There are dozens of music-playback programs for computers, touchpads, and smartphones, ranging from Amarra, Audirvana, JRiver, Pure Music, and VLC, which manage libraries or work with library software, to programs that are integrated with a specific distribution service: Pandora, Spotify, Tidal, and, of course, iTunes. Still others, such as Sonos, are integrated with a dedicated hardware product.
The ever-lovely Rosemarie Torcivia and Cynthia Fontaine, running the Stereophile room at the Venetian. They'd appreciate it if someone would bring them a decent sounding stereo to listen to. An ipod even.
Audiophiles have a mess on their hands. In a somewhat surreal press conference in May, a half dozen audio luminaries—representing Sony, Philips, and several titans of the high-end recording business—stood on a HI-FI '99 stage looking awkwardly at the audience.
The music industry is clearly redoubling its efforts to market DVD-Audio, with the proposed launch of the DualDisc format. Adding either video content or high-rez audio or both to a standard CD looks to be the new strategy for adding value—an acknowledgement that just offering non–CD-compatible high-rez audio is not enough.
What's a home-entertainment show without an assortment of state-of-the-art audio demonstrations? EgglestonWorks has announced that its next generation Andra II speaker will be featured as part of what it calls an "unprecedented" demonstration of multichannel Super Audio CD (SACD) to be conducted during the upcoming Home Entertainment 2002 Show May 30 through June 2 at the New York Hilton.
It's hard enough for established record labels both big and small these days. With the high-resolution audio formats SACD and DVD-Audio still fighting each other and struggling to launch, picking sides is an even bigger gamble for a brand-new record label's first releases.
Last week at the Audio Engineering Society Convention in New York City, Sonic Solutions announced that it plans to introduce what it says is the world's first digital audio workstation based on Sony's new Direct Stream Digital (DSD) technology. Sonic says that the new system, SonicStudio HD-DSD, is being developed in cooperation with Sony Corporation and will provide the recording industry with a mastering tool for the new Super Audio CD (SACD) format.
At the 2003 Consumer Electronics Show in January—see the report in this issue—Sony and Philips held an SACD Event at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. There were trippy lights. There were the Grand Pooh-Bahs of Sony, Philips, and the record labels. There was loud multichannel Big Brother and the Holding Company. And there was Sony's main SACD man in the US, David Kawakami, supplying the pep talk.
Those who spurn audio discs with built-in restriction technologies should take note: SunnComm Technologies announced last week that its MediaMax CD-3 technology has been utilized to restrict the content on Ike and Tina Turner's new compilation CD entitled The Early Sessions.