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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 19, 2016 19 comments
From the (crazy) horse's mouth:
We have some news that we want to share with you.

One of our key infrastructure partners - Omnifone - has been acquired by a large company. An impact of this purchase is that all Omnifone’s supply relationships are being terminated, effectively immediately. Omnifone has been the exclusive content provider for PonoMusic. Consequently, our music library will be temporarily suspended for purchases effective July 20th . Please rest assured that our contractual relationships with all the major music labels remain fully intact and will transition to our new platform.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 19, 2016 13 comments
But if you want their CD-quality streaming service, Deezer Elite, you can only get it through Sonos (sigh). So what are we getting from Deezer? Another $9.99/mo. 320kbps lossy streaming service (there's no free tier for US customers).
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 12, 2016 19 comments
According to Nielsen Soundscan's 2016 numbers through June, total music download sales were $404.9 million, down from $531.6 in 2015. This plunge follows drops of 16% and 6.6% in 2015 and '14 respectively. Of course, streaming is booming.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 03, 2016 0 comments
According to Ben Sisario of The New York Times, Apple is not buying Tidal. Seeing as Sisario covers streaming, and more, for the Times, I'd imagine his highly-placed sources are, well, highly placed. Time will tell.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 01, 2016 24 comments
Not yet, but they are reportedly talking about it according to the Wall Street Journal and anonymous sources "familiar with the matter." Here's my take—this is either really good news or really bad news.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 29, 2016 41 comments
The AES has just published a peer-reviewed paper by Dr. Joshua D. Reiss titled "A Meta-Analysis of High Resolution Audio Perceptual Evaluation" which concludes:
"The overall conclusion is that the perceived fidelity of an audio recording and playback chain can be affected by operating beyond conventional levels."
In other words, yes, people can hear the difference with hi-res. My ears and brain and experience rejoice in this positive reinforcement!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 27, 2016 33 comments
Pinch me.
Today, we’re proud to announce Roon Server for compatible QNAP and Synology NAS devices, which means you can enjoy the Roon experience without a PC!
I like simple, as you'll read in Thursday's review of the (stunning) Roon Ready Sonore microRendu with an Intel NUC acting as Roon Server. But running Roon Server directly on a NAS? That's even simpler. Less parts! Pinch me.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 15, 2016 5 comments
The Berklee College of Music’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE) has formed the Open Music Initiative (OMI) to create "a global, open sourced platform, providing technology for a shared ledger of music creators and rights owners". Why? According to Ty Roberts, Universal Music Group's Chief Technology Officer, "...to promote development of comprehensive, fair and efficient compensation structures to capture the value generated by music and music-related content, and properly reward the creative talent responsible for it." Better late than never!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 07, 2016 25 comments
Bandcamp's recent good news about their continued success planted a question in my mind; Since Bandcamp charges the same price for lossy and lossless downloads, I wonder how many people still buy the lossy version? So I asked Bandcamp and they answered.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 01, 2016 8 comments
From the press release:
TORONTO, Canada – June 1, 2016 – Bluesound, a leading manufacturer of wireless multi-room music systems, announced today that MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) music will be supported for wireless streaming on all Bluesound Players starting June 1, 2016. MQA has been heard on Bluesound by thousands, with successful listening demonstrations in major cities around the world. Now, Bluesound and MQA are excited for consumers to experience the magic of original studio recordings in the home.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 31, 2016 4 comments
Here's Paul McGowan from the PS Audio Forum:
"So far MQA decoding has only been worse and that has not changed. We suspect (as do they) that it’s because the tricks they’re using with filters to try and make the sound better (closer to the original source material in their parlance) screws with our own in the DAC. They then suggest they need to tune their decoder to our filters for best results..."
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 27, 2016 16 comments
In a press release dated 05/26/2016, Schiit Audio have spoken out about their position relating to the adoption of MQA (see review). From the press release:
"May 26th, 2016, Valencia, CA. Today, Schiit Audio announced that they would not be supporting MQA, a proprietary audio format claiming “studio quality sound you can stream or download.” Schiit Audio feels that it is important to support its customers—and potential customers—by clarifying the company’s position on MQA, so that they may choose another DAC provider that backs the format, if they feel it is important to them."
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 25, 2016 1 comments
Short and sweet: A company spokesperson for Warner Music Group has confirmed in a phone conversation earlier today that WMG will continue to provide their distribution partners, like HDtracks, with high-res PCM music.[1]
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 24, 2016 1 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 9 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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