Both my Blu-ray players can play audio CD's.
Thanks for the info, Bill. I know I could have looked it up—and I assumed BD players could play audio CDs—it's just a moot point for me. I have a BD ROM drive, but I haven't put any CDs into it yet. When I buy a BD, it is ripped into the home entertainment center, and the disc goes on the shelf. Naturally, all my music is file-based, too.
My thinking was that high def analog might be something someone would want to invent. The blue-ray packs more data in.
Again, why? Sure, a blue laser would pack in more data on an analog disc, but a common BD would pack in even more on a smaller disc. If you ever used Laserdisc, you will remember that CLVs needed both sides of the disc to hold a movie in standard def. (CAVs needed several discs.)
As for this fetish for analog, it is misplaced. The world around us is analog, although I imagine some physicists might debate that. The point is, there is abundant analog-digital conversion going on, in both directions, with consumer media. Digital has a variety of advantages, especially in the areas of signal fidelity and data compression. What matters is the quality of those A/D and D/A conversions. Some formulas work better than others.
But for anyone laboring under the idea that an all-analog system is somehow "more pure" and untainted by the touch of digital, I say they know nothing at all about technology. Analog video uses a variety of techniques to make something so artificial look more "natural." One of those techniques shared with film is "quantizing" motion into discreet frames. (Doug Trumbull believes the "frame rate of the brain" is 60 fps.) We've also come to appreciate the aesthetics of creative lighting, while cinema "vérité" often looks flat and uninteresting.
One of the more esoteric aspects of video—both digital and analog—is gamma. My point is, you won't escape the artificial aspects of any format. Not all artificial styling is aesthetically pleasing. I've seen far too many movies tainted by the dreaded "teal and orange
So you were born in the wrong century if you believe analog is the pinnacle of recording.