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."
Stereophile  |  Aug 08, 1999  |  56 comments

With SDMI on the horizon, supposedly inaudible watermarking may end up in quite a bit of the digital audio we listen to. Is this a problem for you?

Is watermarking a necessary evil or the devil incarnate?
The devil incarnate
53% (80 votes)
A necessary evil
8% (12 votes)
I don't really care
9% (14 votes)
Have to hear it first
29% (44 votes)
Total votes: 150
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.
Barry Willis  |  Aug 08, 1999  |  0 comments
Westlake Village, California-based KnowledgeLINK has announced a mid-September debut for, 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.
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.
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.
Jonathan Scull  |  Aug 05, 1999  |  0 comments
First, my thanks to HI-FI '99 attendee John Loveless (, who thrust a handwritten letter into my hands just after a particularly enjoyable "Grill the Editors" session: