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Barry Willis  |  Jan 30, 2000  |  0 comments
Where Sony goes, the electronics industry follows. And Sony is going on the Internet—not merely with product information and links to dealers, but with sales direct to consumers. The announcement was made late in January by Sony Electronics president Teruaki Aoki. "We cannot neglect the customers' viewpoint," Aoki said, acknowledging that serving consumers is a higher priority for the electronics giant than protecting dealers.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 30, 2000  |  0 comments
What began as a seemingly random collection of songs became a classic animated movie. Yellow Submarine was recently remastered and reissued on DVD and CD, and has now become the latest in a string of virtual-reality theme-park rides: Beatles fans visiting Berlin's Potsdamer Platz can travel through Pepperland at The Beatles' Yellow Submarine Adventure.
Barry Willis  |  Jan 30, 2000  |  0 comments
The FM radio spectrum could soon get a lot more crowded, thanks to rules recently adopted by the Federal Communications Commission. New stations with broadcasting power of between 1W and 100W will be cropping up soon in communities all over the country, provided they don't interfere with existing stations, and provided they remain strictly noncommercial.
Stereophile Staff  |  Jan 30, 2000  |  0 comments
Getting a good connection to ground can make or break a fussy audio (and video) system. Jonathan Scull reveals several tips and tricks in "Fines Tunes" #9. As J-10 states: "Of course, the 'Fine Tunes' brief is low- or no-cost techniques for improving your system's sound. So let's consider that unruly beast called Ground. Aside from walking on, what's it good for?" The answer awaits.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 30, 2000  |  0 comments
Last week, Command Audio announced $56 million in new funding from several media, technology, and venture capital companies for its audio-on-demand service. The company says that the new funding will help fuel the rollout of their entertainment and information service to major US markets in the coming year.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 23, 2000  |  0 comments
Last week, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group announced that it has reached an agreement in principle to acquire United Audio Centers, located in the Chicago, Illinois area. United Audio describes itself as a seven-store specialty consumer electronics retailer with annual sales of approximately $48 million, and says it has been in business in the Chicago market for over 40 years. The companies expect to complete the transaction on or about April 1, 2000, and note that the agreement in principle to acquire United Audio is subject to various terms and conditions, as well as to regulatory approval.
Paul Messenger  |  Jan 23, 2000  |  0 comments
It's been no secret that leading British speaker brand Mission was up for sale—the situation had been spelled out last fall in the Annual Report of parent company NXT plc. NXT is busy pioneering its new flat-panel speaker technology, and shareholder interests were clearly not being well served by "carrying" for any length of time a box-speaker brand whose recent financial reports had been mostly in the red.
Stereophile Staff  |  Jan 23, 2000  |  0 comments
Several news sources reported Saturday, January 22, that Time Warner is close to completing a merger with EMI Recorded Music. The combined company will be worth an estimated $20 billion, making it the world's second-largest music conglomerate, exceeded in size and scope only by Seagram Ltd.'s Universal Music. News of the deal came less than a week after the announcement of an impending merger between America Online, the world’s largest Internet service provider, with Time Warner, one of the world's largest media conglomerates.
Barry Willis  |  Jan 23, 2000  |  0 comments
On January 17, we reported a new service by in which it would store, on its site, digital copies of tunes purchased by music lovers for them to access from any location. Beverly Hills attorney Ken Hertz, who sometimes consults with, said he would be "surprised if the recording industry didn't sue," despite glowing statements from chief Michael Robertson about all the benefits and new sales the recording industry would enjoy from his venture into uncharted waters.
Stereophile Staff  |  Jan 23, 2000  |  0 comments
Recognizing that high-end audio is anything but plug'n'play, Jonathan Scull examines the details of getting the best from alternating current in "Fines Tunes" #8. As Jonathan writes: "Bill Gates would have you believe we live in a plug'n'play world. Apple has proselytized same since day one. But I'm here to tell you it just isn't so for high-end audio."
Stereophile Staff  |  Jan 18, 2000  |  0 comments
After 53 years of publication, Audio magazine, owned and operated by Hachette Filipacchi Magazines, is closing its doors this week. Often rumored to be on the ropes, the magazine had recently attempted a new editorial direction and artistic facelift.
Paul Messenger  |  Jan 16, 2000  |  0 comments
On January 14, anyone calling Naim Audio heard an Elgar recording, and visitors to the Naim website forum learned the sad news that founder and managing director Julian Vereker had died. The company—indeed, British hi-fi as a whole—is mourning the loss of one of its brightest and strongest personalities.
Stereophile Staff  |  Jan 16, 2000  |  0 comments
In "Working in the Front Line," Martin Colloms writes: "A committed audio equipment reviewer operates at the front line of audio subjectivity. How is it possible to do this successfully, when a similar task undertaken by an industrial laboratory or test house would take five times as long, cost ten times as much, and deliver a verdict of arguably poorer relevance?" How indeed . . . Colloms explains himself.
Barry Willis  |  Jan 16, 2000  |  0 comments
San Diego-based, a premier website for distributing the music of unsigned bands, has announced a new program called Beam-it, via which copies of commercial CDs will be stored at the site. The copies will be instantly available to customers who have purchased the music from affiliated online retailers, company officials said. About 40,000 CDs have already been archived on the site.
Jon Iverson  |  Jan 16, 2000  |  0 comments
The buzz about digital audio downloads from the Internet would lead one to think that the only way we'll be buying music in the not-too-distant future is through the Web. But the reality this past holiday season looks quite different. Reuters is running stories saying that there was "No Santa for the Internet Music Industry," and record companies attempting to get online are having a tough time (see related item). MP3 for Dummies author Andy Rathbone states bluntly: "It [the digital music business] hasn't taken off as much as analysts expected," and EMI Records' Jay Alan Samit laments, "this year, over a billion songs were downloaded. None of our artists got paid."