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Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 12, 2012
Schiit Modi $99 USB DAC pictured with the Schiit Magni $99 1.2W Discrete Amp

Hot off the press release:

Modi is the most advanced USB DAC in its price class, featuring an asynchronous USB interface with plug-and-play, driverless operation on both PCs and Macs, a 32-bit AKM4396 D/A converter, and an active filter stage built around the AD8616 operational amplifier to drive long cables. It supports all bit depths and sampling rates from 16/44 to 24/96. Like Magni, it’s made in the USA and features a warranty 2X longer than most of the products in its price class.
And the amazing part is its $99. As in less than 100. And its available now from Schiit.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 21, 2012
Michael Green of Swansea, UK has had enough. Instead of griping about dynamic compression and the loudness wars, he's decided to send record labels and retailers a message:
As music lovers we are fed up [with] the compressed albums available today and would like to see uncompressed albums released, along with High Definition (24 Bit) music downloads. We believe that this is the way forward to reintroduce people to music the way it’s meant to sound.
You can join in the campaign by going here and signing Michael's petition.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 21, 2012
In an article for Pitchfork, musician and songwriter Damon Krukowski of Galaxie 500 and Damon & Naomi talks about the business model behind streaming services including Pandora and Spotify. And its not a pretty picture.
To put this into perspective: Since we own our own recordings, by my calculation it would take songwriting royalties for roughly 312,000 plays on Pandora to earn us the profit of one-- one-- LP sale. (On Spotify, one LP is equivalent to 47,680 plays.)
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 09, 2012
Here's some news! from Meridian and HP:
Meridian Audio, experts in audio technology for 35 years, bring you HP Connected Music powered by Meridian.

Meridian's award-winning team has developed HP Connected Music powered by Meridian,the preferred music management application for select HP consumer PCs. Meridian's audio research consultancy team has already won acclaim for its work, providing high quality audio solutions for clients including Dolby Laboratories, McLaren Automotive and Jaguar Land Rover.

This custom-built application, to be offered on select HP products, provides elements of the rich user experience from our Meridian Digital Media Systems, allowing consumers to experience music downloads, streaming services and internet radio all in one convenient place.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 07, 2012
From the Resonessence Labs website:
Software Updates for INVICTA

INVICTA has the ability to accept feature updates from Resonessence. For example, since initial release of INVICTA we have added many new capabilities, including SDXC Card reading, FLAC file types, advanced up sampling filters, and in a future release we will add DSD over USB and DSD from the SD Card.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 31, 2012
We'll continue posting when the power comes back.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 27, 2012
Ray Avery/Courtesy of the artist

Head on over to NPR's First Listen pages and among many others you can stream nearly 2 hours of music from Charles Mingus:

The music heard in this First Listen comes from May 1965, almost a year after Dolphy's death. It's a full concert given by a Charles Mingus quintet in Minneapolis; the first half was once issued as the LP My Favorite Quintet, while the latter half remained unreleased until now. Solo fireworks come from Lonnie Hillyer (trumpet), Charles McPherson (alto sax) and Jaki Byard (piano); Mingus' long-time drummer, Dannie Richmond, holds down the fort.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 25, 2012
Remember OraStream? Well here's a (nearly) ass-kicking real-world implementation of their streaming technology for ya. I'm (nearly) listening to Neil Young & Crazy Horse's Psychedelic Pill right now streaming at ....kbps! For free! One week before the official on sale date!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 23, 2012
OK. So it's no Squeezebox but the new $3,000 McIntosh McAire is Airplay compatible, includes Wi-Fi capability (requires a wireless router), an Ethernet port, a USB input for iOS devices, and a line level RCA input. This upscale 8 x 19.4 x 17" 31lb network boombox houses two 4” woofers, two 2” midrange drivers and two ¾” tweeters. There's an included remote and a Mc-App for controlling playback which appears to be limited to Airplay or iOS-stored files as there's no mention of UPnP or DLNA. Hmm. But it does have McBlue Output Meters!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 09, 2012
ReDigi, "The Pre-Owned Digital Marketplace" is being sued buy EMI for copyright infringement. In its claim against ReDigi, EMI is asking for $150,000 for each song from the EMI catalog that they claim ReDigi re-sold illegally. At the heart of this case lies a very important question whose answer will turn your downloaded digital music library into an asset similar to your record or CD collection or it will turn it into a worthless bunch of bits in terms of resale value. This begs the question—why do record labels expect consumers to pay ownership rates for something we do not have ownership rights to?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 08, 2012
Here's one announcement from RMAF 2012 that particularly piques my interest:
Resonessence Labs will introduce its latest product, CONCERO at this years RMAF in Denver 12th-14th October, just 12 months after releasing its award winning INVICTA product.

The CONCERO is the processing engine from the INVICTA DAC, packaged to be used with your existing high end audio components. Capable of operating in three distinct modes, you may use CONCERO as a USB, 24bit/192kHz Asynchronous DAC, an SPDIF DAC, or as a USB to SPDIF bridge. CONCERO reponds to the standard Apple IR Remote controller for ease of use.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 04, 2012
Some of you may remember Josh Ray from the review site Sonic Flare. Well Josh has moved on to the manufacturing side of the audio house with his recently launched venture Urban Fidelity.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 02, 2012
If we put all of the pieces of this unfolding Pono puzzle together—24/192 source files, portable proprietary Pono players, and from the site's About page (although this text has since been deleted), "Large home systems and other configurations of Pono are currently being presented by Meridian Audio, among others to be announced"—what does it add up to? My guess after speaking to a number of people about this including Jon Iverson is that Meridian is most likely providing some variation of their MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing) technology so that Pono's HD downloads don't take longer than anxious downloaders can wait.