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Discs - New Formats Bring Life to Optical Media

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The future for the distribution of high quality music entertainment is very hard to predict. Record companies are now confronted with many options for digital packaged media distribution - not only regular Red Book CDs, but also HDCD, SACD, DVD-Audio, MiniDisc and MP3 on CD-ROM. The latest DVD-5 based disc formats (SACD and DVD-Audio) have promoted much interest in the audiophile industry and press, but so far the formats have made little significant penetration into the main marketplace for home entertainment. The new B1uRay DVD technology will bring further possibilities with its even greater storage capacity. Many listeners of high quality music are conservative as far as technology is concerned, and packaged media continue to have more appeal at this end of the marketplace for the enjoyment of reproduced music than electronic distribution. Options before record companies for electronic distribution are more complicated; fraught with questions about copy control, collection of payments, - let alone poor sound quality from lossy compression necessary for low-speed connections.

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