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.
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.
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.
Some Webcasters were given a stay of execution in late June, when the Librarian of Congress announced that they would be required to pay royalties at half the rate proposed by an arbitration panel last winter.
SACD partisans Sony and Philips continue to release new disc players that also decode DVD-Video, but not DVD-Audio. And arch-DVD-A supporter Meridian, as well as companies such as McIntosh, are releasing DVD-A and DVD-V players that don't do SACD. But there are exceptions, notably Pioneer, who debuted the first widely available "universal" player, the DV-AX10 SACD/DVD-A/CD player, last year.