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Now that DVD-Audio copy protection has been "bypassed" and the format's success or otherwise has become a moot point, i secretly wish the DVD-A consortium would just "give in" and allow unrestricted PC based playback.

I can imagine a 2 channel PC based player (such as my HTPC for example!) that keeps a database of location of 2 channel audio tracks on all titles, and automatically selects it when the disc is inserted. That wouldn't be too difficult to program, and make navigation so easy.

Of course, I have implemented a better solution. I've ripped the 2 channel tracks of all my favourite discs, and stored them on my server as WMA Lossless files, so I can play them at any time by point and click (I control the PC remotely over Wi-Fi by running NetRemote on a PDA - it's the slickest user interface for playing music!) For discs with no 2 channel tracks, I've downmixed them myself from the 5.1 track (with 32-bit floating point precision). It took several weekends, but most of it was running batch jobs so didn't take that much effort. After I've named the tracks, Windows Media Player even helpfully downloads album information and cover art from the internet (I'm still surprised by that, but grateful!).

My next project is running a convolver to do digital room correction. There is an open source plug-in available for Media Player, and I've bought the necessary hardware (Behringer ECM8000 measurement mike, plus UB1204FX mixer - yes, i went for the "overkill" on that one) to do impulse response measurements. I'm normally a "purist", but I thought this might be a fun project to try out (without spending megabucks on a TacT)

For details on my HTPC, check out the URL (PS - ambient noise in my living room with the PC and amplifier turned on is just a tad less than 50dB SPL)


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