One of the dirty little secrets of the recording business is that some of its most precious assets are slowly self-destructing. In one example, a popular mastering tape supplied by Ampex to recording studios during the '70s and early '80s has been found to prematurely shed its oxide coating at an alarming rate due to poor quality control of the binding agents that hold the magnetic particles to the Mylar.
Where does "fair use" end and piracy begin? Can consumers have open access to digital information and entertainment while respecting the rights of the creators of such content? Is there an inevitable collision between consumers and the rights of intellectual property owners? Can a happy balance be found in a world of high technology?
A few weeks ago, we ran an item concerning drummer Billy Higgins' declining health and rapidly growing medical expenses. Apparently, his fans have come through generously, because we just received the following:
Who says classical music is having trouble finding a contemporary audience? According to the latest Arbitron webcast ratings, for December, 2000, classical music and internet-only webcaster Beethoven.com ranked number one with the most aggregate tuning hours (ATH) for the month. ATH describes the sum total of all hours that listeners tune to a given channel.
With the April issue of Stereophile, the "Recommended Components" list is again on its way to subscribers' audiophile homes around the world. But there has always been controversy surrounding the popular feature. George Reisch explores the problem in "Recommended Components"—the St. Hubbins' Syndrome!
If you've visited this website before, you'll notice that we're sporting a new look this week. You'll also find that, in addition to the new sheet metal and colors, there are also plenty of changes under the hood. The Stereophile site was originally launched on December 1, 1997. The old model lasted over three years, but three years is an eternity in Internet time, and we couldn't resist taking all of the comments readers have sent in over the months and sorting through them for fresh ideas.
Last week, Philips Electronics and Marantz Japan jointly announced that Marantz Japan intends to buy the Marantz trademark, as well as the European and American sales organizations, from Philips. The companies say that the transaction is due to take effect in the coming months. In addition, Philips says it intends to sell shares equal to 1.5% of all shares held in Marantz Japan, effectively reducing its ownership percentage from 50.5% to 49%.
Forget the Serial Copy Management System, music fans. Macrovision Corporation is taking CD copy prevention to the next level. The folks who made it impossible to loop your DVD player through your VCR want to make sure you can't copy new music either. On February 27, Sunnyvale, CA-based Macrovision announced that it will begin beta-testing its "Safeaudio Toolkit," a CD-audio copy-protection technology. One major record label has already completed its own testing, according to an official statement. Macrovision announced its intention to go forward with the technology late last year.