New blu-ray audio format - a dinosaur in the digital delivery age?
The audio CD has on the high street for over twenty years and after various other formats a new one has launched, High Fidelity Pure Audio utilises the capacity of a blu-ray disk to provide high fidelity sound by offering an uncompressed format that should play on any blu-ray player. This should mean an exceptional sound quality, though since it is still digital there will be the absolute purists who will still prefer their vinyl.
The format has been available in France for a short while, but has now launched in the UK and is now available in the UK, Amazon list some 186 titles in the Blu-Ray audio section, though not all titles appear to be in the new Pure Audio format. Pricing seems to be in the £10 to £20 region, so there is a premium compared to standard formats. You should get access to a MP3 version of the album for download as a bonus.
What we find surprising is that the music industry is trying another physical format, when paid digital downloads now form a massive sector of the market. This may be partly down to the fact that Pure Audio track that is 4 minutes long is around 1GB of data, or to put this into broadband speed terms you would need 40 Mbps connection which is within the scope of the actual speeds we are seeing from the FTTC 80 Mbps service.
So while a 1GB music file is a very large file it is not outside the realms of sensible download speeds for a good many people, and remember that MP3 as a format was extremely popular at a time when dial-up was the normal level of Internet connection speed, which meant a single track would take 13 minutes to download. So while its great to have a new higher quality format for music, the appeal is going to be limited by the lack of immediate access millions are accustomed too.