The Super Audio CD (SA-CD) format continues to gather momentum and generate excitement, thanks to continued consumer adoption and several significant developments.
Besides the traditional CE manufacturers who continue to launch products at a wide range of price points, several high-end companies, such as Cary, Goldmund and TEAC recently introduced players to the market.
And music companies, like ABKCO Music & Records, Sony Music Entertainment (SME), and Universal Music Group (UMG) continue to offer a variety of noteworthy stereo and multichannel surround titles.
Sales of SACD titles remain strong, with several milestone recordings leading the way, including the Rolling Stones' "Remastered" Series (with more than 2.2 million units sold), Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" (800,000) and ABKCO's Sam Cooke reissue series (300,000).
In fact, according to year-end statistics published by the Recording Industry Association of America, more than 1.3 million SA-CD albums were shipped in the U.S. in 2003. This brings the total installed base of SA-CD discs to over 12 million (life to date).
Universal Music Group is releasing several key Super Audio CDs this summer, including Sting's "Brand New Day" and recordings from other artists such as The Allman Brothers Band, Diana Krall, Eric Clapton, Derek & the Dominos, and Sheryl Crow.
Sony Music Entertainment has released over 240 SA-CDs over the past four and a half years, including recent frontline multichannel SA-CD titles such as David Bowie's "Reality" to "The Thorns" and Barbra Streisand's "The Movie Album." In addition, the company recently released a wide variety of classic catalog titles in the SA-CD format, including the critically acclaimed Bob Dylan reissue series. Upcoming SA-CD titles include releases from such artists as Indigo Girls and David Sanchez, as well as additional installments in the Bob Dylan SA-CD series.
There are more than 2,000 SA-CD titles currently available worldwide; almost half of which are multichannel surround titles. Approximately 100 CD titles are being released worldwide per month to meet growing consumer demand.
There are a total of 26 manufacturers offering more than 118 Super Audio CD-compatible products.
Currently, Super Audio CD replication is available from the Sonopress facility in Germany, Viva Magnetics in Hong Kong, Crest National in the U.S. and Sony DADC Global in the U.S., Japan, and Austria.
SA-CD professional production equipment has been introduced by several companies including dCS, EMM Labs, Genex, SADiE, and Tascam.