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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 24 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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Michael Lavorgna Posted: May 12, 2016 12 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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