PS3: Digital Music Jukebox
I just saw pictures posted of the PS3’s CD ripping interface. This functionality already exists on the 360 and has been expected on the PS3 so this isn’t very exciting by itself.
One other question that I have: will it rip SACDs? The PS3 will definitely play SACDs and rip CDs for convenient digital jukebox playback, but why not allow users to rip SACDs and get both digital jukebox convenience and SACD features?
My first guess is no, it won’t. The SACD format was extensively designed to avoid ripping for anti-piracy reasons. But since the PS3 is a fully Sony integrated solution, Sony clearly sees the value in digital jukebox functionality, and Sony has a large stake in SACD, it’s not impossible.
Right now, SACD is a poor value proposition for most consumers including myself. It has some nice extra features, but the restrictions designed to prevent piracy are obnoxious and outweigh all of its benefits. However, if PS3 supports ripping SACDs, that would be a really cool addition.
Here are the benefits that I would like:
- Multi-Channel Music: Front/Back channel separation is great for games and movies but for most music, it’s pointless. Even stereo is mostly unecessary. However, I’m sure several musicians could do some really cool stuff with 5.1 sound if consumers could hear it. Many artists have already released 5.1 mixes and I’d love to hear them.
- Increased Compression Formats and Fidelity Options: Most consumers are clearly happy with MP3s an 128 kpbs AAC. Mostly, I am too. However, many music buffs really appreciate extra fidelity and I’d love to give it a try.
- Extra Data: Artwork, song titles, lyrics, liner notes, and extra data are all stored on the disc. Currently there are online services that match song names and album cover pictures with CD signatures, but they aren’t 100% reliable and it’s more convenient to just have that stuff right there on the disc.
BTW, music is clearly moving away from physical media and towards purely digital distribution. That’s great, but I currently don’t get multi-channel and high fidelity options from online music stores. Also, buying a used CD and ripping to computer is currently the cheapest and most convenient way for me to get music.
What do you guys think? Will you use your PS3 as a digital music jukebox? Will you play SACDs or rip them if it’s possible?