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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 28, 2014 10 comments
From the press release:
Oslo, Norway – October 28, 2014 – TIDAL, the first high fidelity lossless music streaming service with HD music videos and curated editorial, today announced the launch and availability of its service in the U.S. and UK. The ideal service for those who care about quality, TIDAL welcomes music lovers to enjoy its extensive library of 25 million-plus tracks, 75,000 music videos, and curated editorial articles, features and interviews written by experts. Ad free and available now for a monthly subscription of $19.99/£19.99, visit www.tidalhifi.com or download the app from iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store.
I care about quality!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 27, 2014 9 comments
The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple's iTunes music sales are down nearly 14% year over year, echoing download sales in general that showed mid-year digital album sales down nearly 12% year over year (see report). Meanwhile streaming is up, up, up. Perhaps Apple's Beats acquisition is looking like a good deal after all. The Journal also reports that Beats will be integrated into iTunes sometime next year. Let's keep in mind that Apple has 800 million plus iTunes account holders so they have quite the captive audience when they roll out their streaming service.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 24, 2014 6 comments
As we learned in the pending Pandora case, US Federal Copyright Law does not protect music recorded before Feb. 15, 1972, instead it's handled on a state by state basis. Flo & Eddie filed their suit in California against SiriusXM "for not seeking authorization nor paying royalties on hit songs like 'Happy Together,' 'It Ain't Me Babe' and 'She'd Rather Be With Me'" (all pre-1972 recordings) according to Hollywood Reporter. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez ruled in favor of Flo & Eddie who are seeking $100M in damages. While this case is certainly going to be appealed, the notion that licensing and associated royalty fees do in fact apply to pre-1972 recordings will surely send shivers down every streaming services spine.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 22, 2014 8 comments
A consumer audio show grows in Brooklyn! Beginning this Friday, September 26th, The Chester Group's New York Audio Show takes off for three days of hi-fi fun. There will be a "High Resolution Audio Zone in conjunction with HeadZones. Showcasing the latest technology for High Res downloads and associated gear including D/A and A/D converters, high resolution music streamers and portable players, visitors will be able to experience first-hand the pleasure and quality of their music."

See you there!

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 17, 2014 5 comments
From the press release:
The announcement of the first live concert recording in DSD follows an agreement between Acoustic Sounds and Warner Music Group (WMG) to provide the company’s digital download music service with more than 1,200 high-resolution, mainstream albums by some of the most dynamic names in music.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 15, 2014 3 comments
Due to hit the European market in December, the Philips Fidelio M2L headphones will incorporate a 24-bit DAC and cost €250 EUR. This may help answer the question as to why the iPhone 6s do not support 24-bit music—because Apple plans to put the DAC in their new Beats Lightning Compatible 'phones?
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 11, 2014 33 comments
Apple reaffirmed their commitment to music at the big Apple Event on Tuesday by giving away a crappy sounding lossy version of U2's new album Songs of Innocence. Gee, thanks. While I'm not a big U2 fan, I did download the album and gave it a listen on the hi-fi and it was disappointing to say the least. Congested, cramped, and lifeless just the kind of recording that would benefit from a higher resolution release.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 10, 2014 7 comments
From the Press Release:
SEPTEMBER 10, 2014 – DENVER, CO – Deezer, the premier digital streaming music service, and Sonos®, an innovator in wireless home audio products, today announced an exclusive partnership that will bring streaming High-Resolution Audio (HRA) to music lovers around the world. Deezer’s product “Deezer Elite” is the first global HRA streaming service available to consumers and it’s offered exclusively through Sonos, a system of smart speakers that let you stream all your favorite music to any room in your home in high fidelity sound. As part of the global launch, US consumers can access a Deezer product on their Sonos system for the first time ever.

Music quality has gone backwards from vinyl to CDs to MP3s and Deezer Elite reverses that trend. For the very first time, music lovers everywhere can stream music with the depth and richness of what the artist intended. Deezer Elite subscribers can choose from Deezer’s 35 million track library and stream FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) files at a standard of 1,411 kbps or higher in any room, or multiple rooms together through Sonos speakers and components.

But wait....
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 10, 2014 29 comments
If you want a high res music player in your pocket and you own an iPhone, you'll have to go with two devices since Apple decided not to make the new iPhone 6's High Res ready. With High Res-capable phones already on the market from Samsung, HTC, and LG and Apple's stated commitment to music, you'd think it was about time that Apple bit the High Res bullet. Instead during yesterday's press event we got bigger iPhones, a free U2 album in lossy quality, and a new watch. Sigh.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 09, 2014 4 comments
From the press release:
September 09, 2014 —HDtracks.com, the world leader and pioneer in high resolution audio digital downloads, is pleased to announce the launch of its popular online store, http://www.HDtracks.com, in Germany and http://www.HDtracks.co.uk in the United Kingdom. With today’s announcement, German and UK music fans who want to experience music the way it was meant to be heard will now be able to enjoy the most extensive catalog of their favorite music in unprecedented audio quality, via HDtracks.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 09, 2014 1 comments
From the Press Release:
Together, with storied jazz label Blue Note Records, we bring some of the most legendary sounds ever captured to a modern experience, deeply rooted in our shared passions for music, high-fidelity sound, and the future of listening out loud at home.

Blue Note’s renowned catalog traces the history of jazz, and with the launch of our all-new Blue Note Channel in honor of the label’s 75th anniversary, you’ll now have the privilege of touring these archives on Sonos. You can also enjoy Blue Note classics sampled for modern-day anthems on our Born in Blue channel and dig into Blue Note 101 for a primer on the form with some of the greatest Blue Note tracks spanning 1939 through 2014. Navigate to Radio > Blue Note on Sonos to begin streaming throughout your home.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 03, 2014 13 comments
WiMP CEO Andy Chen

From the Press release:

Oslo, Norway – 3rd September, 2014 – WiMP HiFi, the award-­‐winning Scandinavian music streaming service, today announced it will introduce TIDAL to the UK and the U.S. later this autumn. Unlike any other service currently on the market, TIDAL will offer high fidelity sound quality, high definition music videos and curated editorial by experienced music journalists.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 02, 2014 18 comments
Pedram Abrari, Pono’s EVP of Technology, responded to, he actually pretty much bitch-slapped, Roger Friedman for Friedman's faulty post, "Neil Young’s Super MP3 Player, Pono: Won’t Be Coming in 2014". First off, we all know that the Pono Player is not an MP3 player, d'oh!, but Roger also got his facts wrong in terms of what's being delivered when. The first batch of Pono players scheduled to ship in October are on schedule according to Abrari, "We are in fact on schedule and will be meeting our Kickstarter commitments."
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 02, 2014 8 comments
Nielsen SoundScan's weekly album sales numbers dipped below the 4M mark for the first time since they started tracking this number in 1991. As reported by Billboard, "This year, overall U.S. album sales are down 14.6 percent, while digital album sales are down 11.7 percent and track sales are down 12.8 percent." All the while streaming is up, up, up.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 28, 2014 16 comments
As reported in LesEchos.fr, France-based Qobuz has entered procédure de sauvegarde which is roughly the equivalent of Chapter 11 protection. Qobuz President Yves Riesel explains that they were unsuccessful in raising a third round of financing which led to the filing. That said, my very limited understanding of procédure de sauvegarde suggests that a company must still be solvent, i.e. not in default, and they have 4 months in which to raise the funds needed to continue operating.

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