Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 30, 2011
Seems like a simple question that should have a simple answer. But it doesn't. Whether or not its legal to rip a copy of a CD you own depends on where you live. Spain, Sweden, Poland, Australia and New Zealand all appear to feel its OK to rip for personal use. The UK looks like it will join them per the recommendations of the Hargreaves Review a report initiated by Prime Minister David Cameron in November 2010. From a BBC article, "One of the most significant recommendations that the government plans to implement is the legalisation of 'format shifting' - where users rip content from CDs or DVDs for their own personal use."

But back in the USA, the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) position is straight forward (and absurd, outdated and unenforceable)—ripping a copy of a CD you own is in fact making an unauthorized copy therefore it is illegal:

Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 28, 2011
Beyond The Wire's 2011 Rewind, Boomkat's Charts ranks high up on my list of favorite lists. Highly recommended reading, especially the smaller lists of musician's picks. I find artists talking about art to be an interesting diversion from critics talking about art.

Here are a few of my Favorites from 2011 that appear on Boomkat's List and all of them are available as FLAC downloads from Boomkat (in - as I found them - order):

Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 27, 2011
For their 50th Anniversary, the Rolling Stones are on a media blitz. Rumor has it Mick and Keith are making up after Keith spilled the beans in his autobiography about the size of Mick's mother's little helper and if all goes well a 50th Anniversary tour will follow. In the mean time, we're treated to some rare Stones delights from The Rolling Stones Archive including CD and vinyl box sets, t-shirts, posters and this FLAC download* of a "bootleg" live recording from Brussels'73:
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 26, 2011
Code Name: M1 DAC-A (for Asynchronous)
The Musical Fidelity M1 DAC under review today is not the same Musical Fidelity M1 DAC that's been around since June/July 2010. This one is new and improved as of a November 2011 street date namely adding an Asynchronous USB input capable of handling 24-bit/96kHz data and adding $50 to its price tag (the old M1 DAC's adaptive USB input was limited to 16/48). There are also some minor changes to the choke-filtered power supply but for those users who skip the USB input, the M1 DAC is very nearly its old self. For those people looking for a 24/96 Async USB DAC, this M1 may as well be all new.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 24, 2011
Thanks to reader "acd6977" for the heads up on Drag City's FLAC download offerings. Drag City's roster is longer than Santa's naughty list and includes such musical treasure-makers as Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Sir Richard Bishop, Ty Segall, CAVE, Six Organs of Admittance, Royal Trux and about a million more.

The world of music downloads is looking very up for 2012!

Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 23, 2011
Matador Records, home to such classic sonic beauties as Sonic Youth, Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Cat Power, Cold Cave, Girls, Thurston Moore, Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks and many many more, offer FLAC downloads through their online Store!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 21, 2011
From the amazing Internet Archive's 78 RPMs & Cylinder Recordings here are 23 classic songs and stories available as free FLAC downloads collected in Voices of Christmas Past 1898 to 1922. My favorite is "Santa Claus Hides in the Phonograph" (Ernest Hare, recorded 1922) but there's plenty here for everyone including a lovely version of "Noel (Holy Night)" from 1916 by the Venetian Trio and a stirring rendition of "Auld Lang Syne" from 1921 by Navada Van der Veer.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 19, 2011
'Tis the season and we offer a short but sweet selection. This time of year I also like to reflect upon all the things we have in addition to all of the things we don't and take a moment to be thankful for just being here.

Happy Holidays and may your 2012 be filled with music! On with the list...

 |  Dec 18, 2011
AudioStream's Greatest Bits 2011 represents every bit, bob, and bobble reviewed this year that has received our Greatest Bits award. I hope you enjoy this year's picks.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 14, 2011
Want to play music from your iPad or wirelessly stream through your iPad at 24 bit/96 kHz? Well you have to tether your iPad to your DAC with this dock and it's gonna cost you all of $29.