Audio News for February 26, 2016

Jazz and Classical Music Culture in Spotlight in Kenya – Afrosync – a five-member band which specialises in Afrojazz – share the stage with Grammy-winner American saxist Kirk Whalum at the Safaricom Jazz Festival. It is the biggest jazz fesitval in East and Central Africa. The program also features musicians of Ghetto Classics, a group set up in 2009 to teach classical music to more than 300 children each week in Nairobi’s slums. Thru learning classical music young people gain disciplne and a love for an art that transcends boundaries.

Net Neutrality Defied by Verizon – Rules for net neutrality went into effect last summer, though some telecom companies have skirted the line of what is legal, but Verizon is the first to outright defy the rules. They are giving themselves zero-rated status thru their Go90 service. Their goal is to have users change to a service that doesn’t affect their cap at all, by having all popular streaming services make a hit against data caps. This could ultimately hurt Verizon’s competitors.

Six Computer Video Players Tested – PC World tested six video players. The most popular, VLC, came out one of the worst, and the Windows 10 video player won by a huge margin, including having an undeniable advantage in battery life, especially at hi-def – important on mobile laptops. And cranking down the brightness will not improve battery life.

Here Active Listening Earbuds – Earbuds have mostly been shunned by audiophiles in favor of over-the-ear headphones. And the very cheap white earbuds that come with many Apple devices are ruining the hearing of millions of users. However, there may be a computerized set of earbuds, available so far only at Kickstarter for about $250, which have been compared to augmented reality glasses in their power to fine-tune your ears’ experience of the world. Here have a combination of noise-cancelling, environmental volume controls, human voice isolation, music EQ and many other fun effects. They let you curate your audio environment without needing to change your environment. They have echo and reverb filters and a preset human speech filter which amplifies voices above other sounds. Your brain doesn’t perceive sounds as coming from the products in your ears, but a 3D, spatial and accurate audio experience. Battery life is about six hours per charge.

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