Doug Sahm, of the Grammy-winning Tex-Mex group the Texas Tornados, was found dead in a motel in Taos, New Mexico on Thursday, November 18. He appeared to have died of natural causes, possibly a heart attack, Taos police said. Sahm was 58.
Historically, audio has not received a lot of attention from the computer industry. That long tradition may be ending, judging by a couple of new technologies that debuted at COMDEX in mid-November. COMDEX is the year's biggest computer-industry bash, held in Las Vegas two months prior to the Consumer Electronics Show.
This is my final "Final Word." Although, combined with the announcement of A HREF="http://www.stereophile.com/news/10541/">J. Gordon Holt's resignation, this will undoubtedly cause rumors to swirl about Emap Petersen forcing all the old guys out, I assure you that my departure is of my own volition. It's a process that started back in 1997, when John Atkinson and I first talked about selling Stereophile, and for me it reaches its conclusion here.
One of the more popular monthly columns in Stereophile these days is Jonathan Scull's "Fine Tunes." To keep our online readers fit and tweaked, we are going to be adding Scull's columns to the online Archives section on a weekly basis, starting with the first column he wrote for the magazine, back in July 1998: "Fine Tunes #1." "I think I just got 2000 bucks' worth of difference," writes a reader about the value of the advice contained in J-10's first installment.
If all goes according to publicists' wishes, Web surfers will be able to access music previews beginning November 15 without the necessity of using a third-party software player, such as RealNetworks G2, to play downloaded audio files. Streaming-audio provider AudioBase.com has signed deals with several heavyweight corporate sponsors for the launch of its music previews. Participants include Sony Music, K-Tel, and Levi-Strauss. The deals are being announced in conjunction with Internet audio conference Webnoize.
Feeling the need to hook your audio system directly into a website for music files? Last week, Sony Corporation and Sun Microsystems announced plans to further collaborate to provide digital consumer-electronics appliances with direct access to Internet-based content and services. The companies say that the first phase of this cooperation will involve the development of home gateway software, running on appliances such as set-top boxes (connected to a home entertainment system), that will support a combination of home networking and network server technologies.
Need proof that baby boomers and their attendant interests are having an effect on the frontiers of computer research? Look no further than Triumph PC Online's announcement that it has introduced The John Lennon Artificial Intelligence Project (JLAIP), the first AI-based clone of the late Beatle. The project, initially titled The Plastic Digital Karma Project, has been under development for two years.
People love to make their own compilation recordings. That fact helped make the cassette deck the most successful audio format of all time, and it is driving sales of CD recorders, a product category new to most consumers. As predicted last summer, CD recorders have become one of the hottest niches in consumer audio, exceeding MiniDisc machines in total sales dollars. Sales are brisk despite the fact that CD recorders are among the priciest components on the market, ranging from $500 to $600. MiniDisc recorders for home use are priced at about $250 and up.
Rarely have I anticipated the arrival of a review component as I did the Sony SCD-1 Super Audio CD player. I'd first heard the machine itself with the enthusiastic audiophile hordes at Chicago's HI-FI '99. I'd also been lucky enough to enjoy a few of the Direct Stream Digital-encoded recordings Tom Jung had made for DMP right off the hard drives of a prototype DSD processor via Ed Meitner electronics. (See my interview with Jung elsewhere in this issue.)
In his review of the SimAudio Moon P-5 preamplifier and W-5 power amplifier, Kal Rubinson wrote, "something about their aesthetics appealed to me: Canadian ruggedness coupled with a decidedly French panache. I remember that those attributes also characterized the demo's sound, although I can't recall the speakers or the sources involved. At succeeding shows, it gradually dawned on me that the Moon components were the fixed elements in a succession of impressive demos."