With over 650,000 audio products, we offer a tremendous selection of music on a variety of formats which include CDs, Super Audio CDs, vinyl LPs, and much more! We also carry accessories such as headphones, carrying cases, and storage devices.
Audio Format Definitions
Below is a glossary of terms used to describe and differentiate certain audio products.
Blister Pack: This type of packaging includes a stiff plastic molding surrounding the case of a CD. At the top of the plastic packaging there is a hole or a hook that is used to hang the CD on a store display. This packing is common among children's CDs.
Bonus Tracks: This indicates that a product includes "bonus" materials or extra tracks.
DAD (Digital Audio Disc): A DAD is recorded at 96,000 samples per second and is 24-bit (96/24) for higher resolution compared to standard CDs, which are recorded at 44,100 samples per second and are 16- or 20-bit (44.1/16 or 44.1/20). There is not yet a universal standard for this format. A Digital Audio Disc, can only be played on a DVD player specifically manufactured to play these discs. Check with your DVD player's manufacturer for specific instructions.
Digipak: A jewel box sized cardboard-like package with a plastic tray to secure the disc.
DTS CD: These audio titles are equipped with DTS (Digital Theater Systems) surround sound. In many of today's motion pictures, concert venues and recordings, specific sounds are intended to be heard from the front, sides and back of an individual's range of hearing, depending on the creative vision of artists and producers. In conjunction with the 5.1 speaker configurations that are currently available for home theater systems, DTS media effectively captures this 360-degree experience of sound. A DTS-encoded disc is playable only on DVD and disc players with a built-in DTS Digital Out or a digital output connector linked to a DTS-capable receiver. Most standard CD players cannot play this type of media. Please consult the owner's manual of your particular hardware device to determine if it is DTS media compatible.
DualDisc: A DualDisc is a double-sided disc that contains a CD on one side, and a DVD on the other side.
DVD Audio (DVA): DVD-Audio is a high definition audio format that includes 24-bit/192 stereo or 96kHz (5.1 surround) sound. This format features sharp transient response, with clear reproduction of high frequency instruments such as cymbals and rich, authentic timbre in the mid and low frequencies. Rapid high-frequency passages show excellent definition of individual notes, while stereo imaging presents a precise sound stage with great depth and solidity. DVD-Audio discs are also capable of carrying video, like DVD-Video titles, and include limited interactivity. DVA discs are best played on DVD-Audio players and newer DVD-Video players that are compatible with the DVD-Audio format. Some DVA titles will feature a Dolby Digital stereo track, making the disc compatible with most DVD-Video players. You cannot play this format on conventional CD players.
Enhanced CD (ECD): This multimedia format contains audio tracks that are playable on a CD player and multimedia information that is only accessible through a computer's CD-ROM drive.
Extended/Extra Play (EP): This term was originally used for 7-inch vinyl singles that contained more than two songs. Today, this term usually applies to albums with approximately 4-8 songs and a total playing time between that of a single and a full album.
Gold Disc: Some CDs may be available in a gold disc format. These 24-karat gold CDs are normally re-mastered from the first-generation masters, utilizing 20-bit technology and Sony's "Super Bit Mapping" system. Currently, there is no firm evidence that gold discs are superior in sound quality and longevity than standard aluminum pressed CDs. Gold discs are typically more expensive than standard CDs.
High Definition Compatible Digital® (HDCD®): A patented encode/decode process for delivering the full richness and detail of the original microphone feed on Compact Discs and DVD-Audio. HDCD-encoded CDs are encoded with 20 bits of real musical information, as compared with 16 bits for standard CDs. HDCD provides more dynamic range, a more focused 3-D soundstage, and extremely natural vocal and musical timbre. Although HDCD-enhanced information can only be heard using a CD or DVD player with built-in HDCD decoding, these discs are still playable on regular CD and DVD players.
Hyper CD: These CDs contain regular audio tracks as well as a link to the artist's/group's website (accessible via web browser).
Import: Domestic record labels often license the duplication and sale rights of copyrighted music to other record labels or distributors in countries outside of the United States. Commonly, though not always, the licensed companies will re-manufacture domestic titles (or create new ones) with different cover art, track arrangements, and bonus material. Import CDs also refer to foreign artists/groups titles that are manufactured internationally and distributed domestically. Since imports pass through US Customs without shrink-wrap, they are often not re-wrapped by our suppliers. Import CDs are typically more expensive than domestic titles.
Jewel Case: The clear, hinged plastic box that is standard packaging for most CDs.
Limited Edition (LTD Ed.): Only a limited number of this item is being released. Typically, when limited edition titles or versions run out, no additional copies will be made available.
Playaway: Playaway is the newest format of audio, combining a wide variety of content with an easy-to-use player all in one unit. When you receive your Playaway, all you have to do is press play to start listening immediately - there is no need for a separate player, and it comes with earbuds and a battery to make it play. It also includes a replaceable AAA battery.
To read more about Playaway, click here.
SACD (Super Audio CD): SACD uses a technique called Direct Stream Digital (DSD) mastering. This technique extends the recording bandwidth beyond 20 kHz, resulting in high-resolution audio. DSD differs from the Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) technology used by conventional CD and DVD. It samples the pure analog audio 64 times faster, resulting in a precise music reproduction that reveals details that cannot be heard on a normal CD, such as subtle reverberations, ultra short transients and frequencies above ordinary hearing limits. Non-hybrid Super Audio discs are not playable on standard CD players.
SACD Hybrid: The Hybrid SACD format combines a high-density (HD) layer and a conventional CD layer, which makes these discs playable on both Super Audio and standard CD players. Only Super Audio players can access the HD layer, thereby benefiting the listener with the same sound quality and properties associated with SACDs. However, when played on a conventional CD player, Hybrid SACDs are sonically no more dynamic than standard CDs, and the SACD properties are not present.