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Audio News for October 13, 2015

Streaming Threat to Classical Music – A long article in Gramophone discusses the challenge to the classical music industry from the rise of interest in streaming rather than downloading or buying discs. The economics of streaming poses far greater problems for the classical industry than for the pop world. The labels get almost nothing for streaming, even if a huge number of streams are offered. And people don’t tend to listen to the same selection over and over as with pop, plus classical selections are extremely difficult to acquire for download since the listing often follows pop titles.  As a result, several labels have withdrawn their recordings from streaming sites. 41.9% of the UK population streamed music last year, but only 6.4% paid anything for it. And classical album sales fell by 5% last year. Some fresh customers are required quickly and streaming may be a way to do it. One label person said that “the public clearly wants to stream and if we want them to evolve into classical music fans we must offer streaming.”

Sony Continues to Focus on Next-Generation Consumer Electronic Products – A new line of “Life Space UX” products is being developed by Sony President Kazuo Hirai. Other home appliance manufacturers are shifting their focus to businesses, targeting corporate customers, from which stable profits are expected. Sony as already develped UHD projectors capable of hi-def images on screens as large as 147 inches and lighting devices integrated with speakers as part of its Life Space UX line. Hirai said “Sony’s mission is to create a completely new market just as we did with our Walkman.”

Smart Plug Turns Electronics On or Off – The first of a new series of smart home products from iHome is their iSP5 SmartPlug. I ccan turn electronics on or off from just about anywhere using any iOS or Android device. This can include but is not limited to lights, audio systems, or air control systems. It can also be connected to your existing Wi-Fi, and you can move the smart plugs as long as they stay on the same Wi-Fi network. They are compatible with Apple’s HomeKit smart-home software system.

New Level for Security Cameras – French electronics firm Netatmo now has the first smart home camera with face recognition technology. It can redognize indivisual family members and send an immediate notification to one’s smartphone tell you who is at home when you’re not. It can detect and identify faces thru moving images, whereas older technology was limited to still images.

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