Audio News for Mary 22, 2009

by | May 22, 2009 | Audio News | 0 comments

Explore Internet Radio – There’s thousands of varied netcasters with both streaming programming and podcasts and it’s all yours without subscription fees.  All you need is a Wi-Fi router somewhere in your house, and either a Wi-Fi tuner plugged directly into your computer or home audio system, or a complete table top or portable Net radio with speakers. While the Net radios advertised at the NPR site are all around $300, there are now some less expensive alternates. A company named Myine has their Ira Wi-Fi Internet Radio at $150. It has no speakers but plugs into your stereo system, boom box or iPod dock like a tuner.  It is smaller than a paperback book with small screen to navigate the radio stations; you tune it with a small remote. Once you set it up to connect to your home network, you can move around the house and it will remember your password.

Another Wi-Fi radio option is the ComOne Phoenix, which we reviewed here.  Its big advantage are the small built-in speakers and battery operation, which allow you to take it around the house and even out on your deck – anywhere within range of your router.  It’s now $149. A much cheaper alternative is the Aluratek USB Radio, which plugs into a spare USB port directly on your computer and is only $39.  It accesses over 13,000 Net stations in a more convenient manner than doing it directly on your computer.  It opens a screen on your PC showing the top ten stations by genre or region on the left site and a world map in the center where you can find stations by region or genre. Of course you still need to be near your PC to hear the stations.  Then there is the latest Tivoli Net radio. It searches by genre or region and you can also select from the many podcasts available, which the Aluratek does not allow. You use the remote to search for stations on the large LCD display of the good-looking radio.  None of these Net radios display the song you are hearing as satellite radio receivers do.  The basic Tivoli radio is $600 and that’s just mono; to get stereo you need the second amp and speaker, making it $750, but then it also receives standard FM broadcasts off the air. The sampling rate transmitted by netcasters varies greatly, but even those at the lower rates sound passable because the bandwidth is wider than you get with recorded low-rate MP3 files.

Zenph Art Tatum SACD Nominated for Award – The multichannel & binaural SACD “Piano Starts Here: Live at The Shrine” from Zenph Studios has been nominated by the Jazz Journalists Association for Best Historical Recording/Reissue of 2009. The Tatum disc, using technology developed by Zenph Studios, represents a milestone in recorded music history (we awarded ten of the discs to lucky Audiophile Audition readers back in January).  The re-performance process corrected problems of off-speed, noise, and mono sound on the 1949 live concert, and used multichannel playback of the original performance on a Yamaha Disklavier Pro concert grand piano. The disc also contains a binaural pickup option which allows you to hear with headphones exactly what Tatum heard at the piano bench during the performance.

How Electronics Industry Can Flourish in a Down Economy – The current economic downturn has of course severely impacted the electronics industry. The CES says shipment revenues will be flat for 2009, decreasing .06%. Considering the 5.4% increase for 2007, that’s quite a drop. The U.S. government says that industrial production of home electronics fell 1.9% in February 2009.  Overall, manufacturing output decreased .7% in February, down 13.1% from last year.  Manufacturers are seeking to curtail operational expenses, improve core capabilities including research and development, managing sales channels, and maximizing customer loyalty.

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