New CD/DVD Hybrid Launched13 Nov, 2003 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Independent record label Rounder Records has begun offering at select retailers Live From the Bowery Ballroom, a double-sided CD/DVD disc from artist Kathleen Edwards.
The $4.99 release, which features three live concert recordings and two music videos from Edwards' debut album Failer, is the first music release to incorporate hybrid optical disc technology allowing for a DVD on one side and a CD on the other.
Tulsa, Okla.-based EnXnet manufactures, markets and distributes the double-sided disc in North America through a license agreement with German-based patent holder DVDPlus International, according to EnXnet president Ryan Corley.
“We've had a lot of talks with the labels and studios,” said Corley, who adds the technology will increase up to $6 a typical CD SRP. “All [of them] wanted to see a production run to see if we could really deliver the product.”
The double-sided CD/DVD concept, which Corley says was originally developed by Warner Bros. Records (WBR), was first used in the 2001 home video release of Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 from Artisan Home Entertainment (VSM, Jan. 21-27, 2001).
Corley says WBR discontinued the concept when the thickness of the double-sided disc rendered it unplayable in car CD players. Corley says WBR sold the patent to DVDPlus, which in turn created a disc playable in all CD/DVD players.
“You have between 1.2MM and 1.5MM thickness to work with on a disc and the Germans got between that and it works great,” said Corley.
He says WBR maintains a license to manufacture, market and distribute its own content in this format.
At deadline, a representative from WBR was unavailable for comment.Ballroom is being offered at the Coalition for Independent Music Stores, a nationwide group of 65 stores, Music Monitor Stores, a group of independent record chains, and Newbury Comics, a 25-store chain in the Northeast. It is also available on the Rounder Records' Web site.
“We did a soft roll out because it is not available in normal retail outlets,” said a Rounder spokesperson.
The label typically releases its product through Universal Music & Video Distribution.