Michael Lavorgna

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 02, 2014 1 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: Sep 02, 2014 4 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."
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 29, 2014 1 comments
Angels & Devils (Ninja Tune) is The Bug's latest and fourth full length and its filled to the brim with altered states of intensity. With the help of vocalists Liz Harris (Grouper), Gonjasufi, Inga Copeland, Miss Red, Flowdan, Manga, Death Grips, and Warrior Queen, The Bug spatters a smattering of sounds against your scull both light and dark. Dub, grime, dancehall, and triphop blend into a cohesive if somewhat unsettling whole yet there's something attractive, something compelling that draws you into the muck and mire of Kevin Martin's bifurcated world. Something lean and mean. Skeletal. Seductive.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 28, 2014 19 comments
Served
The Aurender X100L is the relatively new baby brother of the previously reviewed S10 (see review). Like its brethren, the X100L is a purpose built music server while upping the ante on the S10s 2TB of storage to a whopping 6TB of total storage (2x 3TB). That's enough for most largish libraries but if you require even more storage Aurender has informed me that they're coming out with an 8TB ($3699) and 12TB version ($3899)! If you need less, there's also the X100S ($2,999) with 1TB of storage.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 28, 2014 14 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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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 27, 2014 3 comments
DG just launched their new Discovery App on the Apple App Store. Initially consisting of 450 albums "in high quality audio streams" (no specific bit rate provided), the label says they hope to add up to 20 new albums per week. The service costs $3.99/month or $35.99/year if you pay in full up front. "Every week Deutsche Grammophon’s editors will present new listening recommendations in the form of hand-crafted playlists and artists and composers in-focus as well as featuring articles telling the story behind the music, made available to the app by Sinfinimusic.com."
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 25, 2014 5 comments
iFi Micro iDSD ($499)

Here's what's in-house or en-route to AudioStream for review.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 25, 2014 9 comments
Three people from the Guardian, Tim Jonze, the Guardian’s music editor, Jason Phipps, the Guardian’s head of audio, and Samuel Gibbs the article's author, sat down in Graham’s Hi-Fi in London’s Islington with a Linn hi-fi and listened to a few tracks in MP3, CD-quality, and high res.

Here's what Jonze had to say:

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 22, 2014 3 comments
Iceland. Cello. Need I say more? Saman (Touch) means "together" referring to Hildur Gudnadottir's cello and vocals which appear on some, not all, tracks. I'm drawn to the combination, the human element, but the solo cello pieces let in cinematic vistas of wide open space pulling your emotions inside out.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Aug 21, 2014 7 comments
From the Press Release:
New York, NY, August 20, 2014 — The 137th Audio Engineering Society Convention (October 9-12, 2014, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles) will feature a High Resolution Audio (HRA) program Friday, October 10, 2014. The direct result of a collaborative effort between the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, the HRA program will include a number of panels and sessions that address the current and future direction of HRA from various perspectives, including content creation, digital distribution, licensing of hi-res music files, archiving, subscription models, marketing/promotion of hi-res music, compatibility of playback devices and more. These panels and sessions will feature some of the brightest minds in the business as they discuss some of the most current and controversial issues concerning the rapid adoption of high-resolution audio across the industry.

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