If you regularly read our comments sections you'll tend to find plenty of audiophiles among us, a group who finds nothing less than lossless quality sound acceptable (yes, we're proud of you all) meaning this could - quite literally - be music to your ears...
Taking its Blu-ray disc technology to the next logical step, Sony has announced a new standard it is dubbing 'Blu-spec' which uses the great accuracy of the blue lasers to write music to the humble CD. The result: audio quality should be vastly increased. Naturally enough, Sony hasn't gone into any quantitive detail about how much better this already-most-subjective of matters but the kicker is Blu-spec CDs will be compatible with existing players around the world.
Quite what black magic it has conjured to make blue laser discs readable by red laser it understandably doesn't delve into but 1. Thank your lucky stars and 2. Expect the odd older HiFi (you know the ones which are picky about recorded blank media) to probably spit their dummies out about these too.
That said, the rest of us (by which I mean Japan...) will get its first taste of Blu-spec CDs when the first volley of releases arrive just in time for - yep - Christmas. 60 titles will initially be released with a classical and jazz theme to them meaning the likes of Beethoven and Miles Davis are getting the treatment again and, if successful, Sony is expected to look for cross label support with rivals EMI, Universal and Warner Music.
Will Blu-spec be enough to claw back market and margin from the online download space? Well, given most people don't seem to give two hoots about sound quality (see white iPhone earphones and kill, kill, kill) probably not. But for the angels who read this site, I wish you a Very Merry Grey Import Christmas...
Press Release via Google (Word Soup) Translation