1. The Melbourne Audio Club is considering changing its name.
Some of the contenders are Melbourne Audio/Visual Club, Melbourne Audiov Club, and Melbourne Audio Entertainment Club.
2. The classical music website www.andante.com features andante radio, a searchable
database of 50,000 recordings in print, latest news, reviews, interviews and commentary, a free journal you can subscribe to, a directory of more
than 12,000 classical music websites, a business directory of 9,000 musicians and ensembles, and the first 6 releases of live historic recordings, lavishly
packaged, in the andante collection. [NYT 28Au01] Also note www.onlineclassics.com.
3. Kodak has announced it is working on a high capacity binderless digital optical tape with a life expectancy of 100- 200 years.
4. Vienna's latest visitor attraction, Haus der Music, opened a year ago in a baroque palace in the city center. Something like
a musical theme park, it was started by an entrepeneur named Stefan Seigner who persuaded a large insurance company and Siemens to take it over. On
the ground floor is a graceful courtyard, a hi-fi emporium and a suspiciously tidy violin maker. Upstairs is the "Sonusphere", an interactive
exhibit with oversized percussion instruments. The highlight of the exhibits is "Brain Opera": an assembly of playable instruments designed
by the American composer Tod Machover-- Melody Easel (draw and hear); Rhythmn Tree (stroke, squeeze, thump the fruit and nuts); Singing Tree (sings
back to you in emotional harmony, and Gesture Wall (wave your arms in empty space and make sound). You can conduct a virtual Vienna Philharmonic in
a selection of Johann Strauss pops. The orchestra will follow your beat, quick or slow, but if you make an actual mistake they'll give you a good yelling.
www.haus-der-musik-wien.at. [BBC Music Jn01]
5. Sony has announced it will cease production of Betacam camcorders, the professional newsgathering format. Approximately 450,000
have been sold worldwide. Digital Betacam equipment can play older analog Betacam tapes, and Sony will continue to make a limited line of analog Betacam
players. (TV Tech 28Nv01)
6. Brian Dipert writes about his experience with 3 DTV (digital television) receivers. He used them with a roof-mounted (20-ft-pole)
Terk TV35 antenna and Princeton Graphic's wide-screen display. All 3 solidly tuned in all channels
in his poor reception area. Unfortunately he found that upconverted older material was horrible--blocky MPEG compression artifacts, temporal "jaggies",
color fringe moire patterns, fuzzy edges, and overall soft images; generally looking worse than analog TV. Some broadcasters insist on displaying 4:3
material as 16:9 by horizontally stretching the image. Why they don't simply put gray bars at the sides is beyond him. (EDN 8Nv01)
President, Boston Audio Society