Once again, audiophiles can help themselves and others at the same time by participating in The Cable Company's eighth annual "Summer Against Hunger" campaign. The Cable Company and a wide cross-section of its vendors (listed below) have set up a program by which up to 10% of The Cable Company's August sales are donated to CARE and the International Rescue Committee, with contributions to be used to assist the worldwide disaster relief efforts of those humanitarian organizations.
In his 1987 review of the Celestion System 6000 loudspeaker system, Martin Colloms notes, "In the audio field, the British have traditionally thought 'small,' scoring hits both with their compact loudspeakers and with medium-priced amplifiers." MC reveals why the compact but fullrange Celestions are one such hit.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is reporting that sales of DVD-Video players also capable of playing high-resolution audio formats have taken off this year, compared to 2002. According to CEA market research, manufacturers shipped 148,000 DVD-A and 100,000 SACD players to retailers through May of this year.
The international uncertainties of 2003 have not been kind to the specialist hi-fi sector, and are probably a key factor in this week's shock announcement. In a statement that sounds depressingly valedictory, the press release (reproduced in full below) baldly states: "TAG McLaren Audio ceases development of new products and commences a full strategic review of its participation in the audio market," before signing off with, "TAG McLaren Audio would like to thank everybody for their kind support over the years."
An old adage has it that "when Sony sneezes, the whole electronics industry catches cold." If that's so, there could be an epidemic brewing. Sony's profits plunged an astounding 98% in the first quarter of its current fiscal year. Thomson, Samsung, and some large retailers also reported big drops.
Bertelsmann may escape the legal wrath of its music industry peers, thanks to a decision rendered by Germany's top court on July 25. The Federal Constitutional Court in Berlin ruled to block delivery of a $17 billion lawsuit brought by other members of the recording industry over Bertelsmann's financial support of Napster. The block is good for at least six months and could be permanently renewed upon full examination of the lawsuit. Bertelsmann has already filed in US federal court in New York to have the suit dismissed.
Downloading audio files, whether through a paid music service or not, continues to grow as a means to accumulate music in the US. According to a recent Ipsos-Insight study, as of April 2003, nearly one-third of the general US population aged 12 or older has downloaded a music or MP3 file from the Internet. This translates into roughly 65 million downloaders.
As digitally recorded music moves through the recording and production chain, it can be handed off to a variety of studios, musicians, producers, record label executives, and mastering engineers. Sometimes this is done with a recordable CD or DVD, sometimes with a portable hard disk, and sometimes via a high-bandwidth Internet connection. Somewhere along the way, a good percentage of those files (some estimate up to 80%) get copied in an unauthorized manner and quickly end up on the Internet or on the street as pirated CDs before any official discs are released.