DUKE ELLINGTON: The Centennial Edition: The Complete RCA Victor Recordings Duke Ellington, piano; and his bands, 1927-73 RCA Victor 63386-2 (24 CDs). 1999. Orrin Keepnews, coordinating prod.; Keepnews, Steven Lasker, reissue prods.; Steve Backer, exec. prod.; Lasker, Dennis Ferrante, digital transfer engs.; Lasker, Paul Brizzi, CEDAR restoration engs. AAD? TT: 27:33:35 Performance ***** Sonics ****
While all of the attention was on SDMI and watermarking earlier this month, Diamond Multimedia, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies (AARC) quietly announced the settlement of all pending litigation related to Diamond's Rio portable Internet music player. (See previous story.) All three parties say they have dismissed their legal actions, and have announced the mutually satisfactory resolution of outstanding legal issues.
Last week, GlobalNet Systems announced that violinist Itzhak Perlman has joined its subsidiary On-Line Entertainment Network as consultant and advisory boardmember. The company says that Mr. Perlman will consult on its acquisition and production of live classical-music events and the licensing of master catalogs of recorded classical music. He also joins an advisory board that will advise on future trends and opportunities for the company. The company intends to add other major artists to its advisory board in coming months.
Wes Phillips explains that Adcom is one of those companies that is easy to take for granted. "To break through our complacency, Adcom would have to produce an outright unlistenable turkey—or a product that raised the bar so high that any audio manufacturer would get a hernia just thinking about raising it again."
The Internet offers unprecedented opportunity for manufacturers to bring their products directly to their markets, but many companies have been reluctant to embrace it for fear of upsetting their established dealer networks. This has been especially true of mid-to-high-end audio companies, who have traditionally sold their wares through specialty shops.
Ithaca, New York-based Netdrives says it has introduced the world's first MP3 player capable of playing MP3 audio files without using a personal computer. Called the Brujo (Spanish for "wizard" or "sorcerer"), the machine has a built-in CD player that can play more than 11 hours of MP3 music. The device can be connected directly to any home stereo system, and also works as a normal CD player.
Westlake Village, California-based KnowledgeLINK has announced a mid-September debut for GetPlugged.com, its e-commerce website. KnowledgeLINK says that the site, presently under construction, will offer a wide variety of mid- to high-end home entertainment products, and "in-depth guidance" for consumers interested in buying them. The company also states that its site's network of affiliated dealers and custom installers will work with customers to ensure that they get the best use of their purchases.
Tonal accuracy vs. soundstage? "Achieving an optimum balance between the two philosophical extremes of recording is where much of the art lies. It also begs the question, of course, of why it's impossible to have both: a recording with a virtual-reality sense of imaging that also captures all the sound without any coloration." While recording the Sonata CD for Stereophile, John Atkinson wrestles with every recording engineer's dilemma. Read about the struggle to capture Robert Silverman performing Liszt's monumental B-Minor Piano Sonata and the ultimate solution in "Fate, I Defy You," added this week to the archives.
Last week, USA Digital Radio, a developer of In-Band On-Channel Digital Audio Broadcast (IBOC DAB) technology, announced an "aggressive" field-test campaign at 12 radio stations across the country. The company will be conducting the digital tests under experimental licenses issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). With most equipment already installed, according to USA Digital Radio, test efforts are currently underway at several stations.
Last week, Robert Rich began this two-part article (click here for part one) with an explanation of ambient music and pointers to some of his favorite artists' web pages. This week he wraps up with more web resources, including record labels, webzines, and online radio programs dedicated to the genre.