Audio News for March 28, 2007

by | Mar 28, 2007 | Audio News | 0 comments

Apple TV is Here – Apple has introduced their latest gadget which they hope will do for video what the iPod did for audio.  Apple TV is a sort of Wi-Fi/Airport receiver for video which connects to your TV display (using either HDMI or component connections) and brings in using its fast 802.11 wireless capability any video you have downloaded to iTunes on either a Mac or PC.  You can watch any movies you download, movie trailers, TV shows, digital photos you have in iPhoto or whatever PCs use, video podcasts, etc. and then watch it in comfort on your big screen. It also handles audio files.  This should be a big boost for the increasing popularity of downloading movies from the Net rather than dealing with the physical DVDs – offering the other half of the equation which was needed after broadband connections became a standard with a sufficient number of households, and that is a convenient way to display the movies you download on your widescreen TV rather than your computer monitor. Apple TV is $299.

There are other less expensive options for PC users. Among them is Nero 7 Ultra Edition Enhanced, which is a digital media solutions suite that uses the Xbox360 game system to stream video from PC to TV. it also transfers video from PCs to portable video devices. It’s cost is $80 when downloaded from www.nero.com  And if you just want to send audio files from your PC or Mac to your main audio system, and don’t care about video (or prefer to burn DVD-Vs of any video you want to watch on your big screen), Radio Shack has a handy audio version of Apple TV, also for $80.

CEA Names 11 Hall-of-Famers – The Consumer Electronics Association has announced 11 new electronics industry names to the 2007 CE Hall of Fame.  These individuals who have contributed to the growth of the consumer electronics industry include inventors, executives, engineers, retailers and journalists – chosen by a panel of industry judges each year. The new members listed as Founders/Inventors are: Paul Allen of Microsoft, Amar Bose of Bose, Steve Sasson – who invented the digital camera at Eastman Kodak, and the German team who developed the MP3 audio codec. Under Sales/Marketing is John McDonald, the former CEO of Casio.  Two members are in the Retailers category: Richard “Dick” Schulz – founder of Best Buy, and William Crutchfield of the catalog retailer Crutchfield.  The late journalist Art Weinberg – who wrote for Home Furnishings Daily – was named, and finally under Miscellaneous is J. Edward Day, an attorney for the CEA – who represented the electronics industry in the famous Betamax case.

Another Approach to P2P Digital Piracy
– Leading computer journalist John C. Dvorak posted his strategy for the music industry in an article for PC Magazine on March 19.  He observes that the business of organized piracy has been seriously hurt as an unintended consequence of BitTorrent software and other peer-to-peer systems. His step-by-step approach is for the RIAA and MPAA to just let online file sharing go crazy, to not fight it. This would ruin the organized pirates who sell CDs and DVDs, who are already working on a very narrow margin.  Then he sees the out of control situation with file-sharing to be a great opportunity for the industry to measure whether its effect is good or bad on sales (during the Napster era the soft piracy increased sales). When one or two file-trading system emerge as the top ones, the industry could buy into them, co-opting the leaders. Consolidate and make the one site a good one that everyone uses. Then the industry can make it an e-commerce site, shut it down completely, put out poor copies of everything, choke the bandwidth, and/or threaten the database of users with litigation. All this because the music and movie companies would be back in complete control. He doesn’t expect this to happen and neither do we.

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