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Weekly AUDIO NEWS for July 10, 2002

EMI Tooling Up for SACDs - Rumor is that Sony is help EMI/Angel/Virgin Records tool up for SACD production and release, as they have assisted other smaller audiophile labels such as Telarc and Chesky. It is an expensive and complex process and Sony's assistance assured the original SACD rollout went much more smoothly than the DVD-Audio rollout. Whether or not getting into SACD will mean EMI will stop releases in the DVD-A format is not known.

DVD-Audio Mastering Program for Under $500 - DiscWelder STEEL is a basic DVD-A writing program from Minnetonka Audio Software. The user can import all linear PCM formats as well as non-encoded uncompressed surround. WAV or AIFF file formats may be used in production and the DiscWelder-burned disc will play on any DVD-A player that handles DVD-R. The software is Windows based and concerns about it possibility increasing software pirating are felt groundless in view of the few good titles available in DVD-A so far. More likely it will allow more beginning independent surround sound recordists to master DVD-As on their own.

MicroSoft's Latest Control Ploy - MicroSoft has created the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance (TCPA) which has designed a new chip called Palladium for MicroSoft-compatible computers. The chip could eventually be part of the CPU. The chip has absolutely no user benefits but allows an outside party to control what software you run on your computer - when and under what conditions. The RIAA (Recording Industry of America) strongly supports it because it will be able to prohibit users from ripping CDs, movies and DVDs - even if for one's own personal use or for entirely non-music-oriented purposes. Senator Fritz Hollings wants to make the chip mandatory; if included in all PCs, a law will be superfluous. People without a TCPA-enabled computer will find themselves cut off from applications which require the chip.

RIAA May Begin Suing Persons Sharing Copy-Protected Music - Some of the major media corporations have authorized the RIAA to start suing individual music fans who share copywritten music files online via file sharing networks like Gnutella. The authorization puts some teeth into the earlier legal efforts made against Napster and others, but this time it is directed at specific individual pop music buffs. Seems like a self defeating approach for the record industry to go after young people so enthusiastic about their music. Why not instead lower the price of standard CDs, issue more Enhanced CDs with video portions, and more DVD-As at lower prices to attract fans with their extras - artist photos, videos, interviews, etc.?

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