First, the bad news: Sales of stand-alone, two-channel audio products declined in the month of June by 1.8% to $164 million, according to recently published statistics from the Consumer Electronics Association.
After the 2001 show's wildly successful run earlier this year, Home Entertainment 2002 is heading back again to the heart of New York City. HE2002 will take place May 30–June 2, 2002 at the Hilton New York.
Success can be a two-edged sword. With the Virgo (reviewed in September 1995), Audio Physic created a $5000/pair benchmark product at the midpoint of the company's speaker lineup. While an upgraded, $5800 Virgo is due out soon, the original version will remain in production, its price dropping to $4495/pair—less than it cost six years ago.
As Larry Greenhill states in his review of the MartinLogan Prodigy loudspeaker, "Electrostatic speakers are my passion." But Greenhill's heard a lot of great 'stats in his time, so he was "both excited and uneasy" when a review pair of MartinLogan's latest arrived in his listening room. He needn't have worried.
The Music Online Competition Act (MOCA) has won the imprimatur of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), according to an announcement made August 8. The recently-introduced bipartisan bill crafted by Congressmen Chris Cannon (R-Utah) and Rick Boucher (D-Virginia) intends to insure competition in the delivery of online music—and to preserve music lovers' rights to copy their own recordings for private use.
Last week, InterTrust Technologies, which creates Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology, and format developer DataPlay announced a partnership intended to create a portable media distribution platform for protected content such as music. Universal Music Group, EMI Recorded Music, and BMG Entertainment have all announced that they are planning to release prerecorded music on the resultant DataPlay digital format for use in a variety of consumer electronic devices.
While Napster was thriving a few short months ago, the music business was noisily seething and quietly plotting. How could they put the digital audio genie back into the content-control bottle? Although Napster has since been gutted, the labels have identified the unprotected CD as the source of their woes, and now it's payback time.
When does cooperation become collusion? When does collusion become anti-competitive? Investigators at the US Justice Department have begun asking such questions in regard to plans by major music labels to make their wares available on the Internet.