When polled earlier this month, Stereophile's online readers were split on the topic of DVD-Audio's surround capabilities: 30% expressed interest, but an equal number were not so thrilled with the idea. While the release of the official high-resolution DVD-A format is still several months away, some record labels have been quick to capitalize on the ability of current DVD players to play compressed AC3- and DTS-encoded audio DVDs, in the hopes of developing a market for a lower-fidelity surround-sound format.
Last week, e.Digital announced a licensing agreement to incorporate Sony's ATRAC3 sound-compression technology into e.Digital's portable Internet music-player designs. e.Digital claims that its multi-codec platform, including ATRAC3 support, can be incorporated into a variety of products including portable digital music players, home and automotive stereos, and functionally enhanced wireless phones.
Last week, the Experience Music Project, described as an "interactive museum devoted to creativity and innovation in American popular music," announced that it will open its doors to the public on Friday, June 23, 2000, in Seattle, Washington, with a multi-day celebration featuring events in and around the museum, and live performances by a wide variety of musicians. EMP said it expects more than a million visitors during the course of its first year.
John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band's 1971 album Imagine has now been remixed and remastered at Abbey Road Studios in London, supervised by Yoko Ono, and will be reissued in a new version on vinyl, CD, and cassette by Capitol Records on March 28. The re-release precedes the April 11 release of a behind-the-scenes DVD documentary, Gimme Some Truth—The Making of John Lennon's Imagine Album, which attempts to examine the creative process that took place at Lennon's home recording studio during the legendary 1971 sessions.
Last week, Capitol Records announced that it will release expanded DVD and VHS editions of Endless Harmony: The Beach Boys Story. The documentary, produced by Stephanie Bennett and directed by Alan Boyd, made its US television debut on VH1 in 1998. A soundtrack CD of Endless Harmony, originally released to coincide with the VH1 airing, is also available.
Because they now realize that downloading music from the Internet is here to stay, it would seem the major record companies would love to see a world in which Web consumers no longer own a copy of a song or album, but simply pay each time they listen to it.
It happens to most of us. You're tooling down the road, listening to the radio, and you hear some music that captures your interest. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to easily find out who the artist is and what label they record for without waiting for the announcer, so you can head to your favorite music outlet and buy the disc? But how about pushing a button and ordering the item right there on the spot—from the driver's seat?
Conventional wisdom has it that, compared to men, few women express much interest in consumer electronics, and especially audio equipment. In fact, according to Consumer Electronics Association statistics, women accounted for only 22% of the $81 billion spent on consumer electronics in 1999. Prognosticator Jupiter Communcations predicts that, in spite of this, women will account for 46 million online buyers by 2003, and will overtake men in online purchasing.
In a statement that may have far-reaching ramifications for the online digital music-distribution business, last week Sonic Solutions and Sony announced at the Audio Engineering Society Convention (AES) in Paris that they would collaborate to integrate Sony's ATRAC3 (Adaptive Transform Acoustic Coding 3) into iMaster, Sonic's suite of tools for the preparation of compressed audio for Internet distribution.
DVD-Audio has kept a low profile since its misfired "launch" late last year (see previous story), but has popped up again at this week's Audio Engineering Society Convention (AES) in Paris. Pioneer is demonstrating its latest generation of universal DVD players, recently released in Japan, using a new DVD-Audio disc, some of the contents of which were encoded using Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP) technology to enable high-resolution surround sound.