Audio News for December 10, 2013

by | Dec 10, 2013 | Audio News

Mandela Inspired Concerts, Songs, Movies, Poems, Fiction –  Artists were equally drawn to the man and what he stood for. Songwriters and poets invoked his name and called for apartheid’s end and an artistic boycott of South Africa. Just two years before his release from 27 years of prison, an all-star concert to celebrate his 70th birthday was censored on British TV to remove political content. During the last decade of his life, Mandela preside over a series of “46664” concerts in South Africa, named for his prison number (466) and the year he was jailed (1964).

LA Times’ List of Top Hi-Res Download Sites – Qobuz, HDtracks, Pristine Classical, eClassical, High Definition Tape Transfers (HDTT), and Hyperion Records.

A Premium Clock Radio from Yamaha – Who would have thought? This month the Japanese electronics firm has a $199 clock radio, the TSX-B72, with stereo Bluetooth which streams the AAC codec, USB charging port, nearfield communications for one-tap pairing, and remote control from iOS and Android apps on smartphones. It has an FM/AM tuner and 16-watt output. Drivers are 1.6” full range, a 2.1” woofer and a SR-Bass passive radiator. Its IntelliAlarm wakes up the user with a gradual increase in sound. Three minutes before the alarm sounds the radio starts to play, but the sound fades in, initially filtering out the high frequencies and then gradually covering the entire audio spectrum. The smartphone apps also set up the alarm times, radio presets and customize fade-in times.

Dell Shipping Its First UHD Monitors in Early 2014 – The Texas-based computer firm will ship its first consumer-level UHD monitor – a 28-inch – in early 2014. It also has two UHD monitors for the prosumer market: the UltraSharp 32-inch and 24-inch models. The consumer monitor will have a sub-$1000 price tag.

Biopic on The Beatles’ Manager – The Fifth Beatle, a biopic about their manager Brian Epstein, will begin shooting next year, based on a graphic novel by Vivek J. Tiwary. Epstein first spotted the Beatles at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in 1961. He also managed the Who, Cream, and brought Jimi Hendrix on the U.K. He dies of a sleeping pill overdose in August 1967.  Peyton Reed will direct the film.

Spotify to Compete with Pandora and iTunes by Offering Free Music –  Tomorrow Spotify will announce that a mobile version of its music-streaming service will become free, but limited to ten hours per month and with commercials, like Pandora and iTunes. Only Spotify members with Unlimited membership or Premium membership ($5 and $10 a month respectively) can use the service without a limit. Spotify had to negotiate for nearly a year with the three remaining major record labels: Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group – as to what they would be paid for Spotify’s right to stream their music on the free mobile app.

La Scala Gala Season Closes with La Traviata –  The season opened with applause for Nelson Mandela’s memory but closed with mixed reviews for La Traviata.  While the audience of Europe’s top VIPs gave 11 minutes of appreciative applause for conductor Daniele Gatti and the cast, the hard-to-please traditionalists in the uppermost balcony booed the contemporary direction of Dmitri Tcherniakov. La Scala’s general manager, Stephane Lissner, is now leaving for the Paris Opera.

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