UK electronics specialty manufacturer Audiolab has been taken over by leading Grand Prix car-racing company TAG McLaren---or, more precisely, by the TAG McLaren Group. A newly formed company, TAG Electronics Holdings Ltd., will be the parent of both Cambridge Systems Technology Ltd. (which trades as Audiolab) and TAG Electronic Systems Ltd. (which supplies specialist, low-volume electronic engine-management systems to exclusive high-end automobile brands).
It's been a tough couple of years for those who like to make digital copies of audio recordings. What started with SCMS copy-restriction schemes in DAT machines has quickly spilled over into current digital formats such as those proposed for DVD-Audio. But a glimmer of hope has shone through the haze.
We have followed at a distance the discussion over whether 60Hz/50Hz electromagnetic radiation from powerlines affects the health of people in close proximity, and in the November 1997 Stereophile (Vol.20 No.11, p.51), an "Industry Update" story by Barry Willis reported a connection with Alzheimer's Disease.
Who wouldn't want to know what's in store for the extreme audio devotee? So we rolled a special set of aluminum Tiptoes, read the auspicious signs (you've got to understand how the tips point), and divined our first set of predictions. We'll have more next week, if the Mpingo dots line up just right.
It only makes sense. PBS, the most visible national broadcaster of classical-music-related programs, has decided to launch its own classical-music label. According to a recent story in Variety, several major record labels are competing for the rights to distribute the new label. It's common in the music business for larger labels to distribute smaller ones, and an association with the new PBS label is seen as a feather in the cap of whoever makes the deal.
As of October, Meridian America's new VP/Sales, replacing the late Ross Keim, was industry veteran Andy Regan, who started his high-end career at Manhattan retailer Sound by Singer. Most recently, Regan was VP/Sales at cable manufacturer AudioQuest. Not uncoincidentally, Joe Abrams has moved from cable manufacturer MIT to AudioQuest.
It won't be long before the Net-connected music lover will be able to sample and hold the tunes of his choice without having to visit Tower Records. High-speed transmission, high-density storage, and CD-quality music online---the three parts of the downloading puzzle---all fell into place the week of November 10.
When I first attended Comdex several years back, it was easy to feel like a fish out of water. My core interests were always high-end audio---and the computer biz at the time would get excited about anything that sounded as good as a telephone. But I was still curious about what all the brainiacs were up to.
Throughout the history of the animal kingdom, sounds have always been full of meaning. They provide valuable information on the whereabouts of prey and predator, the location of family, the intentions of friend and foe. Sound cues have always been as important as information obtained by scent and sight.
See update at end of article. iTunes continues to grow and Napster has been reborn, but these last few months have been a bumpy ride for MP3.com. The music site, known for its large online music library featuring unsigned independent artists, was purchased on December 14 by San Francisco-based CNET.
Breaking news this morning is the announcement that the Italian Investment Group Fine Sounds SpA is to acquire 100% of famed US tube-amplifier manufacturer McIntosh Laboratory from D&M Holdings. Fine Sounds already owns the Sonus Faber, Audio Research, and Wadia Digital brands and the Sumiko distribution company.