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."
Stadium rock is my idea of the inner circle of Hell. I hate crowds. I have zero interest in the rich and famous. And I've never been much of a Rolling Stones fan. Give me a choice, and I'll take Weslia Whitfield at the Plush Room 10 times out of 10: a cushy seat, some witty companions, a little Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. Heavenly.
On Wednesday, September 11, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) filed a brief with the U.S. Copyright Office seeking relief from the implementation of a webcasting royalty schedule announced this summer by the Librarian of Congress, James Billington. In June, Billington determined that commercial stations streaming their musical programming on the Internet should pay a rate of .07 cents per song per 1000 listeners, a rate less than half that suggested by the music industry–backed Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel.
XM Satellite Radio Holdings is now in a position to operate well into the fourth quarter of 2002, thanks to a $129 million stock offering underwritten by Morgan Stanley Company. XM made the announcement in a press release dated December 10.
The DAC performance envelope has been pushed further by Burr-Brown Corporation. The Tucson semiconductor company has just announced the commercial release of its new PCM-1704, an ultra-high-quality digital/analog converter chip boasting a 120dB signal/noise ratio. The new chip supersedes the company's PCM-1702, a DAC found in many high-end products and widely considered the state of the art.
The Wiz may not be long for this world. On Monday, February 10, Cablevision Systems Corporation announced that it would sell or close its remaining 17 consumer electronics stores, all in the New York metro area, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The announcement came only a few days after Circuit City announced major cutbacks of its workforce and the elimination of sales commissions.
Questionable accounting practices were at the heart of the collapse of energy conglomerate Enron and telecommunications giant WorldCom. Apparently, they are also rampant in the music industry—or at least pervasive enough to command the attention of California state legislators, who have scheduled a second hearing to examine the situation.
In June, while the Recording Industry Association of America was collecting fat settlements from unauthorized CD compilers, its Canadian counterpart was busy shutting down Purple Dot, a custom-disc operation in Calgary, Alberta. The Canadian Recording Industry Association e-mailed a cease-and-desist order to 18-year-old Robert Clark, owner and operator of Purple Dot, which had been advertising on the Internet in the Yahoo! directory.