Audio News for August 31, 2010

by | Aug 31, 2010 | Audio News | 0 comments

Met Live in HD Opera Series Expands to 1500 Theaters & 46 Countries – The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series of live opera transmissions in movie theaters worldwide will go into its fifth season October 9 with 300 more theaters and with Spain, Portugal and Egypt added to its network of countries. The number of transmissions will also expand, to a dozen, including the Met’s new Robert Lepage-directed production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, conducted by James Levine. Die Walküre will close the season’s telecasts. Over 2.4 million Live in HD tickets were sold worldwide for last year’s nine performances, tripling the Met’s paying audience. Public demand caused the major expansion from 4 to 46 countries of the series which began in 2006. All of the HD broadcasts feature on-screen subtitles, in English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese and Korean.

They use up to six different satellites and can be seen live in most countries, while being shown delayed in countries were the time difference is too great: Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The live HD productions are shown on Saturdays, with encore recorded presentations on Wednesdays, 18 days after the live transmissions. The Peabody Award honored the Met for using “state-of-the-art digital technology to reinvent presentation of a classic art form.”  Although tickets cost more than double that of a typical film, it is still reasonable vs. tickets to on-stage productions of the world’s most expensive performing art. And with the closeups of the singers, great surround sound, excellent subtitles, and the fact you don’t have to dress up, many prefer the HD Opera to the real thing. You should purchase your tickets online in advance. Go here for the complete 2010-11 schedule and list of theaters.

Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen Sues Nine Firms on Patent Infringement
–  Allen’s current firm, Interval Licensing LLC, has filed suit against Apple, Google, AOL, Facebook, eBay, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo and YouTube over four separate patents, involving important parts of how the firms do business. (Some of these have the same ownership.) One of Allen’s patents, for example, allows site suggestions for users based on the things they are currently viewing or have viewed.  The suit did not name any specific amount of damages Allen is seeking.

Elektra’s Jac Holzman Says the Web is Not the Enemy
– Rock ‘n rollers such as John Mellencamp and Stevie Nicks have recently decried that the Internet has destroyed the music industry. Elektra Rrecords founder and discoverer of The Doors isn’t spooked by the new technologies.  He’s been thru the LP, 8-track tape, cassettes, DAT, CDs, MP3 and BitTorrent. He says some of these technologies helped make many artists and the industry rich. Holzman feels that music labels can capitalize on the Internet and digital distribution; he approaches the meeting of music and technology thru the lens of opportunity. He even believes the major labels goofed when they sued Napster out of existence. He says the costs of manufacturing CDs made them suited to selling entire albums, but Napster would have been great for singles – no manufacturing costs. It would have established a basic principle of the artists and labels being paid for digital music. He is quoted as saying “We have to be free enough with our music to permit people to adapt it for their own purposes and to create new works out of the building blocks of our music.” He also feels the Recording Industry Association of America lawsuits against supposed illegal file sharers were a big mistake, but that artists and record labels are entitled to be compensated from the ISPs, “who have been getting a free ride on our music for a long time.”

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