Audio News for March 26, 2006

by | Mar 26, 2006 | Audio News | 0 comments

Three Paid Download Services In Top Ten – Apple’s iTunes, Real’s Rhapsody and a reborn Napster were among the top ten online music services last year. iTunes along had 1.7 million users.  Of course the other seven were free P2P download services, but the latest figures show that the number of U.S. households that illegally downloaded at least one song a month declined by 11% in the third quarter.The music industry appears to be winning on the legal front. The Supreme Court ruled in their favor, putting Grokster out of business. And the industry has been mounting lawsuits against individuals they claim to have illegally downloaded loads of music files.  Unfortunately sometimes their data is off base: an Oregon single mother on disability pay who says she has no time to download gangsta rap or distribute it to “millions of people,” and whose email address is not even close to the one they say she goes by, is being sued for thousands of dollars by five recording labels.

Copyright Protection Matters, cont
. – There may be a limit to what consumers want to pay for their music. One suggestion has been for a new business model to take advantage of P2P file-sharing technology but make it legal. Both the music companies and Hollywood studios seem to have forgotten the Supreme Court’s 1980 BetaMax decision which allowed consumers to videotape copyrighted material (time-shifting) to watch it later in the privacy of their homes. It’s ironic that one of the recent examples of disaster resulting from overzealous copyright protection actions was Sony’s own anti-CD-copying software which backfired seriously on them. Another was the inability of any of the DVDs of Stephen Spielberg’s “Munich” to be played on even all-region DVD players when they were mailed out to hundreds of judges who would have voted a British film award to the film if they could have only viewed it.  The fault was due to a combination of copyright protection and regional coding.  If this heavy-duty encryption is applied to the new hi-def DVD formats, discs purchased in one region will be totally unplayable in others.

HDMI and HD Radio Featured in Yamaha HT Receiver
– Yamaha Electronics Corporation latest 7.1-channel digital home theater receiver includes IBiquity HD Radio reception, HDMI, Dual i.LINK, and Yamaha’s own Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer technology.  The latter sets up parameters of optimum sound quality at the listening position, and takes about three minutes at the touch of a button. There is also a Pure Direct Switch providing the highest stereo and multichannel quality without any processing involved. The RX-V4600 receiver will be available in June.
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