Will the official online music gates finally stream open and flood us with non-pirated tunes? Perhaps. One important step in the process has finally been taken. The National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), the Harry Fox Agency (HFA), and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced last week that they have come to a "breakthrough" agreement on the licensing of musical works for new subscription services on the Internet.
The final numbers aren't in yet, but all indications point to an astounding show of support from the audiophile community for the Audio Charity Auction conducted by Audio Asylum's Rod Morris and Audiogon's Arnie Chinta. The numbers are still stacking up, but as of Sunday, October 7, the benefit had raised $173,738 from over 400 closed auctions.
Last week, Napster announced that it had reached a preliminary agreement with US songwriters and music publishers to settle a class action lawsuit currently pending in federal court in California. The beleaguered company says the agreement includes terms under which the songwriters and music publishers will license their music to Napster's new membership-based service.
Last week, Cirrus Logic unveiled what it is calling the world's highest-performance six- and eight-channel D/A converters, which the company says will give consumers the ability to decode high-resolution multichannel surround content at home or in the car. The converters are the latest addition to Cirrus Logic's Total-E platform group of products.
Let's try to imagine the ideal music-buying landscape from a record company's point of view. As distasteful as this may seem to an ever-growing legion of unhappy audiophiles and music fans, it can go a long way towards explaining why the major labels appear to suddenly be at war with their customers.
The official launch of XM Satellite Radio was set for September 12. But within hours of the September 11 attack on New York and the Pentagon, XM announced that it would be postponing its debut, which was slated to take place in Washington DC at its headquarters and broadcast studio complex.
Bringing old albums out of the vaults and onto the market as CDs is a pretty standard process these days. First you get the licensing straightened out, find the original cover art, and locate the first-generation master tapes. In a pinch, the safety copies of the masters can be used, but if these also can't be located, what next?
As a result of the terrorist attacks last week, the Audio Engineering Society (AES) has decided to postpone its AES 111th Convention until November 30. The annual audio event, which was to have been held this week in Manhattan at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, will now be held Friday, November 30–Monday, December 3, 2001. The AES says that the convention will use the same exhibit, demo, and conference space as would have been used next week.
In the wake of last week's disasters in New York, Washington, DC, and Pittsburgh, Audio Asylum and Audiogon have banded together to co-sponsor a charity auction of audio equipment to benefit the NY Firefighters' Fund and other related charities.
For the last several months, the major record labels have been ramping up what some have viewed as a stealth assault on their customers by increasingly deploying technology that restricts the use of audio CDs (see previous). While an increasing number of music fans have been crying foul, one consumer has decided to fight back in court.