The popular condensation of Darwin's theory of evolution is "adapt or die." The phrase could certainly have been addressed to the music-industry establishment by any one of four Internet entrepreneurs in a public discussion last week at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club. The four---Gerry Kearby of Liquid Audio, Gene Hoffman of GoodNoise, Arnold Brown of AudioExplosion, and Andrew Keen of Audiocafe.com---gathered at the public affairs forum Tuesday evening, February 22, for a spirited discussion of "The Future of Music Distribution."
Newcomer Revel has been on a roll lately, piling up accolades all around for its new line of loudspeakers. Larry Greenhill takes a look at the recently unveiled Revel Salon and explains how it compares to the Sydney Opera House. "Did the Salon meet its design goals of timbral accuracy, low distortion, and lack of dynamic compression?" Read all about it in Greenhill's report.
Several weeks back, the music industry's fear of MP3 audio technology came to a head with the release of Diamond Multimedia's Rio playback device. (See previous and related stories.) The Recording Industry Association of America then announced a new plan, called the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI; see previous article), in an effort to bring the music and audio-technology industries together to solve the problem of digital music piracy.
The final piece of the TGI/Mordaunt-Short/Epos jigsaw puzzle (see previous story) seems to have fallen into place, with the news that Mike Creek (of the UK's Creek Audio) is purchasing the Epos loudspeaker brand, effective March 1.
The standalone digital/analog converter emerged as a product category in 1987 with the appearance of the Arcam Black Box and the Marantz CDA-94, closely followed by the PS Audio Link. The idea was that putting the sensitive D/A-conversion and analog stages in a separate enclosure with its own power supply would maximize the sound quality when compared with packing these circuits in the same box as the transport. However, it turned out that the routing of the digital data between transport and processor in the form of an S/PDIF- or AES/EBU-encoded bitstream could introduce word-clock jitterwhich undid much of the sonic advantages. (See "Bits is Bits" by Malcolm Hawksford and Chris Dunn, Stereophile, March 1996.)
Bill Gates would have you believe we live in a plug'n'play world. Apple has proselytized same since day one. But I'm here to tell you it just isn't so for high-end audio. The orientation of a component's AC plug—even the quality of the wall receptacle itself—affects the sound! Oh no, Mr. Bill, not something else to futz with! Will it never end?
You think we've got format problems these days? Take a peek back to 1963, when J. Gordon Holt ripped apart the then-new record technology from RCA in "Down with Dynagroove". Next, Wes Phillips writes an ode to his own Mr. Holland in "A Passion for Music".
The official website of the 41st Annual Grammy Awards was launched earlier this month with the help of a media team from the Atlanta division of International Business Machines. The Java-based site provides background information on the artists and events of the music-awards extravaganza, taking place Wednesday evening, February 24, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.