More for some less for others…
If you don’t want to read this and just want to check it out:
Many of us including me started downloading MP3 music online in the mid 90’s. It sucked then. We used 33k or then advanced 56k modems over telephone dialup lines. This means we were getting our audio file data at the rates of 4.2KB, or 7.2KB per second.
Everything about download or transfer speed today is measured in either MB/s or even GB/s. An MB/s is 1000 times faster than a KB/s. A GB/s is 1,000,000 times faster than a KB/s. I feel old.
Songs in MP3 format were then and are still often 1MB data per minute of music. So a 4 minute song (4MB data) took anywhere from say 16 minutes to maybe 10 minutes top speed to download…. zzzz …. zzzz ….. zzzz …… one song, not one album.
A CD version of that same song as a WAV or AIF off the disc took about 10 times as long to download! Now you see why MP3 was so popular even though it didn’t sound great, and why iTunes took advantage of that when they opened their store for downloads in 2004.
(Oops I forgot to mention that by 2004 there was plenty of Cable Modem and DSL and other much much faster internet to the home, but Apple and everyone else was used to MP3 crappy lossy quality by then….so no one adapted to the fact that good quality was also pretty easy to download. Then FLAC format came along and compressed the WAV file size by around half without loss of any music info. Still no one disrupted the money machine called iTunes, even when they made their own FLAC and called it ALAC and could have delivered CD quality back then no problem and no cost.)
Fast Forward to 2009. I started offering DSD downloads of my SACDs to mostly the owners of Sony Playstation3’s since most of the SACD players of that day could not play what was called a DSD Disc (data disc with DSD files) as defined by Sony then.
The DSD Disc was literally a DVD data disc burned with the DSD song files (as DSF types with tags or DFF without tags) in a specific folder hierarchy that allowed players of the day to read the data files and play the music. It broke the mold Sony had created for watermarked copy protection on SACD. You still couldn’t rip SACDs (one can today with the right gear and software).
No one came…
Well a few did, but even though Internet was overall speedy by then (cable modem download speed in Hilo in 2009 was about 650KB/s) it still was not mainstream or always easy to download the large ISO image (to burn the DVD with) for many out there.
My download then was a single 2GB image (zipped ISO file) to burn a DVD disc with to play the audio files on something, either on your computer or on the DVD Disc playing in your Playstation3 or special Sony or Onkyo SACD players that handled DSD Disc as well as SACD.
Rapid Forward to 2017 when Hilo’s Time Warner Cable Modem in some people’s homes breaks the speed meter on speedtest.net at 20MB/s and above as high as maybe 26MB/s.
So while it is easy for some to download hi-res audio, it’s not easy for others. Lots of others. Worldwide. In fact 5 miles up the road from Hilo here in East Hawaii many people may not even be able to get cable modems from Time Warner and so use a much slower and costlier satellite confiugration. If they are in the forest blocking the satellite option and more than a few miles from the nearest telephone wire center (for DSL), forget about it.
By 2011 I moved away from the DSD Disc (ISO) format and just started offering to download the DSF files from my website. Then in 2013 a number of retailers came online to offer DSD downloads and that was great.
Nothing against large file downloads (I guess averages of my stereo DSD files are somewhere around 200MB per song and multichannel maybe 500 per song) but a lot of people around the world and in the US still have trouble with this today. Those files can be hard to retrieve and they take up a lot of space if you have a lot of music. (And they are hard to fit more than a small number into your smartphone.)
Problems often come from slow or interrupted Internet links, confusion on what to even do with files once they are downloaded, or combinations of other things like Safari browsers that insert .TXT file extensions on downloaded files because the server they got the (DSD) file from (like Dropbox) does not properly identify the MIME type for .DSF and .DFF music files.
Aren’t you sorry you asked?
It’s enough to … … … …. ………
A few years ago I thought I’d offer to make downloads and their problems go away for those not interested in the challenge but who wanted the music. So I provided a way to purchase the music as a little USB stick I would then mail to you. You get the USB stick, put it in your computer or BDP player and get right to it.
No one came….
Today I am offering a similar thing but this time using DVD discs as data.
These are just the same kind of good quality DVD discs anyone could burn files to off their PC/Mac for either video or just data. A blank single layer (SL), single sided disc has a 4.7 GB capacity. A double layer (DL) has twice that or 8.5GB. My multichannel SACDs require either 2 SL DVDs or 1 DL DVD.
Why would I do that you ask?
If you don’t like downloading large files but want to listen to the excellent qualities of DSD as the native source format for the hi-res recordings I have released, you might try buying the DVD version and just getting it in the mail.
The sound files are 100% identical to what is online for download. They are the same as what is/was on the SACDs for that matter. Many of my DSD titles were never SACD. These are now all available on DVD disc as well, not just as downloads.
You just pop the DVD into your OPPO or Sony or other Blu-ray/SACD/DVD/CD player (aka BDP for Blu-ray Disc Player) and select Music from from the menu. On my OPPO 103 this is the first icon after the disc (audio CD/video DVD) icon and is called “Music”.
The DVD will then show up on your screen as a “Data Disc” choice (as opposed to, say “USB”). Selecting the Data Disc media then shows the album song list just as it would from a CD or SACD.
Click on a song, play and enjoy. It continues to play songs from there to the end of the list like any CD/SACD.
If you like (and highly suggested by me), just copy the original DVD data to your computer or any backup media you use. In other words, back it up when it’s brand new. No DRM – if you don’t know what that means, good on you.
You can also play the files on your computer from your software media player through your DAC as DoP like any other DSD download. Just put the disc in the computer CD/DVD drive (just a CD drive won’t work) and select those files from your media player software (JRiver, Amarra, Audirvana….). They then play DSD through your external DSD DAC (Mytek, iFi Audio, OPPO….).
DSD on DVD Data Discs. Hope this helps.
Questions about DVD Data Discs? Post a reply and I’ll answer you best I can.