According to an article posted by The Financial Times November 20, Kim Bailey, the director general of the UK trade group Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) is urging the music industry to drop digital rights management (DRM), saying that incompatible proprietary technologies, rather than preventing unlicensed copying, discourage sales of electronic files, "stifling growth and working against the consumer interest."
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has always been aimed at the electronics industry and the reporters who cover it. Other than a brief experiment with "open" days toward the end of the summer CES held in Chicago in the mid-1990s, the exhibition has never been open to the public.
Theta Digital, the "Digital Done Right" pioneer of separate DACs and transports, has been sold to Amplifier Technologies, Inc. ATI has pledged to immediately begin work on selected Theta audiophile and home-theater products.
Speaking at the GSMA Mobile Asia Congress in Macau on November 13, Warner Music Group (WMG) chairman and CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr. warned mobile phone executives to heed the mistakes of the record industry as it moved forward.
As we reported last January, The Tape Project, a collaboration among mastering engineers Paul Stubblebine and Michael Romanowski, both of Paul Stubblebine Mastering, and Dan Schmalle of Bottlehead, plans to release 10 master-quality tapes per year. The Tape Project's inaugural outing, available now, is The Number White by jazz vocalist Jaqui Naylor.
Mark Waldrep, the man behind the "only all-HD digital label," Aix Records, has now established an all-HD download site, www.itrax.com. While Music Giants and Linn offer HD downloads, iTrax calls itself "the only website to offer real HD in multiple mixing perspectives," since it offers consumers two-channel stereo, 5.1-channel "audience," and 5.1-channel "stage" perspectives in MP3, Dolby Digital, DTS, WMA pro, WMA Lossless, and PCM 96kHz/24-bit resolutions.
John Atkinson and I recently spent a few hours talking to cable manufacturer Tributaries' president and founder, Joe Perfito. Perfito had come to NYC to meet the press and introduce his company's newest cable families, the high-end Series 7 and the higher-end Series 9. "The Series 9 cables are the best cables we know how to make," Perfito told us. "The interconnects are hand-made of 20AWF solid OFHC signal conductor and a 1.25% silver-plated 46-strand 20AWG OFHC return conductor. We use an LDPE dielectric and an OFHC copper-braided shield and a double-sided copper foil secondary shield for 100% freedom from interference. The conductors are double-soldered to the solid brass connectors, then pressure welded—they will not let go of one another."
Olive Media Products, manufacturers of audiophile-quality Olive music servers, has partnered with MusicGiants, the leading site for CD-quality music downloads. Olive's well-received Opus line of digital players now allows users to download, store, manage, and play large collections of CD-quality music directly from MusicGiants without needing to buy or rip CDs, select track by track, or use a computer. (You can find John Atkinson's positive review of the Olive Symphony here.)
When we last heard from NBC Universal's CEO Jeff Zucker, he'd refused to renew the network's yearly contract with Apple's iTunes Store, leading Apple to immediately pull NBC shows from the store rather than have them yanked midseason. In addition, Apple managed to control the story so that NBC came off looking clueless and greedy. You'd think Zucker would have learned to keep his mouth shut from that media drubbing.
The invitation looked intriguing: "We are happy to welcome you to The Netherlands in September for the offical introduction of the Siltech Pantheon Loudspeaker." Siltech introducing a loudspeaker? I was well familiar with the Dutch company, celebrating its 25th anniversary next year, as a cable manufacturer. Indeed, some of the first high-end cables I had found to sound better than what I had been used to were Siltechs, back in the mid-1980s. Paul Bolin had been impressed by his auditioning of more recent G5 models in 2004. And Siltech's founder, Edwin van der Kley, is married to the irrepressible Gabi van der Kley, principal of Crystal Cable with whom I had had a rather intense breakfast meeting with during last May's Home Entertainment 2007. (All conversations with Gabi are intense.) But loudspeakers?
A consortium of media and Internet companies announced a set of guidelines to protect copyrights online on October 19. Among the group, which has been negotiating for nine months, were Walt Disney Co.; Microsoft; NBC Universal; Viacom, Inc.; CBS Corp.; News Corp.'s MySpace and Fox constituents; Veoh Networks, Inc.; and Dailymotion S.A. Noticeable for its absence was Google, including YouTube, which has recently been sued for $1 billion for infringement by Viacom.
When Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Goldman Sachs decided to call off their projected $8 billion takeover of Harman International Industries, Inc., industry experts predicted the audio company would take the two financial firms to court, if not to gain the $225 million termination fee, to force them to abide by their material adverse effect statement and complete the transaction.
Jammie Thomas Appeal: Just weeks after having been found liable for $220,000 in damages for allegedly offering 24 music tracks on her KaZaa account, Jammie Thomas has filed a notice of remittitur with the US District Court for the District of Minnesota, asking the judge to slash the jury's damage award, contending that she should receive a retrial that assesses the damages based on the actual damages suffered by the labels resulting from her making the files available.