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Barry Willis Posted: Aug 08, 1999 0 comments
After months of wrangling, the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) has selected Aris Technologies' MusiCode as its recommended form of digital audio copy protection, according to an inside source at SDMI. The decision came at the end of weeks of testing various watermarking techniques on the music industry's "golden ears"—recording and mastering engineers, music producers, and professional audiophiles. The official announcement is expected later this week.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Aug 08, 1999 0 comments
Last week, USA Digital Radio, a developer of In-Band On-Channel Digital Audio Broadcast (IBOC DAB) technology, announced an "aggressive" field-test campaign at 12 radio stations across the country. The company will be conducting the digital tests under experimental licenses issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). With most equipment already installed, according to USA Digital Radio, test efforts are currently underway at several stations.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Aug 08, 1999 0 comments
Selling consumer-electronics gear over the Web has begun to glow white-hot in the last year, with dozens of companies turning up the competitive burners (see related story). It will likely be a tough business, with the inevitable shake-outs and mergers taking place as retailers test their strategies and brands on the public's pocketbooks.
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Robert Rich Posted: Aug 08, 1999 0 comments
Last week, Robert Rich began this two-part article (click here for part one) with an explanation of ambient music and pointers to some of his favorite artists' web pages. This week he wraps up with more web resources, including record labels, webzines, and online radio programs dedicated to the genre.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Aug 01, 1999 0 comments
The DVD Forum announced July 28 that it will start verification services for products based on the DVD-Audio format (see previous article) at some of its authorized DVD Format Verification Laboratories starting September 1999. According to the Forum, format verification is conducted to establish the conformity of DVD products with DVD formats created by the DVD Forum, and allows manufacturers of successfully tested products to use DVD logos as proof of conformity.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Aug 01, 1999 0 comments
While recording the Encore CD for Stereophile, John Atkinson had to decide: "Should I add some artificial reverberation?" After much gnashing of teeth, he plowed ahead. Read about the process in "Encore," an in-depth look at the recording techniques, the artists, and the music.
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Barry Willis Posted: Aug 01, 1999 0 comments
Last year the music industry was jolted from its complacency by the rise of MP3, a scheme for the quick and easy transfer of digital audio files over the Internet. Legal attempts to block the format as a form of copyright violation failed, and the industry began scrambling to find a way to prevent the wholesale piracy of higher-resolution formats to come. The Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI), an alliance of more than 240 hardware, software, and music-publishing companies, has been working overtime trying to develop an unobtrusive technique for preventing unauthorized copying—something that digital technology is making easier than ever.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Aug 01, 1999 0 comments
Time for early-adopter audiophiles to start saving those pennies. Panasonic has just announced delivery dates and suggested pricing for two DVD-Audio players: the Panasonic DVD-A7 and the Technics DVD-A10. Beginning this October, Panasonic says that both models will be shipped to dealers nationwide, with the DVD-A7 retailing at $999.95 and the DVD-A10 checking in at $1199.95.
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Robert Rich Posted: Aug 01, 1999 0 comments
Pauline Oliveros calls it "deep listening"—a way to pay attention to the sensual qualities of sound itself. Welcome to a world of music that defies categorization, that invites a listener to soak slowly into a deep and otherworldly zone. This music goes by many names: ambient, spacemusic, electronica, sacred music, tribal/trance. Alas, you'll often find it hiding in the New Age section. Unlike some fluffier New Age fare, good ambient albums can explore the deeper, more solitary spaces. At its best, ambient music can sensitize you to sound in unique ways. It can enlarge your listening space to cavernous dimensions, paint hallucinogenic sonic landscapes, summon primordial forces, or enshroud you in clouds of diffuse vapor.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Jul 25, 1999 0 comments
The age of digital music downloads has begun in earnest. On July 20, EMI Recorded Music announced that it has signed a deal with Digital On-Demand and its subsidiary, RedDotNet Inc., to make the EMI catalog available for downloading to kiosks in music stores. The kiosks will be equipped with CD "burners" where customers can copy EMI recordings not in stock in the stores. They will also be able to print out the original cover art and liner notes. Discs can be copied at high speed in 5 to 15 minutes using RedDotNet's technology, the announcement noted.
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Barry Willis Posted: Jul 25, 1999 0 comments
Yet another major music company has joined the digital downloading stampede, in the wake of the Secure Digital Music Initiative's (SDMI) recent progress toward formulating copyright standards. On July 19, Universal Music Group announced its intention to make its titles available for downloading to the coming generation of portable audio players. New devices from Diamond Multimedia, Toshiba, and Panasonic—all expected to hit the market by the winter holiday season—will play encrypted tunes from Universal and other big labels.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jul 25, 1999 0 comments
According to a report released last week by Cahners In-Stat Group, a high-tech market research firm, the market for personal digital music players using audio compression technologies will experience a tremendous increase in growth through the next several years. Nearly $800 million in player sales are expected in 2003, spurred largely by widespread Internet access. The report also states that products in this segment will initially focus on downloading technologies like MP3, and over the next 12 months consumers should expect to see more features integrated into the players such as FM tuners, increased storage capacity, and security systems like Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI).
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jul 25, 1999 0 comments
The Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) appears to be the antidote to many a record executive's worst audio poison: legions of young music fans downloading digital audio files off the Internet and passing them around with no regard to copyright restrictions. But what might be the answer to some companies' prayers could prove to be the Big Brother nightmare feared by others.
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Stereophile Staff Posted: Jul 25, 1999 0 comments
While decidedly "niche products," as Martin Colloms describes them, single-ended (SE) tube amplifiers have still found a happy home in many audiophile systems. But a trap awaits those who wish to evaluate the differences between an SE and a solid-state or push-pull tube amplifier, or between two SE amps. In "The Unseen Variable," Colloms digs to the bottom of this complicated matter.
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Paul Messenger Posted: Jul 18, 1999 0 comments
John Atkinson's and my collective response was "Good grief!" on hearing that the UK's Haymarket Magazines had purchased Gramophone Publications. Minds boggled at the very idea of the venerable old lady of classical-music criticism getting into bed with the much younger, altogether brasher, and unashamedly populist What Hi-Fi?, market leader among UK hi-fi mags. As Haymarket enigmatically put it, "With its emphasis on in-depth reviewing, Gramophone itself has great synergy with other titles in the Haymarket portfolio, such as What Hi-Fi? magazine."

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