On June 17, Carlton Communications, owner of Technicolor, announced that it has entered into a merger agreement to acquire Nimbus CD International, one of the world's largest independent manufacturers of optical discs, including CD-Audio, DVD, DVD-ROM, and CD-ROM.
The "world's largest bookstore" may be on its way to becoming one of the biggest music stores, too. Two weeks ago, Amazon.com began a big push into CD retailing, more than doubling the number of its musical offerings to over 100,000 titles. (Competitor CDnow offers over 500,000 titles.) Visitors to the Amazon website can now click on a tab that will take them to a new music site, where they can listen to audio previews and read reviews, reprints of articles on bands and musicians, and music-industry news.
With the plethora of CD and DVD formats out there, it can be confusing figuring out what will work with what. Standards can help define specifications for a particular format, but often do little to guarantee compatibility between them.
On Wednesday evening, June 10, The Academy Advancing High Performance Audio & Video held its 1998 Golden Note Awards at the Marina Del Rey Ritz-Carlton. Following an address by John Hoskins of the Advantage Performance Group, a sales consulting firm, the amiable awards ceremony was MC'd by Paradigm's own stand-up comedian, Rob Sample. AAHPAV's ceaselessly energetic Chairperson Sue Regan assisted in the presentations, as did Academy President Joe Picirilli. And the hard-working winners (drum roll, please) are . . .
On June 7, CDnow, the world's top online music retailer, announced that it had acquired superSonicBOOM, an Internet custom-compilation disc business. The acquisition gives CDnow the ability to offer its customers custom discs as well as catalog product, said Jason Olim, CDnow President and CEO.
Engineering facilities and a finished-goods warehouse at Altec Lansing Technologies' Milford, Pennsylvania, headquarters were damaged by fire late Sunday, May 31. The blaze was said to have been exacerbated by severe weather. No injuries were reported.
James Dunning, Jr., Chairman and CEO of The Petersen Companies, Inc., announced June 4th the completion of the acquisition of Stereophile and Stereophile Guide to Home Theater (two of this country's leading high-end audio and home theater publications), as well as HI-FI '98, The Home Theater & Specialty Audio Show.
The practice of "Transshipping"---selling a product outside one's designated territory---is widespread in the audio industry. It's commonplace for dealers to sell not only to walk-in customers, but also over the telephone or Internet to customers in other dealers' territories, usually at discounted prices. While not problematic on a small scale, the practice favors large-volume dealers over smaller ones, and is almost always a violation of a dealer's agreement with a manufacturer.
Hundreds of manufacturers will be demonstrating state-of-the-art audio products at HI-FI '98---some of which have never before been seen by the public. We're running several announcements each week leading up to the Show to give you a taste of what to expect. Here's the fourth assortment:
Software giant Microsoft Corporation has entered the audio market with a satellite-and-subwoofer speaker system for use with personal computers. The Digital Sound System 80 made its debut at this year's Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3), held May 28-30 in Atlanta's World Congress Center. The system was designed in conjunction with Philips Electronics NV of the Netherlands, one of the world's largest electronics companies.
Did they capture the sound of her violin? Did the nuance of a 9' Steinway grand piano translate onto the disc with all of its dynamic range intact? Hear for yourself when Ida Levin and Delores Stevens mark the debut of Stereophile's latest recording, Duet, with two live performances at HI-FI '98.