XRCD was a proprietary process by JVC to encode and manufacture standard CDs. It wasn't a proprietary format, it used Redbook, but the conversion from tape used proprietary JVC DACs. It was a load of BS, and an excuse for JVC to charge huge margins over a regular CD. Japanese recordings have a similar hype around them, supposedly better CD manufacturing process (which could very well be true, but would not effect sound quality). On the other hand, mastering for Japanese markets is different, and is likely the reason some people vocalize preference for Japanese imports.