Audio News for September 26, 2007

by | Sep 26, 2007 | Audio News | 0 comments

Amazon Launches Digital Music Downloads – The e-commerce site has begun offering tunes in MP3 format – all without the controversial DRM (Digital Rights Management) software of their iTunes competitor. More than 12,000 different record labels are represented thus far at amazonmp3™ , and the pricing varies for different music rather than the across-the-board 99 cents for Apple’s iTunes. Only two of the four major labels are represented so far. Users can download and play the DRM-free music on virtually any digital device or burn the tunes to CD-Rs for personal use in CD players anywhere. They are not  limited to using iPods only. amazonmp3™ has a Top 100 list, for which individual tracks cost 89 cents and complete albums $8.99.  Music is available in all genres, but the classical section is sketchy so far (and includes odd items like Keith Jarrett playing Over the Rainbow and Spider Pig from The Simpsons Movie!).  John Cage is the No. 5 Featured Composer.

Art Tatum Featured in Second Zenph Studios Re-Performance –  The Zenph technology captures every musical nuance of original piano recordings in hi-res MIDI files which are played back on a Yamaha Disklavier Pro concert grand to produce new renderings without the limitations of the original recording. [More details Here.] The first Zenph album was Glenn Gould’s 1955 Goldberg Variations, which was on Billboard’s Classical Top Ten chart for nine weeks. This past Sunday Sony/BMG and Zenph held a live re-performance of Art Tatum’s 1949 recording “Piano Starts Here” at LA’s Shrine Auditorium, which was the site of Tatum’s original live concert performance.  The re-performance in front of a live audience was recorded and will be released in early 2008 as another multichannel SACD/CD, which will also include a binaural version for headphone playback replicating what Tatum heard seated at his piano.  Two minutes of lost material has been added to the recording, and the playback speed has been corrected – which demonstrates that Tatum actually played even faster than we had thought!

Two Massive TV Series Offered on DVD Sets – The 15-hour PBS documentary by Ken Burns – The War – covering World War II, will be released by PBS Home Video on the final day of the series premiere currently airing on PBS stations nationwide this week and next. The new series explores the history and horror of WWII from an American perspective thru personal accounts of some men and women in four quintessentially American towns around the U.S., to represent any town that went thru the war’s four devastating years. The series uses color and B&W footage as well as stills and interviews with survivors.  Tom Hanks, Samuel Jackson and Eli Wallach are among the voiceovers, and music contributions come from Wynton Marsalis, Norah Jones, Benny Goodman, Nat Cole and more. The DVDs will have DD 5.1 soundtracks, whereas many PBS only broadcast a stereo track. SRP will be $130.

On October 2 Paramount Home Entertainment will release the 20th Anniversary collection of Star Trek: The Next Generation featuring all seven seasons the series ran – 176 episodes on 49 DVDs! The huge boxed set will come with collector’s packaging, a special poster, and new featurettes on such areas as Next Generation’s Impact 20 Years Later, Its Legacy, and a discussion of Star Trek Visual Effects Magic.  SRP will be $440.

 

Related Reviews