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Limitations in commercial audio, particularly 16/44.1?

Given how fast technology has progressed, and how frequently mediums have changed, why has commercial audio been stuck at 16bit 44.1 khz for so long? Why is there apparently no industry movement toward CD production with greater bit depth?


RemyRAD Sat, 10/25/2008 - 12:41
We had higher resolution recordings years ago. It was called analog tape. Hiss makes everything sound better. I mean if it's generally going to be better? It's going to be bigger. That's when we were able to repair things. Instead of throwing them out due to the inability to work on microscopic items. Why isn't their higher resolution? The economy can't support it. What? You need more resolution for death metal guitars? I think not. Wait a half-hour to download a song? Nope. Be able to actually cut a gold record? Not even Michael Jackson would buy that today. I mean here tell ya' I HATE PCM. I HATE SEGMENTED AUDIO AS MUCH AS FLUORESCENT LIGHTING. My engineering is great, regardless. So you get all the resolution you need from me.

What you should be really concerned about is...

UNI-directional. My favorite. Sea urchin.
Ms. Remy Ann David

jm2 Sat, 10/25/2008 - 14:20
Greener wrote: [quote=Thomas W. Bethel]

I Move Hot Onions?

Everything else you said made such perfect sense.


Gosh, and I always thought it stood for Inordinately Modulating Heterodyne Orthogonality.

Thanks for the responses, as they answer my question.

BobRogers Sun, 10/26/2008 - 07:51
Thank god for this thread! I've been ready to do a grumpy old man rant for days.

Rant #1: Highrez audio is and should forever be an incredibly tiny niche market. Most people never listen to recorded music in an environment or with the attention required to distinguish 44.1/16 from low quality mp3. And when you get right down to it audio quality is so low on the list of things that make listening to music a great experience. If I made a list of the most memorable listening experiences in my life most of them would be listening to music over a two or three inch speaker: fresh pressings of Beatles albums played on a little compact record player, early Springsteen over WMMR, a bootleg of Van Morrison doing a cover of Dylan's Just Like A Woman. Audio fidelity just has so little to do with the emotional impact of music.

Rant #2: How can people with such a refined sense of hearing make so much music that sounds so bad. We get posts from people who need better mics, better preamps, better converters, better bit depth, better sample rate. And I'll have to admit, my AARP ready ears can detect only the smallest of differences between any of these things. People can hear these incredibly subtle differences, but don't seem to notice that the music they are recording sounds like a Black Sabbath tribute band on the last night of a 40 city tour. Not to pick on one genre - there is plenty of classical and jazz that sounds like people playing scales very precisely - like someone who has never heard a language pronouncing it phonetically.

O.K., that feels better. Maybe my cough will be gone tomorrow, the Phillies will win game four before midnight, and the ankle fairy will cure all the injured Hokie quarterbacks.