Daily ramblings, HTPC, Media

How to waste your company’s money and make an utterly stupid audio format


1. Be careful about timing.
Find an exact point when the majority of the users of existing formats are willing to change their habit. Around 1999 something happened to the way people wanted to consume music.

2. Analyze what this change is all about.
At this point people clearly moved towards more availability and was actually willing to sacrifice quality for the availability. Uncompressed audio was compressed and moved quickly between devices. Welcome MP3, Napster, iPod etc…

3. Now plan a format that is exactly the oposite of what people want
Welcome Super Audio CD (SACD). It was released in 1999. Most of you haven’t even heard about it. It is a very high quality audio format that is so insanely well protected that it won’t play on any of your existing devices.

It’s five channels but it won’t play on your new five channel home theatre. It’s digital but it won’t play on your new media center PC. Or Mac. Or Linux box.

This is just as stupid as it would be to launch a digital version of the good old Compact Cassette at the point when people got used to portable CD players and the professionals that wanted recording capabilities already had the high quality DAT system.

Oh. Wait. Someone did exactly that.

Or failing to understand that a special little disk with very low storage capabilities is not the way to go when people are used to carrying around their complete music library. Eh. Someone did that too