Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 25, 2012  |  2 comments
The IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) recently released its “Digital Music Report 2012” that shows a very healthy and growing global digital music market.
Digital music revenues to record companies grew by 8 percent globally in 2011 to an estimated US$5.2 billion. This compares to growth of 5 per cent in 2010 and represents the first time the year-on-year growth rate has increased since IFPI started measuring digital revenues in 2004.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 24, 2012  |  41 comments
The Weight
The Audioengine D1 DAC is the latest product from a company whose products I would describe as no nonsense in a hobby not exactly famous for no nonsense. I ran into Audioengine co-founders Brady Bargenquast and Dave Evans earlier this month at their booth in the South Hall of CES 2012 and when they asked what I thought about a certain DAC, I began to describe in standard audiophile-speak its sonic merits and demerits. I believe it was when the word "resolute" left my lips that I saw the most obvious signs of fatigue weigh down on them like the prospect of Sisyphus' boulder sitting once again at the bottom of that big-ass hill.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 24, 2012  |  4 comments
According to AppleInsider, Apple is working on implementing the as yet to be finalized 802.11ac "Gigabit WiFi" standard (about three times as fast as 802.11n) in "new AirPort base stations, Time Capsule, Apple TV, notebooks and potentially its mobile devices" by the 2nd half of this year. Do you think this expanded bandwidth capability will finally usher in 24-bit file streaming over Apple AirPort networks? Did I hear someone say, gulp!
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 22, 2012  |  12 comments
On January 19, 2012 the U.S. Justice Department seized about $50 million is assets of file sharing services company Megaupload and shut down all of the websites under the Megaupload corporate umbrella. 18 domain names were seized including Megavideo, Megalive, Megapix, Megabox, and (formerly Megaporn, Megarotic, and Sexuploader). Megaupload is accused of copyright infringement and conspiracy and more and the accused face up to 20 years in prison. The prime suspect in the case is one Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz) who founded Megaupload and who appears to live a larger than life lifestyle.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 19, 2012  |  2 comments
I saw this handy little item in a pre-CES Press Release from OWC and thought, cool. While I did not see one in person at the show, I still think it's cool. The Newer Technology Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlet ($27.99/ea) installs into any existing 16 cubic inch electrical box with a 15Amp circuit and its UL/CUL Listed (E339607) for use in United States & Canada.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 19, 2012  |  5 comments
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) bills got a lot of attention yesterday when sites like Wikipedia went dark to raise awareness of and in protest against what they feel are the bills overreaching and dangerous implications. Here's an open letter from that expresses some of those concerns:
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 17, 2012  |  4 comments
Jon Iverson told me not to miss the 13th floor

From the first minute I hit the Venetian's crowded elevator bank to the last, I could not help feeling behind. There's no way one person can cover everything at CES and T.H.E. Show unless their area of coverage is defined to include only those companies whose name begins and ends with an X.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 17, 2012  |  5 comments
Perhaps some of you have been in a relationship I'll define as being of the - I guess this as good as it gets - variety. Why we settle is debatable and more than likely tied up in a bunch of stuff including simply being lazy. If we're lucky or fortunate, your choice, we happen upon someone that snaps us out of our settled-for-less state. And we live happily ever after (or so I'd like to believe).

And so it goes with many of us and our media player of choice and many of us choose iTunes. I did because as an interface on and into our music, it's good. Damn good, maybe even as good as one could want (sound quality aside. I'm talking purely about the interface). But then...

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 17, 2012  |  6 comments
I also got to see a demo of the Sonata Music Server software ($99) which is geared toward the PC-owning classical music lover and anyone interested in expanded metadata. Sonata can capture and store up to 18 fields of metadata including genre, style, composer, work, conductor, orchestra, soloists, singers, period, instrument, record label, etc. Sonata also offers access to their SonataDB, a 50,000 and growing library of fully tagged classical music metadata so when you import or rip your classical music, it will come pre-loaded with all fields complete as long as it exists in their database.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 17, 2012  |  5 comments
Dragonfly Concept Drawing from AudioQuest

No Show would be complete without an AudioQuest demo to get those skeptics juices flowing (or blood boiling depending on your level of commitment to the cause). But this one was different in that we didn't focus on cables. Instead we focused on the new AudioQuest Dragonfly Asynchronous USB DAC. The diminutive DAC, about the size of a thumb drive, plugs into your computer's USB port and you connect a mini 3.5mm RCA to RCA cable to the other end (available from among others AudioQuest) and you're off to the races playing up to 24-bit/96kHz files. There's also an internal volume control that is controlled through your media player's volume control (a neat software trick). The other neat visual trick is that dragonfly changes color depending on the bit/sample rate being played.