Music industry leaders back new Pure Audio format group

Music industry leaders back new Pure Audio format group

Universal Music Group (UMG) and Warner Music Group (WMG) are among a host of music-industry market leaders that have joined forces to form the High Fidelity Pure Audio Industry Group.

The new industry group’s mission is to maintain the master-recording quality promised by the Pure Audio sound-recording format as a standard.

The group says Pure Audio album releases, which have been tested in France recently to positive reviews, offer music fans sound quality rarely found outside a recording studio.

For example, the audio on CDs (once the bastion of superior audio for music fans) is measured at 16bit/44kHz in terms of sound definition. Pure Audio’s is 24bit/96kHz, a definition more often associated with masters, before it is encoded for listening in three lossless formats technically known as Uncompressed PCM, DTS HD Master Audio, and Dolby TrueHD.

Pure Audio releases can be played on Blu-ray players and Sony’s PlayStation 3 video-games consoles. Furthermore, a Pure Audio release can be downloaded into MP3 digital and FLAC lossless formats, making the same purchased recording playable on other digital devices.

From market research carried out in the UK, France, Germany and the US, it seems consumers would like the option to buy music in the higher definition sound.

To safeguard Pure Audio’s standards, sustainability and commercial viability in the industry group, UMG and WMG are collaborating with numerous representatives of other sections of the music industry’s eco-system.

They include LSO (London Symphonic Orchestra) Live, audio-technology giant Dolby, equipment maker/retailer Bang & Olufsen, sound-equipment manufacturer Bose and major UK recording studio and indie-label owner Metropolis Group. The group says other music-related companies interested in joining are welcome.

“Once you hear High Fidelity Pure Audio, you can feel the full richness and depth of an artist’s vision,” said Olivier Robert Murphy, UMG’s global head of new business and chairman of the new High Fidelity Pure Audio Industry Group, in a statement. “The enthusiastic reaction across the whole industry is very encouraging and we’re looking forward to welcoming many more members to this exciting industry group in the coming months.”

The Pure Audio group’s executive director is Jim Bottoms, who heads MESA (Media and Entertainment Services Alliance) Europe and who was recently appointed to lead the Blu-ray Disc Association’s local and industry activities.

Photo (left to right): Laurent Villaume, chairman, QOL; UMG’s Olivier Robert Murphy; Jonathan Jowitt, evangelist, Dolby Content Solutions, EMEA; and Jim Bottoms