There may be thousands of audio manufacturers around the world, but there are only a handful of ways for them to sell their products. These include your traditional bricks-and-mortar dealer network (everything from small audio boutiques to mass-market chains), the online or mail order retailer, direct sales via the Web or catalog, or direct sales via a company store.
With whom are you most intimate? Your wife? Husband? Your modern-times Significant Other? Your pet? Or, like a lot of audiophiles, is it your audio system? Do you nitpick and tweak it as if it were your pet?
We've learned to pretty much ignore consumer electronics company announcements for their latest CD and DVD players/burners. The usual "breakthrough" turns out to be yet another faster record/playback speed bump, or a longer list of compatible formats (Panasonic's latest recorder, announced last week, can handle—take a deep breath—DVD-R, DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, and CD-ROM discs).
The copy cat will soon be out of the bag down under. Australia's musical copyright society has reluctantly agreed to the deployment of CD-copying kiosks throughout the nation in exchange for what an Australian news site calls "a modest royalty payment" of about 6% of the $5AUS copying fee—or 30¢ per disc.
Stereophile writers and editors were saddened to learn of the June 27 death of colleague Timothy White, editor-in-chief of Billboard magazine. White collapsed of an apparent heart attack in an elevator at Billboard's New York offices and died shortly thereafter at St. Vincent's Hospital. He was 50.
They have become the companies music fans around the world love to hate. But to their stockholders, the businesses developing CD-restriction technologies are a promising new technology niche for investing. SunnComm is one of these new companies dedicated to finding means to restrict the ways consumers can use compact discs, and last week they used their annual stockholder meeting as an opportunity to announce their latest copy-protection product.
Earlier this year, Kalman Rubinson spent some time with the Rotel RB 1080 power amplifier. "What could be easier to review than a power amplifier? No features or functions aside from inputs, outputs, and a power switch," remarks KR. But as Rubinson finds, it's the details that count.