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Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 09, 2015
From the press release:
Lambertville, NJ—February 4, 2015—Channel D, developers of the innovative and award-winning Pure Vinyl™ and Pure Music® computer audio software for Apple Macintosh computers and the creator of the Seta® Ultra Wide Bandwidth Balanced Flat Phono Preamplifiers has released a significant update to its Pure Music® software.

Pure Music 2.0.3, available for download now from the Channel D website, brings enhancements to its Streamthrough streaming audio technology. Streamthrough permits conveniently playing and enhancing other computer audio sources through Pure Music, with full access to Pure Music's dithered volume control, 64 bit crossover, audio EQ plug-ins, NetSend streaming, metering, etc., all without needing to quit Pure Music.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 02, 2015
In addition to the NY Post and Gizmodo, Ars Technica has weighed in on Pono as has David Pogue of Yahoo. The verdict? People can't really tell the difference between high res files and lower resolutions, some people prefer the iPhone, and generally high res audio is a bunch of snake oil. Just ask Monty and buy yourself a better pair of headphones. You'll find these same sentiments expressed on forums, in the comments section of the aforementioned articles, and even within our own small world of hi-fi enthusiasts. People just can't seem to agree on Pono and high res audio which is odd since we all agree on everything else, especially when it comes to science. Just look at climate change for one easy example.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 30, 2015
According to Endgaget, "'Project Panther,' a company indirectly owned by Jay Z's S. Carter Enterprises, has made a bid for Aspiro, a company that runs Tidal" for 464 million Swedish crowns ($56 million) in cash. From The Verge, "Norwegian media company Schibsted, which owns a majority share in Aspiro, accepted the bid this Friday while Aspiro's board has 'unanimously recommended' that the shareholders accept the offer."
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 28, 2015
French download site and lossless streaming service Qobuz recently published "A letter from the Qobuz team to its subscribers and users". Fist off, I am very happy to see Qobuz working their way through some difficult financial times (see report) as I enjoy their site and services. While there is no mention of expanding their lossless streaming into other markets, they do talk about redesigning their website to focus more on streaming and less on downloads. A sign of the times?

Here's an interesting and oddly relevant quote from their letter which I didn't see until after I posted "Is High Resolution Audio Elitist?:

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 22, 2015
From the Press Release:
Tokyo, Jan 22, 2015 - (JCN Newswire) - Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ), KORG Inc. (KORG), Saidera Paradiso Ltd. (Saidera Paradiso) and Sony Corporation (Sony) today announced that they will conduct open technological experiment of live-streaming using the high-resolution digital audio format "Direct Streaming Digital (DSDTM) 5.6MHz". The four companies have partnered with the "Spring Festival in Tokyo"-one of Japan's premier music festivals-and the Berliner Philharmoniker...
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 17, 2014
In an interview with Billboard, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek talks about the possibility of adding a higher tiered lossless service to Spotify:
Just like we’ve had deluxe edition of albums, everyone is thinking about how does that look like in a future world? Lossless music -- is that a higher priced tier? Is that something that comes with deluxe editions? How should we package subscriptions to consumers? That’s a very big topic right now on the label side. The kind of debates that I’ve wanted to have for many, many years with the music industry, we’re finally seeing it happening. The industry is realizing, “Hey, we need to embrace streaming, and we need to do it fast.”
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 16, 2014
As reported by re/code, during the company’s earnings call last week, Warner's CEO Stephen Cooper said:
As we have said before, streaming – and particularly the subscription model – more fully captures the true demand for music. In the streaming universe, consumption drives the economics — so the more that people listen to music, the better it is for our artists and our business.
Cooper continued with a nod to Taylor Swift:
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 11, 2014
From the press release:
Developed by Meridian, MQA is a breakthrough technology to reverse the trend, in which sound quality has been continually sacrificed for convenience. Vital elements of our music have been thrown away to fit thousands of songs into a pocket or millions in a cloud. With MQA there is no sacrifice; it brings us right back to the enthralling sound of live music. MQA captures and preserves nuances and vital information that current music files obscure or discard, but in a file that is small and convenient to download or stream.
MQA stands for Master Quality Authenticated and is Meridian's answer to delivering high resolution quality in a lossless compressed proprietary format that squeezes down even 24/192 files to roughly the size of CD-quality files. But that's not all.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 02, 2014
Spotify released its global 2013 consolidated financial results last week which showed revenues rising 73.6% to €746.9m ($931.7m), while its operating loss grew 16.4% to €93.1m ($116.1m). Spotify closed the year with 36m active users worldwide, with more than 8m paying subscribers. From Spotify's letter to its shareholders, "We believe that music has mass market appeal – and as such, we believe we are just at the beginning of a much larger market opportunity. We believe our model supports profitability at scale."
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 18, 2014
According to the Wall Street Journal, Sony is re-thinking "its support for free, advertiser-supported online music after U.S. pop star Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify, the popular digital streaming service."

Here's Kevin Kelleher, chief financial officer of Sony Music, from a Sony briefing for analysts and investors on Tuesday:

Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 18, 2014
photo credit: Taylor Swift/Rolling Stone

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek came out last week claiming the Spotify service was on track to pay Swift $6M over the next 12 months in fees. In response, Swift's label boss, Scott Borchetta claimed that actual US sales figures were just under $500k. So whose numbers are right?

Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 11, 2014
Daniel Ek, Spotify's Co-Founder and CEO, responded to Taylor Swift today on Spotify's blog in a post titled "$2 Billion and Counting". $2 billion is, according to Ek, how much Spotify has paid out to "labels, publishers and collecting societies for distribution to songwriters and recording artists. A billion dollars from the time we started Spotify in 2008 to last year and another billion dollars since then." That's not chump change.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 10, 2014
photo credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson
Here's Taylor Swift from an interview in Yahoo Music! on streaming:
"But all I can say is that music is changing so quickly, and the landscape of the music industry itself is changing so quickly, that everything new, like Spotify, all feels to me a bit like a grand experiment. And I'm not willing to contribute my life's work to an experiment that I don't feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators of this music. And I just don't agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free." ~ Taylor Swift
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 05, 2014
image credit: Kobalt

A picture's worth a lot of words...From the press release:

Kobalt, the leading global music publishing and music services company for artists, songwriters, labels and publishers, will tomorrow announce a milestone in the growth of streaming revenues: its writers’ European earnings from Spotify have overtaken those from iTunes.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 04, 2014
Sarah Barlow

While there's no press release or public statement to support this move, Taylor Swift's record label, Big Machine Music, has removed all of her music from the streaming service Spotify days after the release of her new album, 1989. Spotify has publicly responded on their site:

We love Taylor Swift, and our more than 40 million users love her even more – nearly 16 million of them have played her songs in the last 30 days, and she’s on over 19 million playlists.

We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone. We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy. That’s why we pay nearly 70% of our revenue back to the music community.

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