Just about a month away, HI-FI '98, The Home Theater & Specialty Audio Show, will interest thousands of audio enthusiasts when it visits The Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel in Los Angeles, California from Wednesday, June 10 to Sunday, June 14, 1998.
Remember when you weren't too busy to make your own cassette tapes to play in the car? How you could link one song to the next by genre or theme or beat or musical key? Remember how much more satisfying it was to listen to those tapes than it was to listen to the radio? No commercials, no announcers, no filler---and you liked every tune.
The next generation of streaming media technology was unveiled last week at RealNetworks' Conference '98 in Burlingame, California. The star of the show? "Bandwidth-friendly" RealPlayer G2, which promises to make noisy audio and glitchy video a part of the Web's past.
Questions for music lovers: 1) Have you been racking your brain trying to remember who recorded Ruby Vroom? 2) Do you know how many Tim Hardin recordings are available on CD? 3) Which album featured Head East's "Never Been Any Reason," considered by some connoisseurs the greatest rock song ever?
Is it merely the tip of the iceberg, or a temporary diversion? Hard to say just yet, but a recent report from the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA) suggests that increasing numbers of folks are using their PCs in place of, or in addition to, regular audio systems.
On April 15, ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), the music performing-rights organization, and Liquid Audio, a developer of secure online music delivery systems, announced a strategic alliance to protect ownership of music on the Internet. According to a Liquid Audio press release, the initiative encourages, streamlines, and simplifies music-rights licensing and reporting, and will benefit website creators as well as music writers, publishers, and composers.
Everyone claims "CD-quality" sound over the Internet these days, but the reality always seems far short of that promise. As a result, work continues to develop an encoding scheme worthy of the CD-quality title. Recently we reported on developments at AT&T regarding the a2b format, and both Liquid Audio and RealNetworks compete on a weekly basis to grab headlines for their audio technology announcements.
One billion dollars in 1997---thatÆs the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association's first-ever estimate of the high-end industry's factory-sales volume. The number could be as high as $1.4 billion, according to a CEMA projection for the entire industry based on sales data of a representative sample of 32 companies. The results of the survey were published March 23 on CEMA's website.
PARA, the Professional Audio-Video Retailers Association, is bringing its annual management conference to the Hyatt Regency in Hilton Head, South Carolina, this week. The five-day event, running April 22-27, will focus on improving retail strategies. Representatives from more than 600 retailers, suppliers, and industry publications are expected.
Responding to continued softness in the audio market, the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA) has finalized plans to hold its first annual Audio Industry Summit at the Westin Hotel O'Hare in Chicago, Illinois, May 29-31. CEMA audio company members will congregate in an effort to formulate strategies they believe will lead the category back to long-term prosperity and growth.
Recently, Analog Devices announced the worldÆs first High Definition Compatible Digital (HDCD) decoder chip with 32-bit internal precision. The ADSP-21061 SHARC programmable digital signal processor will enable HDCD decoding to be incorporated into a wide variety of consumer audio and home-theater products, according to an AD press release dated March 26. The SHARC DSP can perform up to 150 million operations per second, and includes one megabit of onboard memory, six DMA channels, and two serial ports. The highly integrated decoder is claimed to perform HDCD decoding without external memory.
Recently, Sound Advice, Inc., a specialty retailer of high-end consumer electronics, announced plans to open five to six stores in Florida over the next 18 months. The company expects that two to three of the stores will be in operation by the end of this calendar year, with the balance to be opened in 1999. Sound Advice is also exploring other ideas, such as smaller-format specialty stores in upscale malls and other high-end retail locations that feature high-quality brand names.
On April 8, Nordic Entertainment Worldwide announced that it has adopted ARIS Technologies' MusiCode audio watermarking system. The Napa, California-based company operates the Downloadable Music Site, one of the Internet's most extensive music archives. MusiCode is an attempt to discourage piracy by embedding signals in recorded music, which can later be extracted for tracking the recordingÆs origin.