DVD and Beyond is a European online source of “news, data & analysis for professional involved in DVD, Blu-ray and new delivery technologies”. It’s been around a long time and is a great place to read about physical media formats and cutting edge developments…especially in Europe. I read this morning’s email version about Universal Music Group’s decision to begin offering something they call “High Fidelity Pure Audio”. Readers of my posts may think this is a déjà vu moment because I wrote about the efforts by msm studios in Berlin to brand and promote a Blu-ray music-only format called “Pure Audio” Blu-ray. The names of these two higher fidelity Blu-ray music formats might be a little confusing don’t you think?
The Universal effort was just launched in France and there’s a web site at where interested consumers can purchase around 60 physical BD discs of jazz, international and classical titles. The initiative is a collaborative venture between Universal, Dolby and QOL, which is a major manufacturer of optical discs in France.
The new catalog is taken right from the vaults of Universal Music Group (although it doesn’t say what the source format is…digital or analog) and presented in 96 kHz/24-bit 2.0 channel PCM as well as DTS-HD Master Audio AND Dolby TrueHD to “ensure compatibility with all consumer-level hi-fi equipment and listener’s preference”. Users will get three copies of the small stereo program (5.1 mixes will be available for programs that were originally delivered in surround).
Downloadable versions will be available in MP3 (320 kbps) and FLAC (44.1 kHz/16-bits) formats by going to the web site and entering a code printed in the packaging.
I’ve posted an opinion piece about this news. Is it the next logical step in music on discs or is it missing the essential ingredients for success?