A merger announced Wednesday, July 12 by Columbia, Maryland–based USA Digital Radio and Lucent Digital Radio of Warren, New Jersey may hasten the creation of a unified US standard for terrestrial digital radio, according to industry analysts. The merger was approved by the National Radio Systems Committee, which is in charge of developing a set of digital radio specifications for the US. It was also backed by 15 companies involved in the rollout of digital radio, including Viacom Inc.'s Infinity Broadcasting Corp. and Clear Channel Communications, Inc.
Chip Stern notes that, "as often as not, it ain't the heat—it's the stupidity. When confronted by the smattering of self-referential dilettantes, acrimonious Internut wannabes, and obsessive-compulsive types who suck the air out of our aural fun-house, I find myself overcome with the desire to program my phaser for Clip." And fire away he does in "Snobs, Slobs, & Marley's Ghost," added to the Archives this week.
By their very nature, most audiophiles seem perpetually restless, never content with that last tweak. Following in that hallowed tradition, PS Audio has been trying to reinvent the technologies traditionally used in power-line conditioners to optimize those pulses of alternating current that juice our audio systems. The company made waves with the introduction of their Power Plant line of products last year (see previous report); their P300 garnered a very positive review from Stereophile's Robert Deutsch.
Audiophiles have complained since the earliest days of the compact disc that music reissued in the digital format often doesn't sound as good as it does on the original LPs. For nearly 20 years, such complaints have been dismissed by ordinary music lovers and by music-industry executives as the rantings of purists, but at least one major label is now admitting that many early CDs were not very good.
With Napster as the little red devil with a pitchfork prodding them on, the third-largest record company in the world, EMI, making good on its earlier announcement, last week became the first major label to begin releasing music online. In a move the company hopes will silence the critics who say that Napster has become successful because the big labels have provided no Web-based alternatives, EMI put over 100 albums and 40 singles online "through all the normal retail websites."
Who the heck is this guy? Is he David Johansen, the lipstick-wearing front man of the seminal glam-rock, proto-punk New York Dolls? Is he Buster Poindexter, the pompadoured and tuxedoed "Hot, Hot, Hot" soca stylist? Is he a lounge singer? A Latin artist? Johansen is all of the above, having achieved success in each incarnation.
As often as not, it ain't the heat—it's the stupidity. When confronted by the smattering of self-referential dilettantes, acrimonious Internut wannabes, and obsessive-compulsive types who suck the air out of our aural fun-house, I find myself overcome with the desire to program my phaser for CLIP.
Federal courts long ago established that music fans have certain "fair use" rights when it comes to making copies of recordings they own. They can transfer recordings from one format to another—such as from LP to cassette tape or from CD to MiniDisc—and they can share those recordings with others, provided that the results are only for private, noncommercial use.
For technophiles, DVD is the current hot ticket. The compact disc is far from dead, however. The 20-year-old format has been given a new lease on life by Sony Corporation, which in early July announced the development of a new technique that will double the data-storage capacity of recordable CDs.