Rush Heads Artists Backing New DVD Music Format
CE Pro magazine's Robert Archer looks at the new Music Video Interactive (MVI) disc, which is capable of playing in any DVD drive and offers high-resolution audio, Web interactivity and video.
Rush DVD
Rush’s Snakes and Arrows MVI disc
July 11, 2007 by EH Staff

With little fanfare the music industry recently launched a new format called Music Video Interactive (MVI).

Building upon the nearly dead concepts of DVD-Audio (DVD-A) and Super Audio CD (SACD), this new format currently uses traditional DVDs as a starting point, and eventually its creators claim that it will migrate to HD DVD and Blu ray.

Right now there are releases from Rush, Linkin Park and The Flaming Lips available on the format and a couple of weeks ago I decided to check it out by buying the Rush “Snakes and Arrows” disc. Costing slightly more than a normal CD the disc comes in a nicely packaged box.

Once I got the disc home I unpacked it and popped it into my Cary DVD player. With a menu that’s similar to DVD-A I chose the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix because I wanted to hear Rush in surround sound. In fact Rush has never released any of its music in a surround format other than live concert DVDs. After checking out a few songs I went back into the menu and watched the documentary of how the album was made, which is called “The Game of Snakes and Arrows.”

I found the 40-plus minute documentary to be really entertaining and insightful. In it, the band discusses about half an album worth of songs. I found it interesting when Alex Lifeson talks about the song “Far Cry” and why he used the F sharp suspended (F# sus) chord to help him transition in and out of parts and how the band came up with the “malignant Narcissism” after Fender had shipped Geddy Lee a Jaco Pastorius reissue bass.

Later I tried the high resolution two-channel mix, which offers users 24-bit/96kHz audio, which I found to offer more depth than the CD recording I’ve been listen to since the album’s initial release.  Additionally, I also browsed the photos, lyrics and album credits.

Sadly I tried the interactive features on my two-month-old broadband connected iMac without any results.

All-in-all I think despite the lack of Web connectivity the format is fun and it has potential to appeal to music fans that want to learn more about their favorite artists. —Robert Archer, CE Pro senior editor

Go to www.mvimusic.com or www.rush.com for more details.

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