In a world where brand is everything and making money is the bottom line, it should come as no surprise that if there's a buck to be made, any deal is possible. But who would have imagined, 30 years ago, that the bad boys and girls of rock'n'roll would be married to the then-much-scorned icon of safe, watered-down elevator music?
STEVE TIBBETTS: A Man About a Horse Steve Tibbetts, guitar, percussion; Jim Anton, bass; Marc Anderson, Marcus Wise, percussion ECM 1814 (CD). 2002. Steve Tibbetts, prod., eng. ADD. TT: 45:07 Performance ***** Sonics ****½
Imagine this: You're a modern kind of audiophile, and your music library is loaded and sorted (without any compression, of course) onto a hard-disk–based audio system which is networked throughout the house. You've also got a hard-disk–based audio system in your car.
Although some record labels have scaled back plans to add restricted-use technology to all CD releases, efforts continue to find the protection formula that consumers, and in particular record labels, will accept.
With the advent of Dolby Digital, DTS, DVD-Audio, and SACD, multichannel audio and its enthusiasts are not lacking for playback formats. What has been lacking, however, is recognition for outstanding achievements in the fledgeling surround music business. But not anymore.
Visit any major metropolitan city, and chances are you'll eventually stumble upon vendors selling pirate CDs from outdoor tables, often for as little as $5 each. But for the suburban resident in the US, flea markets are where the pirate action is.
The Consumer Electronic Association's (CEA) Gary Shapiro is known for maintaining an ever-optimistic stance on the progress of home entertainment, and a recent keynote at the Semiconductor Market Outlook Conference earlier this month provided an opportunity for him to reveal his top predictions for the future.
As tighter restrictions on the use of both audio and video digital content loom in the legislature, the Home Recording Rights Coalition (HRRC) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) have teamed up to counter the ever-increasing demands from copyright holders. The HRRC, founded in 1981, is a leading advocacy group for consumers' rights to use home electronics products for private, non-commercial purposes.
As any major college dude will tell you, the file-sharing genie can never be put back into the digital audio bottle. But that hasn't stopped the music business from pursuing its scorched-market policy while simultaneously applying various use-restriction technologies to every digital audio format in sight.
When it comes to dynamic range, it's the little things that count. As Texas Instruments explains, "Dynamic range is a parameter that expresses numerically how accurately sounds of small amplitude can be reproduced without distortion." In other words, the higher the dynamic range, the higher the quality of the sound, especially at low levels.