Audio News for April 12, 2016

Classical Artists Speak to the Audience –  A change has happened in the classical music world – more and more artists speak directly to the audience about the music they are about to play. Audiences love this; they get more of a sense of the artists as people. The idea of maintaining an aura of mystery onstage is going away, but not all musical artists are comfortable speaking directly to the audience. Our culture has become less formal and this is part of all that. Many conductors now do this at orchestral series concerts.

Nokia Offers $60,000 VR Camera – Nokia sold its cellphone business to Microsoft in 2014 and are making a hardware comeback with an eight-lensed virtual reality camera that shoots videos that few people can watch today. To do a VR video with it, a filmmaker typically has to put seven of the cameras on a rig, with the lenses all pointing in different directions. This model is meant to be sold or rented to professional filmmakers, but Nokia hopes to introduce  cheaper versions later for hobbyists. Something like the Google Cardboard glasses would be required to view the VR products.

Denon New S Series AVRs – These are sub-$600 AV receivers that will hit the market this month. They are both 7.2-channel models supporting UHD, HDR, HDCP 2.2, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. They also have wireless streaming via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and a power output of 165 or 185 watts per channel. The idea is deliver high value and performance for home theater.

Recording of the Year from BBC Music Magazine – is a lavish interpretation of Verdi’s opera Aida, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano. It was recorded in six days in Italy in February and is the first full-length studio recording of an opera in almost a decade. It is a 3-CD package from Rhino Warner Classics. And Here is our review of this great opera recording.

CNET Surveys Audio Difference Between the Many Streaming Choices for the Home – They explore which technology – Bluetooth, Airplay, Sonos, Play-Fi or Chromecast – offers the best potential sound and is the best choice for your home. It points out that using the same speakers for different streaming methods can result in quite different sound quality. They also have a related article on the confusion of the different video resolutions.

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