Loudness in Movie Theaters – Theater exhibitors also have problems with the loudness wars that are afflicting pop music in general. There was a recent paper on the subject presented at the Audio Engineering Society (AES). The Belgian government was forced to take measures after a 13-year-old female movie patron experienced permanent hearing damage as the result of a single exposure to a very loud movie. A survey showed that loudness levels in actual theaters often exceed safe exposure levels. Though the movie industry is challenged by the same problems of loudness afflicting the music business in general, they are in control of their distribution chain and for those who listen at home or on headphones dangerous levels happen all the time and put our ears at serious risk. (I just sent an email to the manager of a historic theater here in Portland. They intalled a new sound system and screen and are so proud of it that they now run the sound at ear-splitting levels. And be on your guard for the theaters now converting to object-oriented audio and increasing their volume level “so you can hear it.”)
Sony Teams with Foo Fighters to Promote Hi-Res Audio – Sony said the band has been uncompromising in regards to audio quality, and they will engage in various marketing initiatives aimed at promoting Foo Fighers and hi-res audio. The band itself said “…hi-res audio is the best way for our fans to hear the music as we want them to hear it: in its purest quality and truest form.”
Retailers Lose 1.4% of Sales to Shrinkage – A new security servey had revealed that retailers lost $44 billion in inventory shrink last year, with nearly 3/4 due both to shoplifting and employee fraud. Shoplifting accounted for the largest part of the reported shrink in 2014, and the next greatest inventory loses were to emplyee/internal theft. But despite the $44 billion hit, the survey’s author said the shrink percentage was the lowest in 24 years.
Pair of Reasonably-Priced Headphone Amps and DACs – The Schiit Magni 1 Uber headphone amp and the Modi 2 Uber DAC are small and affordable ($149 each) and legitimate high-end components. The all-metal chassis of the headphone amp has a discrete FET/bipolar class AB amp and is built like a minature audiophile speaker amp. The DAC handles USB, Toslink and coax inputs and welcomes up to 192K/24-bit audio files.
Tidal’s Problems – The almost-hi-res audio streaming service has no CEO and now no U.S. sales and marketing manager. It has many haters, new competitors and few paying subscribers. But music legend Prince is staying with the service even though he has withdrawn from every other streaming service.