Super Audio CD Format Tops 4,000 Titles With Chesky SACD Release

Sony’s Super Audio CD Project has announced that the SACD format has now passed the 4,000 mark when it comes to albums released. According to Sony SACD Project officials, the Super Audio CD that hit the 4,000 title mark was the album Structures by John Abercrombie and Eddie Gomez with Gene Jackson (Chesky SACD 317), one of the initial titles in the New York Sessions series of Jazz Super Audio CD releases.

The news comes just over a year after last summer’s announcement that the number of Super Audio CDs had topped 3,000. In that case, the 3,000 SACD mark was reached with the release of the 5.1 Surround Sound edition of Brothers in Arms by the Dire Straits in the European market (Vertigo/Mercury Records 971498). That SACD release proved popular enough that it was not only available in Europe but it also appeared in a variety of U.S. web sites and music stores as well.

A check of the web site that catalogs Super Audio CD releases shows that the number of SACD titles continues to grow, with the current number of titles reaching 4,048 at last look. In the last year, the format has been buoyed by Super Audio CD releases in the Classical, Jazz and Audiophile categories and by independent record labels such as Channel Classics, PentaTone, Telarc, Membran, Octavia, Delta and BIS. This is in addition to releases from SonyBMG which claims to be the largest producer of SACD albums to date – with 699 titles in their catalog according to Sony officials.

Comments from the Sony SACD Project
Sony commemorated hitting and passing the 4,000 SACD title milestone with an announcement in their HD World newsletter. In it, Yushi Igarashi, General Manager, Super Audio CD Project, Home Audio Division, Sony Audio Business Group said that “It is highly appropriate that this honour goes to Chesky. As well as being the vanguard of Super Audio CD’s development as a creative distribution medium, Chesky has recently announced that in future, all of its new releases will be single inventory Super Audio CDs.”

Igarashi went on to talk about Sony’s continuing role in SACD noting that “As the format holder, Sony, together with Philips, continues to support Super Audio CD very strongly. We continue to introduce an ever expanding range of players in a number of categories; we have integrated DSD audio processing within the Sony VAIO PC range; SonyBMG is a very active record company with Super Audio CD and the imminent launch of PlayStation 3 sees Super Audio CD as a standard playback feature within the device.”

New Super Audio CD Player from Sony
HD World reports that “senior Sony executives positioned Super Audio CD within the company’s core operations.” As evidence of that position, Sony cites their recent announcement of a new SACD player, the SCD-XA1200ES as part of their ES series “pure HiFi Audio category” products.

Masahiro Otsu, Senior General Manager of Home Audio Division in Sony’s Audio Business Group said that “We continue to reinforce the Home Theatre product category together with the introduction of the Blu-ray Disc format. Also, we are developing and promoting the pure HiFi Audio product category for customers who used to enjoy audio in 1970’s to 90’s – so called “baby boomers”, and also for their juniors to let them understand the great pleasure of listening to music through real HiFi audio products. The pure HiFi Audio category is the root of our audio business. So, we continue to position it as a key category in addition to the rapidly expanding Home Theatre AV category.”