A 'new' technology that will apparently supercede the CD has gone on sale. The trouble is: none of the stores that are supposed to have it know about it.
Last week, news sites like The Sydney Morning Herald and News.com.au reported on a new development in music technology that could replace CD's. The technology dubbed "DDA" was a digital album on a USB stick, music already in a digital format that would allow users to basically plug it in to their computer and transfer the files without being forced to rip the CD.
I — like many industry observers — can't help thinking that this will be a waste of time and money, and that the quality of the music on the digital album will be nowhere near as good as the similar priced version found on the compact disc. If you wanted to buy compressed digital audio files, surely you'd do it through an online music store — why bother going in to a retailer at all?
However, I decided to put away my ill will towards the concept and go out and buy one to see what it's like.
Just try finding one. Go on... I dare you.
The USB stick album cannot be found anywhere. While Fairfax and News Limited sources were keen to note in last week's news that Sneaky Sound System's USB album was available now, trying to find it is more a lesson in understanding just how often "tech news" can be relabeled as "press releases reworded to become tech news".
Head to a JB HiFi store and they'll have no idea what you're on about, the staff completely clueless to any concept of a USB album. That's fine, mind you, as the news last week did say it was going to be bought from Sanity, Virgin, and HMV stores.
"HMV, Virgin and Sanity will stock the DDA sticks," Matt Long's article on news.com.au reported, a comment which I took to heart when I walked into several Virgin stores in Sydney this week.
But this just isn't that case. In fact, contrary to the report that Virgin will be stocking the digital albums, staff at the Virgin Megastore on George St. in Sydney told me that they don't have them even though plenty of people had been asking for them. I found this strange being that this was one of the largest music stores left in Sydney owned by Brazin, the group who own Sanity, HMV, and Virgin stores.
It got even more pointless when the second staff member at the same Virgin Megastore told me that I could order it but that I should just buy a CD as "it sounds better anyway".
The Virgin in Sydney's Myer got even more interesting as the second staff member asked there seemed to know something about the USB albums that contradicted the news released last week. I was told that JB HiFi had just announced they weren't going to be stocking the digital album and that the Virgin group — as a whole — weren't going to be stocking them either.
Brazin make up a collection of music & movie stores including Sanity, HMV, and Virgin. However while I'd love to go out of my way and look at every music store owned by this group, this just simply isn't the case. I understand that it's possible that the stores I went to might have sold out of the said devices, but the information I got told clearly contradicted every news piece released about this "new technology that could replace CD's". And when two of the larger music stores left in Sydney's CBD don't have them, that almost says something damning about this replacement to CD's itself.
It would seem that no one has this technology and worse for Scott Murphy — the creator of the DDA — no one will be stocking it either.