More DCC

March 21, 2011

Here is a review from circa 1992 of the then-about-to-be-lanched DCC.

Sometimes the public remains indifferent to new trends and ideas. Almost 20 years ago now they tried (and failed) to convince us that DCC (Digital Compact Cassette) was the next big thing. I’m sure they got the pricing completely wrong. It takes time for new hi-fi to be integrated into car dashboards and portable units weren’t as portable as a Sony Walkman. Throughout the 1990s I remained quite content listening to analog compact cassettes. The DCC equipment I foolishly purchased remains the white (no..black actually) elephant of my hifi system. Without the development of/reduction in price of home PCs, broadband internet connections and all the i-stuff….and if the record labels had managed to keep a tighter grip on their product perhaps we would still be buying digital cassette tapes today……

2 Responses to “More DCC”

  1. dirigbledave@gmail.com Says:

    I wonder whether it was essentially a ‘new trend or idea’, or whether the pricing was really a major factor. After all, it was really a case of ‘one step forwards, two steps backwards’ in terms of the public’s perception of technology, which is what sells units.

    Can’t remember too much DCC, but, although they were definitely very superior in recording quality to tapes, the great buying public was by 1992 almost generationally indoctrinated towards cds – the Walkman era was long over. The DCC format also had a major disadvantage of not being able to instantly move to another track as cd players allow, which in the world of whizziness was a no-no when faster alternatives were available, quality or not. Quality isn’t an issue to the general unwashed, after all MP3 got accepted as a format because I CAN HAVE THOUSANDS OF SONGS IN A SMALL STORAGE AREA WITH ALMOST INSTANT DOWNLOAD!!! not because it’s the best format to hear Keith Moon’s cymbals as they were recorded.

    That cuts out the coolness savvy and the drooling ad-subservient audience (now better known as the I-peeps. Not much left other than portable studio clan. When you add the twisted knife of no pre-recorded product support by the major retailers, it’s instant death of the format. Which is what happened.

    I guess, by then the record companies had already entered the catchup game they so manifestly failed to even get off the starting blocks. And here we are with them struggling and moaning and legally griping, and of course it’s not their fault … (heh heh).

    Actually I’d like to be kind but … that’s not the first time Philips were responsible for a great format and rubbish follow-up/advertising/industry confidence did for them. Sometimes I wonder if they’ve done much more than give us Scott Walker and the UK distribution of the wondrous HP Lovecraft (how harsh!!).


  2. Their shavers are pretty good…..and their (Chinese made) GoGear mp3 players although the 16Gb one has just cost me more than I would have once have paid for a car….


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