Audio News for April 11, 2006

by | Apr 11, 2006 | Audio News | 0 comments

PBO Offers MP3 Downloads on the NET – Following a similar path to that of the Decca and Philips labels offering downloads of live concerts by several orchestras, San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra is now offering its live performances online via both Magnatune and Apple’s iTunes. American orchestras lack the traditional distribution channels which keep European orchestras producing CDs and DVDs. The American Federation of Musicians has allowed local orchestras to determine rates for Internet distribution of their recordings, and this has made the original-instrument PBO one of the first American orchestras to distribute its recording on the Web. 50% of the sale price goes directly to the players; the only payment for the orchestra is increased publicity.

CEA Audio Sales Stats for Year To Date –
The Consumer Electronics Association has released figures for the year to date for Factory Sales of Audio Equipment. They show both sales of separate components and systems down from 32% to 39%, while sales of portable audio – including of course the exploding MP3 players market – went up 82%.

Universal Reverses Stance on Downresed HD-DVDs – Universal Studios Home Video – which previously had supported the Image Constraint Token (ICT) flag in the new HD-DVD format – has now joined four of the six major movie studios in speaking out against ICT. The software flag would have downsampled the hi-def image information on HD-DVDs to 1080 down to 540 lines of vertical resolution if the user had an older HDTV with only analog (component) inputs and not HDMI. ICT was originally developed to allow users with standard DVD burners to make standard-resolution copies of hi-def DVDs for their own use if they wanted. But then it was realized that over seven million people own HDTVs without the HDMI input to make a digital handshake, and they would be forced to watch NTSC resolution from the HDTV discs. Only Warner Home Video still plans to release HD-DVD movies with the ICT flag turned on.

Atlantic Technology Corners Subwoofers
– Speaker-maker Atlantic Technology has announced a new 10-inch subwoofer designed specifically to be placed in a corner – thus making a smaller visual impact in the room and at the same time benefitting from the known ability of corner speaker placement to increase the low bass output without requiring larger drivers or greater amplifier wattage.  The 10 CSB has a down-firing driver and 180-watt amp, with a crossover and phase inversion switch.

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