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Weekly AUDIO NEWS for August 21, 2002

Listener Magazine Folds - Art Dudley's witty guide-sized high end magazine LISTENER has ceased publication with the issue described in our current Survey of the Print Audio/HT Press, joining a growing list of print audio publications which have ceased in recent years. Sorry to see this quirky, original voice in audio silenced while the slickies are mostly playing the same tune. One of Art's biggest talents were his unique captions for recording artist publicity photos. We'll also miss the cat and bunny photos.

Private Internet Jazz Radio - is a new Net service devoted to providing three channels of exclusive, commercial-free jazz programming for a fee of $9 per month. Due to the newly-required webcasting fees to the RIAA for each and every tune played - multiplied by the number of people hearing it on the Net - Private Jazz feels this is the only way to provide such programming and keep it commercial free. The three channels are Traditional Jazz (all styles), Smooth Jazz and Private Voices (vocals). All are carefully crafted mixes designed to be worthy of discerning ears. Visit them at

Over 200 Internet Radio Stations Closing - The onerous Federally-required RIAA fees have caused over 200 webcasters to announced their intent to close shop. Included are the first commercial radio station to have a web presence - KPIG, Radio Boston, and a popular outlet for electronica - SomaFM. This is real shame, since the latest measurement service shows Internet listening to music at an all-time high. Many of these stations symbolized freedom of expression on the Internet.

Christian Music CD Sales Soaring - Though the record industry is in a slump, product from the growing Christian Music genre is taking off. One reason might be the improved quality of some of the music, but another is said to be the many extras the Christian music labels include on their CDs: CD-ROM songbooks, alternative versions of songs, acoustic-guitar versions of songs performed by the artists, so that fans can play or sing along. Standard pop-music labels should try this approach. And DVD-A can provide even more extras.

New Balance of Power Among Classical Labels - It doesn't take a crystal ball to see that a major shift has occurred with the classical record biz. The major labels are not doing much - mostly reissuing from their back catalog - while smaller labels and audiophile labels are providing the real interest with new artists and music. The wide range of classical recordings (and DVDs) coming out every month is astounding, but since classical in any form is not exactly a favorite media topic the world at large doesn't hear about it.


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