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High-End Audio Industry News

 

04 / 30 / 03

Apple Computers Incorporated iTunes Music Store  Apple Computers Incorporated has procured all all five major recording labels (BMG, EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal and Warner) to endorse their new iTunes Music Store. With the ability to purchase songs at 99 cents each via the Internet, Apple's iTunes Music Store allows customers to copy an unlimited number of CDs, play songs on three Macintosh computers simultaneously, listen to songs on an unlimited number of iPods, and use songs in any Mac application, including iDVD, iMovie and iPhoto. The downloaded music files have been compressed via the AAC audio format at 128Kbs, which is said to be higher audio quality than the same Kbs file in MP3 format.

 

Fleetwood Mac Say You Will DVD-Audio Disc Warner Vision UK has just celebrated the first time an album was released on both CD and high-resolution DVD-Audio in the UK on the same day. Fleetwood Mac's Say You Will was the first studio album since 1987 from this legendary rock group features Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. Say You Will boasts the advanced resolution surround and stereo sound possible only with DVD-Audio. The DVD-Audio was produced by David May, whose other DVD-A production credits include Miles Davis' Tutu, Eric Clapton's Reptile, and Paul Simon's You're the One. The disc includes exclusive black and white photos of the group, advanced resolution multi-channel surround sound (24-bit/96kHz), advanced resolution stereo (24-bit/96kHz), Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo.

 

04 / 29 / 03

  In an interesting turn of events, a Los Angeles federal judge Judge Stephen Wilson dismissed most of the lawsuit filed by the record industry and movie studios' against file-swapping services Grokster and Streamcast Networks (who's parent company is Morpheus Software). "Defendants distribute and support software, the users of which can and do choose to employ it for both lawful and unlawful ends," said Judge Stephen Wilson. "Grokster and StreamCast are not significantly different from companies that sell home video recorders or copy machines, both of which can be and are used to infringe copyrights."

Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) Marta Grutka said "We feel strongly that those who encourage, facilitate and profit from piracy should be held accountable for actions,". "We're hoping that people aren't taking this as an invitation to continue along the path of what is clearly illegal activity." Naturally the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) chief executive officer Hilary Rosen chimes in by saying "We are pleased with the Court's affirmation that individual users are accountable for illegally uploading and downloading copyrighted works off of publicly accessible peer-to-peer networks.... (But) businesses that intentionally facilitate massive piracy should not be able to evade responsibility for their actions."

Happy to hear the ruling, the President of Grokster Wayne Rosso said "We are absolutely very proud of this judge for having the unusual capacity to be able to grasp the technology and its future benefit to taxpayers and shareholders around the world. Technology is usually way ahead of courts and legislature. The fact that judge was able to acutely comprehend (this technology) is a credit to the legal system."

 

04 / 28 / 03

ATC SCM35 Loudspeaker  ATC has launched their new SCM35 ($4,000 per pair) high performance three-way loudspeaker system. Designed for high performance domestic installations in either stereo or multi-channel, it is suitable for amplifiers of 50 to 300 watts per channel, and is capable of maximum continuous SPL of 112dB. The SCM35's soft-domed Neodymium magnet tweeter is said to provide a smooth and detailed response to beyond 20kHz. Vital midrange is reproduced by a version of the famous ATC soft-dome 3-inch transducer. This wide frequency range driver is said by ATC to offer an exceptionally smooth performance over much of the critical voice and musical instrument fundamental frequency range. An entirely new 8-inch bass driver has been developed for this loudspeaker and features ATC's proven short voice coil in an 18mm long magnetic gap to produce exceptional linearity and wide dynamic range down to 48Hz. Heavy-duty crossover components include close tolerance air-cord inductors, metallized polypropylene capacitors and ceramic wire wound resistors. The crossover also provides for tri-wire capabilities. Dimensions are 35.5 x 9 x 11.75 (HxWxD in inched).

 

04 / 25 / 03

Recording Academy's Grammy Foundation Grammy In The School  The Recording Academy's Grammy Foundation, a non-profit arm of the Recording Academy that brings national attention to important issues such as the value of music/arts education and preserving our rich cultural legacy for future generations, has chosen 50 schools as this year's Grammy Signature Schools. The Signature Schools program, sponsored by 7 UP, recognizes public high schools across the U.S. that have made an outstanding commitment to music education during the 2002-03 school year. "The Grammy Signature Schools program is an exceptional way to recognize schools nationwide that support and maintain arts and music programs in the face of a challenging economy," said Grammy Foundation and Recording Academy President Neil Portnow. "We honor these schools for their recognition of the positive effects that the arts and music have on young people, and we wish them continued success."

