paper written here on the many advantages of
memory playback was done to further our
knowledge on what the Nova Physics Group
Memory Player does (and probably more
importantly, does not). Aside from the few
that have personally heard this digital
breakthrough, we at ST thought it would only
be fair to have the folks at Nova Physic Group
offer an even greater explanation of memory
playback published here before our formal
RUR™ DAE and MEMORY PLAYBACK OF CDs
Memory Playback and Revisiting Reed-Solomon
To understand why “Memory Playback,”
categorically, is so vastly superior to
mechanical playback, requires us to revisit
Reed-Solomon correction codes or rather, the
version of Reed Solomon (RS) that is utilized
on the 16bit, 44,100hz CD.
It has been implied that RS correction as it
is applied in CD16/44 audio is “perfect”, and
completely immune to errors. This is
incorrect; but it can come quite close, quite
Concisely, Reed-Solomon error correction
constructs a polynomial from the data on the
CD itself. It is then redundently oversampled
until it reaches a state of “overdetermination”.
The polynomial is visited in several places to
record values that are cached. If enough data
is received, the original polynominal can be
In most cases, this is exactly what happens.
When a severe error occurs and RS fails to
create a polynomial, Interpolation
takes place, which creates an approximation
of what bit was most likely in the vacant
space. It’s wrong 50% of the time, but
still preferable to silence.
RS correction is only of value for Burst Error
correction. Burst Errors are blocks of bad
data of a predetermined size. On small, single
bit errors, RS (or rather, the version of Reed
Solomon code that is used on CDs) is
In the case of RS used for the 16/44 CD,
the version of RS implemented is specifically
referred to as “RS 255/223”. These numbers
quite literally indicate what is required of
RS, and what RS can and cannot do.
The data that is cached and used for
reconstruction are known as “Blocks”. The
purpose of the Blocks is to create a “Symbol”,
which carries the information required to
determine bit depth.
Because of the 8-bit/8-byte relationship in
computers, 8 bit depths were chosen for use in
RS 255/223. The relationship to determine the
quantity of Symbols in a data Block is “2 to
the power of the bit depth (8) minus 1, or: 2
to the 8th –1 = a Block.
As 2 to the 8th is 256, and 256-1=255, we can
easily determine the first of two imperative
indicators of the RS code that we NEED to
reconstruct lost CD data.
To determine the second parameter, we need, as
an act of volition, to integrate Parity Bits
such that we are able to correct errors to the
bit level. However, the RS code cannot
determine any information about the bit. It
can only replace it.
As our Symbol is presently 255, and we require
enough Parity Bits to repair a 16-bit system,
32 bits are used as parity, and therefore
255-32=223 so our RS code for 16/44 is “RS
As you can see, the designers of this system
imported the redundancy required to correct as
much information as the Sample Rate requires
in a 16/44 system.
RS cannot reconstruct errors shorter
than approximately 25 microseconds.
The length of the Burst Error that RS 255/223
can repair is approximately the length of time
of a single 44,100hz sample. So despite its
detractors, the length of time at which RS can
no longer ascertain any information about the
bit it intends to replace is roughly equal to
the length of time at which the 16/44 CD
itself has reached its resolution limit.
To that end, IF there are no extraneous
or corruptive influences on RS in action, the
correction could be considered “perfect”.
However the “IF” is quite large. A well-known
corruptive, attritional antagonist of RS is
NOISE, which is inherent and unpredictable.
Other less obvious but undeniable forces that
raise BLER, while lowering the fidelity of RS
correction, are the parameters that define RS
itself: Centripetal DISTORTION.
Although it is all supposed to be below the
threshold of human hearing, similar propaganda
had been said about MP3 and other forms of
COMPRESSION. And the polynomial REQUIRES
“finite field”? In a rotational device?
We have measured FAR more interpolation than
was ever expected. Pristinely clean CD averts
interpolation. Interpolation is a mathematical
guess of the probability of what a missed bit
would have been. And exactly how clean must my
CD be to avoid interpolation?
If left unsaid, the proponents of RS’s
‘absolute-ness’ it would suggest that RS is
perfect and no more need be done, at least in
the digital components. But if so, why are we
able to hear more information, or the quality
of information, with so many ‘tweaks’ and
technological alternatives? Jitter? Perhaps.
But that’s easily measured, and often not in
concert with observation.
Perhaps, then, RS is NOT perfect. We do
know that NOISE can “fool” RS into writing a
“1” where a “0” should have been, and that the
frequency of this phenomena can fatally raise
the BLER of a master.
