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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 24, 2016 0 comments
From the Bandcamp Blog:
Bandcamp grew by 35% last year. Fans pay artists $4.3 million dollars every month using the site, and they buy about 25,000 records a day, which works out to about one every 4 seconds (you can see a real-time feed of those purchases on our desktop home page). Nearly 6 million fans have bought music through Bandcamp (half of whom are younger than 30), and hundreds of thousands of artists have sold music on Bandcamp. Digital album sales on Bandcamp grew 14% in 2015 while dropping 3% industry-wide, track sales grew 11% while dropping 13% industry-wide, vinyl was up 40%, cassettes 49%… even CD sales grew 10% (down 11% industry-wide). Most importantly of all, Bandcamp has been profitable (in the now-quaint revenues-exceed-expenses sense) since 2012.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 18, 2016 6 comments
It depends on whom you ask. I have Jana Dagdagan to thank, Jana is our relatively new colleague at TEN (and I highly recommend reading her blog on Stereophile), for the heads up on a very thoughtful and thought-provoking guest post on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY by composer and big-band-leader Maria Schnieder titled,Open Letter to YouTube, "Pushers" of Piracy.
I appreciate YouTube’s illegal business model might yield a few anecdotal success stories like Mr. Green’s and his videos of opening beer bottles with antlers, but for the vast majority of the artistic community, including me, and every musician I know (and I know thousands), YouTube is a resounding disaster.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 12, 2016 9 comments
I was very tempted to reduce the size of this image to reduce its pain-inducing impact

First things first—who the hell designed that logo? If the message you want to convey about high-res music is that it's very old-fashioned, has little real money behind it, and it sounds kinda painful and spiky and stings like a bee, bravo, a job well done. I know that's harsh, so let me apologize to whomever RIAA member's son or daughter designed that logo.

From the press release dated May 11, 2016:

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 10, 2016 1 comments
From the press release:
Munich, May 6, 2016—Warner Music Group (WMG) today announced a long-term licensing deal with music technology specialists MQA. The agreement – the first between MQA and any major music company – will significantly increase music fans’ access to hi-resolution music globally. The agreement paves the way for recordings from WMG’s diverse roster of acclaimed artists and its world-renowned catalogue to be made available in studio master quality through MQA distributors.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 03, 2016 6 comments
Let's say you want less boxes in your hi-fi but you don't want to give up the stuff you need and the stuff you like. And the stuff you need includes a DAC and the stuff you like (need?) includes Roon and Tidal HiFi. Well, more and more companies are answering your wants and needs by introducing what can best be described as networked DACs: In addition to the usual digital inputs (USB, S/PDIF), companies are adding Ethernet to their D to A converters so that they can stream from network attached storage and the Internet without the need for another box. Case in point, Ayre's new QX-5 Twenty: The Digital Hub.
RIP
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 22, 2016 2 comments

Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 14, 2016 15 comments
From the press release:
New York, April 13, 2016 - The 1.2 release of Roon marks the launch of the Roon Core partner program, which places the Roon Core software functions into partner devices so that server companies can offer a turnkey Roon experience.
"For many customers, the journey of building and managing a computer audio system is a hobby that they enjoy, but for others, working through the challenges of making an ideal computer audio system is an obstacle to enjoying music.

"The Roon Core program means that these customers can leave the technology to others and have an off-the-shelf experience of Roon from trusted partners."—Roon Labs CEO, Enno Vandermeer

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 12, 2016 3 comments
From the press release, here's company president & CEO Xuanqian Wang:
"The new ALTAIR is both a high quality streamer and DAC, and was designed based on feedback from dealers for an exceptional yet convenient-to-operate Digital Source unit at an $1,800 - $2,000 price point.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 12, 2016 23 comments

The Loudness Petition Group, which consists of members Eelco Grimm (Grimm Audio and HKU University of the Arts Utrecht), Bob Katz (Digital Domain), Matt Mayfield (Matt Mayfield Music) and Ian Shepherd (Mastering Media), is on a mission to cut the legs and logic out from under the excessive use of dynamic compression in our music. Their proposal and petition aims to get streaming services to apply "loudness normalization" by default (the loudness level as defined the Audio Engineering Society recommendations), thus rendering all streaming music equal in terms of volume level. Check out that video for a nice illustration of the problem.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 10, 2016 2 comments
photo credits: Nativ

From the Press Release:

Nativ Vita is the world’s first high-end music player with a 11.6” touchscreen and pioneering user interface to conveniently access all of today’s music. Play popular streaming services such as Apple Music, Spotify or Tidal directly from the built-in LCD, and stream stunning music videos to your TV via HDMI or wirelessly with Google Cast. Nativ Vita supports Apple Airplay, Spotify Connect, Google Cast and Bluetooth aptX for seamless integration of your mobile devices, and plays music from your Mac, PC or NAS through its ultra-fast 802.11ac and Gigabit networking technology. Network music libraries can also be navigated with the pre-installed music interface from Roon. Large music libraries can be stored directly on the built-in hard disk or SSD drives with up to 4TB capacity.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 03, 2016 2 comments
Peachtree 2.0 (from left): David Solomon, VP Sales and Marketing, Jim Spainhour, Vice President of Product Development, Andrew Clark, President

In a press event held at Stereo Exchange in NYC, Peachtree Audio introduced us to Peachtree 2.0. I think it's fair to say that Peachtree Audio has been rather quietly going about its business as of late. They've moved much of their production back to North America from China, they've implemented multi-tiered quality control in every phase of production, and continued to develop what we've come to expect from the company; solidly engineered and built audio products with an eye toward incorporating new technology at very competitive prices. Peachtree 2.0 marks, in my words, the end of the "rather quietly" bit.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 30, 2016 21 comments
photo credits: SOtM

From the press release:

The iSO-CAT6 Special Edition that newly combined with dCBL-CAT7 cable is configured with 3 kinds of network cables offering respectively different sound characteristics with high quality, which allows the user organize own unique customized audio system selecting bright & pompous tone, neutral, mild & comfortable tone.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 30, 2016 9 comments
What's more, and most interesting (and I have to admit a little unexpected), is there are 1.35 million Tidal HiFi subscribers (that's the $19.99/mo CD quality service)! That's a lot of people caring about quality and that's great news. For a change.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 23, 2016 4 comments
...says Captain Obvious. It's also the present for most, according to the latest report from the Recording Institute of America (RIAA). Streaming revenue hit the $2.4 billion mark last year, up from $1.9 billion the year prior. CD sales are sliding but still strong at $1.5 billion, and vinyl sales continue to grow reaching $422 million in 2015. 1
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 10, 2016 3 comments
Sonos CEO and cofounder John MacFarlane announced in a blog post that the company is shedding some employees and focusing on paid streaming services, what they consider to be the future of music delivery, coupled with Amazon Echo-like voice recognition/control.

From the blog post:

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