Monday, August 27, 2007

Compression Oppression 2.0

It's only been a year since my last rant on rampant compression...? Well, I just read a more detailed account of that horrible procedure (thanks to Slashdot for bringing this to our attention.)
Over this weekend, I sat down and slashed my meager "rock, pop and metal" material on iTunes down, again, and could not fail to notice that of what remains, it's mostly old old 80s things. Not that Metallica's opus Magnum, Master of Puppets (first album on my first iPod!) does not need re-mastering- it sounds like $hit- but if they were going to make it sound like ze Black Album, then no thanks. Even such strange casualties as bunch of Nick Cave albums- Let Love In, for once- there was so much compression, they had to go. I can't listen to them any more , it's just physically oppressive, like trying to read Anne Rice vampire novels.
The article in IEEE (which also comes in cute multimedia version) makes a good and valid point of new media formats going to waste. But one memory I took from reading it is that, as usual, Sony was somehow responsible for the mess. Duh. SONY. Yee of rootkits and warring, inter-suing divisions. Oh, I have my own Sony stories. How about this: having acquired Sony's own PlayStation recently (the only console that my household was missing thus far), finding out that the sound from blue ray discs would get clipped and generally screwed coming out at the other end, on Sony's own receiver? And that Sony's own Super Audio CDs will NOT play on PlayStation? After half an hour of configuring the PS for SupCs, using the available menu item, disclaimer pops out, something about this format "not being supported". Granted, I only own three SupCs, one is Harnoncourt's freaky take on Mozart's Requiem which was released as hybrid/dual format; the other two I got by accident when trading CDs on LaLa. So, no great loss there, just a snigger at the royal sarary chrysanthemum mess that is Sony. (Can you tell I just read this book?)

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