In fact, these noise-induced errors can become
an attritional nightmare when you are
mastering a CD to be pressed. BLER
requirements are becoming ever more
stratospheric, stretching RS 255/223
limitations possibly beyond its abilities.
The noise elemental influences are extremely
complex (and verbose). A discourse on ‘Gaussian
Noise’ and ‘Hamming’ is beyond this
letter, but we can derive important clues to
eroding RS’ efficacy.
Suffice to say that what would categorically
be considered to be “Gaussian Noise” COULD
interfere with a very real “Probability
Read Until Right™ (RUR™ )
At this juncture, we can examine the virtues
and failings of an alternate data
collection/correction system known as RUR™ or
“Read Until Right”.
RUR is often confused with common CD
“rippers”. In one sense, it is a ripper. But
RUR extends its influence and abilities far
beyond the reach of a mechanical CD drive,
which depends upon RS error correction. RUR,
by nature, uses no ECC (not unlike a CD
ripper) or any form of it. RUR extracts CD
data to a bank of memory, and simultaneously
caches the positional information of any
RUR has zero mechanical jitter. To understand
this, we must acknowledge that jitter takes
place within a referenced frame of space-time.
If we look for a moment at jitter as a form of
distortion, that distortion is only distortion
relative to the original. Similarly, with RUR
extraction, the reference points on the CD
hold very little meaning, as it reformats the
music files repeatedly, until the jitter
counts are near the vanishing points. As it is
not under the constraints that a mechanical CD
player would be, it suffers no mechanical
It is imperative to note the difference
between a WAV “track” of musical information
and a WAV “file” which contains essential data
about the size and position of the track. RUR
re-formats the extracted information in real
time, as a workable WAV FILE, and that
formatting is verified with CRC (Cyclical
Redundancy Checks). More importantly, it is
reformatting the extracted music into a
virtually jitter-less music file compilation.
The compilation is on the memory, ready to be
played from the memory, and the Memory
Management technologies are implemented to
retain the integrity of the compilation.
The powerful influence of Memory Management
cannot be overstated, as explained in Part 2.
It may be worth noting here, as a preface to
the Memory Management section, that existing
BIOS technologies can be used in unorthodox
applications, with powerful results. Many
‘rippers’ have some of the abilities described
above, even the ability to indeterminately
reread the CD. Much of the Memory Management
technology bears resemblance to some of the
features in a computer’s BIOS. The similarity
Dynamic Laser Positioning
RUR holds almost absolute control of the laser
that seeks the data on the CD. When it misses
any data, it returns to exactly that point to
reread it until the void is filled. It can
reread each missed data quanta up to 99x.
RUR can alter the position of the laser to
start reading earlier in the sector, or read
beyond the normal termination point, even
sector overlap. RUR can increase the laser’s
intensity; or, command the laser to overlap
sectors. (Most jitter errors are created when
initiation and termination alignment errors
occur.) The adjustment of initiation and
termination points is paramount to the
reduction of jitter. RUR dynamically adjusts
the laser to reread a missed bit until it is
read and written to the memory.
ALL data that RUR extracts populates the
memory banks for subsequent refinement, before
playback begins. In most cases, jitter is
created and propagated downstream because of
early sector mal-alignment. Sectors that
exhibit too much jitter are ERASED and
REPLACED with clean, reread sectoral data.
Again, this ability to extract data, examine
the data, and replace corrupted data, is
because of RUR’s writing to memory where
errors can be addressed before the music is
played. In fact, RUR has the ability to
cache an entire CD to the electronic memory if
required. In fact, if a read error is severe
enough, RUR can command a sector overlap of
Clock Priority Allocation and a Dedicated
The ability of intensely sensitive
rereading of misread or jittered sectors of
the CD is affected adversely by parallel
services running even in a non-prioritized
state! For absolute accuracy of RUR’s
rereading of specified zones, we found that
it required an entirely separate, dedicated
Operating System! This ensures that the
‘mapping’ of RUR/CPU/Memory Player is NEVER in
a non-contiguous state*. This small operating
system is dedicated ONLY to operation of data
extraction, memory managements and WAV
playback from the memory. A conventional OS
and CPU operate non-critical services like GUI
and Remote Control.
complete Memory Management is in effect, as
described in Part 2.
Part 2: Memory Playback (Memory Management)
With Memory Playback, the processes which
collectively fall under the umbrella of a
given category that are concerned with DAE
(Digital Audio Extraction) could be referred
to as “RUR,” whereas, the 2nd phase of Memory
Playback, as a category, could be referred to
as “Memory Management” (MM).
