Monster Cable presents Monster Music SuperDiscs: 320 kbps AAC surround sound for Apple iPods

Monster Cable Products – the leading manufacturer of high-performance cable and power for home theater, car, and Apple iPods-recently announced the launch of their new subsidiary set to raise the caliber on the way listeners hear music. The Monster Music Division will provide real music lovers the chance to experience their favorite songs with a surreal sense of quality through the “monstrous” innovation known as Monster Music SuperDiscs.

Fully compatible with CD, DVD, iPOD devices, Monster Music SuperDiscs offers advanced features to enhance the consumers’ listening experience. The limited edition Monster Music SuperDiscs are carefully mixed and mastered to bring out all the clarity, detail, and excitement of the original performance.

Most SuperDisc packages will include 2 high performance discs. One disc will feature a Stereo mix that plays on any CD player. The other plays in any DVD player format features High Definition Surround Sound in Dolby Digital and DTS 96/24, as well as, High Definition Stereo that sounds exactly the same as the studio master file. In addition, some discs feature multiple mixes that allow listeners with a home theater system to select their own ‘Surround Experience’. Listeners will be able to choose to be ‘in the audience’ of a live concert or ‘on stage’ right in the middle of the band.

For consumers who listen to music through their computer and portable music players, SuperDiscs include High Definition Digital Music files encoded directly from the master recordings. These files are ready to drag and drop into any music program including iTunes and Apple iPod. A special incentive for Apple iPod listeners are the Dolby Headphones-encoded music files that will give the iPod a surround sound music experience through any pair of headphones. Monster Music SuperDiscs are also the first music releases to be certified by THX for high quality sound and picture, multiple surround experiences, and digital music file quality.

One of the first to be released is a SuperDisc of Ray Charles – Genius Loves Company, winner of 8 Grammy Awards including Album of the Year and Best Surround Sound Album. For Rock, Universal is releasing the latest live DVD of its top group, 3 Doors Down, exclusively through Monster Music. Other titles in the first group of releases include: Vince Guaraldi’s Original Soundtrack Recording for ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’; David Benoit’s brainchild – a 40th Anniversary Salute to ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ featuring guest artists’ new interpretations of the classic tracks; a powerful live set by jazz great Peter Cincotti complete with a concert video performance.

Monster Music SuperDiscs will cover all popular genres. However, unlike a music label that signs artists, Monster Music is mainly working with other labels to release SuperDisc versions of their top artists and top releases, often at the same time as the label’s regular CD release. The Monster Music SuperDiscs offer listeners a unique opportunity to have a high quality experience of their music and who their favorite artists truly are.

With all the features, the Monster Music SuperDiscs are priced slightly higher at $24.99 whereas regular CDs typically range from $12.99-$18.99 depending on the artist and specific release. However, the Monster Music SuperDiscs are guaranteed to change the way music is heard, and the synergy with one of the leading producer of electronic goods ensures that these high quality CD’s will guarantee listeners “monstrous” results at a reasonable price point.

More info here.

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  1. Isn’t this ironic? I was just talking with a friend the other day who’s all turned on about listening to digital music files on his little (non-iPod) music player. I was trying to explain to him that the typical piece of recorded music that a person listens to today has LOWER sound quality than just 10 years ago. All because of compression.

    He said, “But can you really hear the difference?”

    I have to get him over some time to listen to the “difference” between a 128 AAC file and a Super Audio CD of the same thing played through my state-of-the-art system.

  2. By the way, as soon as some classic Ides of March or BS&T albums are released this way, I’ll be all over it. Love to hear “Friendly Strangers” or “BS&T 4” mastered this way.

    Hopefully this Monster “catalog” will become bigger than either the DVD-Audio or SACD catalogs were.

  3. Your ears and state-of-the art system may be able to detect the differences, but the rest of us don’t want to have to sit home to listen to music, and aren’t going to buy audiophile equipment. We listen to music in our lives–complete with whatever background noise there may be. In cars, while jogging, or wherever. The difference you can detect doesn’t matter to the way most people enjoy music.

