As expected, the Recording Industry Association of America held a press conference last week to announce the formation of the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) which hopes to develop internet downloading technologies for music. The move comes after a rough year for the music business who has seen thousands of unauthorized websites offer copyrighted material for free using the MP3 audio format.
The official launch of XM Satellite Radio was set for September 12. But within hours of the September 11 attack on New York and the Pentagon, XM announced that it would be postponing its debut, which was slated to take place in Washington DC at its headquarters and broadcast studio complex.
Sooloos is a company to watch, and here's the crew assembled in one room: Angus MacDonald, Enno Vandermeer, Rob Darling & Sandro Pugliese. These guys cringed if we even discussed anything less than full-resolution CD on their system.
Loudspeaker designer and manufacturer Richard Vandersteen has heard enough: He is embarking on a crusade to right an egregious wrong he sees being perpetuated by the marketing scribes and salesfolk working in the consumer electronics business. Though he was miles away, at his company headquarters in Hanford, CA, his passion for spreading the audiophile word came through the telephone loud and clear.
Is the CD dying? Judging by the flurry of new CD player and transport news at the Venetian it's hard to tell. Or maybe this show is living proof that CD has joined vinyl as a legacy format that will forever inspire technical development.
There are a variety of ways to empty a large bucket of water: The entire contents can be quickly dumped in a dramatic rush, or a small hole can be punched in the bottom, allowing a smaller but continual flow over an extended period of time. Digital data can be seen as the water in the DVD "bucket," with 24/192 multi-channel sound being the equivalent of a big audio splash.
The quest for new speaker technologies has resulted in some novel approaches to the reproduction of sound, as witnessed by products announced in the last few years by NXT and 1 . . . Ltd. (See previous story.) Some of Stereophile's readers may also recall that, back in May 1996, American Technology Corp. shook things up in the audio world by announcing what the company described as its "breakthough" new technology, the much-debated HyperSonic Sound (HSS). This was followed up in February 1997, when ATC announced the introduction of its Stratified Field Technology SFT, which company literature touted as "a significant improvement over conventional loudspeakers."
For quite a while now, Pioneer and Marantz have stuck their necks out with the few universal SACD/DVD-A/DVD/CD players available. Not any longer, as Onkyo, Teac and Yamaha join the club with new machines, aimed at consumers hedging their bets as to who will win the high-rez format wars.