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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 23, 2015 57 comments
With but one open letter, Taylor Swift puts an end to Apple's plan of not paying royalties during the free 3-month trial period of their soon to be released Apple Music streaming service. Here's Swift:
"I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 month trial to anyone who signs up for the service. I’m not sure you know that Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months. I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.

...

"But I say to Apple with all due respect, it’s not too late to change this policy and change the minds of those in the music industry who will be deeply and gravely affected by this. We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation."

Bam!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 10, 2015 3 comments
photo credit: Emotiva

Emotiva has announced two new portable DAC/Headphone Amps—the Big Ego ($229) and the Little Ego ($169) both capable of playing back up to 32/384 PCM data. Each DAC offers three digital filters for tailoring the Ego to your liking; the Symmetrical filter offering equal amounts of pre- and post-ringing, the Asymmetrical Low Damping filter which essentially does away with pre-ringing coupled with several cycles of post-ringing, and the Asymmetrical High Damping filter that reportedly preserves tonal qualities "like resonance and warmth".

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 08, 2015 35 comments
Of course we care about sound quality at AudioStream so it's kinda pointless for me to dig into the Apple Music service because you can get better sound quality from Tidal Hi-Fi, Qobuz, Deezer, and others including hi-res streaming from Naxos/OraStream. But seeing as I lasted the 3 hours+ of the Apple Show, I'll say some more.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 08, 2015 0 comments
A man of few words, even for Twitter.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 08, 2015 9 comments
Multi-multi-millionaire Tim Cook is due to announce his new streaming service today at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference (begins 1:00PM EST) and people are asking—Who cares? "Tim Cook and Apple have enough of my money already." comments John who prefers to remain anonymous. John continues "Besides, why would I pay Apple $120 a year to listen to the same music I can listen to for free on Spotify?"
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 03, 2015 11 comments
I was listening to some tunes last night, switching between JRiver and Roon on my MacBook Pro and suddenly a note appeared in the Roon app announcing an update. The app restarted and bam! I was playing DSD, including DSD128, through Roon in no time flat. Nice.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 01, 2015 0 comments
While I typically don't regurgitate press releases, I do enjoy hearing about improvements to existing products that deliver sonic rewards. From the Bryston Integrated Audio Device (IAD) press release:
“There were several important factors that led us to develop the IAD,” reported Bryston VP James Tanner. “We were confident that by eliminating three connection points, hand selecting and testing all of the components and shifting to our meticulous in-house manufacturing that we could improve transient capability while enhancing low resolution detail,” Tanner added. The Bryston IAD is also directly powered by the BDP-2’s premium quality linear power supply rather than by a power source shared with the motherboard.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 11, 2015 35 comments
From the press release:
MUNICH, Germany (May 11, 2015) – Led by the team that created the industry defining Sooloos media control system, the newly formed Roon Labs is set to debut its first product at Munich High End 2015. Simply called Roon, it is a software service that redefines how music lovers search through, interact with, and explore their music collections and subscription services, in one unified interface.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 04, 2015 13 comments
According to The Verge, Apple is pressuring the major record labels to pull their music from Spotify's free tier. "The Verge has learned that Apple has been pushing major music labels to force streaming services like Spotify to abandon their free tiers, which will dramatically reduce the competition for Apple’s upcoming offering." And Spotify is allegedly not Apple's only target.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 27, 2015 17 comments
Jay Z took to Twitter over the weekend to share some rapid-fire thoughts over the Tidal press conference backlash.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 15, 2015 3 comments
I spent yesterday afternoon, and a lovely afternoon it was, in NYC's lower east side at the posh, yes posh, SIXTY LES hotel checking out the Raumfeld line of wireless high-res ready devices. I have to say the setting, speakers, and other devices certainly look the part of fine German design. I also have to say that since the Raumfeld line will be sold direct, available in the USA in September, the prices are rather friendly.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 13, 2015 13 comments
I finally found the "Real-life listening tests" article on the CR website. They compared CD-quality WAV files, AAC files from iTunes, and "high-res files". No details were given as to what music was used nor the resolution of the high-res files. They did however note the test setup:
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 02, 2015 2 comments
If you read my CES 2015 Show Report Wrap, you'll have read this, "One of the most thought-provoking and convincingly awesome demo's I experienced took place in a bar at the Mirage after hours on a laptop and I cannot talk about it." Here's what I was talking about from today's press release:
Describing the vision for his new company, Roon Labs Co-Founder Enno Vandermeer said ‘Roon Labs produces software that lets music enthusiasts interact more deeply with their collections, by exploring the music, the people who composed, performed, and recorded it, and the multi-dimensional connections between them.’ Commenting further Vandermeer said ‘We are excited by the opportunity to reach a broader audience and support their choices, both in terms of music content and audio hardware. We look forward to making important partnership and product announcement to the market very soon.’
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 30, 2015 15 comments
Let's get right to it. Here's guest Editor, Jamie Fletcher, from a new article on HotHardware in response to Cables, Bits, and Noise: How Cables Can Make A Sound Difference:
"The article is a classic case of misunderstanding. It starts off by complaining about switch mode power supplies causing problems with RCA cables - well, yes, that can happen. Why? RCA cables are analog and provide a direct path to the audio pipeline (DACs and Amps). They are streaming AC signals, in the audible range, not digital data."
That's their opening point and it's just plain old fashioned wrong.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 25, 2015 1 comments
Photo credit: Taylor Swift

As reported by Digital Trends, Taylor Swift, who in a highly publicized move pulled her music from Spotfiy, has made most of her catalog (not 1989) available to Tidal's lossless streaming service. This news comes on the heels of Jay Z's successful purchase of Tidal's parent company.

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