New Mercury Living Presence Reissue Set – The latest CD reissue set from the audiophile-famed Mercury masters is being released today. Following on the earlier release of 50 Mercury CDs, six selected audiophile vinyl repressings and about 15 mostly three-channel Mercury SACD reissues—which have all sold out—Decca Classics now presents a 55-CD Volume II boxed set of more Mercury Living Presence titles, including some never before issued on CD. They include Antal Dorati’s 1953 recording of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, and John Corigliano’s Piano Concerto. The Corigliano comes with a 17-minute interview with the composer. Some of the other conductors represented are Paul Paray, Howard Hanson, Frederick Fennel and Rafael Kubelik, as well as soloists Rafael Puyana, Janos Starker and Hilde Somer. The three- channel masters are mixed down to stereo for these CD reissues.
Digital Downloads of Music Now Surpass Sales of Physical Discs – But CDs and SACDs are not going to disappear either. There will probably be a new format to hold UHD (4K) videos, since the 50GB of Blu-rays is not nearly enough. Vinyl has made an amazing comeback, but for many younger people, their first experience of recorded music is likely to come out of a computer or mobile device rather than via hi-fi components. Harvard Medical School scientists have stored the entire contents of a book on DNA and reproduced it nearly error free. So every piece of music ever composed might be eventually inserted into your body. Well, that’s a ways off, and in the meantime lets hope that people wake up to the limitations of computers and sound cards for digital music and move on to quality DACs, music servers, etc. However, there’s no longer just one way to play all those files—the confusion of formats and codecs is chaotic. At least many people are discovering how bad those MP3 files can sound on decent equipment and are switching to higher-res downloads, which are becoming increasingly popular. Now there’s a need to simplify hi-res surround sound downloading. Apple fans have it a bit easier, but here’s hoping there will be a more universal solution to all this, for both audio and video.
Box Claimed to Turn Any TV Into a Smart TV – The Sungale Generation 2 Cloud TV Box (STB370, $170) is now available and said to be not a typical media streamer, but rather a unit “that can convert a home television into a fully-functioning Smart TV.” It is powered by a 1.6GHz dual-core CPU, with expanded HQ TV channel content, fast Internet surfing, video communication, Facebook & Twitter, email access, over 15,000 Internet radio stations, video games, educational apps, and more.
AudioXperts Expands – Luxury-audio firm AudioXperts, which was founded by industry veteran Eli Harary last year, has added the position of manager of international sales support to their growing staff. The company was launched to meet the underserved luxury-audio market with tabletop audio products, tabletop TV-audio platforms and swivel bases, and lifestyle-oriented component speakers.
Sprint Purchase of Clearwire Wireless Hits a Snag – Clearwire’s largest minority shareholder is opposing the purchase by Sprint Nextel. Sprint wants the wireless carrier to gain control over its spectrum and build on its 4G LTE network. Dish Network has also put in a bid for Clearwire.