The Null Device

Pointless computer peripherals

Reports are coming in about a new Sony Vaio computer with, wait for it, a SACD burner. Which sounds good, except for the facts that the SACD format uses an unusual extremely-high-frequency 1-bit audio encoding system requiring considerable processing to convert to/from the PCM formats used everywhere else, that SACD recordable media seems to be rather rare, and that once you burn a SACD of music (presumably from your Sony Trusted Client ATRAC jukebox application, which does the PCM-to-bizarro-world conversion in the background for you), that disc will be useless for anything other than playback in a few SACD players, and the DRM inherent in the format at every level will prevent such discs from having the positively criminal levels of flexibility and tinkerability that have made recordable CDs (and DVDs) such a hit with users everywhere. Which makes it all seem rather pointless.

There are 4 comments on "Pointless computer peripherals":

Posted by: Raptor Tue Feb 10 21:34:04 2009

Sorry bud, but DSD is the way of the future. 1-bit 2.8mhz or 5.6mhz recording is massively superior to the outdated PCM waveform and won't take very long at all to catch on once a level of market saturation is reached.

Posted by: acb Tue Feb 10 22:02:01 2009

Maybe in a parallel universe in which Sony don't encumber it with crippling amounts of DRM, rendering it too useless to the modern consumer to compete. After all, people are still using MP3 (an outdated compression method), mostly because anyone can implement a MP3 player without being legally required to commit to implement draconian DRM restrictions which limit its usefulness to the user.

Posted by: gusset Wed Feb 11 11:51:03 2009

I agree with you on the DRM issues, but in theory shouldn't all SACDs play in normal CD players too (albeit at standard 16bit 44.1kHz quality therefore buying you no added benefit over a normal CDr).

Posted by: gusset Wed Feb 11 11:55:23 2009

Oh, and the fact that these are still not readily available four years later is another clue that market saturation is unlikely.