Traditional music radio has been taking a beating since the mid '80s, when declining audience numbers entered a ratings freefall. Reader Bard-Alan Finlan argued in his Soapbox a few weeks back that perhaps digital radio could cure the market's over-the-air terrestrial broadcast ills, if only it were implemented with adequate bandwidth and marketed correctly.
Radio has been getting a new lease on life, with Sirius and XM satellite services, DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting), and Internet "stations" popping up in the tens of thousands. With the Clear Channelfication of North America's FM and AM airwaves, many would argue that the timing couldn't be better for launching new broadcast technologies.
Last week, RealNetworks announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Xing Technology, a developer and provider of MP3 software. Xing has been developing standards-based digital audio and video encoding and decoding technology since 1990, but eventually ran into trouble competing with other Internet-audio startups such as RealNetworks and Liquid Audio.
One would think the last thing the music industry needs right now is to further alienate its customers who are still buying discs. But that is just what the record labels are doing by secretly experimenting with technology that restricts how discs are used, says a new report.
Recordable CD machines are nothing new these days, especially those aimed at the PC market. Those machines that find their way into Desktop PCs can end up doing everything from backing up corporate financial data to mastering CD-ROM titles. Many are used for recording music CDs as well, and so a new CD-Recorder from Smart and Friendly has a couple of features thrown in just to excite the audio folk.
STEVE TIBBETTS: A Man About a Horse Steve Tibbetts, guitar, percussion; Jim Anton, bass; Marc Anderson, Marcus Wise, percussion ECM 1814 (CD). 2002. Steve Tibbetts, prod., eng. ADD. TT: 45:07 Performance ***** Sonics ****½
Last week found Recoton struggling to keep its head above water. This week Gemini Industries tossed the beleaguered company a rope, announcing that it had reached an agreement to acquire Recoton's consumer electronics accessories business. In support of this transaction and Gemini's growth plan, the company raised new funding from Boston-based Parthenon Capital.
It's been a rough year for the music industry—and possibly an even rougher one for audiophile labels. The Dorian Group, however, seems to be thriving. Parent company to Dorian Recordings, the Dorian Group announced last week its acquisition of Reference Recordings. During its 25 years in business, RR has consistently garnered praise from audiophiles for the sound quality of its recordings, and has scored eight Grammy nominations and two Grammy awards.