Audio News for April 4, 2007

by | Apr 4, 2007 | Audio News | 0 comments

Apple & EMI Offer Hi-Res Copyright-Free Downloads – Apple Computer and EMI Music have announced they will offer the entire digital music catalog of EMI in 256 kbps AAC encoding, bringing the files much closer in audio quality to that of 44.1K CDs. Moreover, the tracks will be sold free of any digital rights management (DRM) software preventing users from copying or moving their music to other devices. The cost has gone up a bit, to $1.29 per track. CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) President Gary Shapiro called the offer “the future of digital entertainment,” and further indicated that the “announcements means there is no longer a need to sacrifice quality sound simply for convenience.” He encouraged other content companies and digital music services to follow Apple and EMI’s lead.

Beatles Music May Finally Be Available to Download
– The decades-long legal altercation between Apple Computer and Apple Corps – the Beatles’ corporation – was settled in February, and Steve Jobs is working with EMI Records on the new “digital offering” of songs for download without copyright protection.  But so far none of those are Beatles songs. Jobs did admit that he named Apple Computer after the Beatles’ record label’s name.

Classical Is Big in China
– Though live and recorded classical music is not exactly big business in North America, it has become a huge market in China. With a similar energetic push and sheer numbers of people, China has become a major force in Western classical music just as it has in the world economy. They have been churning out skilled music virtuosos at an alarming rate.  China’s music conservatories are bulging with students, even smaller cities have orchestras and concert halls, and violins and pianos made in China fill up the shipping containers going out of Chinese ports. Whereas typical sales of a new top-selling classical recording in the West now are in the thousands instead of the tens of thousands they were a quarter-century ago.

Clarinetist Ton Scott Dead at 85 – One of the first musicians to popularize both world music and new age music has died at his home in Rome. Tony Scott expanded the limits of the clarinet, performing with many figures in the bebop movement of the 1940s. He tried to bring Charlie Parker’s musical advances to the clarinet. His album of music for clarinet and koto – Music for Zen Meditation – launched the New Age genre and still remains a classic. (For an informative and touching visit with Tony Scott, see his recent DVD + CD here.)

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