Has it really been 10 years here in the year 2005? It seems like only 5 years, or perhaps 40 if we follow the thinking that any news over a week old on the Internet equals a month in normal time. From CD and LP to SACD, DVD-Audio, DAD, DualDisc.... Amazing the changes we have all experienced in the past decade alone! Have been an audiophile since age 5 with dad's Tannoy 12-inch gold monitors and tube amplification back in the late 60's and what began as a personal website on CompuServe to help with simple 'how-to' articles and early blogs... to eventually growing into almost 3,000 pages containing 5,500,000 words and taking up well over 325MB of disk space on our server. Boy are my fingers tired! Ten years, five laptop computers, five digital cameras... and near bankruptcy. Sherman, set the Wayback machine to 1995.
In 1995 we had the LP and CD as the main formats. Netscape 1 and the Mosaic browser were the basics without even a hint of Internet Explorer, Opera, Foxfire, etc. Pop ups were nonexistent and if you had a 36.6kbs modem you were King Of The Hill. Went to the January 1996 Las Vegas WCES (the 'W' standing for Winter as there was a Summer CES as well back then) and wrote a report without photos. Digital cameras were rare and extremely expensive. Being 30 years of age back then, very few people within the Industry took me seriously. Damn those young kids! And what was this young 'un with this Internet and e-mail stuff? Virtually no one knew about it!
In 1997 things changed as a very expensive ($700) Kodak DC-40 was purchased and so began show reports with photos! These were crazy times as the Internet was now beginning to get more recognition and the rec.audio.high-end newsgroup was augmented by rec.audio.opinion and many of us banded together to help form the rec.audio.tube newsgroup. My memory may be a bit fuzzy to the exact years and dates, though back then i do recall things were more civil and generally more informative on the newsgroups than they are today.
Anyone remember the Philadelphia Tube Audio show back in 1997? The guys there saw this crazy guy (me) pecking away at a laptop computer and dragging around a black roller case. Harvey 'Gizmo' was schlocking some 55 lbs full-range Sunlight Engineering driver which used alnico magnets. Meanwhile Dennis Had of Cary Audio fame brought alone the company's model 805 amplifier and proceeded to play the American National Anthem followed by the famous Abbott and Costello baseball comedy skit. We were all a bunch of friends having fun and enjoying life within our hobby.
Eventually came the DVD disc and Classic Records' DAD discs that provided higher resolution than CD and vinyl will still King of the roost. About this time the Internet had steadily grown and now those 'crazy kids with their computers and digital cameras' were becoming a force within the high-end press. Am sure many of you remember the 'only print guys are real authorities' touted by, of course, certain print magazines. That makes sense as their territory was being obliterated. Show reports that took the print guys months to reach the public were being preempted by the Internet. We had the ability to publish photos and text the same day as a show so the print media did not stand a chance. Same goes for industry news.
But all was not well with the Internet. Over time it became easier to use the Internet and build your very own website. Suddenly anyone could have a web page and the noise was beginning to outweigh the signal. Sure there were many great resources, though there was also a proliferation of so-called experts who were providing less than high quality content. Add to that the venture capitalists who were busy with e-Town and others sites. The proverbial sledgehammer of big business were making big waves with thoughts of what appeared to be their own self interests and both reviewing and selling equipment. Slick businesspeople they were, yet time showed their true colors and today they are barely a memory. Today we have a few new online magazines and consolidation of others. The public has spoken as the ebb and flow of life continues.
As for equipment and software manufacturers, tube audio is alive and well while the LP and CD is still with us. The near demise of DVD-Audio and SACD has been overshadowed by the current success of RIAA's DualDisc format. As Enjoy the Music.com celebrates a decade of service to the audiophile community i can't help but wonder about the future of our industry. What new formats and equipment technology will we experience in the next ten years? Children growing up today seem to not care about having a physical copy (CD, DVD, etc) of the music they enjoy, they simply want the ability to enjoy it. Frankly, it is time to do away with a physical format for digital media and simply allow us to subscribe and receive media accordingly. But before i digress into that debate...
Getting back on track, in the past decade — and with great assistance and deep thanks to our worldwide distributors — Enjoy the Music.com has given away well over 10,000 printed cartridge alignment tools for free! We estimate that well over 50,000 have been downloaded from the Internet while turntable lovers can also download free strobe discs to insure the speed of their turntable. We have awarded many prizes to our opt-in mailing list members... and offer well over 80 show reports online at no charge to you. We are truly thankful to everyone who has shown their appreciation by sending a generous contribution To Enjoy the Music.com. Together we are all able to show the world how much joy music can bring into one's life. Thank you for allowing us into your life for the past ten years and we look forward to the next decade and beyond! Of course in the end what really matters is that we all....