Audio News for July 4, 2007

by | Jul 4, 2007 | Audio News | 0 comments

HD DVD Offers Web Surfing – In an effort to beat out Blu-ray in the struggle to be the hi-def successor to standard DVD, the HD DVD camp has released the first Internet-enabled disc – a Japanese anime feature. Those who connect their Toshiba HD DVD players to broadband Internet will be able to download a hi-def trailer for another movie, change menu styles, and download more subtitles. The next such HD DVD disc out – “300” – will expand on the capabilities by allowing users to re-edit the movie and then upload their version to a server hosted by the studio, Warner Bros.  Other Toshiba HD DVD player owners can then download it to their players and see the movie in its new form if they want to. The upcoming Black Diamond HD DVD will let viewers participate in online polls after watching the movie.

Changes in Pops Concert Programming – The accessible programming of symphony series’ pop concerts used to be mainly light classic warhorses, movie theme medleys and the occasional celebrity crooner.  But now, in an effort to lower the age of their audiences and revitalize pop concert series, orchestras across North America are luring younger fans with headliners from the rock world. Ben Folds did the opening night of the Boston Pops this spring – though he was advised there should be nothing risqué, no swearing and nothing political. Other orchestras are presenting such attractions as The Decemberists, Bright Eyes, Cowboy Junkies, and the French electronic duo Air. One symphony programming director said they are appealing to a “younger NPR crowd” while trying not to alienate their traditional older audiences.

Beverly Sills Dies at 78 – Opera star Beverly Sills died Monday of cancer. The red-haired singer had a long career in opera, finishing at the Metropolitan Opera and on TV. One of her famous opera roles was as Baby Doe in the opera by Douglas Moore. She later was general director of the New York City Opera and hosted interviews during national opera telecasts. Sills was a diva who didn’t fit the common definition of diva.

Beware Failure of Entertainment PC Hard Drives – Just as many home computer owners have learned the hard way to regularly back up all the vital files on their hard drives, as PC media centers get to be part of more and more home entertainment systems there are starting to be sad stories of users losing all their movies, photos and music due to hard drive failures.  Any hard drive will eventually die, and if your entertainment PC drive holds all of your media and you don’t have any backups whatever, you will be in big trouble. That is, unless you regularly back up all your media so you have at least two identical hard drives.  You should also back up the most important files to DVD-Rs and store them elsewhere – such as a bank box. (But keep in mind to replace them regularly – burned DVDs & CDs don’t last nearly as long as commercially-pressed discs.) And if you put many or all of your CDs and DVDs on the hard drive, don’t sell the original discs.  Keep them as you do your applications’ original CD-ROMs – they’re your best backup bet.


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