Traditional music radio has been taking a beating since the mid '80s, when declining audience numbers entered a ratings freefall. Reader Bard-Alan Finlan argued in his Soapbox a few weeks back that perhaps digital radio could cure the market's over-the-air terrestrial broadcast ills, if only it were implemented with adequate bandwidth and marketed correctly.
All of us at Stereophile were saddened to learn of the death of mastering engineer Denny Purcell, whose body was found Thursday, August 22 in the offices of his Georgetown Masters studio in Nashville. He was 51.
Sharp Electronics has come a long way from the household appliances and modest home entertainment products it has long been famous for. (The company's name derives from its first product, a retracting pencil.) Sharp is making a serious, prolonged push into upscale audio and video, as evidenced by the array of new models on display at a dealer and media conference held in late August at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, a hotel/golf resort north of San Diego.
It will probably be years before we can determine the actual effects that Napster and other online file-trading networks have had on the music business. Conflicting evidence suggests that swapping music either increases or reduces CD sales.
The fundamental object of the invention is to provide...the listener a realistic impression that the intelligence is being communicated to him over two acoustic paths in the same manner as he experiences in listening to everyday acoustic intercourse....—Blumlein, et al, British Patent #394,325, issued June 14, 1933
Questionable accounting practices were at the heart of the collapse of energy conglomerate Enron and telecommunications giant WorldCom. Apparently, they are also rampant in the music industry—or at least pervasive enough to command the attention of California state legislators, who have scheduled a second hearing to examine the situation.
"The vinyl record should be commemorated, not forgotten, for its unique contribution to our society. Therefore the County of San Luis Obispo, in the state of California, proclaims a celebration of the memories of music. 'Vinyl Record Day' will be celebrated to acknowledge vinyl records' influence on individuals and cultures worldwide. The date is August 12th, the date of the invention of the phonograph by Thomas Edison in 1877."
The music industry's anti-piracy war took a new turn August 16, when a coalition of major record labels filed suit against several large Internet service providers in the hope of blocking access to an offshore free music site.
What music lovers have suspected for months, and record labels vehemently deny, has apparently been confirmed by Forrester Research: Piracy is not responsible for the 15% drop in music sales in the past two years. According to a new report from Forrester, "Labels can restore industry growth by making it easier for people to find, copy, and pay for music on their own terms."