Audio News for May 31, 2011

by | May 31, 2011 | Audio News | 0 comments

CEA Announces Industry Leaders to 2011 CE Hall of Fame – The Consumer Electronics Association has announced the new inductees into the CE Hall of Fame, which honors consumer electronics industry leaders who have shaped the advancement of innovation. Among the 11 honorees this year are Dr. Fujio Masuoka, who invented flash memory; Dr. Robert Metcalf, who co-invented Ethernet; Dr. Andrew Viterbi, who invented the algorithm used for decoding data in cell phones as well as for speech recognition; Dr. Stanley S. Hubbard, who was instrumental in launching the first digital TV satellite system in 1994; Sam Runco, whose company introduced the first line doubler and first multi-aspect-ratio controller to the high-end home theater market; Sandy Bloomberg, founder of Tweeter – the specialty consumer electronics retail chain; Ivan Berger & Lance Braithwaite, for their extensive product reviews in Sound & Video Magazine.

Affordable Music Server Software for Classical Fans – DigiBit is a pioneer in music server software, based in Madrid. Their goal is to provide music lovers without much computer skills all the advantages of digital music technologies in a simple and hassle-free manner. They began in 2008 with both the hardware and software but now specialize in innovative software-only solutions that are affordable and easy to use. Their Sonata Music Server is the world’s first media player with audiophile capabilities, specialized for classical music, and selling for 99 Euros. Until now many classical collectors found difficulties in switching to digital audio formats due to the lack of systems to manage the complexity of classical music tags and its scarcity in hi-res audio formats. Now more and more music labels are beginning to offer downloadable music in uncompressed FLAC format, at CD quality or even 24-bit 96K or 192K. But most media players handle only 4 or 5 metadata fields (album/artist/genre/track/composer) and prove insufficient for proper sorting of classical selections. iTunes, for example, loses the proper order of movements in classical works and requires a complex workaround to organize them. This management problem has prevented those with thousands of CDs in their collections to switch to digital music servers.

The Sonata music server software is designed for classical music, allowing selection many different ways: by genre, period, style, instrument, composer, work, conductor, orchestra, soloists, singers, label, etc. Their proprietary database for classical music provides users access to over 40,000 classical CDs with exhaustive information on each one saved in 18 fields, including cover art. Superior metadata retrievals are assured by the CD ripper consulting four different databases. It easily imports any part of a collection already in digital form, and supports up to four audio zones. It supports up to e 192K/24-bits music files and FLAC, and can be installed on portable devices. Sonata also provides support for all other music genres plus management of videos and photos. It is not cross-platform, being for PCs only, but iPhone, iPad and iTouch devices (as well as Android) may be used to remotely control the music server or to stream music.

Big Bucks Spent on Consumer Electronics – According to a survey by the CEA, the average American household spent $1,179 on consumer electronics in 2010, about $200 less than in 2009. It was not clear if the drop stemmed from the present economy or from the falling prices of electronics or both.  The average adult spent $652 on consumer electronics products, with men spending more than women. Video great was the biggest item, and 10% of U.S. reported plans to purchase Internet-connected TVs

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