After a four-year hiatus, the Vacuum State of the Art Conference and Show has been resurrected. Scheduled for next weekend, May 24–26, at the Hilton Hotel in Vancouver, Washington, just across the river from Portland, Oregon, VSAC owes its renewal to audio enthusiasts and software company owners Carolyn S. and Michael Kilfoil, who have taken over from founders Dan and Eileen Schmalle.
Wadia Digital, Inc. announced that it will debut the $349 iTransport iPod dock in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) January 7, 2008. Certified by Apple as "Made for iPod®," the iTransport bypasses the iPod's internal D/A conversion to output an S/PDIF signal, "providing CD-quality resolution from full-resolution from file formats such as .WAV and [Apple Lossless]."
The public auction of the assets of Wadia Digital Corporation has been postponed for at least two weeks, according to an employee of the Minneapolis law firm Siegel, Brill, Greupner, Duffy & Foster, P.A., which is handling the liquidation.
Merger mania in high-end land: Loudspeaker manufacturer Hales Design Group and digital audio manufacturer Wadia Digital Corporation are joining forces to create what the companies' executives are calling "new digital products for the new millennium." The announcement was made February 14 at Wadia headquarters in River Falls, Wisconsin.
Briefly gone but not forgotten, Wadia Digital will return as a division of Audio Video Research, Inc. (AVR) of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a new company formed in December, 2000 by combining the assets of Wadia and Digital Imaging Corporation. Wadia products, including the 861 and 831 CD players and 27ix processor, will be shown at CES in January, 2001.
Venture capital group Shared Ventures is now the legal owner of the assets of Wadia Digital Corporation. Wadia's majority shareholder, Shared Ventures, acquired the company's name, intellectual property, and physical inventory at a public auction in Minneapolis on September 12. The law firm of Siegel, Brill, Greupner, Duffy, and Foster, P/A, of Minneapolis, managed the auction. Originally scheduled for late August, the auction was postponed for two weeks after a flurry of interest following the publication of an official notice in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Warner Music Group is supporting efforts by the DVD Forum to create a hybrid dual-layer CD/DVD-audio disc, according to reports from New York the first week of December. WMG, a unit of AOL Time Warner, is one of the music industry's principal backers of the DVD-Audio format.
Audiophiles have complained since the earliest days of the compact disc that music reissued in the digital format often doesn't sound as good as it does on the original LPs. For nearly 20 years, such complaints have been dismissed by ordinary music lovers and by music-industry executives as the rantings of purists, but at least one major label is now admitting that many early CDs were not very good.
This is old news, but you may not have read it anywhere: Warner Classics no longer exists as an "active" label. Gramophone published a news item breaking the story on June 2 and Norman Lebrecht apparently analyzed and excoriated the move in his La Scena Musicale web log shortly thereafter. We say "apparently," since Lebrecht's site now reads www.scena.org is now expired.
Speaking at the GSMA Mobile Asia Congress in Macau on November 13, Warner Music Group (WMG) chairman and CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr. warned mobile phone executives to heed the mistakes of the record industry as it moved forward.
On December 27, Amazon.com and Warner Music Group announced that WMG's entire 2.9 million-song catalog would be available on Amazon's DRM-free, à la carte MP3 store—the first time the entire Warner catalog has been available online and the first time it has been offered sans DRM.
After a difficult gestation, DVD-Audio may finally be moving toward becoming a market reality now that a major record label has stepped forward to support it. Warner Music Group (WMG) has issued several recordings in the new format, covering a range of genres. DVD-A is "the most significant industry format launch since the introduction of the CD nearly 20 years ago," according to an October 2 WMG press release.
One of the industry's most ambitious digital distribution programs has been announced by Warner Music Group. In November, WMG will make more than 1000 albums and singles available as downloads through several online music retailers, using RealNetworks' RealPlayer software. Music fans in the US and Canada are the target audience for the download program, according to a September 11 press release.