Perhaps we should expect CD distribution to mirror SACDs. i.e. limited to special cases -- no more mass distribution from the big labels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, CatManDo said:

SACD could die very suddenly, as there are only a few manufacturing plants in the world. If one of those closes for economic reasons, the labels which use them could stop releasing in the format altogether.

 

Labels like Audiophile Productions have been releasing less SACDs lately, when they used to release the same titles on LP and SACD before. Most new SACDs are very limited edition japanese reissues of vintage classical recordings

 

https://www.hraudio.net/music.php (recent releases are top of the page, the list also includes Blu-ray-Audio releases)

Do you know if those manufacturing plants also handle others good such as regular CDs, Blu-ray Discs, etc...?


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's my understanding that the manufacturing process is very similar (SACD is physically a DVD), so that those plants making SACDs (currently only in Japan and Austria) are used for various disc formats. But the production variation SACD could be dropped because of limited interest.

 

As happened with the CD format at Sony DADC in Terre Haute, Indiana in 2018 (and the SACD format some years before)

 

https://www.insideindianabusiness.com/story/37288821/sony-dadc-to-lay-off-hundreds-in-terre-haute

 

 


Claude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m strictly a digital guy.  Speaking for myself, once CD are not available, it will create void in sourcing what I consider the best digital sound other than SACD. My experience is that the supposed superior Hi-Rez digital downloads to sound inferior to my 16/44 CDs. Aside from a very few hi res digital downloads I’ve purchased, I sit down and listen and say “hey wait a minute, that’s doesn’t sound as good as my CD rip”


>EtherRegen>Transparent Audio ethernet cable>Innuos Zenith MKII SE>Mojo Audio Mystique Evo DAC> Wireworld platinum 8 balanced interconnect>Aesthetic Mimas> Audience SX speaker cables>Magnapan 1.7‘Transparent Audio ethernet cable

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...