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Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 16, 2012
Strategy Analytics of Boston, MA reports:
US streaming revenues will grow at four times (27.8 percent) the rate of downloads (6.7 percent). This growth means online streaming and downloads account for double the share of music spending in the US than globally (41 percent vs. 22 percent).

Conversely, US physical sales are decreasing in 2012 - although less than the global rate - with spending expected to decline by 9 per cent in 2012. Physical spending will be overtaken by digital this year in the US, compared to 2015 globally.

Are CDs dead? Don't you hate when people turn percentages into death sentences? Sure CD sales are trending downward but plenty of shiny discs are still made and sold to the tune of a few billion dollars-worth a year. If that's dead, I'd be happy to tend to its grave for a few million.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 29, 2012
Coming to a Mac near you - JRiver has announced that an Audio-only version of their popular media player software is coming for OS X users by the end of the year. No word yet on when the Video portion, which an important part of the player's appeal for videophiles, will follow. The Windows-version of JRiver is currently $49.98 so I'd expect the OS X version to come in around that neighborhood. Choice is good, more choices are more better.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 24, 2012
Coming up on our 10-month anniversary seemed like the perfect time to enrich our expanding community. Most recently, our series of Q&As generated many interesting comments and I often found myself wishing we had a forum where discussion can follow a more natural course. While we've had the ability to turn on our forums from Day 1 we've been waiting for the right time. And that time is now.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 24, 2012
Does the world need another lossy codex? My friend and TheStreet Senior Technology Correspondent Gary Krakow gave me the heads up on Opus a recently approved free format that purports to be the new King of the Sound Quality and Compression Hill for streaming sounds over the internet (including music). But why another lossy codec now?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 02, 2012
From the Press Release:
Santa Monica, CA—Monday, July 2, 2012—Beats Electronics LLC, the company co-founded by legendary artist and producer Dr. Dre with Interscope, Geffen, A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine, announced today it has agreed to acquire the award winning on-demand digital music service MOG.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 29, 2012
Google's Nexus Q. It's a small world after all.

What exactly is Google's new Nexus Q? According to Google its the "world's first social media player". But what exactly does it do?

The short answer is the Q lets you stream music or movies from the cloud using the Google Play Music app on your Android phone or tablet (running Android 2.3/Gingerbread or higher with access to Google Play). The longer answer is the music and movies have to be streamed from Google Play (Google's Cloud/locker service which restricts your music files to 320kbps MP3s) or YouTube and you have to have an Android phone or tablet to set up and operate the Q since it doesn't offer a remote or on-board controls besides volume.

Jon Iverson  |  Jun 25, 2012
Stereophile is pleased to announce the availability of the free 2012 Recommended Components iPad app.

Available Now
The app is available right now for free download to your iPad in the iTunes store. In iTunes, search for "Stereophile Recommended Components" or follow this link to the iTunes store from your web browser.

This app includes all current Recomended Components as listed in the recent issue of Stereophile as well as additional ratings and listings that could not fit in the print version. There are over 700 component rankings in all and the app is compatible with all iPad hardware versions including retina displays.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 19, 2012
Great news for non-USA HD download lovers, Linn Records has added Universal Records to its roster of HD downloads that includes records from John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, and Bob Marley to name just three. Linn calls their HD downloads "Studio Master..." which are offered in FLAC and WMA formats. In Linn land, a "Studio Master" appears to be any recording delivered with a bit depth of 24 and sample rates from 48kHz up to 192kHz.

If you browse the Linn Records website, you'll also notice a lack of 'provenance' information for these "Studio Master" recordings which is a hot topic around these parts. Hmm...Did I miss the 'where's my HD download provenance outrage' aimed at Linn?

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 18, 2012
Domino Records has teamed up with DRIP.FM to offer customers a monthly subscription plan that gets you 2 albums in WAV format from the Domino/Weird World/Double Six/Ribbon family of labels for $9.99/month. Now that's a price I can sink my wallet into. Thanks to reader Martin O. for pointing me/us to this Domino delivery deal.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 14, 2012
If you've read my review of the Halide DAC HD, you'll know I liked it. And I liked it a lot. I still wonder if I communicated the degree to which I enjoyed listening to music through the Halide DAC HD clearly enough. Sometimes I think I played it a bit too safe and tempered my enthusiasm for it a bit too much. At $550 (when reviewed) including cables on both ends, USB and RCAs, the DAC HD, which is an asynchronous USB DAC that uses Gordon Rankin's Streamlength™ technology and supports up to 24/96, is another entry in my virtual Recommended Components or Things I Really Really Like List.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 12, 2012
I recently highlighted the new Neil Young & Crazy Horse record Americana which is available as a FLAC download from Neil Young's website. I also referred to Mr. Young as a hero of sorts and perhaps a better word would be Spokesman seeing as he's spoken out for better sound quality and what I like to think of as the death of the paid MP3. But after downloading Americana, I see we still have a way to go and our spokesman needs to speak to his people.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 12, 2012
Fresh off the production line, the AudioQuest DragonFly USB DAC just landed here at AudioStream HQ. No, its not shy its blushing magenta indicates that I'm listening to a 24/96 file and it may be blushing a brighter shade since that file happens to be from Isaac Hayes Hot Buttered Soul and we all know this music is about more than music. Just in case you're curious, it'll glow green for 44.1kHz, blue for 48kHz, and amber for 88.2kHz.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 10, 2012
From the Press Release:
For the first time in Europe legends of rock, pop, soul, funk, jazz a selection of classical music and new releases will be available as high-resolution music download from Warner Music.

Berlin, 08. June 2012 - HIGHRESAUDIO wins Warner Music Group as third major record label for the distribution of high-resolution music downloads. Warner Music now offers international and local releases in 24-bit, 96kHz and 192kHz studio master-quality for download via Aimed at the quality

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 08, 2012
It’s an app, its an album, its a playlist, its music, and its free (until December 2012). If you own an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad (requires iOS 4.2 or later) run don't walk to the iTunes Store and download the free OraStream DLP app. Once you do you'll be streaming from a very cool selection of tunes courtesy of Concord Music Group from artists including Miles Davis, Derrick Morgan, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, The Smokin' Joe Kubek Band Featuring Bnois King, Bill Evans and more. Better yet, you'll be streaming in near-CD-quality (I'm streaming at 510 kbps right now ymmv).