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AUDIOPHILE AUDITION - web magazine for music, audio & home theater
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February 11, 2004

Naxos Music Library Launched - An instant classical music collection is now offered online by Naxos, and made available to libraries and educational institutions at a much lower fee than they would normally pay for the individual recordings. The library consists of 75,000 tracks on over 5000 CDs, together with background and notes on the composers written by experts in the field. The recordings are provided as 64K streaming audio. This is the most comprehensive collection of classical music online from the label which produces more new recordings than any other.

Two New Digital Audio Technologies - Tensilica announces that its Xtensa HiFi Audio Engine has received approval from Dolby Labs for inclusion in a variety of home and auto entertainment systems. This is the first 24-bit chip, with increased precision over the present 16-bit industry standard. It supports Dolby Digital, MP3, AAC and WMA decode. At the same time Apogee announces that its DDX Direct Digital Amplification will be used in the new Motorola Broadband digital convergence platform (DCP) of high performance home theater systems - which was introduced at the recent CES. The Motorola platform eliminates complicated hook-up and re configuration fo audio and HD video equipment in home theater. It converts video and audio content from various sources to match system capabilities and settings.

DVD/CD Combo Discs in Test Markets - The major record labels are testing a new DVD/CD dual-disc this month in both Seattle and Boston markets. The idea is to compete with the hybrid SACDs in providing an alternate format that will still play on standard CD players. The test is hoping to answer first whether people will buy the “flip discs,” and secondly whether or not any serious problems in playing them arise due to their greater thickness. While the other labels’ dual discs will likely be DVD Audio + Dolby Digital on one side, those from Sony Music will be only PCM stereo on the DVD side due to their not supporting DVD-Audio or MLP encoding.

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