Getting a jump on the RIAA's move to create a new music-download standard (see related article), Tower Records announced last week that it will feature a new song-download service, created by Atlanta-based amplified.com, on the Towerrecords.com website.
For those of you who need yet another Jimi fix, Experience Hendrix/MCA will release a 2-CD collection of music from Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsys concerts at New York City's Fillmore East, which took place on December 31, 1969 and January 1, 1970. Drawn from the guitarist's four legendary performances, the new package will contain 16 tracks, 13 of which have never before been released in any form, with two additional tracks making their CD debut. Jimi Hendrix: Live at the Fillmore East will be released on CD and 180gm vinyl (three LPs) on February 9.
Audiophiles have more than just piles of equipment and music to wrestle with in their quest for audio ecstasy. The listening room often colors a system's performance as much as any component in the chain. Tom Norton decided it was time to examine the subject, writing, "although the perfect room does not exist, there are things that can be done to make the most of even an admittedly difficult situation." See his report in "Enough Room?"
Convergence has come to the automotive market. Clarion Corporation of America announced December 4 that it has developed the the world's first product that integrates car audio, computing functions, navigation, and wireless communications through hands-free voice activation. The Clarion AutoPC is a DIN unit that fits in the dash of an automobile, and is powered by the Microsoft Windows CE operating system.
Back in January of this year, we reported that loudspeaker manufacturer Polk Audio had purchased an interest in Genesis Technologies, a loudspeaker and digital electronics manufacturer, with an option to buy the company in three years. Last week, however, Polk announced that it has decided to pass the company on to new investors.
Is stadium rock passé? The Rolling Stones, the world's greatest practitioners of large-venue concerts, have announced a tour of smaller arenas beginning January 25. The "No Security" tour---in support of the recently released Virgin Records album of the same name---will take the band through 25 North American cities.
Long the bane of finicky audiophiles, Consumer Reports magazine has been measuring just about anything sold in a store since 1936 in an effort to "test products, inform the public, and protect consumers." But when they get around to testing audio gear, the magazine's "lab" has become the target of many audio enthusiasts who don't share CR's views on how to tell good sound from bad. In fact, part of the problem is that CR often reports that sound quality is not always the final factor in rating a product, with concerns about reliablity, ease of use, and fit and finish often skewing results.
Internet audio continues to expand. Last week, at the first WebNoize conference, held in Los Angeles, JamTV/Rolling Stone Network and RealNetworks, Inc. announced the debut of Rolling Stone Radio, a new Internet audio service offering music in several genres. Rock star David Bowie announced that he would serve as a disc jockey for the new venture. Amazon.com has also signed on to participate as a music retailer.
Hot on the heels of a favorable RIAA/Rio decision (see related story), five of the pioneers in the rapidly expanding market for downloadable music---GoodNoise Corp., MP3.com, MusicMatch, Xing Technology Corp., and Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc.---announced the formation of the MP3 Association, an industry trade group focused on the "continued evolution and adoption of the MP3 (MPEG 1 or 2, Layer 3) standard." The Association will focus on three primary goals: promoting MP3 technology as the next-generation digital music format, educating consumers about MP3 and its legal use, and opening new creative avenues for musicians and developers.
Petersen's HI-FI Show management announced October 22 that The Academy Advancing High Performance Audio and Video will be sponsoring Trade Days at HI-FI '99, The Home Theater and Specialty Audio Show, taking place at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago from May 11 to May 13, 1999. This marks the fourth consecutive year that The Academy has sponsored Trade Days at the HI-FI Shows. Show management and The Academy also announced today that the Music and Film Seminar Series will be expanded in 1999 to a two-track educational program. Each track will consist of the five disciplines showcased at the Seminar Series in 1998: Sales Techniques, Digital Technologies, Room Acoustics, Video Technologies, and Multi-room Design and Installation.