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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 26, 2017 9 comments
"I'm going to make this disappear."

Neil Young is back!, touting high-res again, but this time things are going to be different. Better...

As you might imagine, I found it difficult to raise more money for this model: delivering quality music at a premium price to a limited audience that felt they were being taken advantage of with the high costs.

So now, sadly with Pono gone, for more than eight months I’ve been working with our small team to look for alternatives. Finding a way to deliver the quality music without the expense and to bring it to a larger audience has been our goal.

The alternative? High-res streaming!
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 12, 2017 22 comments
image credit: OraStream

From the press release:

Singapore (Newswire) April 12th, 2017 – OraStream Private Limited launches BRIO by OraStream ("BRIO"), a next-generation consumer music streaming server.

BRIO is a novel personal music server for consumers to stream music at native resolution. It lets users stream 16 bit/44kHz up to 24 bit/192kHz resolution audio, which delivers all the digital information to bring true musical reproduction.

Did I hear someone ask for hi-res streaming without the "special sauce" (see: Neil Young back in his Pono days)?
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 07, 2017 16 comments
Word. The The Verge reports that Spotify subscribers are receiving teaser offers for Spotify's not-yet-available lossless streaming tier ranging in price from $5 to $10 on top of the $10/month Premium Service fee. This puts Spotify's lossless service within or on the same plane as Tidal HiFi's $19.99/mo.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 16, 2017 10 comments
From the press release:
LONDON AND SANTA MONICA, FEBRUARY 16, 2017 – Music technology company MQA and Universal Music Group (UMG), the world-leader in music-based entertainment, announced today that the companies have entered into a multi-year agreement that will encode UMG’s extensive catalogue of master recordings in MQA’s industry-leading technology, promising to make some of the world’s most celebrated recordings available for the first time in Hi-Res Audio streaming.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 02, 2017 138 comments
...all day this Friday, February 3rd (starting at 12:01am Pacific Time), for any purchase you make on Bandcamp, we will be donating 100% of our share of the proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union, who are working tirelessly to combat these discriminatory and unconstitutional actions.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 02, 2017 22 comments
1.3 is big. With it comes a number (as in a lot) of new features, greater hardware compatibility, and improved performance. I'm now running 1.3 and the only hitch in my giddy-up was I had to restart my NAS in order for 1.3 to see my music files. Yes, that caused a brief moment of panic especially when Roon rebooted itself as part of the update and the first screen I saw said, "This album has been deleted." It hadn't been. Whew!

From Roon:

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 31, 2017 3 comments
Just when you thought it wasn't safe to go back into the news, Bandcamp comes to the rescue:
And now some genuinely great news in an otherwise unremarkable week: every aspect of Bandcamp’s business was up in 2016. Digital album sales grew 20%, tracks 23%, and merch 34%. Growth in physical sales was led by vinyl, which was up 48%, and further boosted by CDs (up 14%) and cassettes (up 58%). Every single one of these numbers represents an acceleration over last year’s growth. Hundreds of thousands of artists joined Bandcamp in 2016, more than 2,000 independent labels came on board (like Dischord, Merge, and Dualtone), and the rate of fan signups tripled. Fans have now paid artists nearly $200 million using Bandcamp, and they buy a record every three seconds, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
I love Bandcamp (you should too).
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 23, 2017 19 comments
I bet you didn't see that coming, or maybe you did. Certainly the swell of Tidal doubters and their death knells were, shall we say, premature.
NEW YORK and OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Jan. 23, 2017 – Global music and entertainment platform TIDAL and Sprint (NYSE: S) announced today an unprecedented partnership that will soon give Sprint’s 45 million retail customers unlimited access to exclusive artist content not available anywhere else.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 05, 2017 43 comments
Tidal HiFi account owners can upgrade their account (for free) with the tick of that new "HiFi / Master" option in Tidal's settings menu and stream from "more than 30,000" MQA encoded tracks. Right now.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 03, 2017 12 comments
From the Flac It! "About Us" page:
"Flacit was founded in 2014 by Nelson Pass, Ph.D., an award-winning audio engineer and music producer, as an alternative to iTunes and other web sites that provide lots of tracks but at low fidelity. Even sites that feature so-called 'HD Downloads' are only providing the quality of the original older master, which is often an analog or standard definition digital recording."
Thanks to reader "tulysses", we have this response from (the real) Nelson Pass:
My attorney advises me to make a public announcement somewhere, and this looks like a perfectly good place.

Apparently there is a website called flacit offering music downloads and they have attached my name to it.

I am going on record that I am not associated with any such activity.

Sticking with old adages, If it looks like a duck, ...
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 27, 2016 4 comments
One week from tomorrow I board a cozy people mover en-route to Las Vegas, Nevada and the hi-end orgy that is CES. The BIG question on every show goer's mind this year—Is less really more?
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 13, 2016 3 comments
Neil Young and Pono are back in the news after a long hiatus of newsworthiness. Rolling Stone reports, "He's [Young] working with a Singaporean company on a method to 'maintain our quality level when we go to streaming.'" My best guess is that Singaporean company is none other than OraStream (who else would it be?), the company behind the Naxos high-res classical service.

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