    And enjoying music is what it’s about. People who can tell perfect sound (or think they can) should enjoy it that way. Others should enjoy it on the go.

    PS, I love my iPod.

    PPS, I want blue ray audio! None of this superdisc.

  4. ^ Yes, Horn Man, maybe I wasn’t clear.

    I love portable music as much as the next guy. I also love choice. I’m thrilled that hi-def listening formats are available AT ALL, what with the proliferation of super-compressed music everywhere.

    In the future this will all be moot, as storage technology progresses to the point where we’ll all be able to CARRY AROUND the best possible music experience known to man.

    But as for right now, it’s just a pain to try and explain some of this stuff to people who really have no clue. Like my friend — he finally understood it, but like you wasn’t interested in the higher-quality versions. At least, not yet — until he hears what he’s missing and then he’ll long for more.

    That’s why I think this “headphone” version of the recordings by Monster is a step in the right direction. Give people a little taste of what they’re really missing and they’ll clamor for better quality — and we’ll ALL benefit.

  5. Personally, I can’t tell the difference between standard audio CDs and the “higher quality formats” (be they the old DAT tapes or SACD or any of the rest).

    For those who are absolute purists where do you draw the line?

    Taking the extreme position:
    To absolutely accurately portray the dynamic range of a rock concert (which can go well above 120 dB) you would need at least 40 bit resolution per sample. In order to capture the non linear components of the sound you would also need to sample at no less than 17 samples per Hz of the highest frequency of interest. (This odd 17 samples per Hz came out of study done back in the early 80s by the U.S. military on non linear waveforms being digitally sampled.) This gives at an assumed maximum of 22 kHz audio range a sample rate of 374 kilo samples per second.

    Using the four minute song “standard” Apple uses in their iPod discussions, a song would amount to about 450 MB per song. After adding a modern error correction code (such as a 9/10, 20 pass, Low Density Parity Check code) this becomes almost 500 MB per song. (Older error correction codes would add even more overhead.)

    Clearly this is untennable since every album would require a DVD in order to hold everything — not to mention the simple fact that the analog components (power amps, speakers, etc.) in a playback system won’t be able to accurately reproduce this extreme precision.

    As I said above CD quality is good enough for my ears (and I buy CDs and import them into iTunes using Apple Lossles), but for the pureists where do you draw the line?

    MDN Magic Word: enough … as in what is good enough?

  6. How good is good enough?:

    “Extreme precision” isn’t required to improve on the Red Book CD 16-bit 44.1kHz standard. 24-bit, 88.2 (or higher sample rate) is more than sufficient.

    Yes, the analogue components of a stereo system are not able to precisely reproduce extremely high frequencies or “real world” dynamics, but they don’t have to. A less than critical listening test on an average home A/V system will reveal that DTS/SACD/DVD Audio sources all sound MUCH better (more open, less strained or brittle) than a standard audio CD.

    Personally, I haven’t heard a CD produced in the last ten years that can hold a candle to, say a late-1980s Steely Dan CD. All the new CDs are mastered to be as loud as possible and they sound EXACTLY LIKE SHIT. Although the 16-Bit CD has over twice the useful dynamic range of a cassette tape or phonograph album, the modern CD is mastered to use about 15dB of it (other than fade-outs). This situation sucks.

    24-bits alleviates some of that Squashed-and-WAY-TOO-DAMN-LOUD problem. High sample rates give more “air” and take some of that harsh, raspy sound out of crash cymbals and the like.

    But the real driving force behind improving the Redbook standard is the addition of DRM. Sad, but true.

  7. Heh. It was inevitable — whenever a recording format becomes popular, some suped-up version is marketed for the audiophiles. In the vinyl days, it was “audiophile LPs” cut at half-speed which supposedly improved fidelity. When cassettes became king, there were metal tapes.

  8. This’ll be good for people who’ve spent thousands on their audio system. Now they can spend on media too, sit in the sweet spot and blow their minds. Beats drugs. Almost. Sex … never. Though some will combine experiences. Maybe while smoking shit too. Dreaming now….

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