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Barry Willis  |  Aug 15, 1999  |  0 comments
Ithaca, New York-based Netdrives says it has introduced the world's first MP3 player capable of playing MP3 audio files without using a personal computer. Called the Brujo (Spanish for "wizard" or "sorcerer"), the machine has a built-in CD player that can play more than 11 hours of MP3 music. The device can be connected directly to any home stereo system, and also works as a normal CD player.
Jon Iverson  |  Aug 15, 1999  |  0 comments
While all of the attention was on SDMI and watermarking earlier this month, Diamond Multimedia, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies (AARC) quietly announced the settlement of all pending litigation related to Diamond's Rio portable Internet music player. (See previous story.) All three parties say they have dismissed their legal actions, and have announced the mutually satisfactory resolution of outstanding legal issues.
Stereophile Staff  |  Aug 15, 1999  |  0 comments
Wes Phillips explains that Adcom is one of those companies that is easy to take for granted. "To break through our complacency, Adcom would have to produce an outright unlistenable turkey—or a product that raised the bar so high that any audio manufacturer would get a hernia just thinking about raising it again."
Barry Willis  |  Aug 15, 1999  |  0 comments
The Internet offers unprecedented opportunity for manufacturers to bring their products directly to their markets, but many companies have been reluctant to embrace it for fear of upsetting their established dealer networks. This has been especially true of mid-to-high-end audio companies, who have traditionally sold their wares through specialty shops.
Barry Willis  |  Aug 08, 1999  |  0 comments
Westlake Village, California-based KnowledgeLINK has announced a mid-September debut for GetPlugged.com, its e-commerce website. KnowledgeLINK says that the site, presently under construction, will offer a wide variety of mid- to high-end home entertainment products, and "in-depth guidance" for consumers interested in buying them. The company also states that its site's network of affiliated dealers and custom installers will work with customers to ensure that they get the best use of their purchases.
Barry Willis  |  Aug 08, 1999  |  0 comments
After months of wrangling, the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) has selected Aris Technologies' MusiCode as its recommended form of digital audio copy protection, according to an inside source at SDMI. The decision came at the end of weeks of testing various watermarking techniques on the music industry's "golden ears"—recording and mastering engineers, music producers, and professional audiophiles. The official announcement is expected later this week.
Stereophile Staff  |  Aug 08, 1999  |  0 comments
Last week, USA Digital Radio, a developer of In-Band On-Channel Digital Audio Broadcast (IBOC DAB) technology, announced an "aggressive" field-test campaign at 12 radio stations across the country. The company will be conducting the digital tests under experimental licenses issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). With most equipment already installed, according to USA Digital Radio, test efforts are currently underway at several stations.
Robert Rich  |  Aug 08, 1999  |  0 comments
Last week, Robert Rich began this two-part article (click here for part one) with an explanation of ambient music and pointers to some of his favorite artists' web pages. This week he wraps up with more web resources, including record labels, webzines, and online radio programs dedicated to the genre.
Jon Iverson  |  Aug 08, 1999  |  0 comments
Selling consumer-electronics gear over the Web has begun to glow white-hot in the last year, with dozens of companies turning up the competitive burners (see related story). It will likely be a tough business, with the inevitable shake-outs and mergers taking place as retailers test their strategies and brands on the public's pocketbooks.
Stereophile Staff  |  Aug 08, 1999  |  0 comments
Tonal accuracy vs. soundstage? "Achieving an optimum balance between the two philosophical extremes of recording is where much of the art lies. It also begs the question, of course, of why it's impossible to have both: a recording with a virtual-reality sense of imaging that also captures all the sound without any coloration." While recording the Sonata CD for Stereophile, John Atkinson wrestles with every recording engineer's dilemma. Read about the struggle to capture Robert Silverman performing Liszt's monumental B-Minor Piano Sonata and the ultimate solution in "Fate, I Defy You," added this week to the archives.
Robert Rich  |  Aug 01, 1999  |  0 comments
Pauline Oliveros calls it "deep listening"—a way to pay attention to the sensual qualities of sound itself. Welcome to a world of music that defies categorization, that invites a listener to soak slowly into a deep and otherworldly zone. This music goes by many names: ambient, spacemusic, electronica, sacred music, tribal/trance. Alas, you'll often find it hiding in the New Age section. Unlike some fluffier New Age fare, good ambient albums can explore the deeper, more solitary spaces. At its best, ambient music can sensitize you to sound in unique ways. It can enlarge your listening space to cavernous dimensions, paint hallucinogenic sonic landscapes, summon primordial forces, or enshroud you in clouds of diffuse vapor.
Barry Willis  |  Aug 01, 1999  |  0 comments
Last year the music industry was jolted from its complacency by the rise of MP3, a scheme for the quick and easy transfer of digital audio files over the Internet. Legal attempts to block the format as a form of copyright violation failed, and the industry began scrambling to find a way to prevent the wholesale piracy of higher-resolution formats to come. The Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI), an alliance of more than 240 hardware, software, and music-publishing companies, has been working overtime trying to develop an unobtrusive technique for preventing unauthorized copying—something that digital technology is making easier than ever.
Stereophile Staff  |  Aug 01, 1999  |  0 comments
While recording the Encore CD for Stereophile, John Atkinson had to decide: "Should I add some artificial reverberation?" After much gnashing of teeth, he plowed ahead. Read about the process in "Encore," an in-depth look at the recording techniques, the artists, and the music.
Jon Iverson  |  Aug 01, 1999  |  0 comments
The DVD Forum announced July 28 that it will start verification services for products based on the DVD-Audio format (see previous article) at some of its authorized DVD Format Verification Laboratories starting September 1999. According to the Forum, format verification is conducted to establish the conformity of DVD products with DVD formats created by the DVD Forum, and allows manufacturers of successfully tested products to use DVD logos as proof of conformity.
Jon Iverson  |  Aug 01, 1999  |  0 comments
Time for early-adopter audiophiles to start saving those pennies. Panasonic has just announced delivery dates and suggested pricing for two DVD-Audio players: the Panasonic DVD-A7 and the Technics DVD-A10. Beginning this October, Panasonic says that both models will be shipped to dealers nationwide, with the DVD-A7 retailing at $999.95 and the DVD-A10 checking in at $1199.95.

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