Blu-spec: Sony's latest CD format

Just what we needed: a supposedly improved CD specification. Sony Music Entertainment has launched Blu-spec in Japan and is selling Blu-spec CDs for a few of its well-known artists.

If CDs really are on their way out, Sony is ready with their replacement: Blu-spec CDs.

Although details about the new format, launched in Japan in November, are somewhat scant, we do know that users won't need a new player for Blu-spec CDs.

"The Blu-spec CD format boasts a new approach to the faithful reproduction of music by utilizing the leading-edge blue laser diode technologies optimized for the manufacturing of Blu-ray," according to CDJapan. The new discs' polycarbonate plastic, optimized for Blu-ray discs, is used "to ensure accurate reading of the data."

Sony doesn't claim that the Blu-spec CD sounds any better than a CD or how the new discs compare with Sony's previous and nearly dead super-CD format, Super Audio CD (SACD).

Although Sony made its Blu-spec PR splash in Japan, a few titles to the United States. The site lists Blu-spec CDs from Aerosmith, Jeff Beck, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Weather Report. While most Blu-spec CDs carry a list price of $25 in Japan, is selling them for $35.49 here.

Another CD format, SHM-CD, seems to be similar to Blu-spec CD, but with non-Sony artists.

Have you heard a Blu-spec CD or SHM-CD yet?

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