Last week, Command Audio announced $56 million in new funding from several media, technology, and venture capital companies for its audio-on-demand service. The company says that the new funding will help fuel the rollout of their entertainment and information service to major US markets in the coming year.
Where Sony goes, the electronics industry follows. And Sony is going on the Internet—not merely with product information and links to dealers, but with sales direct to consumers. The announcement was made late in January by Sony Electronics president Teruaki Aoki. "We cannot neglect the customers' viewpoint," Aoki said, acknowledging that serving consumers is a higher priority for the electronics giant than protecting dealers.
Getting a good connection to ground can make or break a fussy audio (and video) system. Jonathan Scull reveals several tips and tricks in "Fines Tunes" #9. As J-10 states: "Of course, the 'Fine Tunes' brief is low- or no-cost techniques for improving your system's sound. So let's consider that unruly beast called Ground. Aside from walking on, what's it good for?" The answer awaits.
I've always wanted to review one of Madrigal's Mark Levinson products, and finally my prayers have been answered. The chosen victim? The No.32 Reference preamplifier. Note that "Reference" moniker. The No.32 is the first Mark Levinson preamplifier to carry such appellation. They're not kidding.
Last week, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group announced that it has reached an agreement in principle to acquire United Audio Centers, located in the Chicago, Illinois area. United Audio describes itself as a seven-store specialty consumer electronics retailer with annual sales of approximately $48 million, and says it has been in business in the Chicago market for over 40 years. The companies expect to complete the transaction on or about April 1, 2000, and note that the agreement in principle to acquire United Audio is subject to various terms and conditions, as well as to regulatory approval.
Several news sources reported Saturday, January 22, that Time Warner is close to completing a merger with EMI Recorded Music. The combined company will be worth an estimated $20 billion, making it the world's second-largest music conglomerate, exceeded in size and scope only by Seagram Ltd.'s Universal Music. News of the deal came less than a week after the announcement of an impending merger between America Online, the world’s largest Internet service provider, with Time Warner, one of the world's largest media conglomerates.
It's been no secret that leading British speaker brand Mission was up for sale—the situation had been spelled out last fall in the Annual Report of parent company NXT plc. NXT is busy pioneering its new flat-panel speaker technology, and shareholder interests were clearly not being well served by "carrying" for any length of time a box-speaker brand whose recent financial reports had been mostly in the red.
Recognizing that high-end audio is anything but plug'n'play, Jonathan Scull examines the details of getting the best from alternating current in "Fines Tunes" #8. As Jonathan writes: "Bill Gates would have you believe we live in a plug'n'play world. Apple has proselytized same since day one. But I'm here to tell you it just isn't so for high-end audio."
On January 17, we reported a new service by MP3.com in which it would store, on its site, digital copies of tunes purchased by music lovers for them to access from any location. Beverly Hills attorney Ken Hertz, who sometimes consults with MP3.com, said he would be "surprised if the recording industry didn't sue," despite glowing statements from MP3.com chief Michael Robertson about all the benefits and new sales the recording industry would enjoy from his venture into uncharted waters.