Truman Capote’s career-defining “nonfiction novel” In Cold Blood recounted with fastidious nuance a violent crime that shocked America. Absent Capote’s masterful prose, the movie adaptation gives us a precise chronicle of the events with laudable authenticity. But under the inspired guidance of director/screenwriter Richard Brooks, the film goes beyond rote police procedural, introducing us to killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickock as a couple of troubled, down-on-their-luck ex-cons.
Remember that kid from high school that nobody liked and you and your friends mercilessly tormented him just because he was different? No? Well, he sure remembers you. Now imagine that all these years later, that person still bears a grudge against you and wants a little payback.
Four out of five (81 percent) of all U.S. smartphone users now stream video on their devices, according to a new report from the NPD Group’s Connected Intelligence division. The streaming is being driven primarily by users who are 25 and younger, who spend twice as much time watching video content on YouTube and Netflix mobile apps compared with users who are over the age of 25.
Diamond 220 Speaker System Performance Build Quality Value
WH-D10 Subwoofer Performance Features Build Quality Value
PRICE $1,546 as reviewed
AT A GLANCE Plus
Superb sound for price
Bottom port cuts unwanted noise
Odd binding-post layout
The Wharfedale Diamond 220 speaker system looks and sounds far better than its modest price tag would suggest.
When a venerable audio brand leaves its founders behind, sometimes it loses its way. But sometimes it gets a whole new lease on life. That’s what happened when the International Audio Group (IAG, originally of Taiwan, now of mainland China) acquired a handful of British brands, including Wharfedale, Mission, and Quad. When I visited IAG’s design and manufacturing facility in Shenzhen a dozen years ago, I was surprised at how self-reliant it was. The resident speaker designer could have a custom part made and tested in 24 hours, rather than having to outsource it and wait for months, as Wharfedale’s British forebears had to do. Thus, he has the luxury of endless tweaking. Even so, Wharfedale hasn’t had a commanding presence in the U.S. market commensurate with the brand’s engineering resources and expertise. Will the new Diamond 200 series change that?
Consummate singer/songwriter JD Souther pours a lot of history into every line he writes and records. “I can’t consciously put my finger on it, but I can remember probably every piece of music I’ve ever heard,” he admits. “But it’s just at certain times, not all at once. I’m sure bits of it come out in everything I write.” Souther, who's co-written songs and worked extensively with the likes of the Eagles and Linda Ronstadt, also has an uncanny knack for making a melody all his own, and he has a critical ear for just how good the finished product has to sound. And now, thanks to Omnivore Records, we get to revisit Souther’s own recorded canon with the triple-threat CD reissuing of his first three heretofore hard-to-find solo albums: John David Souther (1972), Black Rose (1976), and Home by Dawn (1984). Souther, 70, and I got on the line to discuss the improved sonics of this reissue series, writing with Glenn Frey, sharing golden-ear minutiae with Ronstadt, and his passion for high resolution and great stereo gear. Some people call it music and some people call it gold, but nobody knows how to hone a mix quite like JD does.
Color TV became commercially viable in the early 1950s but didn’t really take off until the mid-1960s when the big three (and only) television networks made a concerted effort to significantly increase the amount of color programming, broadcasting classic shows like Gilligan’s Island, My Favorite Martian, and Lassie in “brilliant, true-to-life color” for the first time. An epic event if you were around to experience it and arguably more dramatic than the transition to HDTV.
AT A GLANCE Plus
A crisply styled, downright elegant design
Sweet balance takes edge off harsh recordings
Hinged headband allows for compact storage
Highish ear pad pressure, comfort issues
The NAD Viso HP30 on-ear headphone’s plush midrange and punchy bass supply a visceral kick beyond the reach of most on-ears.
NAD rocked the audiophile world in the late 1970s when it introduced its astonishing 3020 integrated amp. That amp eventually became one of the best-selling of all time and established NAD as the brand that prioritized performance over superfluous features and glitzy styling, at affordable prices. That “sound quality first” ethos continued over the decades, and NAD recently scored another direct hit with its Viso HP50 over-the-ear headphones. So, I was eager to check out their new Viso HP30 on-ear model.
It looks like 3D surround-sound headphone listening may be heading to smartphones. DTS recently announced that its DTS Headphone:X technology is included in the new Helio X20 flagship smartphone processor from MediaTek, a Taiwan-based semiconductor company that makes chips for wireless communications.