Last week, USA Digital Radio, a partnership formed in 1991 with CBS Corporation and Gannett Co. Inc., announced the filing of a Petition for Rulemaking with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeking to permit digital radio broadcasting using In-Band On-Channel (IBOC) technology. The petition begins the process of acceptance of the USA Digital Radio IBOC system as the DAB transmission standard for the United States. According to a statement from Digital Radio, "the IBOC technology being developed by USA Digital Radio offers the most comprehensive digital radio transmission solution in history, and represents the most exciting change in broadcasting since radio's invention over 70 years ago."
An audio system even Nero could love: Pyrotechnical effects have apparently gotten slightly out of control with Philips Consumer Electronics MX920 speaker systems, 25,500 of which have been recalled due to fire hazards from overheating voice coils. Four such incidents have been reported since the MX920 went on sale in June 1997. No one has been injured, and property damage has been limited to one scorched rug.
HDCD and Pacific Microsonics appear to be on a roll these days. The HDCD process, developed to coerce 20-bit performance out of the 16-bit CD format, is gaining several new licensees and is also appearing in more devices, as evidenced by several recent announcements. The company is also looking ahead to future DVD formats with an agreement intended to couple HDCD benefits with higher sampling rates.
For years, credit cards have allowed people to earn points toward air travel and automobiles, so earning credits for audio and video gear seems a no-brainer. Last week, Sony Electronics and Citibank launched the Sony Citibank Card, a co-branded credit card that allows consumers to earn points toward the purchase of a variety of Sony entertainment and merchandise.
On August 25 and 26, John Atkinson and Wes Phillips were in Salina, Kansas. They were recording what will be Stereophile's first jazz album, at the deconsecrated downtown church Chad Kassem of Acoustic Sounds has transformed into Blue Heaven Studios. The band, led by acoustic bass guitarist Jerome Harris, featured alto saxophonist Marty Ehrlich, trombonist Art Baron, vibraphonist Steve Nelson, and percussionist Billy Drummond. Over the two days, the quintet recorded a striking set of original compositions by Harris, as well as a superb tribute to Duke Ellington in one of the great bandleader's signature tunes, "The Mooche."
The Library of Congress has honored American composer, conductor, writer, and teacher Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) with an online preview exhibit from The Leonard Bernstein Collection, one of the largest special collections in the Library's Music Division.
Following the highly successful release of three Beatles outtakes sets a few years back, Capitol Records announced last week that another set of unreleased recordings, this time from former Beatle John Lennon, will hit stores November 3. The four-disc set will include over 100 home recordings, studio outtakes, and other works never released in public. Titled The John Lennon Anthology, the set was put together with help from Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, and their son Sean Lennon. Also included will be 60 pages of notes, including art, writings, and photos.
Hachette Filipacchi Magazines (HFM) announced last week that two of its titles, Stereo Review and Video magazines, would be merged to form a new magazine titled Stereo Review's Sound & Vision. According to the statement, the new title will be launched in February 1999, with the premiere issue to coincide with next year's Consumer Electronics Show.
It wasn't easy building the perfect audio system---endless hours spent choosing synergistic components, and working that impossible room to its greatest advantage. Why not share the struggle, the rewards, and the knowledge gained by sending information about your audio environment to us here at Stereophile?
The Silverdale by the Bay Resort Hotel in Silverdale, WA, will be the site of the second annual Vacuum State of the Art Conference, scheduled for August 21-24. The conference will feature new and vintage equipment, tube electronics seminars, a used-gear swap meet, and demonstrations of audio creations by both amateur and professional designers.