Audio News for October 6, 2007

by | Oct 6, 2007 | Audio News | 0 comments

First File-Sharing Case On Trial – In a suit brought by the four major record companies (plus Interscope and Arista), a federal jury in Duluth, MN, has ordered a woman to pay $222,000 in fines for sharing copyrighted music files online. The 30-year-old woman was ordered to pay $9,250 for each of 24 songs focused on in the case. The suit said she downloaded the songs without permission and then offered them online thru a Kazaa file-sharing account.  the woman denied wrongdoing and said she didn’t have a Kazaa account. Copyright law sets the damages per infringement as ranging from $750 to $30,000.  The record companies have filed 26,000 such suits against supposed downloaders since 2003, but this is the first that has gone to trial with a decision. 6.9 million households used file-sharing programs in April of 2003 and by March of this year the number had increased to 7.8 million. The victim’s attorney said “We don’t know what happened; all we know is that [my client] didn’t do this.”

Classic FM Gramophone Awards Results – The world’s biggest classical music vote, involving 15 classical radio networks in 13 countries with a combined audience of approximately 14 million listeners, has named German violinist Julia Fischer Artist of the Year for 2007.  She is a discovery of the SACD label PentaTone. Others awards nominated by Gramophone magazine’s prestigious panel of reviewers and editorial staff were pianist Nelson Friere and conductor Riccardo Chailly, whose recording of the Brahms Piano Concerto became Record of the Year; a Lifetime Achievement Award for soprano Montserrat Caballé; Young Artist of the Year for the new conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic – Vasily Petrenko; and DGG was named Label of the Year. Among other recording awards were Ivan Fischer’s Mahler Second Symphony on Channel Classics (Editor’s Choice), Richard Egarr’s Handel Concerti Grossi CD on Harmonia mundi (Baroque Instrumental), Steven Isserlis playing the Bach Cello Suites on Hyperion (Instrumental), and Valery Gergiev conducting the complete Prokofiev Symphonies on Philips (Orchestra).  The awards were dedicated to the memory of Luciano Pavarotti.

The Blu-ray vs. HD DVD Scene – Since the hi-def DVD format war shows no signs of winding down, purchasers of players and discs must now make a choice just as VCR buyers had to do years ago between Beta and VHS. There are some differences – either format can record as yet, though Sony has announced they will offer Blu-ray recorders in Japan later this year. And also Beta was clearly better than VHS, the two hi-def disc formats both look about the same. Purchase of a dual-format player could solve the dilemma: Both Samsung and LG are now offering players that handle both formats. The LG BH200 is $999 and Samsung’s BD-UP500 Duo is $1049.

Meanwhile prices have been dropping on the single-format players. Sony’s BDP-S300 is only $499, and Toshiba has dropped  the price of its entry level HD-A3 to $299. Sharp has joined the Blu-ray camp with a player at $549.  At the same time luxury models in the $1000-$2000 range are coming from Marantz, Denon, Sony, Onkyo and Samsung among others. Enhancements include decoding of Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Audio plus 1080p/24 frames compatibility. By the end of this year there will be about 700 Blu-ray discs released, with close to 1000 for the HD DVD camp.

Wireless iPod Dock – Among the barrage of accessories now available associated with Apple’s iPod, it was only a matter of time for a wireless gadget to appear.  NuVo Technologies’ NV-WIPS allows users to dock their iPod, connect it with an existing all-home system from the same manufacturer, and then listen to their tunes from the player thruout the home. The iPod can be controlled from anywhere in the house while the dock charges it. Frequency-hopping technology is used to ensure static-free sound. Up to two docks can be connected to the home system. A spokesman said “Dealers, installers and clients alike have been craving this type of easy iPod integration where no wires [are required].”

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