Hi-Res Logo and Promotion – There is now more than one logo for the music industry’s supposedly highest-quality music downloads and streams. (But watch out because many of the so-called hi-res downloads are really just hi-res digital upscalings of original analog tape reel-to-reel masters. More then 53% of consumers who bought audio technology in the past year are interested in HRA, and 77% researched audio products in a physical store, a survey the Consumer Technology Association did found. But they also found that consumer interest in HRA can falter when equipment and software upgrades are needed. 77% of recent audio purchasers did their research at a physical store, and 41% did it online. Word of mouth influence the sales 32% of the time, while store displays were at 29%. Headphones were the most frequently purchased audio product, accounting for 69% of purchases overall, followed by speakers at 9% and soundbars at 6%. The survey found that retailers need to educate their customers about connectivity, which they struggle to conceptualize the benefits therefrom.
New Audio Digital Format – There is a new program available online called obs. It supports a wide range of codecs for both video and audio, but so far is only 48kHz. They are working on making it available also in 96K, for the reasonable-minded hi-res fans.
More on Gamers From Canada – 54% of the population of Canada, split equally on gender lines, play video games, but not everyone plays them on the same system. Some use portable devices such as Nintendo’s 3DS, but many who might not even call themselves gamers play on a various smartphones and tablets. Microsoft’s Xbox One got a new operating system this month making the console almost like new. It can play over 100 Xbox 360 games and can stream certain games to computers on your home network. The new Apple TV is getting gaming onto TV. Then there are people who prefer to play games on either their computers or TV sets. But that line is blurring, with many new computer games getting into the living room and console games onto laptop computers.
Classical News – Leonard Slatkin will move from being being music director of the Detroit Symphony at the end of the 2018 season and become the newly-created music director laureate for at least two more years. The San Francisco-based estate of Ray Dolby, who died in 2013, has pledged over $52 million to Pembroke College of Cambridge University in the UK. Over 80 reporters, editors and photographers accepted buyouts last week at The Los Angeles Times, but the sole remaining music critic, Mark Swed, has stayed on the beat. Kathy Schuman, currently artistic administrator of Carnegie Hall, will be the new VP and artistic director of G. Schirmer, Associated Music Publishers and Music Sales Corp. effective Feb. 1, succeeding Robert Thompson.