Media critics may be right: If record companies had spent as much effort building a digital distribution network as they have fighting digital piracy, they might actually be making money online instead of complaining about it. This is the conclusion of a new report from KPMG and the Economist Intelligence Unit.
For years, we've seen attempts to disguise loudspeakers as paintings. A pair of announcements last week highlights the ongoing drive within the consumer electronics industry to find new ways to hide speakers within other objects.
If you peer back into audio history, you'll discover that long-term formats are generally established at the mass-market level and then perfected or re-invented by those with audiophile inclinations. One could argue that SACD and DVD-A are attempts at turning that rule on its head. But the slow start exhibited by both formats (with the copy-restriction issue a new and rather large stumbling block) indicates that, once again, the mass market needs to get involved before we can really move forward.
For quite a while now, Pioneer and Marantz have stuck their necks out with the few universal SACD/DVD-A/DVD/CD players available. Not any longer, as Onkyo, Teac and Yamaha join the club with new machines, aimed at consumers hedging their bets as to who will win the high-rez format wars.
Following Apple Computer's lead in bringing high-resolution audio to the computing environment, Creative Technology announced last week several audio products intended to facilitate DVD-Audio playback via personal computer. The company is also offering suggestions for making a PC quiet enough for use in a dedictated listening system.
It is shaping up as one of the big battles of the 21st century: content owners (who are not necessarily the artists who create content) versus the consumer electronics industry. On the one hand you have Hollywood with its record companies and the RIAA, and on the other, the manufacturers of products and technologies that facilitate the manipulation and use of digital content.
Chip manufacturer Cirrus Logic announced last week that it has introduced two audio, high-performance, digital-to-analog converters (DACs) that it claims will enable manufacturers to bring more DVD-Audio players to the mainstream consumer market.
As the saying goes, there are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics. Statistics can be used to help understand what goes on in the world, but, as any marketing exec or PR company knows, they can also be manipulated to tell a particular story.