DualDisc has apparently stumbled hard right out of the gate. Earlier this year, test marketing of the DualDisc in Boston and Seattle indicated that music fans would eagerly accept the new format, one that combines standard Compact Disc audio content on one side with DVD (audio and video) on the other.
Credit-card amps: Miniaturization could change the look and feel of many audio products. On October 29, Austin, TX–based D2Audio announced its new line of MXS amplifiers, each only 1.5" tall with a footprint no bigger than a credit card. Intended for use with in-wall or on-wall loudspeakers, MXS amps can deliver up to 125Wpc into 8-ohm speakers or up to 250Wpc into 4-ohm speakers, with THD+N of <0.1% at full-rated power from 20Hz to 20kHz. Dynamic range is specified at "up to 145dB." The tiny digital amplifiers have programmable DSP features and 93% power efficiency, thereby eliminating the need for large heatsinks, and are said to sound as good or better than many traditional designs. Two-channel modules can also be used for bi-amping, according to the manufacturer.
You hear a dismaying amount of bad sound on the Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention floor. Tizzy high frequencies and mushy bass are more common than not, but encouragingly, good-sounding products tend to draw small crowds or generate a buzz among attendees.
Industry observers have long debated the ultimate fate of satellite broadcaster Sirius Radio. Front-runner XM Radio, with more than two million subscribers, is already above the break-even point, but for many months Sirius struggled against technical problems and overwhelming debt. Would the fledgling survive, get devoured by its larger competitor, or worse, get picked up in a fire sale by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.?
Skyrocketing ticket prices kept summer concertgoers away in droves, according to reports in the entertainment industry and financial press in mid-October. The summer 2004 concert season was one of the slowest ever, with some superstars canceling shows and others moving planned arena or amphitheater events into smaller venues. Previously one of the summer's most popular events, the Lollapalooza tour was cancelled due to slow ticket sales.
Anyone who has experimented with wireless local area networks for audio—feeding rear/side speakers in a multichannel system, for example—can attest that the technology is far from ready for prime time. Prone to noise, interference, and dropouts, wireless audio systems require a tremendous amount of refinement before they'll meet audiophile standards.