Universal Music Group (UMG) is attempting to improve sales of albums on physical media by using Blu-ray. The High Fidelity Pure Audio format uses the high capacity of Blu-ray discs in order to provide uncompressed music tracks to listeners, with the first discs using the method going on sale
later this month in the United Kingdom.
The new discs will offer music encoded in Dolby True HD, DTS Master Audio 2.0, 5. surround sound, and as PCM in some versions, reports Pocket-Lint
. In order to allow users to listen to their bought albums on devices other than Blu-ray players, codes will be supplied with the albums for downloadable MP3 versions, rather than having to rip the tracks. The first batch of tracks, shipping on 21st October, will include albums from Nirvana, Queen, Stevie Wonder, and Amy Winehouse, with classical and jazz albums also joining the initial wave of releases.
"We are very excited about the potential for High Fidelity Pure Audio, allowing music lovers to experience the works of artists in a way that has never before been possible," said UMG head of new business Oliver Robert-Murphy, continuing "Once you hear High Fidelity Pure Audio you can feel the full richness and depth of an artist's vision."
Though the albums will be competitively priced when compared to others, costing between £10 and £15 ($16 to $24) each, it is unclear if this will be a success for UMG. Download sales have been steadily eroding physical media sales for some time now, and it may need a lot more than higher quality audio to draw listeners back to discs.