SIGNALS

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jun 19, 2012 0 comments

It’s easy to think of sound recordings in the present tense. Thanks to modern marketing, we’re fixated on this week’s downloads, who’s doing well on America’s Got Talent, and what Lady Gaga is wearing. (Whatever happened to that meat dress, anyway?) But a very cool thing happens once something is recorded.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Apr 25, 2012 0 comments

I recently received a thoughtful e-mail from S+V reader Michael Kiley. He commiserated with my perception that the general level of sound quality has declined. Like me, he worried that the rise of mobile phones as our preferred playback source, the popularity of listening to compressed files stored or streamed (and through earbuds), isn't exactly making for audiophile heaven. Mr. Kiley's letter provided some perspective and got me to thinking…

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Apr 05, 2012 0 comments

Neil Young likes to criticize things: war, environmental abuses, indifference to homelessness, the plight of small farmers, Presidents of the United States, etc.  Name an activist topic, and you can probably find several well-crafted lyrics, ranging from subtle to confrontational, on the issue. Neil Young is also critical of sound quality. Highly critical.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Mar 26, 2012 0 comments

Everything runs in cycles, and audio has passed its nadir and is now trending back up. And high-fidelity audio — for heaven’s sake! — is moving back onto the radar screen. Consider these 10 points:

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Mar 14, 2012 0 comments

You’ve got to hand it to Walmart. First, they make a zillion dollars selling DVD and Blu-ray discs to everyone. Now, they’re set to make another zillion dollars so you don’t have to actually use the discs. Brilliant, simply brilliant.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Mar 07, 2012 0 comments

Michael Jackson is back in the news, and as usual, not in a good way. This time, at least, it’s no fault of his own. Rather, it’s his employer, Sony, who assumes the blame. It was imprudently careless with the keys to Jackson’s bank vault.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Feb 29, 2012 0 comments

8-track tape, cassette, MiniDisc, DAT. They all have two things in common. You don’t find them in new cars anymore. And, like lots of other technologies that have come and gone, car radios have easily outlasted them. Actually, add CD to that list. Within a few years, that’ll be gone. But is AM/FM radio on the endangered species list too?

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Feb 15, 2012 0 comments

The Wall Street Journal is reporting this week on the future plans of two corporations. As with any corporate news, there is a certain dry and brittle quality to it; most WSJ readers really only care how news will affect share prices. But there's also high drama playing out. Right before our eyes, one company is withering away, while the other soars higher and higher.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Feb 02, 2012 0 comments

“There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. . . . But at any rate, they could plug into your wire whenever they wanted to.”

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 05, 2012 0 comments

Americans are sometimes criticized for being ignorant of the rest of the world. I guess the fact that most Americans can't locate Canada on a map tends to confirm that. (It's somewhat south of the North Pole) Along the same lines, we tend to forget that there are consumer markets other than ours. Moreover, those markets can be surprisingly different from ours.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 22, 2011 0 comments

What is the Great American Pastime? Baseball? Football? Soccer? Actually, it’s none of those. Our great pastime is sitting passively and yelling as other people actively run around. And while shouting from the bleachers is fun, it’s even more fun to sit and shout at the TV.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 16, 2011 0 comments

They are not so common any more, but I'm sure you remember used record & CD shops. Now imagine them without the bricks and mortar. Or the bins. Or the records and CDs. Say what? Welcome to the biggest music-industry brouhaha since Napster.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 10, 2011 0 comments

What do TVs and music sales have in common? They are both big businesses, and both markets are rapidly shifting the money from Old Business companies and business models to New Business companies and business models. And some major players are getting left behind.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 02, 2011 0 comments

Clearly, everything is spinning out of control. More specifically, the End of Days has finally arrived. Exactly as predicted in the Bible, we're seeing foul and loathsome sores, water turned to blood, scorching sun and intense heat, total darkness and great pain, and preparations for the final battle between good and evil.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 25, 2011 0 comments

 

How many copies of Jurassic Park do you own? I'll give you an hour to tell me. That's because if you are a dino-fan, it will take awhile to tally them all. Don't miss any! There's VHS, Laserdisk, DVD, the Trilogy DVDs, the Adventure Pack DVDs, Blu-ray…. So, how many copies of Jurassic Park do you own? Well, get ready to buy some more. The Jurassic Park: Ultimate Trilogy Blu-ray set is being released today (with a freshly remastered DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack and a whole lotta extras as incentives to purchase). And after that. . .

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