Music sales in the US continue to decline, according to a May 8 report from the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM). Retails sales totaled $8.93 billion in 2002, down from the $10.46 billion reported for 2000. Most (87%) of the organization's members reported a drop in music sales last year—only 13% posted higher totals.
Students are often described as people with more time than money. For four accused by the recording industry of being "nodes" for file sharing, the lack of money will almost certainly extend well beyond graduation day.
Tuesday, May 6, 2003 could be a turning point in the contentious history of recording artists and record labels. On that day, hundreds of American musicians will converge on Albany, NY in support of the Artistic Freedom Act of 2003. If passed, the bill would give artists unprecedented freedom in negotiating and terminating recording contracts.
Federal judges have issued somewhat conflicting rulings in the ongoing legal battle over illegitimate file sharing. As the situation stands at the end of April, individuals may be held responsible for copyright violation, but the services they use in the process may not.
Recent financial reports from the consumer electronics industry are all over the map, with some manufacturers reporting declines while others report gains. Sony and Samsung have both posted losses, but Toshiba and JVC made money. Pioneer is holding steady.
Over the past few years, PS Audio's P300 AC regenerator has been very well received by the audiophile community, winning praise (and a Stereophile "Recommended Components" listing) for its ability to lower the noise floor to vanishing levels and to extract unforeseen levels of performance from users' hi-fi systems. Good as it is, the P300 disappointed some because it can't supply enough current for power amps or other juice-hungry gear needing more than its 300W maximum. Some users also complained that despite the sonic improvement offered, the P300 was too bulky for its power rating, ran too hot, and drew too much current when simply idling.
A month after news of Apple Computer's start-up subscription music service, reports began circulating that the company was negotiating to buy Universal Music Group, the dominant player in the global music market. The rumored buyout, first reported April 10, was variously quoted at $5–6 billion. The discussions between Apple and UMG may have been blown out of proportion; by April 12 the New York Times was suggesting that Apple might invest in UMG, but was in no position to make an outright acquisition.