Audio News for November 25, 2005

by | Nov 25, 2005 | Audio News | 0 comments

First Internet Wi-Fi Radio – UK speaker maker Acoustic Energy
has introduced at the recent London MacWorld the world’s first Internet
radio connecting to the Net using Wi-Fi/Airport wireless.  It is
compatible with the major streaming formats Real Audio and WMA, and
supports both MP3 and AAC decoding. With the recent expansion of
subscription satellite radio, many possible listeners still don’t
realize there are thousands of both terrestrial broadcasters as well as
Net-only stations available. They come with no subscriptions to pay, no
problems of signal coverage, and fewer commercials than the satellite
channels with commercials.  On those few using a high sampling
rate, the sonic quality can be even better than satellite radio. The AE
Wi-Fi radio was developed in partnership with Reciva, whose web site is
the gateway to over 99% of internet radio stations around the world.
The latest channel listings are displayed in alphabetical order every
time the radio is turned on. It will also play back music stored on
your PC or Mac, and has a clock-radio function.

Right to Personal Use of Copyrighted Material Threatened – At a
House hearing on the subject of “Fair Use: Its Effect on Consumers and
Industry,” Consumer Electronics Association CEO Gary Shapiro gave
testimony about the risk of eliminating the critical consumer right to
make strictly personal use of copyrighted AV material without the
permission of the copyright owner. Among his statements: ” Fair use is
a safety valve which ensures you don’t need to ask the copyright holder
to use copyrighted content.  Fair use protected the Betamax and
without it we would have no VCRs, no tape recorders, no iPods, no
TiVOs…The Grokster opinion added ambiguity to [the Betamax decision],
leaving innovators on uncharted legal ground…Fair use is now all that
protects inventors, investors and consumers from an over-regulated
world in which every use of every product must be authorized in advance
by every copyright holder. Fair use needs to be enhanced, not cut
back.”  Shapiro was also testifying on behalf of the Home
Recording Rights Coalition (HRRC). Let us hope that we will never have
to fearfully look over our shoulder every time we burn a CD or DVD or
timeshift a radio or video program for our own private use.

Analog Devices’ Chip Provides Convergent Processing for AV –

Signal-processing chip maker Analog Devices has created the Blackfin
Processor chip for a prototype Yamaha Networked AV Center which
provides a consumer-friendly central device for playing, storing and
distributing digital music, video and still photos to any room in the
home. The chip eliminates the need for a separate digital signal
processor and microcontroller. It enables a new class of home
entertainment systems to combine the convenience of a consumer
electronics product with PC features such as hard-disk storage,
removable memory and network connectivity.  In the Yamaha unit the
Blackfin Processor handles video playback from a PC plus streaming
sources from the Net via Ethernet while simultaneously playing back
decoding audio formats including Dolby AC3, DTS, MP3, AAC and
WMA.  The Processor also drives on-screen menu displays
controllable with a remote.

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