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Weekly AUDIO NEWS for November 13, 2002

Audio Product Sales Increase for August - Manufacturer-to-dealer sales of audio products increased nearly 20% compared to the same period in 2001 according to figures from the CEA. Autosound had a 15% increase. Separate component sales for the year to date totalled over $857 million.

DTS Debuts Clarifying “Info Grid” - In an effort to lessen consumer confusion over the various playback options for DVD-Audio and 5.1 material in general, DTS Entertainment has introduced the Info Grid on the back cover of all of their DVD-A discs from now on. The chart will clearly show the sample rate, bit depth, compatibility and any bonus features for the various audio formats on the disc, which normally includes 5.1 MLP DVD-A, 5.1 or 6.1 DTS and 2.0 PCM stereo.

Israel Philharmonic Cancels U.S. Tour - The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, which was originally scheduled to perform in several U.S. cities this month, had to cancel because no American security firm wanted to guard its 100 musicians from terrorist attack. They will go ahead with performances in Australia and Taiwan.

Death Knell for the Cassette - When Philips first introduced the cassette in 1963 it was strictly for voice, just as was Edison’s cylinder originally. No one considered either medium for music, but the cassette eventually became the most-used recording medium worldwide for about 30 years. Now with the proliferation of CD burners and even DVD burners, the cassette is sliding into obsolescence and will be gone by this decade’s end. Maxell, for example, sold over 350 blank cassettes a decade ago but only 130 million last year. Prerecorded cassette sales are already less than vinyl sales, and few pop stars issue simultaneous cassette versions of their CDs any longer.

Audiophile Reads LP Grooves - Dr. Arthur Lintgen has the unusual ability to identify almost any standard orchestral music from Beethoven to the present by looking briefly at the grooves of an LP with a blank or obscured label. Once on BBC-TV he correctly identified every LP handed him by a dumbfounded Sir Georg Solti. He’s in the Guiness Book of Records for his feat. (But he'd rather listen to the music than look at it, and he can’t do it with CDs, in case you wondered.)

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