Audio News for July 3, 2006

by | Jul 3, 2006 | Audio News | 0 comments

Internet Radio Growth – While the two satellite radio services are getting the press coverage, Internet radio has been expanding for more than a decade now. As more and more users have broadband access, faster computers and better audio playback gear, the Internet outlets have mushroomed.  At the start most of them were simply  Internet simulcasts of local on-air radio stations, but then Internet-only broadcasts became the majority. The largest Web-radio conglomerate – live365.com – has around 10,000 different stations and 2.6 million listeners a month. There are many other independent stations which are easily accessed and programmed into your PC or Mac via audio applications such as Windows Media Player or iTunes.

The variety of programming available dwarfs even the 100 or more channels of the two satellite services, and it’s mostly free – unless you want to sign up for a premium Live365 account which then removes the commercials from your feed. One service is called Radio Free Klezmer, and that’s all they play.  Another is all Jimmy Buffet tunes 24/7. There are several all Hawaian music stations and all Christmas music outlets. The most popular Live365 station is Whisperings – originating from Springfield, Oregon – which programs only solo New Age piano music. 37 million Americans now tune in to an Internet station at least once a month. Most Webcasters are not getting rich with their projects. Little special equipment is required to originate the programming, and operating a station can cost as little as $30 a month.  Some offer optional subscriptions to users. The audio quality could be better on most of the stations – they often use only 56kbps sampling rate so that those with dialup connections can listen to their station successfully. None of the outlets offer the top 320 kbps rate for best quality (and still far short of 44.1K CDs), and Live365 limits its top rate to 256kbps, with few stations using that.

Telarc Now Recording with 24 and 32 Track Sonoma DSD Recorder –  Telarc Records has been a supporter of the DSD hi-res format both for recording albums destined only for standard CD release and for those with compelling surround sound mixes, destined for 5.1 SACD release. The Sonoma Workstation can be used to both play back the multitrack and and record the master mix at the same time; thus eliminating the need for a separate DSD master recorder. Telarc previously used the 8 Track Sony Sonoma DSD Workstation and DSD converters designed by Ed Meitner’s EMM Labs. The new album by John Pizzarelli with the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra just released was the first session using the latest 32 Track Sonoma Workstation. Other recent albums benefitting from the advanced recording system are jazz pianist Hiromi’s “Spiral” and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.

Obits for Two Figures in Music
– Grammy-award-winning record producer Arif Mardin died June 26 at age 74. He was co-General Manager of EMI Music’s Manhattan label and recently produced Norah Jones and Dianne Reeves. During his long career he had produced such artists are Aretha Franklin, Carly Simon, Barbra Streisand, Dusty Springfield, and many jazz, original cast and soundtrack albums. Richard Kapp, conductor and founder of ESS.A.Y Records and the Philharmonia Virtuosi passed away June 4.

 

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