Of the 50 Grammy Signature Schools, seven have been named "Gold" schools. Of those awarded Gold status, one school is given top honor and named the "National" Grammy Signature School. All 50 schools receive a $1,000 grant to benefit their music programs and a certificate of recognition, while the Gold and National schools receive grant money — $5,000 to each Gold, $7,000 to the National — and special awards presented by members of The Grammy Foundation. Additionally, two schools are selected as Special Merit Award recipients for their outstanding commitment to music education despite unique challenges. Enjoy the Music.com™, a longstanding member of the Recording Academy and only audiophile website to report live from the Grammy Awards for each of the past three years, is proud to announce the winners below:

2003 National GRAMMY Signature School
Klein Forest High School — Houston, Texas

2003 GRAMMY Signature Schools Gold
Booker T. Washington High School Visual & Performing Arts — Dallas, Texas
High School for the Performing & Visual Arts — Houston, Texas
Huron High School — Ann Arbor, Mich.
Academy of Int'l Studies, Performing & Visual Arts — Las Vegas, Nev.
Neuqua Valley High School — Naperville, Ill.
West High School — Iowa City, Iowa

2003 GRAMMY Signature Schools, Special Merit
Spectrum Community School — Kingston, Wash.
Hunter College High School — New York, N.Y.

2003 GRAMMY Signature Schools
Ann Arbor Pioneer High School — Ann Arbor, Mich.
Arapahoe High School — Littleton, Colo.
Arcadia High School — Arcadia, Calif.
Auburn High School — Auburn, Wash.
Centennial High School — Las Vegas, Nev.
Clarence Senior High School — Clarence, N.Y.
Chugiak High School — Eagle River, Alaska
East Islip High School — Islip Terrace, N.Y.
Easton Area High School — Easton, Pa.
Farmingdale High School — Farmingdale, N.Y.
Folsom High School — Folsom, Calif.
Fremont High School — Fremont, Neb.
Glendale High School — Springfield, Mo.
Great Neck South High School — Great Neck, N.Y.
Harwood Union High School — S. Duxbury, Vt.
Helix Charter High School — La Mesa, Calif.
Herricks High School — New Hyde Park, N.Y.
Highland High School — Salt Lake City, Utah
Jenison High School — Jenison, Michigan
John F. Kennedy High School — Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Johnson City High School — Johnson City, N.Y.
J.P. Taravella High School — Coral Springs, Fla.
Langham Creek High School — Houston, Texas
Liberty High School — Eldersburg, Md.
Lincoln High School — Thief River Falls, Minn.
Long Beach Polytechnic High School — Long Beach, Calif.
Longmeadow High School — Longmeadow, Mass.
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts — Los Angeles, Calif.
Mercer Island High School — Mercer Island, Wash.
Mira Costa High School — Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Niles North High School — Skokie, Ill.
Northport High School — Northport, N.Y.
Palmdale High School — Palmdale, Calif
Park Hill South High School — Riverside, Mo.
Sayville High School — Sayville, N.Y.
Wachusett Regional High School — Holden, Mass.
Walter Johnson High School — Bethesda, Md.
Ward Melville High School — Setauket, N.Y.
Washington Township High School — Sewell, N.J.
Waubonsie Valley High School — Aurora, Ill.
Wayland High School — Wayland, Mass.
Westborough High School — Westborough, Mass.
Wooster High School — Wooster, Ohio

 

04 / 24 / 03

Tacet The Tube Only Violin  German audiophile music label Tacet has released The Tube Only Violin (CD: TACET 117, LP: TACET L117) that includes captivating violin pieces by Tschaikowsky, Ch.-A. B้riot, Ysaye (only on CD), Elgar, Massenet, Schtschedrin, Drigo, Schubert, Moszowski, Schumann (only on CD), Kreisler (only on CD), and Hellmesberger jun. (only on CD). This recording embodies Daniel Gaede's brilliant performance on the violin while Xuesu Liu masterfully commands the piano. This veritable audiophile delicacy was captured with lovingly preserved historic microphones, a mixing desk consisting of nostalgic V72 amplifiers and W85 faders, the analogue M5 Telefunken tape recorder. All tubes, all the time, and analog through and through.

 

04 / 23 / 03

Panasonic DVD-F85S Five-Disc DVD-Audio Player  Brining high-resolution DVD-Audio playback to the masses is Panasonic with their new DVD-F85S ($149.95) five-disc player. Capable of playing DVD-Audio, DVD-Video, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, Video CD, CD, CD-R and CD-RW discs, the Panasonic DVD-F85S five-disc carousel disc player also supports Windows Media Audio (WMA), has progressive scanning and a 54MHz/10-bit video processor plus picture control for brightness, color, contrast, gamma correction, and sharpness. Audiophiles can relax as the built-in 192kHz/24-bit processor allows for full resolution of the digital audio signal. Surround sound enthusiasts will enjoy built-in DTS and Dolby Digital. Outputs include progressive/component video (Y, PB, PR), S-Video, 5.1 channel surround sound, subwoofer, stereo, optical digital audio, and headphone jack. Video signal to noise is rated at 65dB while audio signal to noise is 115dB. Overall frequency response is 4Hz to 88kHz. The dimensions are 21 1/32 x 16 15/16 x 15 31/32 (HxWxD in inches) and overall weight is 9.02 lbs.

