Could HD Vinyl Be A Thing In 2016?

Here’s an interesting story. Vinyl, already booming in sales and popularity, might just get better. In an article translated by Reddit user Eisfeld, German technology news source FutureZone published information that a patent for manufacturing vinyl with a longer playing time and a wider frequency range.

The digital distributor Rebeat has developed in association with Joanneum Research a new method to improve length and frequency range of vinyl records. The patent application for High Definition (HD) vinyl was filed last week and should revolutionize the conventional production method. This should allow the playback in high end quality says Volker Schmidt of the Institute for surface technology and photonics at Joanneum Research. HD-Vinyl records can be played with every customary turntable and 100% compatible.

How does this work? Audio data is processed via a CAD-software and written with a laser on a stamper (extrustion machine?). Because of the digital processing, audio data and groove structures can be optimized. This means that up to 30% more information could be “stored” on the record.

With the new method, a greater frequency range is possible. Normally, the cutting stylus gets hot at higher frequencies which limits the range. With the new method this is no issue. The whole frequency range can be depicted.

Furthermore, the laser is suitable for hard materials, thus the wear of the stamper can be reduces and a higher number of pressings can be achieved.

tl/dr: Austrian company develops a new process where 30% more information can be stored on vinyl, the full frequency range can be used on the record and can reduce wear on the stamper (which may make backlogs in pressing plants obsolete)

source in german: link

Link to the company: link

Could this be more enticement for music lovers to have more music than originally able in the past? Or is it another way to charge more for a popular format? One poster says, “All I’m seeing here is that they apply computer analysis to optimize the grooves to try and fit more stuff on the disc, then cut the press tooling with a laser instead of a lathe.”

Stay tuned.