Audio News for October 4, 2016

CBS Radio to Cease –  More and more Americans, particulary young people, don’t tune into on-air radio stations anymore. Advertising dollars and audiences are dwindling everywhere. Revenues for terrestrial radio as a whole have been on a downward march for years. The biggest indicator is that CBS Corp. – once the home of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite – is spinning off its 88-year-old radio business to focus on TV and cable broadcasting. If it can’t find buyers for its 117 stations, it will offer share via an initial public offering. A survey shows that standard radio advertising from 2014 to 2019 will only grow about .5% per year compared with 8.6% for online radio broadcasters. A media consultant states that about half of all AM and FM radio stations will be gone by the middle of the next decade.

Audio Over USB Type-C Standard – Apple is not the first firm to release a smartphone requiring an adaptor to use standard 3.5mm headphones. USB-FI’s latest formal standard is the USB audio Device Class 3.0 which carries audio signals over USB via a Type-C connector. There is reduced power consumption, it is easier to implement in devices, and includes minimum interoperability requirements guaranteeing that any headset bearing USB Audio Device Class 3.0 certification should work with any smartphone offering the same.

The New OPPO UDP-203 Is Out – Oppo has waded into the UHD waters with its debut deck, the UDP-201. It has a new video-processing chip developed with MediaTek promising industry-leading picture quality. It has a AKM 8-channel 32-bit DAC, built-in dual-band Wi-Fi, and of course also plays SACDs, DVD-As, 2D & 3D Blu-rays, and AVCHD discs. It will join Panasonic’s DMP-UB900 as the most expensive on the market when it launches next month – £599.

Philadelphia Orchestra Goes on Strike – On Friday night, as audience members entered the Kimmel Center for the opening-night gala of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the musicians announced that they decided to withhold their services and strike. Across the state, the Pittsburgh Symphony are picketing their hall, and the Fort Worth Symphony in Texas is finishing the third week of their strike, with no end in sight.  We can look forward to a whole new round of “Is it curtains for classical music?” articles. The real answer lies somewhere in between. It is a tricky time for large institutions. It is common in these labor disputes to see both management sometimes the musicians for their cushy salaries and alleged greed. One just hopes that everyone has learned from the bitterness of other recent disputes to minimize the collateral damage and work hard for a swift resolution.

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