Audio News for September 9, 2016

Everything by Mozart Gets 200-CD Set – Decca Classics has now released a massive 200-disc box set for Mozart completlists. DGG also participated in the Universal Music Group release titled Mozart 225: The New Complete Edition, which arrives late next month. It contains all his symphonies, concertos and all 22 operas plus a newly-discovered composition. (It was a friendly competition with Antonio Salieri and involved a song.) There are also two hardcover books, with a new biography and several frame-worthy prints. The collection was created in partnership with the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation and Mozart expert Cliff Eisen. Amazon will sell it for $479.36, while Presto Classical appears to have it for only $350. Other Mozart products being prepared are a 33-DVD package all of his operas, a 3-CD collection of “singles,” digital download bundles, streaming albums and themed playlists. The box set consists of 4000 tracks, with 15,000 minutes of music, 600 performers and ensembles, 60 orchestras, 20 different record labels, 5 hours of newly-recorded performances, two hours recorded on Mozart’s own instruments, and it would take ten days to listen to all the music. 70% of the recordings are different from the last major Mozart box set.

Video Games Aren’t Just for Kids Anymore – The AARP claims playing video games for those over 65 can combat loneliness and isolation. Gaming is very popular among people 50 and older and the popularity is growing. 41 million older Americans play video games regularly and 3/4ths play weekly. They allow a little break from the real world, they enhance digital skills and they are good exercise for the mind. They are accessible to almost everyone, and have come a long ways since Pong. Video gaming can also connect the generations as young and old play together. AARP and ESA sponsor Social Connection GameJam,  in which university teams design game concepts to promote positive and sustainable social connection among users. The AARP has a book My Digital Entertainment for Seniors, in which an entire chapter deals with video games, devices, rating systems and more. Video games can potentially help us all age better.

Sony, Microsoft & Others Shift to Faster Video Game Hardware – The most powerful companies in the video game industry are releasing pricey new hardware more frequently to keep pace with fast-changing technology and a growing array of rivals. Sony will release their higher-end PlayStation 4 this week – better equipped to handle VR and ultra-hi-def graphics. It also will have a slimmer, less expensive version. Microsoft will have a more powerful Xbox One next year, and a loss-costly Xbox One S now.

The New Apple iPhone 7 Has No Standard Headphone Port – They want you to buy their $160 Air Pod wireless headphones, which ear buds look like the worthless white ones that are ruining the hearing of millions of young people around the world. But the new phones will come with a free adaptor which allows you to use your present headphones, though separately they are $9.

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