Latest on Neil Young’s Pono – It now appears that one won’t be able to download music audio files from the PonoMusic.com site until October. And that in an effort to simplify things for most users (who are not aware of the differences between the various codecs) all the files will only be FLAC files. Some experts have compared the supposedly lossless FLAC compressed files with uncompressed AIFF and WAV files and feel that there are some hearable losses involved by those with golden ears. Anyway, it is felt that purchasers should have a choice. (iTrax.com has as many as 21 different versions of the same track.) Also, they say the highest quality files available from the record labels will be offered, so it doesn’t sound like the Pono team will be doing remasters of the original tapes of older albums offered on their site. In case you missed the last item on this, the Pono player will be $399 and is triangular-shaped, playing only FLAC files.
Low Public Awareness of UHD TV – 77% of all U.S. households now have at least one HDTV and 46% have more than one, and 59% of all TV sets in U.S. households are HDTVs, but only 30% of U.S. adults have even heard of UHD TV technology and only one-third have ever seen one. The Leichtman Research Group study just released suggests that the consumer electronic industry has to work to bring the public up to speed. They want to get consumers into stores to see an Ultra HD demonstration. However, a tremendous number of HDTV sets were sold in the past five years and their replacement may not be as urgent as some other studies have suggested. Our advice is to wait until the industry brings out an Ultra-Ultra HD technology which addresses some of the other video qualities besides high resolution.
Aupeo: Panasonic’s Radio Streaming Service – used the SXSW Festival in Austin to announce that it has teamed up with top news, traffic and weather networks to expand its listening experience. It has added CBS Radio News, TheBlaze Radio News, Umano and AccuWeather as talk content partners. Aupeo is a personalized Internet radio service with an automated classification system for music using the Fraunhofer algorithm, allowing it to identify certain musical qualities and automatically assign genre classification. Free mobiles apps are available for most mobile devices and Philips, Nokia, Onkyo and Sonos are also partners. While free, there is also a $4.95 a month premium service without commercials. Aupeo is available in over 40 countries, and is considered an international webcaster.
RCA Internet Music System – is designed to bridge the gap between streaming music on a tablet device and a stand-alone shelf music system. Selling for $199 at Walmart and online, it can be used independent of the major sound system, or paired wirelessly to it to fill the room with music or a film soundtrack. It combines a 7-inch Android tablet and a bookshelf stereo unit and in addition to its stream capability has traditional CD and FM playback, Bluetooth, HDMI connectivity to other devices, and can play content stored on USB drives and SD cards. It is compatible with most Android music and video apps.