Internet audio continues to expand. Last week, at the first WebNoize conference, held in Los Angeles, JamTV/Rolling Stone Network and RealNetworks, Inc. announced the debut of Rolling Stone Radio, a new Internet audio service offering music in several genres. Rock star David Bowie announced that he would serve as a disc jockey for the new venture. Amazon.com has also signed on to participate as a music retailer.
In the age before recordings, music was a service business. Composers wrote for their patrons, and musicians performed for money. In the days since Edison's inventions, music has become a commodity business in which record companies stockpile large inventories and attempt to move them into the market of music lovers through a dense network of distributors and retailers. For established artists, the service aspect of music---playing for pay---now exists primarily to support the commodity business. For developing artists, public performance is a form of self-promotion to aid the search for a recording contract.
VARIOUS ARTISTS: Los Super Seven Radv/RCA Nashville 67689-2 (CD). 1998. Dan Goodman, exec. prod.; Steve Berlin, prod.; Dave McNair, eng.; Fred Rennert, Steve Gamberoni, asst. engs. AAD? TT: 41:36 Performance ****? Sonics ****
This series of articles was initially written (in slightly different form), as a paper presented at the 103rd Audio Engineering Society Convention, New York, September 1997. The preprint, "Loudspeakers: What Measurements Can Tell Us—And What They Can't Tell Us!," AES Preprint 4608, is available from the AES, 60 East 42nd Street, Room 2520, New York, NY 10165-0075. The AES internet site, offers a secure transaction page for credit-card orders.
I have been informed that there was a serious error at the shipping department. The September and October issues of Stereophile and Stereophile Guide to Home Theater have been sent via a very slow shipping method. This was due to a misunderstanding between the magazines' new printer and the new subscription mailing house.
You might recall that ditty from childhood about the little engine that could (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...). It's an apt metaphor for high-end audio. In traversing the aural sepulchers of last winter's Consumer Electronics Show and the summer's HI-FI Show, I routinely encountered one divine sound system after another. Yet while I never tire of transcendent sonics, eventually I become inured to the procession of celestial, cost-no-object speakers. It's like having a white-light experience, then returning to the gritty reality of life on earth, where for most of us cost is not merely the object, but the determining factor in finding an optimal balance among audio components.
Hot on the heels of a favorable RIAA/Rio decision (see related story), five of the pioneers in the rapidly expanding market for downloadable music---GoodNoise Corp., MP3.com, MusicMatch, Xing Technology Corp., and Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc.---announced the formation of the MP3 Association, an industry trade group focused on the "continued evolution and adoption of the MP3 (MPEG 1 or 2, Layer 3) standard." The Association will focus on three primary goals: promoting MP3 technology as the next-generation digital music format, educating consumers about MP3 and its legal use, and opening new creative avenues for musicians and developers.
The Internet is having a startling effect on radio, as evidenced by a new report released by The Arbitron Company, entitled "Arbitron Internet Listening Study: Radio in the New Media World." Arbitron concludes "that Internet broadcasting is a fast-growing medium which presents both challenges and opportunities for radio broadcasters."
For the past three weeks (see previous article) we've been reporting on the troubled plight of Diamond Multimedia's new Rio portable MP3 audio player. Announced in grand fashion by Diamond several months back, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) quickly set its sights on the device, and fired what it hoped would be a fatal shot in the form of an injunction. The RIAA appeared to have succeeded until last week, when US Central District Court California Judge Audrey Collins reversed her initial ruling from 10 days earlier of an injunction, paving the way for the product's release this month. Both the RIAA and the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies (AARC) are planning an appeal.
Cleveland's WMMS-FM built an enormous following of loyal fans by cranking out a steady stream of rock'n'roll---a stream now 30 years old. "The Buzzard," as the station at 100.7MHz is known, rode the wave of rock's ascendancy, and pioneered the classic rock format---one instantly recognizable by the heavy rotation of the recordings of such groups as Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, the Allman Brothers, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen, the Cars, Kansas, Boston, and Journey. Every major city in the United States has at least one such station. Throughout the '70s, '80s, and '90s, WMMS won generations of rock fans with its midday concerts and kept them tuned in with its unwavering dedication to heavy rock. The station was instrumental in winning the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame and Museum for the city of Cleveland.