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Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 11, 2013
photo credit: Cindy Carpien/NPR

What Does A Song That Costs $5 Sound Like? by Laura Sydell tells the story of Cookie's experience with SACD and DSD as well as Cookie's Blue Coast Records.

One day she invited a dozen engineers and artists to do a blind test of three different audio formats. Analog tape recording, high-resolution digital (better than CD) and DSD. "Tape was still everyone's choice in a blindfold test," says Marenco, but they all agreed "that DSD was the closest thing to tape."
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 30, 2014
Head on over to the BBC's website to watch and listen to an interesting interview with Blue Coast Records owner and DSD pioneer Cookie Marenco. "Cookie Marenco: Pioneer of high quality digital music recording" is part of the BBC's Women in Tech, "a series of stories profiling the most innovative, pioneering and successful women and how they are changing an industry traditionally dominated by men."
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 10, 2016
photo credit: Scott Clark for Crate and Barrel

It took a while for this news to sink into someplace comfy and cozy but it finally has:

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/-- Leading home furnishings destination Crate and Barrel introduces The Listening Room, featuring exclusive furniture and accessories, cutting edge audio equipment and a curated collection of iconic vinyl recordings through the brand's new partnership with Capitol Records. Celebrating music as it was meant to be heard, The Listening Room is the perfect setting to enjoy the Capitol Records 75th Anniversary Collection, a limited release of 75 remastered vinyl recordings. The Listening Room collection will be offered in U.S. stores and online starting this September.
Rafe Arnott  |  Jun 29, 2018
The UPS/FedEx/DHL guys are getting friendlier as the days roll past and the deliveries of heavy boxes of review gear continue to arrive.
Rafe Arnott  |  Feb 26, 2019
Remote updates strike again. Twenty years ago, the very idea that we’d allow a corporation unfettered access to our digital entertainment products, music hardware, or our refrigerators or televisions would have seemed positively Orwellian.
Rafe Arnott  |  Mar 18, 2019
I’d previously written in August of last year about the announcement from data Conversion Systems (dCS) that the company’s venerable entry-level Debussy DAC was being replaced after seven years of winning awards from the hi-fi press by the Bartók Network Streaming DAC. Think about that: A seven year product life-cycle in computer audio.
Rafe Arnott  |  Jan 03, 2019
Updates. In a world of instantaneous answers at the tip of our fingertips or tongues as we wag either at our various platform-specific digital assistants to tell us want we want to know, waiting for an update on anything can be a tortuous predicament on our first-world list of problems.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 15, 2012
the dCS Vivaldi stack

Earlier today I made the 50 or so mile trip into Manhattan for the US premier of the dCS Vivaldi Digital Playback System at NYC retailer EARSNOVA. As you can see, the Vivaldi system continues the dCS tradition of the stack. From top to bottom we have the Vivaldi DAC ($34,999), Vivaldi Transport ($39,999), Vivaldi Master Clock ($13,499), and the Vivaldi Upsampler ($19,999). The Vivaldi stack represents a ground up redesign and all out assault on the state of the art as dCS defines it which adds up to $108k more or less and the ability to play back nearly every digital format you can get your hands, hard drive or NAS on including CD, SACD, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, WMA, ALAC, MP3 (could you imagine?), M4a, AAC, OGG, DXD (24/352.8 and 384kHz), and DSD (via DoP which dCS initiated).

Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 10, 2014
From the Press Release:
SEPTEMBER 10, 2014 – DENVER, CO – Deezer, the premier digital streaming music service, and Sonos®, an innovator in wireless home audio products, today announced an exclusive partnership that will bring streaming High-Resolution Audio (HRA) to music lovers around the world. Deezer’s product “Deezer Elite” is the first global HRA streaming service available to consumers and it’s offered exclusively through Sonos, a system of smart speakers that let you stream all your favorite music to any room in your home in high fidelity sound. As part of the global launch, US consumers can access a Deezer product on their Sonos system for the first time ever.

Music quality has gone backwards from vinyl to CDs to MP3s and Deezer Elite reverses that trend. For the very first time, music lovers everywhere can stream music with the depth and richness of what the artist intended. Deezer Elite subscribers can choose from Deezer’s 35 million track library and stream FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) files at a standard of 1,411 kbps or higher in any room, or multiple rooms together through Sonos speakers and components.

But wait....
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 19, 2016
But if you want their CD-quality streaming service, Deezer Elite, you can only get it through Sonos (sigh). So what are we getting from Deezer? Another $9.99/mo. 320kbps lossy streaming service (there's no free tier for US customers).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 27, 2014
DG just launched their new Discovery App on the Apple App Store. Initially consisting of 450 albums "in high quality audio streams" (no specific bit rate provided), the label says they hope to add up to 20 new albums per week. The service costs $3.99/month or $35.99/year if you pay in full up front. "Every week Deutsche Grammophon’s editors will present new listening recommendations in the form of hand-crafted playlists and artists and composers in-focus as well as featuring articles telling the story behind the music, made available to the app by Sinfinimusic.com."
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 29, 2012
Maybe it's not dead but it sure looks like Logitech turned it into a "smart radio" with no outputs of any kind. Once I recover from slapping my forehead I'll post more info (sigh).

After a good night's sleep...

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 25, 2012
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  |  May 23, 2012
M. C. Escher Relativity (1953)

From Ars Technica:

May 23 2012, 9:15am EDT: Op-ed: New digital music licenses good for fans, entrepreneurs, Five new licenses could make it easier to launch online music companies by Cary Sherman (RIAA), David Israelite (National Music Publishers Association), Lee Knife (Digital Media Association)
What have we here? An answer to our digital music distribution needs? Will people be able to buy that HD download from whomever they want no matter where they live? Not so fast cowboy:
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 20, 2012
There are three main approaches to room treatment—treat the room, treat the music, treat yourself (i.e. do nothing). The main problem with room treatments is they usually look like room treatments and most people prefer that their home look more like a home than a recording studio. I have found that everyday items like books and LPs can help and unlike traditional room treatment slabs and cylinders, the more books and LPs you have the better off you, your home and your decor are. But what about treating the signal to fit your room?
Dirac Live® is a state-of-the-art digital room correction technology which optimizes the sound system both in terms of the impulse response as well as the magnitude frequency response. The result is a substantially improved musical staging, clarity, voice intelligibility, and a deeper and tighter bass, not just in a small sweet spot but in the entire listening volume.

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