Weekly Audio News for Feb. 23, 2005
Published on February 23, 2005
New Lossless Coding Competition – MLP was the first data
reduction system to achieve lossless coding – in which the recovered
signal is bit-for-bit the same as the original digital input. It is
used on most DVD-As to achieve 5.1 surround with 96K resolution at each
channel, an impossibility using linear PCM in view of the capacity of a
DVD – and has a variety of options for use in many other audio
applications. Now DTS has also developed their own lossless extension
to the DTS Coherent Acoustics codec used in many DVDs and theatrical
films. The first public screening of Lossless Digital Sound for Cinema
was with a large-format film titled Sacred Planet at a museum in Utah
last summer. New enhancements of both DTS and MLP have been selected as
options for both of the competing new hi-def DVD formats.
Two More Print Audio Publications Go Web
– The January issue of Stereophile’s Ultimate AV was the final print
version of the home theater publication. Its home is now
http://www.guidetohometheater.com/ – and a less expensive to produce
and more more flexible, free publication is the result. Editor Thomas
J. Norton and most of the staff remain.
February 15th Peter Aczel’s The Audio Critic – which was being mailed
out on such a sporadic schedule that most of us thought it had entirely
disappeared (again) – has also become a web zine. Crusty
editor/publisher Aczel mentions in his email announcement the
skyrocketing cost of printing and mailing as well as the cost of
distributing retail copies to newsstands and stores, plus the fact that
the magazine’s subscriber base had been shrinking (understandably).
Paid-up subscribers to the print magazine can access the new site with
a password mailed to them, and first-timers pay a one-time $12.95 fee
to access the site at http://www.theaudiocritic.com/cwo/Home/?id=3
Personalities in Jazz & Classical Sign Off
– The great Jimmy Smith, who hand-and-footedly reinvented the Hammond
B3 for jazz, passed away February 9 at age 76. He created the
B3/guitar/drums trio that revolutionized jazz, soul music and R&B.
His many Blue Note recordings for Rudy Van Gelder remain legendary.
Widely-syndicated classical music host Karl Haas has died at age 91.
His long-running daily hour-long program, “Adventures in Good Music,”
was distributed by WCLV in Cleveland [who by the way also distributed
“Audiophile Audition” for 13+ years] to hundreds of stations around the
world. Haas, who had a punny theme for each day’s program such as “The
Joy of Sax,” stopped doing the show two years ago and the series will
continue in reruns. Pianist, conductor and musicologist Haas had come
to the U.S. in l936 after fleeing Nazi Germany.
- John Sunier