Another crucial piece of the DVD-Audio puzzle fell into place recently when the WG-4 (Working Group 4) DVD-Audio Working Group approved the adoption of MLP (see previous articles 1, 2) as the lossless algorithm for DVD-Audio at its August 5th meeting in Tokyo. WG-4 will require official approval from its supervising organizations, the Technical Coordination Group and Steering Committee---considered a formality at this point.
This last year has seen several companies proclaim the launch of the "world's first digital loudspeaker." The term brings to mind some exotic new approach that is neither cone nor ribbon nor electrostat---something as different from all of those as, say, a CD is from a vinyl record or cassette tape.
News recently coming out of Cambridge, England promises yet another new revolutionary loudspeaker technology following in the footsteps of NXT's flat-panel speakers and ATC's HyperSonic Sound and Stratified Field Technology. Engineering consultant Tony Hooley heads up a team of researchers who have created what they hope will be a breakthrough in small, lightweight, highly accurate-sounding arrays of digitally driven pressure transducers.
New companies are springing up all around the web to provide songs for custom CD compilations. (See previous articles 1, 2.) You go to the site, choose up to 70 minutes of music from their catalog, and the finished disc is mailed back to you in a couple of days for between 10 and 20 bucks. The challenge for these companies is to have an attractive catalog of artists and songs to choose from.
A recent report from Jupiter Communications claims that by the year 2002, fully 55% of the US population and 32% of European households will be browsing the Internet. Not only will this change the way poeple gather information for everything from fish food to concert schedules, it will also profoundly affect the way they shop.
The internet has been a boon to music lovers, who now can research almost any piece of music or artist, or shop for obscure discs and memorabilia from a plethora of sources. In an interesting twist on the additional material idea, Sony Music has been making supplemental content for selected CD releases available on a special website.
Rumors began surfacing last month that McCormack Audio might be on the ropes. Long known for their value-oriented high-end products such as amps and preamps, the company had been struggling for the last couple of years (for reasons not connected with the quality of its products). But a savior has appeared that looks to put the company on a sure footing.
The audio business has been claiming its share of victims lately, with few companies able to reanimate once economic problems set in. Working hard to break this cycle, Carver Corp. became one of the first manufacturers to switch from a dealer-based operation to both dealers and internet sales.
June, 1998---"It's time to stop wasting the talents of brilliant American musicians because of their gender." And with that, an anonymous donor has given one million dollars to establish The National Women Conductors Initiative.
A key benefit of working with Stereophile is enjoying the expertise of fellow audio nerds. After the HI-FI Show just held in Los Angeles, Jonathan Scull and Kathleen Benveniste spent a week riding up the California Coast and paid us each a visit.