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Weekly AUDIO NEWS for December 11, 2002

Licensing for MPEG-4 Audio Being Finalized - The latest standard for MPEG Audio technologies, MPEG-4, is not a single scheme for digital audio coding but a set of technologies that address different applications and cover a variety of needs involving bit-rate, scalability and audio quality. An announcement last week from the members of the MPEG-4 Audio Licensing Committee will speed the availability of the improved audio codecs. Of major interest to audiophiles and computer audio mavens is the section of the technology known as the High Quality Audio Profile. It includes various types of AAC codec - regarded as capable of the highest fidelity of any codec thus far and greatly superior to even high-sample-rate MP3. More info at www.vialicensing.com

DTS Surround Music Awards - DTS Entertainment garnered the most nominations of any participating record label for Surround Music awards at the upcoming Surround 2002 Conference & Showcase in Beverly Hills. Six of their DVD-As were cited in ten categories, with discs by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Graham Nash, and Queen’s “Night at the Opera” rating high among them. A panel of industry experts from record labels and studios as well as recording artists selected the nominees.

2003 CES To Be Largest in History - The 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, scheduled for January 9 thru 12, will claim the largest amount of exhibition space in the 36-year history of the show. The largest trade show in North America (by a factor of two), CES will show the latest innovations from 2000 international exhibitors in high-end audio, digital video, wireless communications, broadband, mobile electronics, delivery systems, the Internet and many other areas. It’s interesting that CES now refers to the high-end sector - formerly “specialty audio” - as “extreme audio.” Seeing the SRPs on some of the gear at CES would quickly convince any outsider that that’s not far off the mark. At least nobody hopefully breaks their necks listening to it...

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