Sam Tellig triggered a hailstorm of comment with his original review of the RadioShack Optimus CD-3400 portable CD player. After Tellig suggested that the modest player just might be a cheapskate audiophile delight, writers Corey Greenberg, Jack English, John Atkinson, Barry Willis, and Robert Harley each added his two cents. Some revealing but hitherto unpublished measurements are also included.
Writing 30 years ago, in the November, 1971 issue, J. Gordon Holt tried to anticipate the cries of Sellout!? as Stereophile began taking its first ads from dealers. Holt wrote, "Before you throw your hands up in horror . . . bear with us for another couple of paragraphs while we explain why this decision on our part need not prompt you to cancel your subscription immediately."
Imagine this: You're a modern kind of audiophile, and your music library is loaded and sorted (without any compression, of course) onto a hard-disk–based audio system which is networked throughout the house. You've also got a hard-disk–based audio system in your car.
The custom of giving presents at Christmastime recalls the Magi, or wise men, of the Nativity story (Matthew 2:1-16), who were most likely not "kings" but astrologers. Paintings usually depict three wise men presenting gifts to a newborn in a stable. However, a persnickety reading of Matthew's text reveals that the precise number of Magi, although it must have been at least two, is not stated. The text specifically mentions a house rather than a stable, and implies that Jesus was a toddler. So much for the great Renaissance painters doing their research, or even reading carefully. The text, however, does specify three gifts, and it is that inventory—of gold, frankincense, and myrrh—which has given rise to the common (but not necessarily commonsense) inference that the number of wise men was three.
On December 14, the music industry and small webcasters concluded their long and often-acrimonious negotiations on royalties. The two parties—the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) "SoundExchange," a royalty-collecting body, and the Voice of Webcasters (VOW)—filed an agreement with the US Copyright Office in Washington that details generalities agreed to under the Small Webcaster Settlement Act (SWSA), signed December 4.
With the advent of Dolby Digital, DTS, DVD-Audio, and SACD, multichannel audio and its enthusiasts are not lacking for playback formats. What has been lacking, however, is recognition for outstanding achievements in the fledgeling surround music business. But not anymore.
The music industry intends to leave no stone unturned in its war on piracy. Just a week after reports emerged about crackdowns on sales of pirated CDs at flea markets and swap meets, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced a campaign to eliminate sales of unauthorized discs at gas stations, grocery and convenience stores, and small independent music outlets.