Last weekend in NYC John La Grou was a keynote speaker at the Audio Engineering Society convention. He based some of his assumptions about how recorded music will evolve on Moore's Law, which states that the number of transistors squeezed onto integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. That prediction was made in 1965, and if anything, Moore underestimated the cost savings we've enjoyed. La Grou rolled out statistic after statistic that painted a rosy future for music, gaming, and film tech advances in the coming decades.
La Grou believes that highly advanced gestural control and brain/machine … Read more
I caught up with my old friend, mastering and recording engineer Bob Katz at the Audio Engineering Society convention held last week in NYC. He was there to proclaim an end to the "Loudness Wars," which refers to the overuse of dynamic range compression to flatten the soft-to-loud volume changes that naturally occur in music. Katz was way ahead of the pack in decrying the overzealous use of compression in mastering recordings, he has been in the trenches, fighting the good fight for more than 20 years.
I first heard about Neil Young's Pono music system more than a couple of years ago, and it was supposed to roll out a few months later. Rumors continued to circulate about an imminent debut, then fade away. Young showed a Pono music player prototype on the David Letterman show in September 2012, and it seemed like the launch was within reach.
Like everybody else I'm still unsure about how the Pono music service will work. Will we have to buy a Pono music player to fully enjoy the glories of Pono files? In other words, is Pono … Read more
On Thursday, Instagram released a what appeared to be a rather mundane update to its Android and iOS apps. Reading the release notes you'd think the update only addressed various bugs. The company later announced by a tweet from the Instagram account, it was revealed the update also included new controls for video playback in your timeline. While the update was announced for both Android and iOS at the same time, the Android update has yet to hit the Google Play Store.
Without a lot of fanfare, Instagram updated both its Android and iOS apps on Thursday. The updates bring new video features to both apps and add photo straightening to the Android app -- something the iOS app had for months.
Besides getting photo straightening, the Android app also has been updated with "new sound and data usage controls for Instagram videos." The same goes … Read more
Over the years, Sonos, once a fledgling startup, has grown up to dominate the DIY multiroom wireless audio space. Now it has some serious competition.
Bose has officially unveiled a new line of Wi-Fi speakers under its new SoundTouch brand, which features simple setup and operation, and it's definitely aimed at the same audience that Sonos has targeted.
The three new speakers that are available at launch -- you can order them today -- are the SoundTouch 30 ($699), a larger speaker designed for larger living spaces, and the SoundTouch 20 ($399) and SoundTouch Portable ($399), which are designed … Read more
The Pioneer SP-SB23W ($399) may be in a class of its own for affordable sound bar performance, but it's not quite perfect.
Shortly after posting our review of the SP-SB23W, I noticed a couple of user reviews that mentioned issues with Bluetooth audio sound quality. Specifically, the customers found that when using Bluetooth audio, only the right channel of audio was being being decoded, resulting in mono (rather than stereo) sound.
It was an easy issue to confirm, simply by connecting a MacBook Pro to the SP-SB23W via Bluetooth and adjusting the balance control. There was no mistake: move … Read more
From the way things are going multichannel home theater speaker systems will be on the endangered species list in a few years. Sound bars epitomize the "good enough" direction the market has taken, and most folks are happy with them, mostly because they sound better than the speakers built into their TVs. That's easy, but how do sound bars fare compared with a bona fide 5.1-channel subwoofer/satellite system? For this shootout I wanted to keep the budget in check, so I used MonoPrice's 8247 sub/sat system, and compared it with a couple of … Read more
CNN recently reported on the "death" of the home stereo system, and while that's an exaggeration, few people -- young or old -- have "stereos" anymore. CNN was asleep at the wheel on this one; precious few folks have had stereos for decades. Music is now almost always consumed in cars, and over phones and plastic computer or Bluetooth speakers. If there's an imminent "death" on the horizon, it will surely strike MP3 players and iPods. Phones have already taken over as the portable music players of choice. Do you know anyone … Read more