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StanleyAV's picture
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Joined: 11/06/2010 - 10:54
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Hi-res audio Sony style : "audible" analog copy protection??!
English

I read with great interest your news release on Sony's hi-res audio
product releases. However after discovering Cinavia in their Blu-Ray
hardware, I have grave concerns for Hi-Res audio as it gains
momentum amongst hardware manufacturers.

How can customers  know that Sony with its technology and downloads has not
secretly placed "audible"(?) watermarks within the analogue domain?

It is quite happy to pollute the audio for Cinavia enabled Blu-Ray releases.
I can see that dirtying the audio for hi-res would be unconscionable for audiophiles but
sorely tempting for Sony and the record industry.

Thoughts, Whathifi and readers?

MajorFubar's picture
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Joined: 03/03/2010 - 00:01
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Audible watermarks are

Audible watermarks are already in many downloads and streams from Sony, UMG and possibly Warner iirc, not just hi-res. Even via Spotify and iTunes. Someone started a thread about it some months ago. There was an online test (sorry, lost the link now) which gave you ABX tests of something like 15-20 snippets of different tracks, all genres, and I found I could easily identify the watermarks in the vast majority of them. But very few other people here seemed that bothered by it (think it got about 3-4 replies at most). But for me it pretty-much guaranteed that I won't ever download music again until they find a way of controlling illegal distribution and copying without audibly corrupting the files. Not that I have ever downloaded very much: three HD FLAC albums in total I think

StanleyAV's picture
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watermarking of audio

thanks Major Fubar. In no review of Hi-res Audio equipment has What Hi-fi even brought this bugbear to light.
It's not hi-fidelity when the audio stream/file has been corrupted Sad

MajorFubar's picture
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Indeed. It's been mentioned

Indeed. It's been mentioned on a few forums like this one but it doesn't seem to be anyone's big news, probably because it isn't going to change any time soon and no-one's got the balls to ruffle the feathers of big corporations like UMG. It almost makes a farce of having lossless downloads, HD or otherwise, when in truth you'e not really getting the master bit for bit you're getting a file that's been cocked about with to imprint a digital signature.

I found the website I referred to earlier: 

http://www.mattmontag.com/music/universals-audible-watermark

(Warning, contains some colourful language but no obscene profanaties). The author explains the principle behind it and there's a link at the top to take the test. Best heard wearing good headphones. Some of the watermarks are fairly easy to spot, especially on pianos and solo instruments. Some are more difficult, but you can train your ears to hear the effected frequencies, and having done so it then becomes impossible to ignore them. 

Me? I'll stick to CDs and vinyl I think. Until anything comes along which is unquestionably superior, it seems the best bet.

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