It's a sobering thought: it was the computer manufacturers and software developers, not the consumer electronics industry, who enabled the biggest audio format since the CD to become popular. The format, which hasn't done much to impress audiophiles, but has greatly enhanced the portability of music, is MP3 and CE manufacturers are only now trying to catch up with products that take advantage of its widespread use.
Over three quarters of a million readers served! With several million "page views" and dozens of millions of "hits" in the past 365 days, the Stereophile website has continued to grow steadily, with a record number of folks visiting practically every week. We've also dished out over 300 news articles---practically an article each day---covering everything audio, from important new-technology announcements to the demise and then rebirth of several legendary brands.
iTunes is proving every day that some music fans love to procure music through the Internet. On the other hand, audiophiles often complain about the poor sound of the "CD quality" compressed files that Apple and others offer for download at similar prices to those of their uncompressed CD counterparts.
Could the average computer hard drive soon be able to store the equivalent of over 80 DVD-Audio discs or 600 CDs? Last week, IBM announced that it is using just a few atoms of what it has termed "pixie dust" to push back the data storage industry's most formidable barrier, and will effectively quadruple disk drive densities in the next two years.
With new music download services, including the move to higher resolutions, one vital question still remains for the music business: Will the majority of consumers prefer to continue purchasing music à la carte, one track or album at a time, or will they prefer to subscribe to an unlimited library?
Anybody can post a photo into one of the categories. Sign up for a free account and upload away. If you already have an account, log in and you'll see the "Upload Photos" button at the top right on every gallery page.
Photos can be sorted by various criteria, and rated whether you are logged in or not. We encourage readers to sort their photos into the various categories, but you can also see all of the pictures in any individual member's gallery by clicking on their name under one of their photos. If you want to see your own gallery from any page on the site, log in and look for the "My Gallery" link in the log in area.
Click here to take a look and add some audiophile art of your own.
Every week we get an e-mail or two from online readers begging for a state-of-the-art set of searchable weblinks on the Stereophile website. Starting this week, your e-prayers have been answered. The Stereophile website now sports one of the Internet's most comprehensive set of qualified audio and video links---as of last count, they number more than 2500. The database is searchable in a variety of ways, and also groups similar categories.
There has always been something uniquely satisfying about holding a paper magazine in your hand and riffling through its pages. Images and textures are of higher resolution than any video screen, and the ease of use of the paper-page bundle can not easily be replaced. People are developing electronic substitutes for paper, but the interesting thing is that these researchers are endeavoring to imitate the look, feel, and functionality of paper—but with digital inks and charged surfaces. For now, plain old paper and ink are just too perfect a medium to toss when it comes to packing information into a compact, portable, high-quality package.