Billboard Magazine announced an agreement this week with Liquid Audio, a developer of secure music-delivery systems on the Internet, to make Billboard's extensive database of album reviews and audio previews available through Billboard Online. The audio portion will be provided in Liquid Audio format by the Music Previews Network, the company that provides Music Previews for Billboard Online.
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and Warner Bros. Records announced January 8 that they have entered into a five-year record and television program funding partnership. The arrangement launches the PBS Records label, a new venture that will fuel the production of PBS performance programs and companion recordings. In addition, PBS Records will present music soundtracks from major PBS nonfiction series.
This is a somewhat different twist on other "Recommended Recordings" lists you may have read. Rather than a selection of all-time (or year's) best recorded performances---which are common enough---or a list of audiophile reference recordings---common enough in the audiophile press, at any rate, and a good thing, too---this is a list of stereo recordings that are both musically and sonically impeccable---in other words, the best, the tops, to die for---each item briefly described in a hundred or so words (except for JA, LA, and JGH, whose couplets runneth over).
On Monday, January 5th, Go-Video, Inc. announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire California Audio Labs LLC. Under the California Audio Labs and Cinevision brand names, Cal Audio designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes digital audio and video products marketed to the high-end home entertainment systems market.
In the first set of prophecies, we foresaw the effects of DVD-Audio, high-end sales around the world, and tweak multidisc CD. For the second installment, we look into our crystal interconnects and foresee new audio data-distribution methods for the coming year.
Every summer, I invite a representative sample of Stereophile's equipment reviewers to the magazine's Santa Fe HQ. For the third successive year, I decided to tape some of the free-for-all discussion that takes place and offer readers the opportunity of peeking over the participants' shoulders by publishing a tidied-up version of the transcript.
Digital Versatile Disc (DVD)---the well-publicized successor to VHS tapes, compact discs (CDs), and CD-ROMs---will struggle in the video and music industries, but be a major success for the personal computer industry, according to a recent report from Forrester Research. The report concludes that PC manufacturers will rapidly embrace DVD, resulting in an installed base of 53 million DVD-equipped PCs by 2002.
It's been a tough couple of years for those who like to make digital copies of audio recordings. What started with SCMS copy-restriction schemes in DAT machines has quickly spilled over into current digital formats such as those proposed for DVD-Audio. But a glimmer of hope has shone through the haze.
Who wouldn't want to know what's in store for the extreme audio devotee? So we rolled a special set of aluminum Tiptoes, read the auspicious signs (you've got to understand how the tips point), and divined our first set of predictions. We'll have more next week, if the Mpingo dots line up just right.