Streaming multiple channels of music has proven a big hit with satellite customers, so it seems natural that DMX---a subsidiary of TCI Music (soon to be renamed Liberty Digital), and the company responsible for bringing audio to 2.6 million dish owners---would move to the Internet. Last week, DMX announced a multi-year, multi-phase global distribution agreement under which the DMX music service will be transmitted on Lycos' network of websites.
Stereophile editor John Atkinson---arguably the high-end audio publishing industry's single most important figure, and certainly its intellectual nexus---has seen it all in his 23 years in the high-end audio industry. At HI-FI '99 in Chicago, Audiocafe.com's Andrew Keen was able to pull JA away from his busy schedule for an in-depth interview about his views on the industry's current state of affairs---and on what's just over the horizon.
Providing another boost to the nascent DVD-Audio market, Zoran Corporation, a provider of integrated circuits (ICs) and software for digital video and audio applications, announced last week the availability of a new DVD decoder IC chip, the Vaddis IV. Zoran says the chip is optimized for fourth-generation DVD players and will include integrated DVD-Audio decoding. According to the company, the new Vaddis IV decoder enables the design of flexible and advanced---yet affordable---new DVD players.
Radio broadcasts are still among the most useful resources for finding new music. They are also among the most frustrating. It's a rare occurrence anymore for announcers to tell you the name of a song and who performed it. Often, if you really want to know, you have to call the station and ask. If you're really lucky, someone might be willing to answer your question.
In Stereophile's "Recommended Components," most full-range Class A speakers—and even some in Class B—are behemoths. Some are tall, some are wide, some are deep, and some are just plain big. Most of us would find such no-compromise devices physically imposing and visually distracting in our listening rooms. Putting aside the infamous "Spousal Acceptance Factor," how can you ignore such speakers' presence and concentrate on the music?
Cello Music and Film Systems is not merely one of the world's most prestigious names in audio and video. This week, a plush restaurant is opening at the company's new headquarters at 53 East 77th Street (212 517-1200) on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Cello, as the bar/restaurant/garden is appropriately named, will serve dinner by invitation only until mid-June, when it will be opened to the public, according to Florence Fabricant in the May 19 edition of the New York Times.
Houston, Texas-based AstroJams is back online with Grateful Dead MP3s. The site shut down its offerings of Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band downloads after receiving a cease-and-desist order from attorneys for Grateful Dead Productions in April. At issue was the site's use of advertising to generate revenue. GDP claims the sole legal right to commercial benefits stemming from the use of the band's music and logos, but had "never objected" to the free sharing of music in the Dead tradition, according to Dennis McNally of GDP's publicity department.
In a tersely worded press release, Carver Corporation announced that on Wednesday, May 12, 1999 it filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 in United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington. The cause of the filing was "an accumulation of unpaid debt and resulting legal actions filed by creditors. These actions created the prospect of an inequitable distribution of payment to creditors and prevented the Company from being able to operate as a functioning business entity. In October of 1998, the Company ran out of working capital and laid off the remainder of its workforce. Subsequently, at the invitation of the Board of Directors, Robert W. Carver, the founder of the Company and former CEO, stepped in to take over."
Last week, the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA) announced its forecast that Internet sales of traditional consumer technologies to online households should reach at least $14 billion by 2002, representing 13% of total industry volume. CEMA also revealed that consumer research shows interest in buying consumer technologies online should grow by at least 135% in the next two years. The study found that the vast majority of online shoppers opt to consummate the purchase online instead of at a retail store because of price.
Last week, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, Inc. announced that the company has reached an agreement in principle to acquire DOW Stereo/Video, Inc., located in San Diego, California. DOW is a nine-store specialty consumer-electronics retailer with sales of approximately $38 million, and has been in business in the San Diego market for over 30 years. The transaction is expected to be completed on or about July 1, 1999. Tweeter says it will pay approximately $5.5 million for the company excluding acquisition costs, and has the option of paying approximately $500,000 of the purchase price in Tweeter common stock.