Dr. AIX's POSTS — 02 December 2014

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The good folks at the DEG, NARAS, and CEA are planning another HRA TechZone event at the International 2015 CES Show in Las Vegas in early January. I was very pleased to be included on a couple of panel sessions and have a 10 x 10 booth in the corner of a ballroom in the Venetian Hotel in 2014. It the first time they put together a program dedicated to High-Resolution Audio and many of the major players in the market were there including HDTracks, iTrax, SuperHiRez, Downloads Now, and Mytek. The press and public got to hear from experts about high-resolution audio and experience it first hand.

But securing a booth is far more expensive than all of the other shows that I attend…combined. And I’m not allowed to sell software at the show (although I will be offering my new Blu-ray sampler) to offset the hard costs. But I feel I have to be there.

So once again, I’m reaching out to my readers, customers, and supporters for help in crowdsourcing my way to the second annual TechZone on HRA at the upcoming CES Show. I was extremely gratified by the response last year and extend my sincerest thanks to those that provided virtually all of the booth costs, which came to around $3000. Any amount will be very much appreciated. You can donate via PayPal (mwaldrep@aixmediagroup.com is the account), call me at our toll free number (800)-668-4249, or send a check to 2050 Granville Ave, LA 90025.

As a premium to those that contribute, I’ll made available a 50% off coupon on anything you want to purchase from AIX Records or download from iTrax.com.

My goal at the CES TechZone is to promote high-resolution audio without the hype and confusion. If you’re a regular reader of this blog you already know what I’m talking about. If you’re new to RealHD-Audio.com, read a few of the posts, ask for the FREE HD-Audio downloads, and search for the online interviews that I’ve done. Or simply ask a question in the comments below.

In spite of the spin that dominates the discussion among audiophiles, high-end equipment makers, and various organizations focused on this space, there is a way forward. Failure is not an option. High-resolution music is not yet mainstream nor is it likely to become mainstream. But we can push the industry to abandon “lossy” compressed music downloads and lobby for accurate labeling of music releases. We can educate parties at all stages of the music industry about better fidelity and the production methods necessary to achieve it.

Here’s my agenda for 2015:

• Establish an accurate definition of high-resolution audio – current definitions are a mess and have contributed to additional confusion and customer alienation

• Work within the established organizations to adopt the “Hi-Res Audio” logo as offered by the JAS WITH the specifications requiring stringent performance goals for both hardware and software

• Expand applicable metadata to include full disclosure of the “provenance” of all tracks offered for sale through high-resolution download sites.

• Educate audio professionals in the emerging area of high-resolution audio and the options they have to adhere to the new quality/fidelity standards

• Implement a series of graphic logos that inform customers about the legitimacy of a so-called high-resolution track

• Complete and launch the HRABD.com website with information, spectra, and dynamic range data for the roughly 4000 available “high-resolution audio” albums. Expand the database to include actual recordings made using high-resolution equipment.

• Work with hardware manufacturers to provide actual high-resolution audio content in order to dramatically impact potential customers with better sound.

We’re about to enter 2015…let’s see if we can kick it off with a coordinated plan of action for high-resolution audio. It’s not too late.

Your contribution will help get the message out to the public, to the press, and to industry insiders. Please donate whatever you can. Thanks.

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(10) Readers Comments

  1. Sorry, OT I know but I guess I missed this somehow.
    HDTracks now offering 352/24 downloads? Just caught it on the Jazz At The Pawnshop sale.
    IMHO this is getting nuts.

    • That’s news to me…I wasn’t aware of their selling 352.8 DXD files directly. I know there are others that are making recordings at this rate and selling them. 2L is among them and Promate is selling them. It’s completely useless and a total waste of money.

      • And such a deal at only $44.99.
        In both hardware and software, high end audio has lost all credibility with any thinking person that takes the time to be well informed.

        • Too bad a prerequisite for being an audiophile often precludes being well-informed.

  2. Dear Mark,

    Dear Mark,

    I appreciated very much your information on attending the next CES2015. I will be there too and hope to meet you at the Venetian, as this year show last January.

    Regarding selling HRA discs at your booth, you do not have to worry about. Every company that will be exposing media, like CDs, BD discs, Vinyl etc at the suites at the High End Sector of the Venetian, sells its products during the show with no problem. I saw that during my past 20 CES shows. So, please, take a lot of your records for us. I promise I will buy at least 10 HRA items to bring with me. Importing hardware (including hard media) to Brazil is very expensive because the total import costs are at least 120% over the USA retail prices.

    All the best and success at the show.

    Ronaldo Franchini from Brazil

    • See you then Ron. If there are specific titles that you want, give me a heads up and I’ll make sure to bring them. I’m planning on bringing the collection of Blu-rays and the new sampler.

  3. It looks as if Meridian is going to join the foray of Hi-res music downloads possibly. They are making some type of announcement tomorrow. It looks as if they may be linking up with a company called Titalhifi. (Titalhifi.com) There is another web address of http://www.musicischanging.co.uk that will be notify those that register of what’s coming down the pipe. So there seems to be plenty going on in the Hi-res audio world just hope it is for the better.

    • Gregory…thanks for the heads up. I spoke briefly to Bob Stuart at the recent AES convention about this. Don’t get too excited.

  4. I have a question for you Mark. I was looking at yet another of HD Tracks “new” releases of The Who’s previous analog records. It would seem to me that if you are doing a “Hi Res” digitization of The Who’s original analog tapes, then all you are getting is a “perfect” copy of an analog master with all its inherent limitations in terms of dynamic range, ultrasonics, etc., , correct? If I am correct, then I suspect the folks who really like some of these digitizations are simply enjoying having an excellent analog master, and are not really enjoying a true High Resolution recording that your company provides.

    • This has been my point since the inception of high-resolution downloads…we’re not really getting HD-Audio but standard definition in big and expensive bit buckets.

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