Recording industry hypes DualDisc format


— 3:55 AM on August 25, 2004

The recording industry has hatched a new product to lure music lovers away from peer-to-peer networks:

The consortium, which includes major labels EMI Music, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, said the DualDisc product has a full album on a CD side of the disc and the album in enhanced sound--such as DVD-Audio--on the other side. The DVD side also includes a range of features, such as music videos, interviews, photo galleries, Web links, concert footage and lyrics, the DualDisc Consortium said.
Because content is split between CD and DVD sides, DualDiscs should be compatible with any CD or DVD player, provided you put the right side down. However, I have to wonder how enticing DualDisc's extra content will be. For starters, video content will surely make its way onto P2P networks. Also, few consumers may have stereo systems that can really take advantage of DVD-Audio. And then there's the potential for record labels to load up the DVD side of a DualDisc with filler; they've been doing that with the CD side for years.

Unfortunately, there's no word on perhaps the most vital DualDisc detail: pricing. The recording industry may be able to pack more content onto a double-side disc, but they'll still have to compete with 99-cent iTunes downloads and free P2P networks.

 
   
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