Mobile Team Preserving America’s Voice – A team of three young people have outfitted a big used RV, pulled by an old Chevy, and carrying $20,000 worth of professional audio gear, to tour the U.S. as the American Music Preservation Project. The project, which is seeking non-profit status, is following in the style of Alan Lomax’s early project recording for the first time such people as Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie and Muddy Waters – who he discovered in various places around the U.S. and covered with primitive recording gear. The goal of the American Music Preservation Project is to capture great singers and players who otherwise couldn’t afford a professional recording, and hopefully of such quality that the Library of Congress would want to add them to its collection. The idea is to catch an audio snapshot of the country’s rich musical culture that exists without the benefit of star power. Their website is americanmusicpreservation.org
CEA Survey on High-Quality Audio – A recent consumer survey by the Consumer Electronics Association showed that 39% of those with at least a moderate interest in audio said they are willing to step up to high-quality audio electronics – however many consumers need some education about that constitutes that. A research analyst said “Sound quality depends on both the audio source and the listening device…” He said that hearing differences among superior audio products can sway consumers to consider and purchase high-quality audio technology. 43% of those surveyed said FM radio provides superior sound quality, and 46% described HDTV audio as high quality. Addition details will be provided during a webinar scheduled for tomorrow, including a profile of audio enthusiasts, what consumers consider elements of a quality audio listening experience, which elements are the most important, and perceptions of which audio formats and devices provide high-quality sound.
DEG Mid-Year Report Shows Blu-ray Up But Home Entertainment as a Whole Down – The Digital Entertainment Group report has Blu-ray, VOD and electronic sell-thru all in growth modes, with Blu-ray spending up over 10%. However, first quarter spending on home entertainment was down 6.4%. The number of Blu-ray homes grew 16% over 2010, bringing the total U.S. penetration to more than 31.6 million homes. 4.7 million HDTVs were sold to U.S. consumers in the second quarter, with HDTV penetration now at more than 66.8 million households. A number of initiatives – including Ultra Violet and Disney Studio All Access – along with new applications, are improving the digital experience in the coming year. Also, a number of theatrical blockbusters will be hitting Blu-ray and DVDs, making the industry optimistic about the second half of the year.
Musicians of Met Opera Orchestra Reach Agreement – A new agreement, represented by Local 802 of the AF of M, was reached two hours after the current one for the Met and its employees expired. Former general manager Joseph Volpe was responsible for bringing the two sides together. He had also brought the American Guild of Musical Artists and the Met management to terms back in May.
Philadelphia Orchestra Under Attack – The musicians union requested access (with court approval) to financials and correspondence of the orchestra pertaining to its $140 million endowment, and conductor-pianist Peter Nero and the Philly Pops want the orchestra’s relationship with the Annenberg Foundation examined (which gave the orchestra a $50 million endowment in 2003).