"Where can you go in the world anymore where you can be in any kind of atmosphere other than the post-media, post-consumer world that we live in now—one that's available and that's musically rich? So it's very attractive in that way."
In some ways, entrepreneurs resemble the folks who fix your roof: When they see a hole somewhere, their job is to find a way to fill it. Long-time high-end audio veterans Mel and Howard Schilling and Doug Goldberg say they have spotted a hole in the audio market and are getting ready to launch a new company to fill it.
Wiz stores sold: Cablevision Systems has made good on its promise to exit the consumer electronics retail business. On March 6, the Bethpage, NY–based cable giant announced the sale of its 17 remaining Nobody Beats The Wiz stores to GBO Electronics Acquisition LLC in a stock transaction, effective immediately. GBO will assume The Wiz's assets and debt, according to a Cablevision statement.
Combine the challenge of establishing a start-up with the launch of an entirely new consumer electronics market and you've got the recipe for a highly volatile and explosive brew. But news of a successful $1.2 billion re-capitalization announced last week indicates that three-year old digital radio pioneer Sirius will likely remain intact—at least for now.
Universal Music Group (UMG) may go on the auction block to help bail out debt-ridden Vivendi Universal. On March 6, Vivendi announced a record loss of $25.4 billion (€23.3 billion) for the 2002 fiscal year. The biggest loss in French corporate history followed a staggering $14.9 billion (€13.6 billion) loss for 2001.
Dick Olsher and various other writers take a spin with the Apogee Stage loudspeaker, whose "resemblance to the rest of the Apogee family is unmistakable" in spite of its small size. But the real story is that, "surprisingly, the sound quality does not take a back seat to its more expensive relatives."
Audiophiles constantly seek the next level in musical realism, as any reader of this website would acknowledge. The world at large, however, can't get enough of low-fidelity audio, as evidenced by the continuing popularity of the MP3 format.
There's a widespread myth that writers who get published are more talented than writers who don't get published, and that musicians who make records are more talented than musicians who don't make records. But anyone with any talent who has ever tried to earn a living as a writer, a musician, or any other kind of artist understands that the correlation between merit and success is, at best, loose. Some successful artists are talented, and some talented artists are successful. But for every talented artist who manages to make a living there are a dozen more, equally deserving, who have no choice but to keep their day jobs.
One of the most significant trends in audio, witnessed at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, is the emergence of the music server market. Pioneer, Panasonic, Marantz, Meridian, Onkyo, Rotel, Philips, Linn, and others have emphasized audio products that can be networked with each other and the Internet, and are able to share content throughout a home. Pioneer even suggests that networks will not necessarily involve a PC, but instead consist of dedicated music-server-like components.
Respondents to our weekly Stereophile polls often tell us they would buy more CDs if the prices weren't so high. So would their European counterparts, according to a survey released February 18 by the International Federation of Phonograph Industries (IFPI). Prices for recorded music are even higher in Europe than they are in the US.