How will this technology work with out board DAC's, digital amps, cross-overs and room correction devices? Are other formats such as DVDA and SACD etc. also subject to this manipulation? Will it compromise the performance of these formats. Until these questions can be answered to our satisfaction, perhaps we should band together and boycott BMG. While were at it maybe we can petition Sony/Philips to recind their licensing of these compatibly challanged issues. The idea that some issues may not play in a car or on particular players is an offense. We may need to nip this in the bud.
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Since magnetic tape became available, each generation has copied music. Audiophiles made the best copies possible and played them back on nice equipment. To casual listeners (most), a well made tape sounded just-like-the-record. The ease of a digital copy does complicate matters for the music industry. BMG's approach complicates the basic search for a clean source and should be discouraged. I am tormented by the basic audio problems and dont need another variable.
Hoarder alert! Sounds like soon we'll have the pleasure of distinguishing pre- and post-protection CD's on the used market.
I'll betcha that once the protected kind are unmasked as inferior for high rez playback BMG will offer "approved" unprotected ones for a coupla bucks extra. You heard it here first :^)
BMG has no foresight.
Some hacker will break their copy protection, and it will be all over the web in a blink of an eye.
This happened with DVDs. The motion picture industry thought they had the silver bullet when they created the DVDD standard. Little did they know the sheer willpower and ingenuity that exists in the world. What can be locked can always be unlocked. It is a very simple concept.
Sony really has the best strategy to keep their stuff copy protected in the long run. If they control the SACD medium, and stop folks from creating SACD writers, it is going to be next to impossible for the consumer to 'digitally' copy an SACD. Some hacker may be able to do it, but I am sure it is going to require some pretty sophisticated hardware (ultra modified). Because Sony is controlling both the digital format and the hardware if they protect the distribution and licensing of it correctly, the average consumer is not going to be able to digitally copy SACD.
I am not endorsing SACD or Sony's methods, but I am just stating the facts like I see them.
If music production companies really want to protect their music from digital copying, then they are going to have to flip to a different format. No matter how much copy protection that one puts on the software on a CD, someone will be able to defeat it using a PC with a CDRW drive.
As if we needed another incentive to move to vinyl/sacd... anyway, here's what specialists have to say:
Just another example of greedy/clueless executives helping "sink their own ship".
With all due respect to those who are using this bad news to trumpet the virtues of vinyl, please bear in mind that incompatibility issues has been hoisted on record playing audiophiles quite a few times in the past. Enough is enough! When will we ever learn? Or is it that the greedy corporations have learned that we are just sheep to be led to slaughter and bled dry?
In all seriousness, the record business really does have a problem on its hands which is different in absolute terms from previous episodes. It actually doesn't seem as if they forsaw, when they made the move to digital all those years ago, that one day copies with zero degradation could be dubbed at home - and certainly not that free (if imperfect) copies could be mass-distributed by something called the internet without a physical disk changing hands. Not that I give a hot damn about the majority of the recording industry, but I do worry for the future viability of making a living as a recording artist (and about those good but smaller labels who aren't busy fouling the market with their crap product and reactionary thickheadedness). Although the industry is surely going about it the wrong way, digital copyright protection is a legitimate and very thorny issue to solve, if that even proves possible at all. I would love to see the day when artists can bypass labels entirely if they so choose, making money by distributing their own content over the Web in a high resolution format directly to consumers, but it's hard to see right now how they could protect their franchise against file-sharing schemes. Saying musicians will have to make their living off of performing is too limiting and discriminitory; a recording artist should be able, if they want, to be like the author of a book, attempting to make money from the sales of their original works in accordance with the works' popularity, without having to make a second career out of touring just to repay label advances and make up for unauthorized copying and distributing of their intellectual property, if they don't desire to. Ironically, it's the very digital technology that gives them the means of cheaply recording and distributing their music without the support of a label, that also makes them vulnerable to being ripped-off by their potential customers.
Zaikesman, zero degradation is relative. Every era thought it self to be cutting edge. Yet, people still complain about the "perfect sound forever" hype. Zero degradation of what?. I personally have no interest in making copies. I am concerned that the self serving corporations may be hindering the advance of future technologies such as digital amps, cross-overs,room correction and art itself. The idea that these measures may compromise compatibility with existing and future play back machines is especially egregious. The implication that all recording machines and software are only in existance to illegaly copy the only valuable art worth recording (their exclusive property) is arrogant. Whats next a flag for copy machines to protect publishers? Of course not, it's to bothersome to copy and costs little enough to buy the publishers product. Who is being best served by these restrictions? The current standard marketing of artists restricts choice and freedom of expression. This encourages a disproportionate allocation of money to select artists. How many geniuses are we exempt from because of corporate marketing formulas. It doesn't matter how good you are if you don't look right or don't appeal to the youth market. Who's benefiting from this, a select few or the majority? I'm not in favor of burning anything and especially any art that can't be reproduced. I suspect that the average Audiogoner owns at least 1000 CD's. If the powers that be realized how much money is behind each one of our voices, a petition, demostration and/or boycott by Audiogoners might make a difference that benefits all music lovers not just audiophiles.
