Although the CD was successfully released into the music industry gene pool 20 years ago, several companies are still tinkering with its DNA in order to assist record labels in restricting how consumers use their discs.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) may spend the rest of its associated life in litigation—as either as the initiator or the recipient of actions intended to determine who can use its products, under which circumstances they can do so, and how much they should pay, assuming they are allowed to use them.
More from the August issue: Larry Greenhill updates his system with the Mark Levinson No.436 monoblock power amplifier. LG says, "I was concerned when [Mark Levinson] discontinued its entire 300 series of dual-mono amplifiers, but the company reassured me that they had a suitable replacement in the No. 436." Greenhill decides for himself.
Responding to scrutiny by federal legislators, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is backing away from the pursuit of small-scale copyright violators. After issuing more than 1000 subpoenas against alleged music pirates, the trade group announced on August 18 that it would go after only big fish in its efforts to contain the file-sharing epidemic.
It's been a rough year for the music industry—and possibly an even rougher one for audiophile labels. The Dorian Group, however, seems to be thriving. Parent company to Dorian Recordings, the Dorian Group announced last week its acquisition of Reference Recordings. During its 25 years in business, RR has consistently garnered praise from audiophiles for the sound quality of its recordings, and has scored eight Grammy nominations and two Grammy awards.
At the end of July, UK-based TAG McLaren Audio, which had been experiencing difficult trading conditions and was reducing its workforce, issued a rather pessimistic announcement. The core of the announcement concerned the firm's commencement of "a full strategic review of its participation in the audio market."
To combat lackluster CD sales and online file trading, some record labels have been adding bonus DVDs to new releases to get consumers to buy them instead of downloading the data. DVD-Audio proponents, in an attempt to counter Super Audio Compact Disc's single-disc hybrid SACD/CD strategy, have been trying to figure out how to combine CD functionality and DVD-A onto one disc.
While audio writers find the siren song of cost-no-object components an ever-present temptation, I do ask Stereophile's reviewers to be on the lookout for affordable products that sound better than they have any right to. So when I listened to an inexpensive system based on Monitor Audio's Silver S2 loudspeaker and Musical Fidelity amplification at Home Entertainment 2002, held at the Manhattan Hilton in May 2002, I followed my own instruction and asked the US distributor of this English model to send me review samples.