On July 11, Kevin Britten of Hays, Kansas downloaded the 100 millionth song purchased from Apple's iTunes music store. Britten spent 99¢ for "Somersault (Dangermouse remix)" by Zero 7 and, in exchange, won a 17" PowerBook, a 40GB iPod, and a gift certificate entitling him to 10,000 iTunes songs (the approximate capacity of a 40Gb iPod). As Apple counted down to 100 million, it also gave "special 20GB iPods" to the consumers who downloaded each 100,000th song between 95 million and 100 million.
Running counter to the music industry's paranoia concerning the perils of modern digital technology, some musicians want you to share their music—within limits. GarageBand.com, which bills itself as "the world's largest musician community," announced June 7 that it now offers the Creative Commons Music Sharing License as an optional tag for all songs uploaded to its website.
For some time now, the truly hip Web-enabled person of stature has shared his or her thoughts with the world via a blog (from weblog); these days actors, musicians, and, yes, even politicians are getting into the act.
Saturday is always the crunch day at the Home Entertainment Show. There are more people in the halls, more bodies in the rooms, and more noise everywhere—and it's wonderful. People here really speak our language: audiogeek spoken here.
Friday, the first public day of HE2004, was entirely different from the press-only day that preceded it. Friday, the audiophiles arrived and the excitement was palpable. Rooms filled with music lovers; halls thronged with excited gear-heads. Now that's entertainment.
Today marked the opening of Home Entertainment 2004 East, held at Manhattan's Hilton Hotel on 6th Avenue in Midtown. By long tradition, the first press conference in The Home Entertainment Show's busy press day has always been occupied by Sony and this year was no different. As we entered the Sony Suite, we were greeted by a wall display of over 2000 SACD titles—surely enough to be considered a down-payment on the critical mass that will be necessary for any high-rez format to survive. But any hopes that Sony would address SACD were quickly dashed in the press conference itself, which was primarily devoted to news of Sony's new broadband "location free" video systems, which allow consumers to carry 12.1" or 7" LCD video tablets anywhere they might wish to access their home-entertainment options. The data transfer is accomplished through the dual-band IEEE 802.11a/11g protocol. The 12" LF-X1 will retail for $1500 and the 7" widescreen LF-X5 will go for $1000.
We were startled to receive an email announcement recently informing us that Scot Markwell, long-time set-up and equipment maven for The Abso!ute Sound's erstwhile editor Harry Pearson, had joined the staff at www.themusic.com to manage its Gear Shop division.
Few audio products have proved as enduringly fascinating to audiophiles as William Firebaugh's Well-Tempered Turntable design. At once elegantly simple and technically sophisticated, it was an immediate hit with music lovers and critics alike—and was long a staple of Stereophile's "Recommended Components" list. For the greater part of the product's 20-year lifespan, the Well-Tempered 'table has been distributed and manufactured under the direction of Transparent Audio, Inc. However, Carl Smith, the Transparent partner who supervised the manufacture of the Well-Tempered line, decided to retire this year, and Transparent determined that it should concentrate on its cable business.