It's bad enough for stores competing with each other for consumer loyalty—imagine how retailers must feel when the largest consumer-electronics company in the world decides to compete with you as well. This grim reality came true for dealers around the world last week, when Sony Electronics outlined its plans for SonyStyle.com, which the company describes as "an information-rich e-commerce website." The site is scheduled to be launched this fall.
Sometimes a product can take a while to reach its potential. As Jonathan Scull writes, "First, the Accuphase DP-75V CD player took a full two weeks to warm up and pull its act together. If anything, it was too polite, warm, and over-the-top bloomy when I first lit it up. The '75 requires a long warm-up period. But wait . . . just wait for it." When the wait was over, J-10 filed his observations in detail.
According to a new report, the number of adults going online to access music-related content has exploded in the few months, increasing 48% between December 1999 and March 2000. These numbers are based on recent findings released by market analysts Cyber Dialogue, who say that "The dramatic growth in online music users can be attributed to the media's newfound obsession with Napster, Gnutella, and MP3. When combined with a marked increase in online music offerings and the proliferation of file-sharing software, the increase in demand for online music makes perfect sense."
Although the Accuphase DP-75V looks like a conventional single-box CD player, it's actually a separate transport section and digital processor, each of which can be used independently. The transport is a 16-bit/44.1kHz mechanism, the datastream appearing on RCA coax and TosLink optical output connectors on the rear panel.
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."