NIN, Vinyl Records, Blu-rays

This journal entry is the first of what I hope will be a long tradition. I doubt it. I've tried to do this several times. This time though is simply going to be a journal. Nothing fancy to show off my web skills. Just my attempts at writing... anything relay.

Lately I've been thinking about music. Trent Reznor released a new Nine Inch Nails album; as well as re-masters of Broken, The Downward Spiral, and The Fragile. There is a catch though. The re-masters are only available as Definitive Edition vinyl records. If you buy the record for $25 - $45 you also get to download 24bit 96KHz lossless files as well. I'm not saying this is a bad product to release, but calling these the Definitive Editions as though they are the best versions we will ever see is disappointing.

Years ago Trent said he has a 5.1 surround sound version of The Fragile, like The Downward Spiral he previously released on Super Audio CD nearly a decade ago. I can say first hand that 5.1 mix of TDS IS the definitive edition of that album.

It's not just Trent and Nine Inch Nails. All over you see artists releasing special limited edition vinyl records, as the best version of their music. As cool as records are, they are the lowest quality audio format we have. It's strange that they should be embraced as the penultimate epoch of music audio recordings. Especially when we have Blu-ray; With lossless 7.1 and immersive audio like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Not only could the disks have the best, highest fidelity version of the music. They would also have music videos, interviews, "making of" or "day in the life" documentaries. Music videos don't need to be major big budget productions, they could simply be videos of the band performing the song during concert rehearsals, or at small unannounced venues.

With all the amazing technology we have, a truly premium product could be made specifically for the most enthusiastic fans with great home theaters. Lots of people have great home theater systems. Home theater is one of the biggest sections in any Best Buy. Vinyl has barely a single digit fraction of that consumer base. This segment of the market should be vastly more profitable.

It really just frustrates me how little imagination the music industry has for their products. They can do so much better than a copy of the CD on a technically inferior, 75 year old format. For the life of me, I can't fathom how an industry filled with so many, such creative, people hasn't embraced Blu-ray as a premium audio product.