1. Vol.28N4 of the
BASS has been published. It features 2 meeting summaries: Nov 2005, Switched Audio
Amplifiers by Herbie Kirn of Jam-Tech, and Feb 2006, Member's Favorite Recordings.
Also a report on CEDIA 2006 by David Weinberg. 29pp
2. Long before the closing of Tower Records was
announced, the notion that a music store should offer a comprehensive selection
of classical recordings had been abandoned. Older discs, which typically sold
too slowly to help bricks-and-mortar stores meet their costs, were deleted from
record labels' catalogs. But they remained desirable to collectors, and the Internet
music retailer ArkivMusic (www.arkivmusic.com)
has recently introduced the ArkivCD program as a way to keep these recordings
ArkivMusic, a four-year-old company based in Bryn Mawr, Pa.,
maintains a database of more than 70,000 classical CDs, DVDs and SACDs (super
audio compact discs), all sold through its Web site. Over the last two months,
the company has added more than 1,600 ArkivCDs to its site: custom-burned CD-Rs
of otherwise unavailable recordings, packaged in standard jewel boxes with facsimiles
of the original cover and tray card. So far, liner notes are not included.
The concept of offering deleted recordings on CD-R is not
new. A gray market has long existed for vintage LPs transferred to disc by private
collectors, and in 2003, when New World Records (www.newworldrecords.org)
absorbed the assets of the failed label Composers Recordings Inc., the company
announced that the CRI catalog would be digitized for on-demand sales.
Eric Feidner, the president of ArkivMusic, said that offering
out-of-print recordings had always been the company's goal. "It was in the
original business plan as the big idea," he said. "But in order to get
to the point where we could actually sell the big idea, we had to build a big
customer base selling everything else."
ArkivMusic began to license out-of-print recordings from independent
labels two and a half years ago, storing the recordings as uncompressed digital
files on its servers. The company did not publicize the series until last month,
when a large influx of titles licensed from Sony BMG and Universal Classics was
made available. The new additions included recordings by Eugene Ormandy, Martha
Argerich, Jessye Norman and others.
Mr. Feidner said many of the initial offerings in the ArkivCD
program were chosen using data culled from his company's partnerships with classical
radio stations, including WQXR-FM, which is owned by The New York Times Company.
ArkivMusic links the playlists posted on these stations' Web sites to its own
site, enabling click-through purchasing.
"About 50 percent of what gets played on most classical
stations on any given day is an out-of-print recording," Mr. Feidner said.
"That's our wish list, because stations play these things all the time. People
are looking for them."
3. For Boston area residents:
Feb 8: Barry Blesser (our guest in March) will discuss his book "Spaces
Speak, Are You Listening" at the Newton Free Library (www.newtonfreelibrary.net).
Feb. 25: Family Adventures in Science and Technology--The
Science of Sound with Professor of Astrophysics Walter Lewin bringing his wild
and wonderful teaching demonstrations. Meet at the MIT Museum. (Thanks to Mitch
Steiner for the tip). http://web.mit.edu/museum/programs/family.html
4. For BAS members out of town we have a special
offer for Jazz lovers. A package of 30 Jazz CDs, randomly picked from Ira Leonard's
collection, for $22 including shipping in the USA. To order, send a check, made
out to "Boston Audio Society", to David Hadaway, POB 460, Rindge NH
03461. These were donated to the Society by Ira's brother, Joe Leonard.
President, Boston Audio Society
email me HERE