A View From The Handbasket

Friday, August 04, 2006
The definition of insanity
Posted by neros_fiddle at 4:09 PM
Warner Brothers tries the same thing again and expects a different result:

The music industry has for years struggled to develop a new physical format that could spark increased sales by replacing the CD. Now Warner Music Group Corp. is planning an aggressive attempt to address the issue by pushing consumers to buy their music on specially outfitted DVDs.

Warner, the world's fourth-largest music company, is in the final stages of securing technical licenses that will enable it to sell a bundle of music and extra features on a single DVD, according to people familiar with the matter. The DVD would include a music album that plays in both stereo and surround-sound on a standard DVD player -- plus video footage that plays on a DVD player or a computer. There will also be song remixes, ring tones, photos and other digital extras that can be accessed on a computer.

The company plans to make the new format available to its subsidiary record labels for product-planning purposes as early as next week and to introduce the discs to consumers with a handful of titles in October. A full-blown launch is planned for early next year. The hope is to fuel increased sales of both new product and catalog titles, in the process lifting the industry just as the 1982 introduction of the CD boosted sales as consumers replaced cassettes and vinyl albums.

It didn't work when they called it DVD-Audio and it didn't work when they called it DualDisc, so why should it work now?

The DVD album would include "preripped" digital tracks of the entire album, ready to be copied onto a user's computer -- a totally separate set of data from the higher-quality, DVD-audio sound that users hear when they slip the DVD in a player. The lower-quality, "preripped" tracks could be copied to a CD.

Oh, boy. So I can pay more and get a lower-quality version for my iPod than if I'd bought a CD and ripped it myself using my preferred codec and settings? What a deal!

I'd listen to some music, but suddenly have a headache.

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