Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 28, 2012  |  1 comments
Tom Waits: Bad As Me available as a 24-bit/96kHz download from HDtracks

I first became aware of Tom Waits in a car in 1976 on the way to a concert at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, NJ. My friend Artie's older brother had a few of his friends bail out at the last minute on a Rick Derringer/Foghat show (at least that's how I remember it but I can't seem to verify the accuracy of my memory or this double bill) and we happened to be in the right place at the right time to be invited. During the car ride over and back, we listened to Tom Waits' newly released Small Change while Artie's brother and his friends sang and we all drank along (Budweiser). I seem to remember them playing "The Piano Has Been Drinking" over and over and thinking—this is more than great music.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 26, 2012  |  2 comments
Wiley: Evolve or Be Extinct

[This is part of a new series which I introduce here and I'm very happy to have my friend and colleague Stephen Mejias of Stereophile fame write the inaugural entry]

I've spent this entire week writing those little 100-word blurbs that make up Stereophile's semi-annual "Recommended Components" feature. Every day, from around nine in the morning until around eight in the evening: distilling, trimming, summarizing, finding new ways to say "this" lacked "that" but nevertheless excelled at "this."

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 26, 2012  |  1 comments
The basic organizational approach of AudioStream centers around hardware, software and music. According to various tracking methods, so far posts concerning music are not as popular as software which are not as popular as hardware. So I've decided to launch a new and ongoing music series titled - Pick 6! because music is, in the end, the point of the software and hardware we talk about here on AudioStream.

The idea is simple—pick 6 of your favorite music downloads, email me your list including a link to the source, and I'll publish them. Every once in a while they'll be a Pick 6! guest picker (like the first one by Stephen Mejias above) from in and around our industry.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 26, 2012  |  37 comments
Speaking up at the Sundance Film Festival, Neil Young spoke out against shitty sound quality. He told MTV news:
"I'm finding that I have a little bit of trouble with the quality of the sound of music today," Young said. "I don't like it. It just makes me angry. Not the quality of the music, but we're in the 21st century and we have the worst sound that we've ever had. It's worse than a 78. Where are our geniuses? What happened?"
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: