Audio News for October 6, 2011

by | Oct 7, 2011 | Audio News

Apple’s Steve Jobs Dies – Steve Jobs, who had resigned his job as Apple’s CEO, resigned Aug. 24, citing his inability to continue his duties. His cause of death at age 56 was pancreatic cancer.  Jobs changed the world’s consumer technology with his various “i” devices. The Chairman of Sony—a major rival—said “The digital age has lost its leading light, but Steve’s innovation and creativity will inspire dreamers and thinkers for generations.”
Monterey Jazz Festival Receives $300,000 Grant – The James Irvine Foundation has donated $300,000 to the Monterey Jazz Festival. Their total contributions this year of $3.7 million were intended to advance financial sustainability within a challenging economic environment and to increase cultural participation from underrepresented communities. The Festival recently completed its 54th edition with 38,000 fans visiting Monterey County Fairgrounds Sept. 16-18. The next Festival will be Sept. 21-23, 2012.
Rhapsody Acquires Napster  – Music service Rhapsody has acquired Napster and announced that retailed Best Buy will receive a minority stake in Rhapsody. The transaction will clost Nov. 30.  Rhapsody’s president said “There’s substantial value in bringing Napster’s subscribers and robust IP portfolio to Rhapsody…” Best Buy’s GM said “Rhapsody has demonstrated that it has what it takes to build a profitable business in the increasingly competitive on-demand music market.”
Yamaha Expands to Soundbars, Headphones, Tabletop Audio – The company launched its first headphone model 1 ½ years ago and has now expanded to five models. Headphone sales have attracted new vendors to the market. Their high-end active digital sound projector soundbars consist of three models priced from $999 to $2199. They are said to deliver a 7.1-channel soundfield by creating focused beams of direct and wall-reflected sound waves. Two of their models use proprietary Air Surround Xtreme technology, which uses phase changes and EQ to create virtual 7.1 surround. [We haven’t heard that yet.]
New Color Kindle for $199 – Amazon has introduced the all-new Kindle which they claim is the fastest, lightest and most affordable yet. (It will provide Apple’s $500 iPad some serious competition). It allows access to over 750,000 books, is in color with a 7-inch screen, small enough to be kept in a pocket, and is 30% lighter than a typical paperback. There are no issues with glare on its easy-to-read screen, books download in less than 60 seconds, and the electronic ink display reads like real paper. The Kindle can hold up to 1400 books and users can transfer their purchases to their iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android-based devices.
New Nikon Mirrorless Cameras – While digital SLR fans probably won’t be attracted to the new mirrorless Nikon cameras, everybody else will. The Nikon 1 V1 has the latest auto-focus system, can work in low-light condition, has a high-res electronic viewfinder to help detail stand out, has Phase-Detection AF and Contrast-Detect AF – with the former available for shooting videos. You can get either a black or white body, and there is an entry-level Nikon 1 J1 Mirrorless System Camera which can take snaps quickly.

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