Inexpensive Gefen Audio DAC – The GefenTV High Resolution USB-to-Audio Decoder ($129) makes it easy for PC or Mac users to integrate their computer into their home stereo system. Files can be sent to the home or office hi-fi system via either RCA or Toslink cables. The unit accepts up to 24-bit uncompressed stereo PCM data at 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 or 192K sampling rates, and a blue LED indicates which sampling rate is being used. (Dolby Digital and DTS are not supported.) It has a small footprint to easily blend into a desktop environment and incorporates a USB input as well as the optical and RCA outputs.
Updates to iRiver Hi-Res Portable Audio Player – A software update with new features and enhancements have been added to the AK100 hi-fi portable audio player ($699). It was designed for audiophiles of all ages who want to carry their hi-res music with them wherever they go. It uses lossless format audio files straight from the studio mastering source, usually in 24-bit FLAC or WAV formats. It also supports WMA, OGG, AIFF, AAC, ALAC, APE & MP3 formats. It has a Wolfson WM8740 DAC and 32GB of memory which can be expanded via two card slots, each supporting 32GB more memory. The battery provides up to 16 hours playback on one charge. It has gapless playback and the ability to be used as an external optical and USB DAC.
“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” 25th Anniversary – Would you believe Bobby McFerrin’s hit “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” is now 25 years old? He was inspired by the Indian spiritual leader Meher Baba, known for his 44-year vow of silence. The reggae-tinged tune was the very first a cappella number to reach Number One. You can see the video at the Rolling Stone site, along with 14 other tunes that are now 25 years old.
Finland to Vote on “Crowd-sourced” Copyright Law – The country’s constitution was recently modified to allow citizens there to make legislative proposals. All they need is 50,000 supporters within six months. Google’s brief translation of the document follows:
“decriminalisation of file-sharing, reduced penalties for copyright infringement, increase fair use, ban unfair clauses in recording contracts, and ease the ability for people to make copies of items they already own for backup and time-shifting purposes”.
U.S. experts are wondering if this is really democracy in action or a mistake. They give three reasons for concern:
- Do we want laws to be written by people with no legal experience or understanding of the laws and the unintended ramifications due to its complexities?
- What are the chances that the 50,000 people who signed up up for this have actually read thru the entire proposal?
- This isn’t a neutral proposal.
A discussion about reforming copyright enforcement to fit the age we are living in would be welcomed by most, but it should be a discussion where all those affected, including creators, are at the table.