updated 08:45 am EST, Wed November 5, 2008
Sony Music Entertainment's Japanese branch today unveiled a new disc standard that aims to bring the company's lessons from Blu-ray to music CDs. Blu-spec uses the blue lasers that would normally master Blu-ray movies to cut CDs more accurately than would be possible with red lasers. In tandem with the use of polymer plastic for the discs themselves, the format should improve the quality of audio CDs while remaining compatible with existing CD players; the latter has been a weakness of Super Audio CD and other defunct sound formats.
The first Blu-spec discs are due to reach Japan on Christmas Eve and will focus mostly on classical and jazz music, including Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Miles Davis' Kind of Blue; 60 titles in all will be available from Sony. The company is hoping to foster cross-label support from rivals such as EMI and Universal that have developed their own proprietary approaches to CDs.
Sony's move comes at an unusual time, as CD sales have rapidly declined in the face of increasing online download sales. [via Impress]