Sound formats

Mark Wieder mwieder at
Sun Sep 25 21:04:03 EDT 2005


Sunday, September 25, 2005, 2:00:18 PM, you wrote:

> Get this: 44.1 was arrived at because in the beginning, the entire
> process revolved around the standard video deck at the time, the 3/4"
> U-Matic video cassette recorder, which was used for recording, 
> editing and mastering. For whatever video reasons, clock frequency 
> division, etc relied on the 3.58MHz. color burst in these decks, 
> which divided cleanly down to 44.1k. In fact up until recently the CD
> plants would only accept a properly prepared 3/4" cassette for 
> pressing.

The reason is that 3.58MHz divides cleanly down into all the video
horizontal and vertical synchronization frequencies. It makes the
video circuitry simpler and therefore cheaper. The video root
frequency crystal thus became the standard for the cheapest crystal to
mass-produce and thus the cheapest the buy in volume.

But wait, there's more... the 650MB size of the CDROM format was
determined originally by calculating how much space would be needed at
44.1kHz to fit Beethoven's Ninth Symphony on a single disc. Beethoven
meets the U-Matic and comes out with the CDROM.

> Today "CD Quality" to me is an oxymoron, like "Millitary 
> Intelligence" or the one-word oxymoron "Management".

I really really really like the idea of one-word oxymorons.

-Mark Wieder
 mwieder at

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