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AUDIOPHILE AUDITION - web magazine for music, audio & home theater
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March 31, 2004

Best Buy a Best Buy? - According to the popular investment web site The Motley Fool, the Best Buy chain of home electronics stores is a better investment possibility than their big rival Circuit City. The superstores have dueled for some years but Circuit City came to grief with their promotion of the ill-fated DivX format - wherein the DVDs - which only played on their special players - were cheaper but self-destructed after a few days or plays. Their incentive-based employee policy also turned off many patrons who felt stalked.

Americans’ Multi-tasking Video Viewing - A study by the Media Center of the American Press Institute has found that three-quarters of American TV viewers read the newspaper while watching TV, and two-thirds are online while watching TV. The study of Simultaneous Media Usage revealed a higher-than-expected level of media multi-tasking. Seventy percent of the subjects said that at one time or another they try to absorb two or more media forms at once. This leads content providers, marketers and advertisers to ask “Who’s paying attention to what, and when?” (if anything...). Another interesting finding was on what people with dialup connections do while waiting for downloads from the Net: 52% listen to the radio, 62% watch TV and 20% read the newspaper.

Hi-Fi Codec from Qualcomm - Qualcomm Inc. - a provider of audio compression for the Internet, digital broadcasting, and wireless use - will begin this week the integration of MPEG-4 AAC/aacPlus technology into their multimedia solutions. aacPlus delivers the highest audio quality at the lowest possible bit rates, using Spectral Band Replication technology. Streaming and downloadable multichannel audio can be offered at 128 kbps, CD-quality stereo at 48 kbps, and useable stereo at only 32 kbps. These lower data rates will improve audio quality in wireless products and enable new applications in future devices. (Qualcomm is also the source of the email client Eudora.)

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