Last month's Us Against Them Mentality editorial really spurred some constructive, some heated, private e-mail discussions. Some issues brought up were very interesting, and debatable. Online music distribution, print versus Internet magazines, online discussion boards, newsgroups, DVD-Audio versus SACD... it mainly boils down to the ultimate quality of a "product" and your satisfaction accordingly.
Shows... Ok, Enough Already!
Another hot issue has been the battle between audio/video shows. Italy's Top Audio & Video show appeared to have the highest public attendance for this show that i have even seen! Word on the street in Milan is that business is doing great! Early reports from another recent European "battle of the shows" are saying, and i paraphrase, "asleep at the wheel". It is no secret the best European show continues to be conducted by Germany's High End Society. While it has been in Frankfurt for many years, in 2004 it will be in Munich as the need for more space for exhibitors (and parking) is needed.
The entire topic of show events has heated up to a blistering pace as there are getting to be a plethora to attend around the world. PRIMEDIA, parent company of Stereophile magazine, has just announced not one, but in 2004 they will host two shows. At some point over saturation will occur and in some ways the industry can already feel the fallout during the competing show debacle in the UK. Some shows are so close in date to others that virtually no high-end audio company can attend them all. The costs to attend a show by manufacturers and distributors are enough to make ones bank account cry. Have spilt enough cyber ink about shows for now and in the end we may be seeing a few fall by the wayside.
The Holiday Season Approaches!
As the holiday season approaches, United States dealers are looking forward to more people spending time indoors and improvising their music reproduction system(s). The United States economy, like the value of the dollar, is luke warm. If there is one shining light, it is that universal digital disc players are now reaching consumers in decent quantity and has successfully grown out of their infancy. While these new formats are moving about as fast as molasses, the great news is that prices of the players are coming down. Furthermore some mass-market stores have automated information kiosks touting a "better than CD" format.
The almost weekly announcement by RIAA of filing yet another legal allegation is bringing a black eye to the music industry. Talk about making a bad situation worse while also doing the PR spin and scramble! The positive result of all the RIAA ongoing is that their website is more resilient to hackers and other attacks. Now if the RIAA would promote great musicians... but the RIAA represents the business interests and care little about those who actually invent and play the music. Those of you who truly care about musicians should support the National Academy Of Recording Arts & Science's (NARAS') MusiCares Foundation -- a non-profit organization that assists struggling musicians with addiction recovery, emergency financial assistance, health treatment and other quality of life issues. while i can easily understand not caring about the Big Five music labels, we should all have great concern for the musician's themselves.
Old And Lame, New And (Almost) Same
Copying music to CD-R is about as exciting as watching the RIAA file yet another lawsuit against a 12 year old child, yet burning DVDs is what the hipsters are doing today! While the software to burn/make DVDs is a bit expensive, it will soon be as dirt cheap as the current CD equivalent. Then we will see the Almighty SACD watermarking fall by the wayside and copy DVD-Audio discs just as easily as CD-Rs. Those within the upper echelon of the industry know that nothing can be totally secure. If it can be read, it can be copied.
While we here at Enjoy the Music.com™ have asked other publications to warn about the current in vogue scam, seems our requests are falling on deaf ears. Basically, a person offers to buy something you are selling (on AudioWeb usually, but not always), yet have a check sent to you that is over the amount of the product price. The basic idea of the scam is to have you Western Union the overage as soon as possible. Naturally the check is forged and you will be out thousands of dollars. The check might appear to clear your account, yet wait a few more days and you will learn the check is forged/fake. See more details of this scam by clicking here.
Well, soon it will be time for me to relax and enjoy a wonderful holiday. Been a very busy past few months filled with more air miles than i care to remember. As always, in the end what really matters is that you...
"Let's go down to the Sunset Grill