Perfect Sound Forever was Sony
's marketing tagline for the Compact Disc when it was introduced. They were pointing out that not only was this digital
format better than anything else
, but that the CDs last forever. Both of which are not true. CDs live about 15 years before the aluminum layer oxidize
s and destroys the data.
The CD format, especially in the early years of it's existence, evinced what audiophiles today call "digititis" which a harsh glare and/or graininess in the treble that makes CDs fatiguing and unpleasant to listen to, especially on a high quality system. Though more recent recording and mastering techniques have tamed this problem to a degree, it takes a good engineer to really do it right. Additionally, many audiophiles prefer the sound of vinyl, saying that it is warmer, smoother and easier to listen to (on a good system). The phrase Perfect Sound Forever is now used derisive
ly in the audio press
to refer to the shortcomings of CDs and of digital systems in general. Though there is fond hope that new high resolution formats like SACD
will redeem digital playback.