>At least the LvB 9th as conducted by Furtwaengler in
>his 1951 Bayreuth (as released by EMI) performance.
At that time, 1983/-85, the recommendation from the pressing plants was
to avoid going over around 60 minutes of music.
Thatīs the reason why CDR blanks was 63 minutes in the beginning.
The DA60 U-matic tape was easy to get but the DA72 was in short supply.
U-matic tape was what was used to carry the edited CD master to the
replicator, nothing else existed then.
Furthermore the first two minutes on the U-matic, was to contain
timecode only, but music to start at around 2:00 to avoid tape defects
in the beginning of the U-matic.
Also the PQ burst containing the track info was recorded on the U-matic
analog tape track during the inital 2 minute time code only silence.
It was also the recommendation to have at least 2-3 minutes clear of
music, timecode only, at the end of the U-matic.
So we are down to at most 67-68 minutes if you dared it back then.
Why we see the maximum playing time today being at 79:57 is when all
the laser cutting variables are pushed to maximize the playing time
while strictly adhering to the RedBook standard.
And this meant we got 80 minutes blanks too, or 79:57 if you check
actual playing time.
74 minutes you get by running the laser cutter strictly in the middle
of the variables.
And we had the 74 minutes CDR blanks then.
The around 60 minutes recommendation we get when we set the laser
cutter to produce a CD disk that is easy to replicate and play by the
Anything above 79:57 does not adhere to the RedBook standard but those
disks that run to around 82 minutes seems to play just fine in most
So the Beethoven 9th has nothing to do with the cited 74 minute playing
time we got in the beginning.
But the Beethoven 9th tale sounds plausible at least but as one of the
inside people, Kees Immink of Philips, has told several times in print
had no bearing at all to the decisions taken in the lab and why we got
the CD playing time we got in the end..
But it is very good marketing speak, at least. :-)
The Mastering Room AB
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Learn from the mistakes of others, you can never live long enough to
make them all yourself. - John Luther