I concur with some of the above statements, I am not interested in burned(copyed) discs. How ever I am very concerned about paying a premium for a new cd with less then the best possible sound reproduction, simply because most of society has no scrupules and doesn't see it as wrong to just burn a spare copy. Would you just print a spare copy of a book? to me its the same thing. But in the digital realm from what little I know any sort of encryption would add artifacts to the sound and I find that very unacceptable- I don't have a problem buying used CD's, I average about 2 new CD's a day for the last year and change, I don't like my quality being comprimised, perhaps this time next year I will average 3 used CD's a day :o)
I do like the ideas we are sharing here, if we band together and let them know this is unacceptable and do so with our money it would make a statement. Maybe us audiophiles are a small group though we purchase a larger percentage of the market then we are- by a lot I am sure! How many nonaudiophiles do you know with more then say 100 cd's?? If these companies are about greed then money would be a way to make them open there eyes. I would also be down for a CD burning at a major function- though there aren't many up here(upstate NY). Keep the ideas flowing
Unsound, I don't disagree with the substance of anything you have said, just some of your extrapolations.
1) "Zero degradation of what?" - Zero degradation of the bits on the disk when copied to another disk. I am not looking at this issue from an audiophile point of view that places more importance on those bits' ability or lack thereof to capture and transmit the performance. And I don't think that zero degradation disk copying is a bad thing in and of itself - on the contrary, I find it quite wonderful as far as it goes. But the fact is that it does remove one of the prime disincentives to relying on copied source material instead of purchasing it, and this will probably be true from here foward in the digital world, no matter how high-rez or how multi-channel the originals are made.
2) "I personally have no interest in making copies" - That's well and fine, but it doesn't make the problem go away. I only make copies in order to create personalized compilations, and though I will copy stuff to share with friends - as I used to do via cassettes - I do know people who routinely get music they're interested in for free off the Web rather than purchasing it, something I have no interest in. You and I are of an older school, and aren't necessarily indicative of the direction issues such as method of distribution and absolute fidelity are going in.
3) "Self-serving corporations may be hindering the advance of future technologies" and "The implication that all recording machines and software are only in existence to illegally copy" - These are some of the reasons why I say the industry is approaching the issure in the wrong way, and that it is a very thorny problem. Meaning, while I agree with the industry position that there is a real threat to intellectual property protection, there is no acceptable solution in the offing at present. There will likely never be one that works effectively for long either, nor perfectly transparently at that. If there was an easy, non-problematic answer, we wouldn't be where we are, with the software industry fighting the hardware industry, court cases, pissed-off audiophiles, etc.
4) "What's next, a flag for copy machines to protect publishers? Of course not, it's bothersome to copy" - Why do you think the idea of the digital book is dead in the water for the time being?
5)"Standard marketing of artists restricts choice and freedom of expression" - This is precisely why I say I would love to see the day when artists can make and distribute, and solely profit from, their own work. But digital technology is a double-edged sword in this respect.
6) "How many geniuses are we exempt from?" - How many more will we be exempt from, if the new paradigm becomes that there is no way to make money from trying to distribute and sell your recorded works?
Pooh-poohing the reality of the great difficulty in protecting intellectual property rights in the dawning digital age won't solve the situation, and if you think I am defending the status quo, you misunderstand me. Ultimately, is suspect that the whole concept will have to undergo a fundamental paradigm shift brought on by technology. In 20 years time, I wouldn't be surprised if the ideas of an "original" and a "copyright" are seen as archaic, but I don't know where that will leave artists.
Zaikesman, you bagged me. I couldn't help myself. I'm sure you can imagine what I left out. I think that the concepts of "preserving" and "intellectual property" will need serious reconsideration. I don't mind the digital flags so long as it's done right. I do mind, that in it's present (future?) state it has more negative than positive effects. Does a sailor own the wind?
Actually, I need to come a little bit cleaner about the "zero-degradation" concept. While a CD-R should, in theory, be a 'bit-perfect' copy of the CD, I in fact do find small listening differences between original CDs and copies I burn. I do not know how to explain this, as a dropped bit here or there shouldn't be audible as an overall change. I might attribute this to something having to do with the playback optics' ability to read a CD-R accurately compared to a real CD. When I auditioned the Marantz CDR-500 vs. the HHB CDR-830 (which I bought - see the archived article in my threads), I found the HHB to not only outperform the Marantz with analog sources, but also to my surprise on digital dubs, all using the same blank media and playback reference system, leading me to wonder whether the HHB had a superior burning laser (which might result in CD-Rs with better readability). Jitter isn't a factor until the bits are transduced by the DAC, and so shouldn't affect the digital dubs (and indeed, I haven't found that my otherwise effective jitter-reduction box has any influence on the finished product when inserted for digital dubbing). But in general, with revealing source material, I do hear very slight reductions in transparent clarity, HF extension, tonal color saturation, microdynamics, soundstage separation, image body, and background 'blackness', when A-B'ing a copied track against the original (or put another way, the copy sounds a little veiled, thin, flat, and lacking in life by comparision). Subtle differences, to be sure, but I believe real, though I haven't performed blind ABX tests or anything. But again, I do not know if these differences are to be found in the encoded data itself, or are an artifact resulting from transcription difficulties. Anyway, for now the upshot is that the original still sounds best by a small margin in the reference system, though it makes no difference in my car, and is not enough to dissuade me from playing my custom comp's at home either ('course, most of my source material tends to be analog, making this an oft-moot question).