Weekly AUDIO NEWS for June 13, 2001
Warner Classics Cutting Back Operations - The Teldec division of Warner Classics in Germany and of the Erato label in France have closed their doors with job losses at half of Warner's entire European workforce. All divisions except Nonesuch (continuing in NYC) have been moved to a single office in London, but other classical divisions in Europe will continue locally, including the Berlin recording studio. Warner officials emphasized this was not the sort of meltdown that happened last year with RCA/BMG. New artists will continue to be signed to Teldec and Erato and a new crossover label will be introduced soon. Three Warner Classics offices in the U.S. will also be closed, with a loss of over 600 jobs.
Linux Into TV Market - 24 leading technology firms have formed the TV Linux Alliance, which will focus on the establishment of a Linux standard for interactive digital television.
Why Net Radio Is So Popular - The vast numbers of net streaming radio stations now can cater to very narrow niches that would be financially impossible for standard on-air stations. For example, there's a couple of all-year-all-Christmas music stations and even an All-Jimmy-Buffet station! The l998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act made it easier to obtain permissions to play copyrighted music - that means that Net stations can play both mainstream and independent music as they wish. Net radio reaches a global audience as easily as a local one. People can enjoy their hometown radio station from anywhere on earth. Almost all Net-only stations now display the names and artists of the selections currently playing, just as do the DMX audio-only channels on the dish or cable. Many outlets also link to artist sites or to where listeners can purchase the CD. Also, there are no annoying commercials every couple of songs. Commercial stations often use banners, which are less obtrusive than audio spots. It's even suggested that some future Net stations could forgo all advertising and charge listeners a small pay-per-listen fee instead. [From Music Dish - MP3 FYI: Question 56.]
Onkyo Launches High End PC Sound Cards - The new Multimedia Division of audio manufacturer Onkyo has introduced better-sounding and more versatile replacements for the sound cards that are part of both PCs and Macs. In order to do so they have had to outboard the processors to avoid the bad environment for sensitive analog circuits that is found inside a computer. There are two models, a deluxe cross-platform one and a simpler model only for Macintoshes. Both connect via USB cables, provide D-to-A and A to-D processing, and allow users to record and play music using the various popular audio formats. They also include additional software for processing the signals.
- John Sunier
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