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Barry Willis  |  Feb 20, 2000  |  0 comments
This spring, downloadable digital music from EMI may begin popping up everywhere, if a new arrangement with Supertracks goes as planned. The two companies have created what they believe is a secure system for downloading music to computers, portable players, and to CD burners at kiosks in shopping malls. The news follows by only a couple of weeks an announcement that Warner Music and EMI will merge their operations under the larger umbrella of AOL Time Warner.
Jon Iverson  |  Feb 20, 2000  |  0 comments
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.
Barry Willis  |  Feb 20, 2000  |  0 comments
Satellite radio got a boost toward wider market acceptance on February 16, when Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio announced an agreement to develop a unified standard for satellite radios. The current batch of satellite receivers can pick up transmissions from one of the providers, but not both. The next generation of receivers will expand the technology's reach by enabling reception of both companies' broadcasts.
Stereophile Staff  |  Feb 20, 2000  |  0 comments
According to figures just released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), revenues from manufacturer-to-dealer sales of audio products in December 1999 totaled nearly $568 million, a 6.3% increase over the previous December. CEA reports that the strong month's sales pushed year-end revenue totals to their highest mark in four years: total audio shipment revenues in 1999 surpassed the $8 billion mark for the first time since 1995, growing by 2% over 1998.
Barry Willis  |  Feb 20, 2000  |  0 comments
Merger mania in high-end land: Loudspeaker manufacturer Hales Design Group and digital audio manufacturer Wadia Digital Corporation are joining forces to create what the companies' executives are calling "new digital products for the new millennium." The announcement was made February 14 at Wadia headquarters in River Falls, Wisconsin.
Jon Iverson  |  Feb 13, 2000  |  0 comments
It's been a rough season for some in the e-commerce crowd, as several consumer-electronics Internet startups find themselves amid changes. Last week, CyberShop.com announced that it will close the e-tailing sites CyberShop.com and electronics.net (created as a joint venture with Tops Appliance City, which is now under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection) and sell these operations' remaining retail assets. At the same time, the company says it will launch an "Internet incubator" through the establishment of Grove Street Ventures to attract and develop startup Internet companies.
Stereophile Staff  |  Feb 13, 2000  |  0 comments
High-definition audio is on its way to a DVD player near you. Pacific Microsonics has introduced a new High Definition Compatible Disc chip, the PMD-200, for the next generation of CD and DVD players. The device is a "feature-rich audio IC that provides HDCD processing for both the CD and DVD formats," according to a February 11 company press release.
Jon Iverson  |  Feb 13, 2000  |  0 comments
It would seem almost reasonable to imagine that your next stereo receiver or preamp could have an "intel inside" sticker on the front. Last week, software company Be made several announcements that it hopes will not only bring such a future to consumers, but also place itself at the center of the Internet-connected home-entertainment equipment market.
Stereophile Staff  |  Feb 13, 2000  |  0 comments
Kal Rubinson gets right to the point: "I am biased: On very little evidence, I remain convinced that, in the near future, high-quality music reproduction will be multichannel." The Meridian Digital Theatre surround-sound music system is therefore a product that puts Kal's vision to the test. Kal details the system, which consists of two DSP6000 front L/R speakers, one DSP6000C center-channel speaker, two DSP5000 speakers used for surround, the Reference 800 DVD/CD player, and the Reference 861 System Controller. But does the Meridian system live up to his expectations regarding the potential of surround-sound for music?
Barry Willis  |  Feb 13, 2000  |  0 comments
The best defense is sometimes a good offense. MP3.com has taken that old advice to heart by counter-suing the Recording Industries Association of America for what it calls "unfair business practices." On Monday, February 7, MP3.com filed a complaint against the music-industry organization in San Diego Superior Court, alleging that the RIAA and its president, Hilary Rosen, have conspired to undermine the Internet music company's stock price by promulgating information to stock analysts just prior to suing for copyright infringement.
Stereophile Staff  |  Feb 06, 2000  |  0 comments
Spring typically sees Stereophile release its coveted "Records To Die For" feature, wherein everybody working for the magazine gets to make like a music critic and add their two cents about what gets them excited (musically speaking). R2D4 2000 is on newsstands right now, in the February issue of Stereophile; to commemorate its publication, we add the 1999 "Records To Die For" to the online archives.
Jon Iverson  |  Feb 06, 2000  |  0 comments
Last week, the Consumer Electronics Association reported that sales of audio products during November constituted the largest monthly increase since August 1994. Total revenues for the month reached $901 million, representing a 16% increase over last year's figure. The CEA adds that November's sales brought total year-to-date sales to $7.5 billion—2% ahead of the same period last year.
Jon Iverson  |  Feb 06, 2000  |  0 comments
Visitors to the Listen.com website will find a headline on the home page: "Your Guide to MP3 and More." MP3 recordings, while a big hit with young music fans, have not been a favorite of the music business. The key to Listen.com's financial future as a download site is likely whatever ends up falling under "and more."
Barry Willis  |  Feb 06, 2000  |  0 comments
Blaming a falloff in CD sales on the popularity of CD burners, BMG Germany recently issued approximately 100,000 copy-protected discs in an attempt to thwart the problem—and had to take a substantial portion of them back because consumers said the discs wouldn't perform in car players and in some home audio systems.
Barry Willis  |  Feb 06, 2000  |  0 comments
The inclusion of "hyperlinks" in music CDs that direct music lovers to Sony-affiliated online sales sites has angered the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, a trade organization representing more than 1000 music retailers. NARM has filed suit against Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Coporation of America, seeking an injunction against the use of hyperlinks and charging that the practice of including the links in CDs is a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Asking retailers to sell discs with such embedded links is the "equivalent of asking Tower Records to put posters for rival Musicland in their stores," said NARM president Pamela Horovitz.

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