Will it be more of the same or is there a big development lurking around the corner? What are your audiophile predictions for 2009?
I've bought some SHM CDs and they are great. Will buy more of these this year.
Some people will find new pleasure listening to music recordings. Some musicians will get better.
Even computer technology magazines have taken note of the resurgence of vinyl, which is my prediction. It will not overtake other formats, but I would not be surprised to find spaces made in music stores (at least) for records; most likely special editions. I also suspect that turntables will become slightly more prevalent, with USB outputs (I know there are already USB enabled turntables on the market) in combination with standard audio and maybe the odd optical output in higher end turntables. This also brings the question of a battle to maintain control over the content as the usual digital DRM measures won't work with vinyl. I also see a battle over whether vinyl audio will sound the same after USB treatment opposed to staying straight analog. (NOTE: This leads me to another question: Should vinyl recordings stay analog from microphone to speaker for maximum enjoyment?)
Vinyl will continue to thrive and grow, albeit in small numbers comparing to digital downloads. Large, cheap hard-drives will continue to drive home audio with more CD players having harddrives either installed or with a USB hub for moving files and playing them. With small 500 gig HDs commonplace how can this marriage with CD players not happen. Let's see who is first to catch on.
We'll see the highest number of simultaniously available sources ever—including reel to reel tape, streamers, iPod docks, etc. Let's hope it will turn out to be benificial to sound quality.
Less expensive equipment reviews.
The continued expansion of dynamic dipoles in home speakers.
Given the credit crunch and major market downturns, combined with fewer millionaire types to buy their products, I expect to see several high-end companies go under, unfortunately. On a more positive note, more music server technologies, and maybe a new high-def music disc standard (on Blu-Ray?)
Mostly more of the same, with some companies going under from economic pressure. More vinyl, more music servers.
Despite the economic downturn, all of the "I Gotta Dream" version of MMF (Make Money Fast) audio euphoria artists (manufacturers) will continue to propagate their products as the only way to true Nirvana audio happiness. Reviewers (equipped with blinders) will continue to propagate the intrinsic value of these socially irredeemable goods.
Still looking for a good Class-D amp to replace my Cary SLI 80. And I still haven't found what I'm looking for.
I bet the high-end companies will fully embrace music servers.
The hardware based audio high end industry will tank due to the recession and a lot of stores will go away. It will be harder for the aging audiophile to find the equipment reviewed in this publication or be able to afford it. Hence, the demise of the hobby below late 50-year-olds or older. Software will continue to be downloaded more and more. Music and video. With newspapers going under and people buying fewer books & CDs, Hastings and Borders will also go Chapter 11. That means all the audiophile will have left is internet, Best Buy and WalMart. The little speaker and equipment manufacturers who gave us all the great designs will go away because the revenue just won't be there. People will be more consumed with keeping their jobs, paying bills and figuring how to pay for their kids college and retiremnet. All of this means the hifi industry is in deep do do. I even expect one of the majors (Sony or Denon) will have to reorganize. Happy New Year!
The two hottest trends of 2008 will converge: turntables and media servers! Watch out for digital LP servers in 2009. Right here is where you will first hear about Apple's top secret LP iPod!
Server based systems will grow for those wanting convenience; vinyl will grow for those wanting the musical experience. CD sales will continue to plummet.
FLASH: there's a big development lurking just around the corner. And that makes it just more of the same.
More records and players sell. Higher rez downloads
I think that we will see more on high rez. downloads and D/A's to use with them. Also I think we will see more of the vanishing attention to quailty CD players. I really hope that we see better quality vinyl pressings than what we have been overpaying for.
Gosh, I sure hope nothing significant breaks. I'm trying to catch up as it is. I'm guessing that improvements will be made with downloadable audio and storage: increased resolution, like true lossless Dolby HD or dts, eventually even in multichannel. At least 96 or 192kHz resolution. That is truly the future, not analog and extremely primitive vinyl.
The material used in making vinyl that causes poping will be eliminated by new material along with the vinyl. I heard records will be made without vinyl, but a soft polymer substance.
Blue-ray players will add streaming/Internet browsing features.
Consolidations, disappearances, and more consolidations. Fasten your seatbelts.
Great year for the used market!
In an economic crisis due to incompetent money and fund managers, hi-fi will be more high-end, and expensive and something to hm, dream about.
DLNA technology is waiting around the corner.
Computer-based solutions for two-channel audio playing will come up.
Class-D Will be the new class-A.
USB connectivity in vehicles!
I see 2009 being a great year for big developments as companies look to survive the economic crisis that started on 2008. I expect the first great Blu-ray recordings this year. 2009 should also be the year where DACs for PCs/iPods become more accessible. I am really tired of amplifying the mediocre sound coming out of the analog outputs of these devices.
I2S interfaces for digital sources & DACs. PS Audio's new Transport and DAC are a perfect example.