Anyone still excited about HDCD ?

With all the talk about SACD an DVD-A no one seems to bring up HDCD. Note: I not looking for a HDCD vs SACD battle here.. I will be picking up a universal player for my HT system but for 2 channel I decided SACD did not buy me much especially given the lack of software. I just picked up a redbook player that includes HDCD so I thought why not give it a try.. and I like it. It seems to me that there are more choices for high end player that include HDCD than SACD (altough this seems to be changing) I have my cd player behind me in the room which makes it really easy to do a blind A/B test. It HDCD sounds better to me than normal decoding. I mostly notice a deeper, bigger soundstage. Naturally it does not do multi-channel but then again multi-channel has a whole set of requirements and issues that 2 channel does not. While it may not be "perfect" (since nothing ever will) or not as accurate as SACD/DVD-A maybe HDCD is good enough for 2 channel...
Bill Gates bought it. He will kill it. It's sad as I agree that it is a better method than standard redbook.
HDCD is very nice but nobody is supporting it.

While Bill Gates is no audiophile he's also no fool. If it competed with a Microsoft product I could see doing a deal to kill it but I don't see any reason to kill it. I'm wondering if he bought it as part of his plan to take over the living room the way he took over the office. Maybe this will be a future component of media player to enable better fidelity. Who knows maybe old bill will wind up doing audiophiles a favor as a side effect to dominating the entire world....
HDCD was (is) just an improvement of standard Redbook CDs, and they play in regular CD players, but the player does need HDCD decoding circuitry to take advantage of it. It's not a competitor of either SACD or DVD-Audio.

If Bill Gates bought the HDCD technology, he must have some use for it. At the time it was developed by Pacific Microsonics, HDCD was an advanced dithering process that made redbook CDs sound better-- but perhaps it has other applications as well?. Cheers. Craig
To clarify my above post, shortly after the purchase many manufacturers began complaining about the increased cost for using the chip in their players. I know I'm cynical about Mr. Gate$ movtives, but give me a reason not to be.
I know that Krell has stopped adding it to their processors because of the higher cost.
loads of recordings at my area uses HDCD technology. So, there are someone to support it.
not necessarily excited but it seems like alot of the cd's i buy these days are hdcd. lucinda williams, dead reissues, chris isaak, buddy miller, ryan adams, mark knopfler, etc. glad i bought that used cary 303/100 for $950 now.....happy accident.
The 96/24 and 192/24 DACs in the CD and DVD players coming out now are rendering HDCD irrelevant. They make fidelity accessible without needing a "decoding" chip.
I've heard HDCD discs (I have several) played on a 192/24 player that I brought home for evaluation, and they sounded better than they did on my player that had the HDCD decoding chip. I sold the HDCD player.
HDCD was also being used as a marketing tool by some music companies that, unfortunately, issued badly-recorded music. HDCD cannot help a recording that was engineered by morons.
I hope that HDCD doesn't die. I have a handful of HDCD discs that I enjoy on a regular basis, and I plan on purchasing more to be certain. Time will tell...
Yes still crazy bout HDCD after all these years! Not going to dump on SACD either (too much), yet I find myself selling of 60% of the sacd titles I've purchased. Sold off my SCD-1, using my first sony SCD-333ES for sacd now. Yet still have an ol'e Denon DVD-5000 in my stable that I'm very fond of for HDCD decoding, along w/ a Toshiba SD-9200 in another system. Sacd has somewhat bored me, some recently released Hong Kong BMG SACD RCA Living Stereo releases are the best I have heard to date. Aren't we hitting the 4-5 year mark on this software format? So I'll still be quite happy w/ my HDCD's & JVC XRCD's if SACD should one day follow the path of DVD-(wHAT? wHO? )Audio. Enough time & monies spent on SACD, saving my cents waiting for the new Crystal chip to hit the market for "True" 24/192 upsampling.

If your into Classical? Pick up Lara St.John's 2 cd's on the "Well Tempered" Label. Gypsy, & Bach Works for Violin, both 24bit HDCD (Pre-Mr. Micro/Soft GATES) Compare them to any Violin soloist SACD recording on the market, & you too will still be excited about HDCD.
So far I have not found a redbook/SACD player the used the Pacific Microsonics Chip, therefore not supporting HDCD, I am thinking that the manufactures have written off any chance of new releases with HDCD. So the HDCD will die and the excisting titles will eventually be unplayable as the new generation of CD/SACD players emerge. A terrible shame, because I too have some favorite discs in HDCD.
Golden Ears is exactly right.

If you have a high-quality DAC, HDCD is irrelevant. It is very "tinny"- sounding when compared to good 96 or 192 upsampling. It does however, improve the sound significantly on good lower-level units like Rotel, for example.
Interesting thoughts all accross the board. Right now I am comparing playback between my Classe DAC1 and MSB Platinum Plus DAC. I been comparing HDCD discs on both DACs. Some sound better playing back through the HDCD Classe. Patricia Barbers Cafe Blue in HDCD sounds far superior to standard playback through the MSB (with the upsampling on) . Holly Coles Helplessly Romantic is another example. Most of the "unmarked" discs that trigger the HDCD decoder sound better with the MSB as do regular "Redbook". I am concluding that discs that are done correctly with HDCD, sound best that way.
Interesting thought that the upsampler makes HDCD irrelevant. I have a Cary 303-200 with 96/24 upsampling and HDCD. You can compare the upsampling to the use of HDCD, but not to use of neither, by switching on the upsampling while playing the CD. The differences between the upsampling and HDCD are very very small to my ears. When I was testing out CD players I thought that the Jolida was much better with HDCD, other redbook disks sounded very bad on the Jolida as compared to a rega player (for example) but the HDCD discs sounded much better on the Jolida. So, perhaps you are right that it helps with lower end CD players w/o upsampling.
The problem with HDCD is that Pacific Microsonics chip limits the dinamic range to 6 dB, which is already not good for today.

Interesting... RR Reveries HDCD, being played on non-HDCD player sounds with lower level then on HDCD player, so I have to push the volume significantly. I haven't noticed such a difference on regular CD, they sound the same level on both players...
No I am no longer excited about HDCD,So many format
I like better than HDCD,Like the SACD, DVDA,XRCD,
Golden ears is correct.
"In September 2000, Microsoft Corporation acquired PMI. Microsoft continues to incorporate PMI's pioneering technology into offerings for the PC. This technology brings to Microsoft unique strengths in digital audio signal processing that are increasingly important as digital media becomes a primary source of entertainment."

So they bought it not for any competitive reasons, but to integrate intellectual property from this organization into Windows Media Player. Or perhaps they perceived it would lend WMP some legitimacy?

Has anyone tried an HDCD in Windows Media Player 9 to see if it decodes it? (out of curiousity?)
what web site would i look for hdcd. thanks.
HDCD is a clever way to get more out of 16 bits. If 16 bits were all that was available HDCD would be important. But 24 bit hardware has become commonplace, so HDCD has become irrelevant, except for playback of any HDCD discs that you already own.