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ARSCLIST  September 2014

ARSCLIST September 2014

Subject:

Re: CD time limit - Beethoven

From:

Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 11 Sep 2014 06:32:04 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (107 lines)

Shai is correct, again, on this topic. And, once again, myth-amplification must be quashed.

Please read:
http://www.aes.org/aeshc/docs/aeshist/standards.hist/digital.standards/history-of-aes-digital-audio-eng-standardization.html

Also see my ARSCJ article, "The Dawn of Digital." There were many different standards early on. The 
44.1/16 standard was heavily lobbied by the Japanese videotape machine makers (Sony and JVC mainly) 
because that is what fit within PAL, NTSC and SECAM framerates on standard videotape machines, thus 
allowing for a cheap, available and (somewhat) reliable storage medium for digital audio 
information. Proprietary (and higher-resolution) systems such as Soundstream and 3M used very 
expensive storage systems, not practical for industry-wide adoption.

Apparently, some people need a neat little marketing myth to "explain" how the CD was developed. I 
don't understand this. The format was developed by engineers, as an evolution of PCM digital audio 
developments mainly coming out of Japan (and mainly out of Sony, in the case of the CD) and 
optical-disc manufacturing and playback technologies mainly developed by Philips, evolving out of 
the analog-optical VideoDisc medium. There are logical reasons, based on technology, for all aspects 
of the CD. Crazy edicts like "it MUST fit my buddy Karajan's Beethoven 9th" never came down from 
higher-ups. However, there were certain marketing edicts. The 5" size probably was bandied about 
early because of car dashboards and retro-fitting standard-width radio/cassette units (although most 
early car CD systems I saw had an external disc "changer" or drive chamber that was highly 
mechanically damped; I recall the second-generation being single-disc players all-in-one in the 
dashboards, still mechanically damped).

For what it's worth, my father and a few others in the AES were actively and vocally critical of the 
44.1/16 standard (in retrospect, I think what my father was hearing on the digital-master LPs was 
jitter, which was an inherent flaw in the early PCM systems), but they would never win the day 
because of the compelling argument of off-the-shelf videotape recorders as the primary mastering and 
storage machines. There's also the fact that Sony got the PCM-F1 out into the market and the middle 
level of recordists (high-grade amateurs, small record labels, higher-grade broadcasters) discovered 
how much better those things sounded than their Otari and Teac reel-to-reel recorders. The buzz in 
the marketplace was "digital is better" and the record companies were desperate for something to 
pull them out of the post-disco market slump (as much as I and others may love the punk/new wave 
music of that era, look at sales figures and you'll see that it was not a savior for any record 
company). All forces were lined up to strongly back what Sony really wanted -- a digital audio 
standard reliant on their hardware, their expertise, and their software. Philips greatly benefitted 
by selling playback hardware and leading the global market in digital software. And yes, artists 
like Karajan benefitted from the CD, but it was not invented "for them."

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Shai Drori" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 6:02 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] CD time limit - Beethoven


> Sorry Clark. As far as I know and there is a lot of literature on the subject, the sampling 
> frequency and bit depth were chosen because that was what could be recorded on PAL  standard video 
> fields. If you do the math. You see how it adds up nicely. Shai
>
> If a stupid word substitution made you laugh, thank my iPhone
>
>
>> On 10 בספט 2014, at 18:55, Clark Johnsen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> Yes, I wrote about that a few days ago. But the Beethoven length still
>> determined sampling rate and bit length, within the 4 3/4" physical
>> constraint.>>
>>> On Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 5:52 PM, Shai Drori <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>
>>> The Beethoven story is an urban myth. The truth is very lame. Remember the
>>> old American Automobile radio standard that had two knobs, one on each
>>> side, and space just wide enough for an 8-track cartridge in the middle?
>>> That's the size that was chosen.
>>> Cheers
>>> Shai
>>> בתאריך 09/09/14 6:55 PM, ציטוט Paul Urbahns:
>>>
>>> Paul Stamler wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> 5" was also an attractive size because the player for a 5" disc would fit
>>>>> into the standard cutout in a car's dashboard. At the time many cars had
>>>>> radio/cassette players, and the Compact Disc was intended as a
>>>>> replacement
>>>>> for the Compact Cassette, to use the formal names for each format.
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> I agree Paul that makes a lot of sense, and even though  Tom Fine makes a
>>>> case fir Rock music, Rock is basically 2 - 3 minute songs compiled.
>>>>
>>>> I can see where you would take the longest classical piece (they are
>>>> usually played through at once) and develop a playing time to fit. That
>>>> way
>>>> all the others should.
>>>>
>>>> But as you say physical size was important (where have I heard that line
>>>> before???) and we all remember how important the auto industry was to 8
>>>> Tracks!
>>>>
>>>> Paul Urbahns
>>>> Radcliff, Ky
>>>>
>>>>
>>> --
>>> Cheers
>>> Shai Drori
>>> Timeless Recordings
>>> [log in to unmask]
>>> בברכה,
>>> שי דרורי
>>> מומחה לשימור והמרה של אודיו וידאו וסרטים 8-35 ממ.
>>>
>
> 

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