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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 20, 1998 0 comments
As expected, the Recording Industry Association of America held a press conference last week to announce the formation of the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) which hopes to develop internet downloading technologies for music. The move comes after a rough year for the music business who has seen thousands of unauthorized websites offer copyrighted material for free using the MP3 audio format.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Dec 20, 1998 0 comments
It helps to know the technical basics when building the ultimate audio system. J. Gordon Holt, pointing out that "knowledge is power," would like to see thousands of knowledgeable audiophiles girdling the planet, and so has created an excellent primer on audio basics called A is for Ampere.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 20, 1998 0 comments
As expected, the Recording Industry Association of America held a press conference last week to announce the formation of the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI), with which they hope to develop Internet downloading technologies for music. The move comes after a rough year for the music business, which has seen thousands of unauthorized websites offer copyrighted material for free using the MP3 audio format.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Dec 20, 1998 0 comments
Getting a jump on the RIAA's move to create a new music-download standard (see related article), Tower Records announced last week that it will feature a new song-download service, created by Atlanta-based amplified.com, on the Towerrecords.com website.
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Christos Skaloumbakas Posted: Dec 19, 1998 0 comments
We recently received the following from Christos Skaloumbakas, President of the Audiophile Club of Athens, Greece. The ACA website is easy to navigate, with pictures and descriptions of members' systems---including listening rooms' floor construction and furnishings. Except for a few letters and opinion pieces, text is in clearly written English. The club is completely noncommercial, has no position regarding any of the usual audiophile controversies, and encourages open discussion. A love of music and a desire to share it are the only requirements for membership.---BW
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Barry Willis Posted: Dec 19, 1998 0 comments
The holiday retailing picture looks promising, according to several recent reports. Both the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association and the Recording Industry Association of America were predicting up seasons after mid-year numbers came in higher than expected. Overall, retail sales were up 0.6% in November, reported the Wall Street Journal on Monday, December 14.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 13, 1998 0 comments
When going up against the consumer electronics industry, the Recording Industry Association of America has no problem keeping the upstarts in their place. In fact, with recent battles over DAT and CD-R, they appear able to kill or mortally wound entire formats at will. But fighting within the computer universe is a whole new story, as recently proved by the RIAA's stumble with Diamond Multimedia and their portable MP3 device (see related stories).
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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 13, 1998 0 comments
The recent success of online retailers---especially when launching initial public offerings---has been phenomenal. In the past two years, Internet shopping has taken off in a big way, and shows no indication of slowing down. Technology trendwatcher Forrester Research predicts that worldwide Internet commerce will hit the $3.2 trillion mark within four years, accounting for 5% of all commerce.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Dec 13, 1998 0 comments
Audiophiles have more than just piles of equipment and music to wrestle with in their quest for audio ecstasy. The listening room often colors a system's performance as much as any component in the chain. Tom Norton decided it was time to examine the subject, writing, "although the perfect room does not exist, there are things that can be done to make the most of even an admittedly difficult situation." See his report in "Enough Room?"
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Dec 13, 1998 0 comments
For those of you who need yet another Jimi fix, Experience Hendrix/MCA will release a 2-CD collection of music from Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsys concerts at New York City's Fillmore East, which took place on December 31, 1969 and January 1, 1970. Drawn from the guitarist's four legendary performances, the new package will contain 16 tracks, 13 of which have never before been released in any form, with two additional tracks making their CD debut. Jimi Hendrix: Live at the Fillmore East will be released on CD and 180gm vinyl (three LPs) on February 9.
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Leonid Korostyshevski Posted: Dec 12, 1998 0 comments
Editor's Note: This item is an excerpt from an e-mail received from Russia late last week. It's noteworthy that the US Congress has spent hundreds of days and more than $50 million investigating the President's adolescent shenanigans, while elsewhere in the world serious trouble is afoot. Leonid Korostyshevski is a computer consultant and audiophile in the university town of Saratov, on the Volga river 600 miles east of Moscow. His previous dispatch appeared here in March.----BW
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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 06, 1998 0 comments
For any good battle, it helps to have several key ingredients. First, there has to be an underlying conflict that cannot be settled with diplomatic ease---it is especially important that both combatants covet the same property. Second, each side has to set a propaganda machine in motion to create the appearance of a noble struggle for the good of "the people" that transcends the simple fight for turf control. Third, the outcome of such a battle should have implications stretching far into the future. And finally, these days it helps if the press notices.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 06, 1998 0 comments
Last week's Vote! question about vibration control garnered one of the most interesting groups of comments from readers so far. Everything from bicycle tires to bubble wrap is being employed in audiophile homes around the world in an attempt to subdue the dreaded curse of the shakes.
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Bard-Alan Finlan Posted: Dec 06, 1998 0 comments
Recently, the New York Times announced the "lease" of its AM radio station, 1560kHz on the dial, to Disney/ABC for the next 8 years. Why is this important?
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Barry Willis Posted: Dec 05, 1998 0 comments
Internet traffic doubles every 100 days, according to some statistics. This growth has been accompanied by an increase in the amount of online shopping---a phenomenon that has had a significant impact on retailers. Independent bookstores, for example, have been squeezed not only by the expansion of large-scale operations like Barnes & Noble, but also by the popularity of Internet discounters like Amazon.com and Borders.com. Online sales of recorded music by both record clubs and start-up resellers have put a dent in the bottom lines of many mass-market music stores---although not a huge one yet. The trend will certainly continue.

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