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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 21, 2014 10 comments
Photo Credit: Omniphone

From the Pono Kickstarter page:

Omnifone was selected to power the PonoMusic store because of its award-winning cloud music platform and its industry-leading audio expertise and commitment to audio quality. Standing at 35 million tracks, MusicStation - Omnifone’s cloud music platform - hosts the industry’s largest catalogue of high resolution content, obtained from rights holders in all corners of the world. This rich collection of premium quality audio - and its distributed delivery from the cloud - will enable PonoMusic to achieve global scale quickly.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 21, 2014 1 comments
What is deepblue2? deepblue2 is a wireless Bluetooth speaker that houses a custom developed 440-watt amplifier, a long excursion 6.5-inch woofer, two 3" mid-range drivers, and two 1" soft-dome tweeters all wrapped up in a portable 1/2 cubic foot box. This isn't your hipster's Bluetooth speaker. There are also two wired inputs: a 24/96-capable optical input and one 3.5mm analog input so you can leash your MacBook to the little deepblue2 for some high res sound on the go. Nice.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 11, 2014 6 comments
From the Pono Kickstarter page:
Neil Young Steps Into CEO Role At PonoMusic

Rick Cohen becomes Chief Operating Officer of innovative music ecosystem dedicated to “reconnecting your soul to music” by delivering music from the best available sources - including straight from the original studio masters.

In addition the company hires legendary recording engineer Bruce Botnick as Head of Content Acquisition.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 10, 2014 1 comments

YouTube just doubled down on their live music video investment by adding over 13,000 new titles to their Music Vault live music video showcase. Including performances from “Bill Graham Presents” and “King Biscuit Flower Hour” courtesy of a deal with Wolfgang’s Vault, there are so many great performances here I almost didn't know where to start. I only just came across this late last night but the selection appears to be broad, rich , and amazing. From single tracks to full concerts, from Muddy Waters to Miles to The Allman Brothers to St. Vincent, there's enough great footage here to ruin a week's worth of work time. Best of all, it's free.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 09, 2014 3 comments
LH Labs are at it again with another successful crowdfunding campaign, this one appearing to be destined to break the $1M mark. The Geek Wave is a dedicated portable high res music player, capable of handling up to 32/384 PCM and double rate DSD. The Wave "...comes with at least 64 GB of internal storage (128 GB available), and is expandable via an SDXC port, which supports up to 2 addtional terabytes." There's a line out to connect your Wave to your hi-fi and of course a headphone output to drive your favorite cans.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 08, 2014 11 comments
Streaming and vinyl sales are up, everything else is down. Surprised? I didn't think so. Overall, total music sales showed a small decrease of roughly 3% as compared to the same period last year.
"With On-Demand streams surpassing 70 billion songs in the first six months of 2014, streaming continues to be an increasingly significant portion of the music industry," says David Bakula, SVP Nielsen Entertainment. "Streaming's 42% year-over-year growth and Vinyl LP's 40% increase over last year's record-setting pace shows interest in buying and consuming music continues to be robust, with two very distinct segments of the industry expanding substantially."
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 25, 2014 13 comments
Coming soon to a streamer near you from infamous Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is his new lossless streaming service Baboom that promises to connect artists and fans. If you ever needed a sign that streaming services could be a sketchy business, here's a big one. With two recent articles decrying the future of streaming services, one on Fox Business News The Future of Streaming Music Rests with Congress and The music industry is still screwed: Why Spotify, Amazon and iTunes can’t save musical artists from Salon, we have all kinds of people tolling streaming's potential death knell while companies like YouTube, Google, and Amazon double down in the streaming game. These are confusing times, indeed.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 24, 2014 6 comments
That's right, the blue meters and all from McIntosh's new 24/7 streaming service:
To continue our renowned heritage, we’re proud to offer the McIntosh Music stream, a 24/7 audio stream dedicated to bringing you the best music from across genres and spanning the decades - all in a classic McIntosh interface. Listen from your computer or download the app. Even buy a new must have song you hear.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 24, 2014 1 comments
Bluesound has upped its streaming real estate value with the addition of Spotify Connect:
Pickering, Ontario, June 24, 2014 — Bluesound, the first wireless digital multi-room system to fully support High Res Audio, is pleased to introduce Spotify Connect to its expanding collection of digital music services. With the upcoming software release, Bluesound owners all over the world can now enjoy Spotify’s new home audio experience with simple hassle-free music control and instant access to Spotify’s curated playlists, personalized radio, and vast catalogue of music in any room of the house. Spotify Connect can also be streamed to multiple Bluesound Players simultaneously in the home, making for an even richer multi-room audio experience.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 23, 2014 5 comments
Congratulations to the Pono team—CNN has ranked Pono #3 on its list of the top 10 game-changing gadgets of 2014. Along with BAT the first commercial airborne wind turbine, the Glyph 3D headset, Virgin Galactic’s rocket plane SpaceShipTwo, and the SCiO molecular sensor, Pono made the grade even though, "A handful of high-definition music players already exist". What sets Pono apart according to CNN? "...there's very little music available" for existing players and "that, in the end, might be Pono's most practical innovation." More music!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 18, 2014 3 comments
The streaming music market is hotter than a cat on a hot tin roof with Amazon's recent launch of their Premium service (see article) and now YouTube joining the pay to play game.
"We’re adding subscription-based features for music on YouTube with this in mind - to bring our music partners new revenue streams in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars YouTube already generates for them each year," YouTube said in a statement.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 17, 2014 0 comments
Owners of Sprint's new high res-capable (24/192) smartphones, the htc one harman kardon edition and the LG G2, can download a 24-bit sampler from HDtracks:
Welcome to HDtracks! With your purchase of a Sprint smartphone that supports hi-res music files, you are eligible to receive a free sampler from HDtracks, the Ultimate Hi-Res Music Download Source. We have all your favorite music available in studio master quality, and we’d like to give you a little taste of what we have to offer. Download our free hi-res music sampler now and see how easy it is to play back and enjoy.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 17, 2014 9 comments
PS Audio has decided to join LH Labs in the crowdfunding arena. The Sprout is a full function 50W (4Ω) integrated amp with a built-in 24/192 DAC and you can get one now for the early adopter price of $449 (retail price $799.99). Inputs include Phono (Moving Magnet), Analog (3.5mm), USB (asynchronous 192kHz/24-bit), Digital Coax (any sample rate and bit depth up to 192kHz/24-bit), and aptX Bluetooth (built in). Outputs include a pair of speaker binding posts and a 1/4" headphone jack (1/4" - 3.5mm adapter included) and all of that functionality fits into a desktop friendly 6"W x 8"L x 1.75"H handsome looking case.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 13, 2014 38 comments
From the press release:
Arlington, VA – 06/12/2014 – DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, in cooperation with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® and The Recording Academy®, announced today the results of their efforts to create a formal definition for High Resolution Audio, in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group.

The definition is accompanied by a series of descriptors for the Master Quality Recordings that are used to produce the hi-res files available to digital music retailers. These can be used on a voluntary basis to provide the latest and most accurate information to consumers.

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Posted: Jun 12, 2014 5 comments
Today, Amazon launched its Prime Music lossy streaming service. All Amazon Prime members (requires $99 annual subscription fee) now have free access to "over 1 million songs" through the Prime Music web-based app or the Prime Music iOS/Android app. We are Amazon Prime members so I took PM for a quick spin by loading an album into "my library". Once I did this, my library was automatically populated with all of the music I've purchased from Amazon that is part of their AutoRip service. In our case, that meant I had about 200 songs in my library from the get go without having to actually do anything. Nice.

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