As important as the quality of extraction is,
the real-time management of the playback
medium (in our case, electronic memory) is the
most critical stage of the playback process.
We will refer to this as Memory Management
(MM). It is of utmost importance that the
memory be totally managed in real time during
playback, such that playback jitter is reduced
to vanishing points.
As will become immediately apparent, the MM
requires that these processes operate at
extremely high speeds, or these processes
could not be carried out in real time while
playing the files themselves.
The MM phase of Memory Playback is subdivided
into 5 steps:
1-Shadowing and Interleave:
After the formatted files are written to the
memory, the memory is continuously
interleaved, such that one half a cycle allows
a complete Memory Scrub in real time during
the binary 0 of the interleave. In common
computer systems, Bank Interleaving is often
employed, and is strongly related to the
interleaving Memory Playback utilizes --
except that the 0 binary phase is not inverted
to be counted as more clock cycles (a common
over-clocking technique), as is the case in
Bank Interleaving. Rather, it is populated
with a shadow of the music files to permit a
Memory Scrub, without losing the music files
when the cycle inverts. As the shadow was
written to a scrubbed memory, interleaving now
allows the shadowed music files to be
rewritten to a near pristine vehicle.
As Memory Scrubbing does not affect program
files, legacy DLLs left on memory by previous
program launches remain on the memory, and are
normally not removed without a reboot. Legacy
DLLs on the memory create yet another form of
memory fragmentation, which inexorably
corrupts the linearity of Memory Playback, as
again it affects seek times and other
processes. As with the scrubs, DLL unloads in
real time are required to prevent
fragmentation of the memory. The importance
of this phase cannot be overstated, as the
load time of music files during playback is
affected randomly by the occupancy of legacy
DLLs left on the memory, depending upon the
operations the user had launched previously!
3-Real Time Defragmentation:
Perhaps the single most powerful tool for
fidelity’s sake in playing music files from
memory is defragmentation in real time!
It runs continuously, at all times, again, in
real time, behind the writing of music files
to the memory; a defragmentation ‘build’ that
was dedicated to address fragmentation of
electronic memory, NOT hard drives, or
removable storage memory.
The Memory Defragmenter is pivotal in creating
an environment of regulating the seek times
and latencies, so the files played from the
memory are fully defragmented, fully operating
during extraction and playback! This produces
a variety of measurable linearities, as
virtually all seek times are always identical!
This level of linearity (Temporal
Linearity) is visible from an optical drive,
or any mechanical drives.
4-Substrate Static Discharge:
The 4th form of memory management is physical.
Because the wafer composite on which the
memory is deposited can hold static charges, a
physical discharging technology is employed,
such that the surface of all memory chips are
at Ground level, all surfaces, at all times.
Admittedly, this improvement is small in
comparison with the other four MM parameters,
but it is audible. Each time a current runs
through the substrates, a small static charge
is formed that affects (albeit slightly) the
linearity of subsequent writing. Naturally,
these currents are bipolar, and should
discharge themselves as they do in normal
operations. While this is well known, the
complete discharge is often distorted by
environmental changes such as heat, humidity,
or voltage variations. Its deleterious effects
are often measurable as BLER (block error
rate)! A third party surface discharging
technology should be applied at this point,
because our many subjective tests have
revealed that they are too great to be
As ALL of the above four processes use the
same clock, the probability of a node rising
to an amplitude high enough to cause
intermodulation of any, or all of the above
processes, is very real. This potential source
of memory playback misalignment (and therefore
data corruption) is mitigated by spreading the
clock’s spectrum in a way not unlike some very
high-end computer systems with their CPUs. By
spreading the spectrum, components of a
clock’s oscillator are divided, and used
individually as demand requires, BUT their
checksum is identical to the original clock!
The components individually are below the
threshold of their ability to support any form
of intermodulation, yet their checksum remains
unchanged once they are “reassembled”.
The origin of Spectrum Spreading is in the US
military. It was designed to create an
undetectable signal in extremely high
frequency communications in the military that
could be later reassembled. (Its inventor
would surprise you.) In our case, its benefits
are more obvious, as intermodulation
distortion is negated, and yet the least but
last source of memory fragmentation is
As demands for more and more data to be
transmitted at faster and faster speeds
continue to change our reality, it is
inevitable that mechanical CD playback will be
set aside for purely electronic means. The
higher speeds will allow more and more
rereading, less dependency on error-prone
error correction, and in turn, greater
fidelity. If we can let go of antiquated
mechanical systems, the future of digital
music reproduction is very bright.
Copyright 2006 ©
Nova Physics Group