After the bungled launch last year of DVD-Audio, where is a digital audiophile to turn? John Atklinson provides some answers in "Talkin' 'Bout a Revolution," from the April 2000 Stereophile. "So while the DVD Forum argues about increasingly arcane aspects of the DVD-Audio medium, and John Lennon's record-industry 'men in suits' retreat further into their lawyer-built fortresses, I have bypassed all they have to offer . . . "
It's not uncommon for bootleggers to record live performances of favorite artists and then send copies of the tapes around the world. But in an interesting twist that could add a whole new dimension to concert merchandising, the Virgin Entertainment Group and Liquid Audio recently teamed up to record a live performance by the Joshua Redman Quartet at the Virgin Megastore in San Francisco. The recording was then immediately digitized and burned onto CD.
Congress has blocked a controversial plan that might have launched approximately 1000 low-power community radio stations. On Thursday, April 14, the US House of Representatives voted 274-110 in favor of a bill that would effectively kill development of about 80% of the stations. The vote was a blow to Federal Communications Commission chairman William Kennard, who has been a staunch supporter of the community radio movement, and a gift to the National Association of Broadcasters, which has long opposed low-power radio.
A single standard for terrestrial digital radio is still somewhere over the rainbow. Despite pressure from broadcasters to form an industry alliance, leading developers of the new technology are intent on pursuing their own courses, attendees learned at the 2000 National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas in mid-April. Executives from USA Digital Radio and Lucent Digital Radio, the two biggest players in the sector, told NAB members that their design and testing programs are still in early stages of development, too soon for accord.
In this issue you can find a full report from the 2000 International Consumer Electronics Show, held last January in Las Vegas. By contrast to the 1999 CES, the Y2K Consumer Electronics Show was considerably more upbeat, both according to my own observations and to those experts who specialize in judging the size of Las Vegas conventions: the city's taxi drivers. Yes, there were some rooms where lonely exhibitors were more than usually pleased to welcome a visitor from the press, but to judge from the home-theater exhibits at the Las Vegas Hilton's Convention Center and the specialty audio exhibits at the Alexis Park Resort Hotel, as well as the companies exhibiting at the splinter T.H.E. Show at the St. Tropez, the joint was jumping.
How can you tell an audiophile from a normal person? Well, given a list of names like "Haydn, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, and Mahler," the normal person might respond, "Composers." The audiophile's response is likely to be "Loudspeakers from Vienna Acoustics." Anyway, that's my association when I see these names, which may tell you something about my state of normalcy.
For lifelike audio presentation in your living room, what could be better than the real thing? When it comes to putting the sound of a piano in your home, nothing comes close to, well, a real piano. For more than a century, several companies have marketed player pianos, first using rolls of punched paper, and most recently sophisticated MIDI programs. But if a real piano represents the ultimate audio performance in your living room, who has the ultimate real piano?
Last year, Internet commerce schemes were the darlings of venture capitalists and small investors alike. For months, it seemed that almost any business plan, no matter how half-baked, could attract millions of dollars with the simple mention of "online retail sales"—otherwise known as "e-commerce" or "e-tailing."