Audio Formats Battle It Out Article

Several days ago, Trelja started a thread (New Formats - Same Old Story?) that garnered a number of responses. There is an article in today's Seattle Times newspaper that raises similar questions about the viability of the SACD and DVD-A formats. The article is part of the Sunday edition's regular feature column, Personal Technology. Bear in mind that the article is clearly aimed at the technologically unsophisticated (read: audio illiterate), but despite the writer's simplistic approach, I think the article speaks volumes about the forces driving new audio/video gear, and the demands (or lack thereof) of the majority of consumers. I have included a link to the article, and would be interested in hearing the reaction of others.

Thanks for the link, it provided interesting reading!
Thank you Mr. Campbell, very good advise from one store manager. Wait it out. I have to admit that SACD does sound superior (ie. blacker background) on a friends high end system with a large soundstage. But in my apartment, at low levels? Cds are here to stay so it will be a question of the best of both worlds, in one player. Just my opinion.
Thanks Sdcampbell for the link. That article says a lot about the SACD/DVD-A war. It is akin to a war in a far off place. 99.9% of people have NEVER heard of either of the two new audio formats, outside of our small circle. Consumers have adopted CDs and MP3 for music, and DVDs for video(which may include music). Think that isn't the case? How many of us have people that we work with or come across in our day to day lives that we can carry on an actual conversation(not a monologue) about SACD or DVD-A with? I have no one. I do tell people about it, but they seem as uninterested and unmoved as they could possibly be. But, where I work, there is always a lot of buzz about CDs, downloadable music, and DVDs. Some people will say that MP3 or web music doesn't sound as good as CD, but it never seems to be a deterrent to anyone. In mentioning the new formats offer sound superior to CD, and the comment I always get is, "How can that be?" What's worse, and serves as the most sobering thing in this whole topic is that WHENEVER I ask about SACD or DVD-A at the music stores in my region(Philadelphia, PA - Tower, HMV, Sam Goody, The Wall, etc.), I have NEVER come across someone who even knew what I was asking about. Additionally, as software drives the whole thing, will a format be able to be commercially viable if a disc costs $25? That is higher than the cost of a movie DVD. People are clamoring for cheaper and more accessible(portable, smaller, longer playing, etc.), NOT for better. After all, don't they already have perfect sound forever?
Hi, Trelja. You and I often seem to share the same set of experiences. Fortunately there are few true audiophiles where I work (several serious tube addicts), as well as guy who used to do a jazz radio show on the Univ of Washington campus station (we swap CD's a lot). The article from the Seattle Times is interesting on several levels, not just for the implications about adoption of better recording and playback technology. The store which was mentioned in the article, Definitive Audio, was the oldest genuine high-end audio store in Seattle for many years, but it has now converted its business almost exclusively to home theater. (Too bad -- I liked it better before.) Definitive was always my favorite "toy" store out here in the remote Northwest -- I spent many hours drooling over the Wilson, Audio Research, Mark Levinson, Klyne, etc., stuff.