Here’s the continuation of yesterday’s post:
“With a sampling rate between 96 and 192 kHz” – I love this one. The only standard sampling rate “between 96 and 192 kHz” is 176.4, which isn’t one of the sampling rates available on the Blu-ray format. Audio can be provided at 96 or 192 kHz…not between these two numbers. Did anyone with any audio knowledge proofread this script? The article from the other day did show that the Rolling Stones GRRR album was transferred from a DSD 64 file to 176.4 kHz. But the notes didn’t tell us how that rate was converted to the 96 or 192 kHz number in this “new format”. I’m guessing that don’t want us to know…it might have been done in the analog domain.
“No compression” – Of course there’s compression used on the audio of a HFPA disc. What they’re trying to say is that we’re past the era of MP3 and AAC files usually associated with iTunes and other sites. This is known as “data compression”. It’s fundamentally different than audio compression. There were compressors used during the original sessions, compressors used during the mastering stage of the projects (even the classical ones) and compression used when the audio was prepared for the current releases. The audio on the HFPA discs is either Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD Master audio, both of which are compression schemes used on Blu-ray movies (and music discs…I use Dolby THD on all of my releases). But they are “lossless” data compression schemes and thus deliver 100% of the bits back to the listener after the decoding process.
“No video” – This is NOT something to brag about. There’s no video because they don’t have any video to put on the discs. These were audio recordings when they were conceived and they will always remain audio recordings…and standard definition ones at that. I’ve been approached to include my productions in the catalog of HFPA but I would have to re-author them without the video! Isn’t it preferable to have the video and simply turn it off if you prefer not to watch the performances? Interesting that the promotional segment on the Amazon site HAS video of the performances. The folks behind HFPA like videos when they’re marketing the new format but brag about having “no video” in their script.
“No compromise” – Another favorite. Everything about the new High Fidelity Pure Audio format is a compromise. These are standard definition productions rehashed and placed on blu-ray discs…they don’t measure up to the standards available these days BUT they invoke the numbers regardless of the fact that they don’t apply. They compromised on the potential of the format by putting three different encodings of the same source master. Not interesting.
High Fidelity Pure Audio, especially in the form that UMG and Dolby are taking, is a loser. If you want these albums, they are already available in perfectly acceptable standard definition formats that can completely capture all of the musical fidelity that was present on the source tapes or DSD files.
The future is NOT going to be on discs of any kind. The audiophile world is moving to downloads and even high resolution streaming. Upgrade your Internet speed and get a bigger hard drive…that’s the way to move into high resolution now!