 

04 / 22 / 03

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)  On Friday (April 18th) the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia backed the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to have Verizon Internet Services Inc. specifically identify one of their subscribers who is suspected of allowing public access to 600 copyrighted songs. While Verizon desired to keep their subscriber's identity private due to their First Amendment rights, the judge insisted that their subscriber's First Amendment rights would not be violated by releasing their name, thereby further supporting the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. ''The government's filing today supports the proposition that we have long advocated — copyright owners have a clear and unambiguous entitlement to determine who is infringing their copyrights online, and that entitlement is constitutional" said Matt Oppenheim, senior vice president of business and legal affairs at the RIAA. "Verizon's persistent efforts to protect copyright thieves on pirate peer-to-peer networks will not succeed.'' Only days ago the RIAA filed lawsuits against four college students who have been allegedly providing over one million copies of songs.

 

04 / 21 / 03

Macrovision Corporation  With many consumers and music business entities (radio broadcast stations, etc) having problems legally using copy protected audio CDs, Macrovision Corporation is celebrating reaching over 100 million discs using their security technologies. While it took approximately two years of research, development, and input from label executives/CD manufacturers to achieve a final release of their CDS System technology, problems still existed. Since versions of the CDS System introduced uncorrectable digital errors into the music bitstream, this caused CD audio players or PC ROM drives to work harder to extract the music. Worse still, at times these protected music discs may become stuck in computer CD ROM drives causing possible needless repair costs to consumers! The newest version, CDS-300, creates barriers to 'open source' Red Book audio sessions yet enables playability on PCs through the Microsoft Windows Media Player. It also allows users to copy files to Windows Media Library for playback without the original CD (yet will not play if distributed over the Internet or e-mailed). Various consumers and campaigns by groups have demanded that copy protected discs be clearly labeled. It is interesting to note that of the 100 million units, almost none were distributed in the United States to date, though Macrovision is expecting a major United States "test release" this summer.

 

04 / 18 / 03

Swans Speaker T600f  Swans Speaker eye-catching T600f is crafted from hand-rubbed piano black cabinetry with accenting solid billet aluminum panels. The faceted design is said to minimize diffraction while the planar tweeter claims to deliver excellent transparency and imaging. A matched, anodized one-piece alloy woofer provides midrange and lowermost frequency response. Like all of Swan Speakers that are economically priced with high value for the dollar, the T600f is $1,100 per pair. Specifications are as follows:

Drivers: Tweeter Ribbon (R2) and Woofer 6"(M6N)
System: 4th-order 2-way vented-box system 
Frequency Response: 50Hz-20kHz 
Sensitivity: 87dB/W/m 
Impedance: 8 ohms 
Power Handling: 10 to 120 watts 
Finish Cabinet: Aluminum panel / Piano lacquer 
Dimensions: 283 ื 311 ื 1218 in mm 
Net Weight: 22.3kg

 

04 / 17 / 03

Densen Audio Technologies  Densen Audio Technologies has introduced Albino versions of their products. The Albinos are natural-colored aluminum cabinets. Normally, the Densen cabinets are made of black anodized aluminum, but after numerous requests, Densen has now made them available in Albino versions also. Densen Audio technologies uses solid aluminum for their cabinets instead of painted steel to benefit from the non-magnetic qualities of aluminum said to eliminates MID (Magnetically Introduced Distortion).

 

 

Copy protected CDs may receive zero radio airplay as broadcast stations have trouble with these discs. The consequences of employing protected music technologies could equate to new artists receiving no on-air promotion. This radio station, which recently received its regular bag of freebies from EMI, find that it is unable to play any of the CDs it received as many stations do not use standalone CD players. Instead, they use sophisticated desktop PCs to preprogram the music in advance of airplay.

 

04 / 16 / 03

Echo Chrome Coeval Equipment Rack / Stand  Echo Chrome has announced direct online sales of their products including their basic Coeval classic style shelf system ($776 as pictured right) that grows with your audio/visual needs. Echo Chrome's stands are custom configurable simply by purchasing the assorted bit required to fit your needs. A solid 1-inch thick MDF Boards (26 wide x 21 deep x 3 high in inches) is available in pewter or black ($194) with real aluminum sheet metal laminate combined with solid aluminum shelf spacer and floor-cones ensures sound-proof stability and isolates vibrations at the same time. A single width Base Shelf with four Floor-Cones and Top-Locks. Their shelf system can be customized using silver or black sleeves ($7) Floor-Cones ($9.50), and/or spacers ($16.50). All system hardware is made from precision-machined solid aluminum. The Floorcones are specifically engineered for stability and isolation of vibrations. Shelf-spacers are 1.5-inch in diameter, 7-inch or 10-inch high and are available in anodized silver or black.

 

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