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Barry Willis Posted: Sep 05, 1999 0 comments
Beginning September 21, more than 50 music retailers will offer David Bowie's new album, hours . . ., as a digital download from their websites. Other companies have released promotional singles, but the event will be the first time an entire album has been offered by a record company over the Internet. The Internet release will run about two weeks, leading up to the October 5 debut of the album in stores. Bowie was one of the first major recording artists to venture onto the Internet, with his 1997 single, "Telling Lies."
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Barry Willis Posted: Aug 29, 1999 0 comments
Country music reached the peak of its popularity six years ago, when it claimed 18.7% of the recorded-music audience. Since then, it has steadily declined to its present 14.1%, according to the Recording Industry Association of America's 1998 Consumer Profile. Reasons for the decline include the increasing crossover of country stars into pop and rock styles, a phenomenon that has broadened many artists' reach and made acts like Garth Brooks and Shania Twain household names among folks who may not previously have paid much attention to country. Crossing over, unfortunately, also dilutes the support of traditional music fans. Apart from the twang in the vocals, much current "country" music sounds amazingly like the rock and pop of 10-15 years ago.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Aug 29, 1999 0 comments
Flat frequency reponse in an audio component is good, right? Well, maybe not always, explains J. Gordon Holt in Down With Flat! JGH: "Many times in past years I have been impressed by the incredible flatness of the measured high-end response of some speakers. . . . In every such case, I have been equally amazed at how positively awful those loudspeakers sounded—so tipped-up at the high end that I could not enjoy listening to them."
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Barry Willis Posted: Aug 29, 1999 0 comments
Electronics dealers may have a great autumn if they load up on dual-well CD recorders and DVD carousel changers, two of the hottest audio fashion items. Major manufacturers like Kenwood, Onkyo, Denon,, and Harman/Kardon have all announced plans to deliver recorders and DVD changers by October, in time for the holiday season.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Aug 29, 1999 0 comments
It's been a busy week for Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) pioneers Lucent Digital Radio. (See previous report.) The company has announced that a new entity, Lucent Digital Radio, Inc., has been created as a result of an investment by Pequot Capital Management. The new company will be owned by Pequot Capital investors and Lucent Technologies, which will hold a majority ownership stake. Lucent says it will continue to support the new venture and provide ongoing access to research from the company's Bell Labs research and development unit.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Aug 29, 1999 0 comments
Last week, Burr-Brown Corporation announced the development of the DSD1700, which the company says is its first Direct Stream Digital (DSD) audio digital-to-analog converter. According to Burr-Brown, the converter is designed for Sony's DSD technology, which is used in Super Audio CD players, professional DSD processors, and DSD mixing consoles.
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Barry Willis Posted: Aug 22, 1999 0 comments
Ultra-high-resolution audio formats like the Super Audio Compact Disc and DVD-Audio are just around the corner, but music lovers' CD collections will never be obsolete if companies like dCS have anything to do with it. The British electronics company, noted for its high-quality D/A converters, has introduced a 24-bit/192Hz upconverter that is claimed to elevate the performance of ordinary 16/44.1 CD to near DVD-Audio level.
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Barry Willis Posted: Aug 22, 1999 0 comments
Former PolyGram Music Group president Roger Ames has been named to head the Warner Music Group, parent company Time Warner announced August 16. Warner's music division, formerly the top domestic money-earner, has been stagnant in the past few years. Still one of the top five music conglomerates, it now trails Seagram's Universal Music, Bertelsmann AG, and Sony Music in total business, but retains the #2 spot in total number of albums sold, according to the Wall Street Journal. Warner's foreign business is far weaker.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Aug 22, 1999 0 comments
Last week Microsoft entered the Internet audio fray by announcing the release of their Windows Media Technologies 4 platform, which the company claims introduces a "new standard for CD-quality audio" on the Internet. Windows Media includes Windows Media Player, Windows Media Services, Windows Media Tools, and Windows Media Audio SDK.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Aug 22, 1999 0 comments
Editor's Note: Stereophile's new release, Bravo!, is available for order through the Recordings page of this website.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Aug 22, 1999 0 comments
It's no secret that audio publications around the world have been shrinking or disappearing of late. John Atkinson writes in his September 1999 "As We See It" that although the trend has certainly affected Stereophile's girth, steps have been taken to fatten the audiophile content of every issue. Read his analysis of the situation in "Closer Together Covers?"
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Aug 15, 1999 0 comments
Wes Phillips explains that Adcom is one of those companies that is easy to take for granted. "To break through our complacency, Adcom would have to produce an outright unlistenable turkey—or a product that raised the bar so high that any audio manufacturer would get a hernia just thinking about raising it again."
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Barry Willis Posted: Aug 15, 1999 0 comments
Ithaca, New York-based Netdrives says it has introduced the world's first MP3 player capable of playing MP3 audio files without using a personal computer. Called the Brujo (Spanish for "wizard" or "sorcerer"), the machine has a built-in CD player that can play more than 11 hours of MP3 music. The device can be connected directly to any home stereo system, and also works as a normal CD player.
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Barry Willis Posted: Aug 15, 1999 0 comments
The Internet offers unprecedented opportunity for manufacturers to bring their products directly to their markets, but many companies have been reluctant to embrace it for fear of upsetting their established dealer networks. This has been especially true of mid-to-high-end audio companies, who have traditionally sold their wares through specialty shops.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Aug 15, 1999 0 comments
Last week, GlobalNet Systems announced that violinist Itzhak Perlman has joined its subsidiary On-Line Entertainment Network as consultant and advisory boardmember. The company says that Mr. Perlman will consult on its acquisition and production of live classical-music events and the licensing of master catalogs of recorded classical music. He also joins an advisory board that will advise on future trends and opportunities for the company. The company intends to add other major artists to its advisory board in coming months.

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