[Feature Article] Chaired by Vicki Melchior, this workshop at the AES 117th Convention dealt with the topic of universal players for high-resolution audio. It was hard, Melchior said, to remember the days when there was only the CD and the CD player. Now we have formats that come from the computing, home cinema, and video fields. We have a multiplicity of different replay requirements, and consumers simply do not want to be bothered with multiple players. Universal players are a must if all these different formats are to be feasible. In a simple playback architecture, however, the question has to be asked: Can one system manage all the required tasks, particularly in the domain of high-resolution audio? Can high-resolution audio be expected to offer an improvement in the listening experience even in low-cost products or should it be reserved for only the higher end?
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