In the wake of last week's disasters in New York, Washington, DC, and Pittsburgh, Audio Asylum and Audiogon have banded together to co-sponsor a charity auction of audio equipment to benefit the NY Firefighters' Fund and other related charities.
In a tersely worded press release, Carver Corporation announced that on Wednesday, May 12, 1999 it filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 in United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington. The cause of the filing was "an accumulation of unpaid debt and resulting legal actions filed by creditors. These actions created the prospect of an inequitable distribution of payment to creditors and prevented the Company from being able to operate as a functioning business entity. In October of 1998, the Company ran out of working capital and laid off the remainder of its workforce. Subsequently, at the invitation of the Board of Directors, Robert W. Carver, the founder of the Company and former CEO, stepped in to take over."
The final numbers aren't in yet, but all indications point to an astounding show of support from the audiophile community for the Audio Charity Auction conducted by Audio Asylum's Rod Morris and Audiogon's Arnie Chinta. The numbers are still stacking up, but as of Sunday, October 7, the benefit had raised $173,738 from over 400 closed auctions.
In the fall of 1999, a couple of Canadian high-end audio companies got together to pool resources with the idea that two heads were better than one when it came to certain new products. Simaudio of Boucherville, Quebec and Magnum Dynalab of Brampton, Ontario formed a strategic alliance with the purpose of sharing various technologies to further enhance each company's product lines.
MP3-formatted audio files are considered to be the most popular streaming technology on the Internet, but the major record labels have so far shunned the format, which doesn't offer as much security and pay-per-download options as they'd like. Several announcements last week coincided with the WebNoize conference in Los Angeles and revealed what a few of the labels are thinking.
It's no secret that Dolby Laboratories doesn't aim its audio compression technologies at the high-end consumer audio market. After all, Dolby excels at finding ways to get maximum performance out of limited-bandwidth environments such as the audio cassette, or the space alloted for 5.1-channel soundtracks on DVDs.
In addition to fostering the exchange of audio files, peer-to-peer websites may be sharing the problems of increased legal liabilities and bandwidth drains for businesses which allow employees to access file-sharing sites from corporate networks.
One of the most significant trends in audio, witnessed at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, is the emergence of the music server market. Pioneer, Panasonic, Marantz, Meridian, Onkyo, Rotel, Philips, Linn, and others have emphasized audio products that can be networked with each other and the Internet, and are able to share content throughout a home. Pioneer even suggests that networks will not necessarily involve a PC, but instead consist of dedicated music-server-like components.
A recent online poll indicates that a majority of Stereophile's online readers still don't like the idea of using computers when it comes to enjoying music. If a new report accurately predicts the future, they might as well get used to the rest of the world's booting up their tunes.