I have to remember how seriously audiophiles follow Stereophile. Reader David Zappardon's (firstname.lastname@example.org) e-mail to me began with "Hello, my friend." But I have to admit to feeling some guilt when he yowled that he'd wasted two fruitless hours of his time looking for the silver-bearing conductive grease I'd mentioned in the October 2000 "Fine Tunes."
Several months back, Stereophile editor John Atkinson asked David Rich to investigate the technical merits of SACD. With Super Audio CD: The Rich Report, DR discovers that there is both more and less than meets the ear to the new format, including why it is being promoted in the first place.
Music fans who use their computers to organize their CD or MP3 music libraries have found the CDDB music database, now owned and operated by Gracenote (see previous story), to be an essential part of their audio world. If you use CDDB-enabled hardware or software, the artist, album title, genre, and track titles will automatically display when you put a CD or load an MP3 file into your computer or compliant player.
Last year's media darling may be this year's has-been. Napster, the music file-sharing service that shook the music industry's foundations, remains shut down after US District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ruled that it cannot resume operations until it can prove that no copyrighted songs can slip through its filter. In a closed session on Wednesday, July 11, Patel ordered Napster to stay offline until she authorizes it to do otherwise.
If you work in the consumer electronics industry and would like to see your personal CE hero rewarded, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) would like to hear from you. The CEA announced last week that it is seeking nominations from its members, the press and other industry professionals for the 2002 class of inductees into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame.
"Adapt or die" is the first law of economic Darwinism. It's a choice that many music retailers are beginning to face with the rising tide of alternative distribution channels. According to market research organization Jupiter Research, online music services will account for approximately 9% of all CDs sold this year, a 50% increase from 2000. Retailers, once the music industry's only sales interface with the buying public, are looking at what might be an increasingly marginalized future. Those who wish to stay in the game may become "affiliates" rather than independent distributors.
We have received an update from loudspeaker designer Paul Hales on the availability of replacement parts for Hales loudspeakers. In a previous interview, he had mentioned the availability of cabinet and crossover parts for his namesake products. Some of that information was in error, due to circumstances beyond his control, he explained in a recent email:
Electrostatic speakers are my passion. Why else have I put up with their high prices, unreliability, low power handling, tendency to arc, high-frequency beaming, limited bass response, and widely fluctuating impedances?