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Super Hi-Fi Digital Audio in Linux

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I'm toiling every spare minute to finish my latest book, "Building a Recording Studio With Audacity." There is a chapter for golden-eared audiophiles, who have been left behind in the rush to lo-fi MP3s and poorly-engineered CDs with no dynamic range to speak of, no balance, no nuances-- just shove all the levers to the top and call it good. So, as usual, to do it right we have to do it ourselves, and one interesting option is DVD-Audio. It supports higher audio resolutions than CD-Audio, and now there is a good GPL authoring application for creating DVD-Audio disks.

This application is called dvda-author. As far as I know, it is the only DVD-Audio authoring application for Linux. dvda-author has both a CLI and GUI interface, and it runs on both Linux and Windows.

DVD-Audio is not the same as the audio formats used for the soundtracks in DVD movies, which are various lossy formats. It is a separate audio-only standard that supports very high digital audio resolutions, up to 24 bits depth/192 kHz sampling rate for two-channel stereo, and up to 24/96 (uncompressed) per channel for 5.1 surround. In comparison, CD-Audio is 16/44.1, and is two-channel stereo only.

An increasing number of DVD players support DVD-Audio, even in car hi-fi. With DVD-Audio you can create your own super-high fidelity disks, or stuff several CD's worth onto a single DVD, or enjoy genuine 6-discrete-channel surround.

To create your own DVD-Audio disks you need:

  • Ordinary DVD blanks
  • Ordinary computer DVD burner
  • Audio tracks in FLAC, WAV, or AIFF formats
  • DVD-Audio authoring software that converts your tracks to the correct DVD-Audio format
  • A player that supports DVD-Audio playback

Wikipedia has a decent article about DVD-Audio, and there are even a few commercially-produced DVD-A music disks you can purchase.


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