Audio News for June 6, 2009

by | Jun 6, 2009 | Audio News | 0 comments

Circuit City to be Back Online – Systemax Inc. – a publicly-traded retailer of electronics, computers and industrial products – has acquired Circuit City, as they earlier did CompUSA, and both retailers will have an online presence. The new site – – is expected to launch soon with claimed lower prices, wider selections, and faster shipping.

CBS Radio Ad Sales Improving
– A CBS Radio CEO says their ad sales for the second quarter have improved in some of their markets with the addition of advertising clients who are new or are returning to the medium.  Along with all of the radio industry, CBS has seen significant revenue declines in recent years due to changes in consumer behavior – such as less listening to terrestrial radio – as well as the current recession.  However, many stations are finding the growing popularity of their online streaming services has begun to bring in both new listeners and even some income.

Sales of Blank Cassettes Are on the Rise – Once the international standard for recorded music of all types, the audiocassette began to slip when the compact disc was first introduced in the early 1980s. The growth of digital recording, online music and the iPod killed off the portable cassette player market some years ago, and it is now difficult to find any cassette-equipped new cars or even after-market auto cassette players.  However, one must consider the surprising news that sales of blank cassettes – which had dropped from three billion in 1988 to five million in 2007 – are now rebounding. TDK alone has sold at least three million tapes already this year.  Cassettes are perhaps the simplest recording format ever – you don’t need a computer or special softwere – just a couple cables and to push a red button.

Tape is still widely used by attorneys for depositions, and by some reporters. Many people are living with their old car instead of purchasing a new one in this tough economy, and the car still has a cassette deck in it. And thieves aren’t a bit interested in auto cassette decks. Audiophiles tended to always look down their noses at audiocassettes, but the truth is that with good chrome or metal blank tape and a quality deck such as the various Nakamichis or the Aiwa SK-X9000, one could achieve recordings just as good or better than compact discs. (I used to write a magazine column reviewing audiophile cassettes. It was unfortunate that Dolby took so long to come up with Dolby S noise reduction, which was a huge improvement over the popular Dolby B and sounds great without any decoding on today’s car decks, portables and boomboxes.)

All-Documentary Films DVD Label – Docurama Films is the only all-documentary film label in the marketplace, distributing some of the best work to date in non-fiction filmmaking – a genre which has gained some popularity in the theater market in the last couple of years. Some of their current films include “Crips and Bloods: Made in America,” “Harlan Ellison: Dreams with Sharp Teeth,” “Garrison Keillor: The Man on the Radio in the Red Shoes, and “Bird by Bird with Annie,” the latter a documentary on the author and humorist Anne Lamott.  A 10-documentary set of Oscar winners and nominees is also available, which includes “Marjoe,” “From Mao to Mozart,” “Genghis Blues,” and “Sound and Fury.”  Check out

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