Audio News for October 28, 2008

by | Oct 28, 2008 | Audio News | 0 comments

World’s Largest Personal Record Collection – Paul Mawhinney owns the world’s largest record collection – over three million albums – 78s, 45s, LPs and everything flat with grooves.  The Library of Congress surveyed his collection and found that only about 17% of it is available in CD reissues today.  Some of the discs are so rare that the copy Mawhinney has is the only one  in the world. The collection is his life’s work, and was amassed as a hobby over the years as he traveled various places in his regular job. Finally he opened a record shop, but was forced to close it earlier this year because of lack of sales. He must now sell his entire collection, due to his diabetes and having become legally blind. It is estimated to be worth about $50 million, but the sad story is that no one seems to want it and he hasn’t even had a single serious offer. In a YouTube video visiting Mawhinney and his collection, he says “The world out there has its ears closed…it’s going to take them…20 years to realize what they’ve missed. Music is 100 times better on a vinyl record…There’s no comparison to what they’re selling for music these days.”

Conditional Access Via HD Radio – Now that HD Radio has become a widespread and accepted broadcast medium and soon it will be difficult to find any radio or tuner that does not include it, an additional option has become possible on top of the added separate channels offered by the new technology. It is called NDS RadioGuard Conditional Access, and provides a special CA access box at stations which transmits the data streams with scrambling that will be received by complimentary and entitled HD Radios in the field. A Network Operations Center or second box registers the users, enables entitlements, and controls the CA system.  Consumers will sign up for the special broadcasts, and in some cases meet certain qualifications, such as being sight-impaired, over 21, speaking a foreign language, etc.  A sight-impaired person, for example, can use a CA-equipped HD Radio to hear an excellent-quality audio reading service, instead of the dreadful-sounding SCA-channel reading services.  The reading service can individually address and turn on the programming while accounting for each listener and their receiver.  Another CA use will be for emergency use by police, fire and paramedics. An opt-in approach may mean that some of the programming will be outrageous, but the broadcaster generates a lock on the channel and only those who meet the qualifications will be able to receive it. There will be some paid CA services, but they will be high-value one-time events rather than ongoing audio subscriptions, so do not really present a dichotomy in maintaining free radio while offering Conditional Access for special purposes. The technology is ready to stimulate new programming, promote localism, enhance opportunities and diversity.  One of the first projects will be NPR’s use of CA for the sight and hearing-impaired.

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