New European Hi-Res Download Service Includes 5.1 Surround – A new service designed, edited and operated in Germany, highresaudio.com offers hi-res studio master music downloads and delivers pop hits, cult favorites, jazz and classical masterpieces to audiophile enthusiasts who are passionate about audio reproduction. Music from Naxos, ECM, 2L, Chandos and Acousence are among the first offerings. The site provides stereo and 5.1 albums and songs at 24-bit word lengths and from 48K to 192K sampling rates in FLAC or WAV formats. Users can either instantly download or create their own DVD-R with a Burn-On-Demand feature, which is then delivered by mail. Their entire diverse catalog is offered in higher sampling rates than the 16-bit/44.1K CD standard. The service’s CEO said “The time is right, in offering premium quality hi-res music over the Internet with the exceptional listening experience in stereo and 5.1.” Album prices are $20/21€/£17 for 48K to 192K, $30/30€/£22 for 96K 5.1, and $35/30€/£22 for stereo DSD 352.8K.
How Consumer Electronics Makers Are Doing – Here’s a look at how selected makers and sellers of consumer electronic devices are faring at the moment: Microsoft is down from 1.7 million Xboxes shipped a year ago to 1.1 million now. Apple sold 26 iPhones, a 28% increase over a year ago, plus an 85% increase in iPads, but the average selling prices for both were down, and there was a 10% decline in iPod sales. Nokia’s smartphone sales dropped 39% from a year ago, and sales of all cellphones fell 5%. TomTom sold 2.1 million personal navigation devices in North American a year ago, but only 1.7 million this year. AT&T activated 5.1 million smartphones in the latest quarter, down from 5.5 million a year ago. Sonys says it sold 2.8 million PlayStations, down from 3.2 million a year earlier.
iPhone 5 to be Largest Consumer Electronics Product Upgrade in History – Some analysts are saying whether iphone 5 launches in the September of December quarter, it will be the biggest product release in history. It is set to be completely redesigned with a larger 4-inch screen and thinner body, featuring 4GLTE cellular service, a quad-core A6 processor and 1GB of RAM, making it superfast for multitasking.
Toshiba Shows Its First Sound Bar Speaker System – Toshiba has added the audio aspect of home theater to their line with the SBX4250 at $330. Featuring SRS TruSurround HD and coming with a wireless subwoofer, the strip has two tweeters and four other speakers in a 3.6-inch-tall, 2.2-inch deep and three-foot-long form. In addition to HDMI and optical audio inputs it has Bluetooth connectivity for streaming audio from other devices, plus 300 watts output.
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