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.
Selling consumer-electronics gear over the Web has begun to glow white-hot in the last year, with dozens of companies turning up the competitive burners (see related story). It will likely be a tough business, with the inevitable shake-outs and mergers taking place as retailers test their strategies and brands on the public's pocketbooks.
After months of wrangling, the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) has selected Aris Technologies' MusiCode as its recommended form of digital audio copy protection, according to an inside source at SDMI. The decision came at the end of weeks of testing various watermarking techniques on the music industry's "golden ears"—recording and mastering engineers, music producers, and professional audiophiles. The official announcement is expected later this week.
Time for early-adopter audiophiles to start saving those pennies. Panasonic has just announced delivery dates and suggested pricing for two DVD-Audio players: the Panasonic DVD-A7 and the Technics DVD-A10. Beginning this October, Panasonic says that both models will be shipped to dealers nationwide, with the DVD-A7 retailing at $999.95 and the DVD-A10 checking in at $1199.95.
Last year the music industry was jolted from its complacency by the rise of MP3, a scheme for the quick and easy transfer of digital audio files over the Internet. Legal attempts to block the format as a form of copyright violation failed, and the industry began scrambling to find a way to prevent the wholesale piracy of higher-resolution formats to come. The Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI), an alliance of more than 240 hardware, software, and music-publishing companies, has been working overtime trying to develop an unobtrusive technique for preventing unauthorized copying—something that digital technology is making easier than ever.