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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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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  |  Jul 25, 1999  |  0 comments
According to a report released last week by Cahners In-Stat Group, a high-tech market research firm, the market for personal digital music players using audio compression technologies will experience a tremendous increase in growth through the next several years. Nearly $800 million in player sales are expected in 2003, spurred largely by widespread Internet access. The report also states that products in this segment will initially focus on downloading technologies like MP3, and over the next 12 months consumers should expect to see more features integrated into the players such as FM tuners, increased storage capacity, and security systems like Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI).
Stereophile Staff  |  Jul 25, 1999  |  0 comments
While decidedly "niche products," as Martin Colloms describes them, single-ended (SE) tube amplifiers have still found a happy home in many audiophile systems. But a trap awaits those who wish to evaluate the differences between an SE and a solid-state or push-pull tube amplifier, or between two SE amps. In "The Unseen Variable," Colloms digs to the bottom of this complicated matter.
Stereophile Staff  |  Jul 25, 1999  |  0 comments
The age of digital music downloads has begun in earnest. On July 20, EMI Recorded Music announced that it has signed a deal with Digital On-Demand and its subsidiary, RedDotNet Inc., to make the EMI catalog available for downloading to kiosks in music stores. The kiosks will be equipped with CD "burners" where customers can copy EMI recordings not in stock in the stores. They will also be able to print out the original cover art and liner notes. Discs can be copied at high speed in 5 to 15 minutes using RedDotNet's technology, the announcement noted.
Jon Iverson  |  Jul 25, 1999  |  0 comments
The Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) appears to be the antidote to many a record executive's worst audio poison: legions of young music fans downloading digital audio files off the Internet and passing them around with no regard to copyright restrictions. But what might be the answer to some companies' prayers could prove to be the Big Brother nightmare feared by others.
Barry Willis  |  Jul 25, 1999  |  0 comments
Yet another major music company has joined the digital downloading stampede, in the wake of the Secure Digital Music Initiative's (SDMI) recent progress toward formulating copyright standards. On July 19, Universal Music Group announced its intention to make its titles available for downloading to the coming generation of portable audio players. New devices from Diamond Multimedia, Toshiba, and Panasonic—all expected to hit the market by the winter holiday season—will play encrypted tunes from Universal and other big labels.
Stereophile Staff  |  Jul 18, 1999  |  0 comments
Last week, Philips Semiconductors announced the CD10 chipset, which the company describes as the world's first two-chip solution to deliver CD-RW (compact disc, re-writeable) compatibility for CD audio players. According to Philips, one chip provides a data amplifier and laser supply circuit, while the other is the digital servo, decoder, and DAC. As a result, Philips claims that the new chipset allows designers to build audio players that can read all forms of CDs without an increase in component count.

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