There appears to be nothing more important to the music business today than controlling the distribution and use of digital content on the web and in the home. Proprietary schemes to prevent or control the use of audio files have become hot commodities and valuable assets for many companies. Liquid Audio recently announced that the US Patent Office has awarded the company a patent (#6,219,634) for its watermark technique used for distributing secure digital music files.
While doing research for his analysis of the Totem Acoustic Forest loudspeaker, Larry Greenhill uncovered a legacy of great reviews for the company's previous products each ending with a final "but . . ." comment. But . . . does Greenhill discover any killer "buts" with the Forest? He explains in detail.
I have to remember how seriously audiophiles follow Stereophile. Reader David Zappardon's (email@example.com) e-mail to me began with "Hello, my friend." But I have to admit to feeling some guilt when he yowled that he'd wasted two fruitless hours of his time looking for the silver-bearing conductive grease I'd mentioned in the October 2000 "Fine Tunes."
Last year's media darling may be this year's has-been. Napster, the music file-sharing service that shook the music industry's foundations, remains shut down after US District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ruled that it cannot resume operations until it can prove that no copyrighted songs can slip through its filter. In a closed session on Wednesday, July 11, Patel ordered Napster to stay offline until she authorizes it to do otherwise.
Music fans who use their computers to organize their CD or MP3 music libraries have found the CDDB music database, now owned and operated by Gracenote (see previous story), to be an essential part of their audio world. If you use CDDB-enabled hardware or software, the artist, album title, genre, and track titles will automatically display when you put a CD or load an MP3 file into your computer or compliant player.
Several months back, Stereophile editor John Atkinson asked David Rich to investigate the technical merits of SACD. With Super Audio CD: The Rich Report, DR discovers that there is both more and less than meets the ear to the new format, including why it is being promoted in the first place.
If you work in the consumer electronics industry and would like to see your personal CE hero rewarded, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) would like to hear from you. The CEA announced last week that it is seeking nominations from its members, the press and other industry professionals for the 2002 class of inductees into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame.