Posted by: qyot27 | August 23, 2011

It’s not the past that you’re afraid to see

There was something I was musing about earlier, regarding how things have changed for audio CDs in the last 10-12 years.

In the late 90s/early 00s, if there was a video packed on the disc, it was typically those atrocious CDEXTRA setups that relied heavily on Shockwave and the video was in one of three formats:

1) Cinepak; bonus points if it was at a horrendously-small resolution like 256×200 or something like that. Almost always in MOV files, but occasionally you’d find them in AVI. In both cases, the audio would be some 11kHz ADPCM variant or something. (The Offspring, Americana, 1999)

2) Sorenson Video (and Sorenson Video 3), for the big resolution 512×288/384 stuff that was still banded to hell and back, and audio that was marginally better sounding – likely to be 22kHz or 24kHz, in QDM or one of those aforementioned PCM variants. Again, definitely in MOV. (Orgy, “Opticon” remixes maxi-single, 2000 or 2001)

3) 352×240 MPEG1, but with settings that made it incompatible with Video CD, but probably could be used on DVD thanks to 48kHz MP2 audio (Linkin Park, Meteora, 2003)

(I’m not counting DualDiscs that had normal DVD-Video capability on their DVD-Audio sides)

Fast forward to the late 00s, and I certainly haven’t seen Shockwave-laden discs in a while (not saying they aren’t out there, of course). The last two or three video-bearing CDs I’ve gotten have also used H.264 and AAC as their format, still in MOV though. The point at which I realized how ridiculous this could be was reached yesterday (and inspired my once-yearly blog post), since my copy of The Birthday Massacre’s Imaginary Monsters EP arrived.

The Looking Glass EP had a video on it too (for “Looking Glass” itself), but if I recall correctly, that was still in 640×360. The “In The Dark” video on Imaginary Monsters? Freaking 1080p. It literally takes up just under half of the space on the CD, and is just a few megabytes’ difference from the size of the audio session’s data. It honestly makes me wonder if the video stream is actually Blu-ray compliant; it probably uses the same settings used for the trailers on the Quicktime trailer site/iTunes…I have no idea if those are compliant or not (when the resolution is actually 1920×1080, anyway).



And on a completely different train of thought: whiskey and Coke tastes much better when you use the regular stuff. We’d run out of that, though, so I had to make do with Vanilla Coke Zero. Exceedingly bland, although it did help mask the awful taste of aspartame somewhat.


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