Welcome to My Blog

Unless you've been living off the grid in upstate Montana, you should know by now that the times—yet again—are a changin'. It's no secret that the movie and music industries are experiencing some serious problems. Yet, the passion and desire for great music and movies certainly hasn't diminished, it's just the delivery method that's going through some radical changes.

While downloadable media appears to be the future of entertainment, the infrastructure is only in the beginning phases of construction. However, this is like architecture by improvisation. There is no working paradigm—everyone is trying to figure out the best methods and services for supplying music and movies on demand.

If hard media is destined for extinction, what's out there for us audiophiles and videophiles who require the very best? It certainly isn't highly compressed MP3's or YouTube video clips. Without question, the medium is in flux, but fortunately, there will always be demand for excellence and substance.

The inception of this blog began when I received a trial membership to the B&W Music Club. The loudspeaker legend teamed up with rock icon Peter Gabriel to provide discriminating consumers complete albums in a downloadable, lossless-audio format that were recorded at Gabriel's state-of-the-art Real World recording studio in the U.K. I was immediately intrigued as I've been a fan of PG since his days with Genesis, and I have always found the quality of material coming out of Real World to be exemplary. After downloading files from unknown artists (at least to me) Little Axe and Gwyneth Herbert, I was hooked and wanted to find out where I could find more of these high-end music files.

BTW, the B&W Music Club files are available as either Apple Lossless (ALAC .m4a) or in the Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) format. These Apple Lossless and FLAC files are identical to the original file created in the studio. I download the ALAC files, drop them into iTunes, and then sync them via WiFi to my Apple TV (essentially a hard drive with HDMI), which is connected to my reference system. No conversions are necessary in the process. While ALAC files take up lots and lots of storage space, iPods are capable of accepting them, too. (They don't have to be MP3s.) Course, you'll want a pretty high-end delivery system to take advantage of the more robust music tracks. For a tour around B&W's Music Club, click here

In the weeks and months to come, I'll be scouring the Internet and checking out other services offering the best in lossless-audio music files and high-definition video downloads. Who's offering what and for how much? We'll find out together.

Check in every Friday for a new post uncovering all the hidden treasures out there in the evolving world of downloadable media.

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Scott Wilkinson's picture

Welcome to our blogosphere, Kim! I'm very excited about your ongoing coverage of this topic, which is sure to become increasingly important in the months and years to come. I look forward to learning more about it as you guide us toward the new-media horizon.

Dan W's picture

Great News! Welcome!

David Vaughn's picture

Kim, I look forward to reading your blogs. BTW, nice article in Home Theater on the Onkyo 606...that AVR is one heck of a bargain! Regards, David

fred's picture

kim - welcome to hell ;-)

Angela's picture

Kim- I'm thrilled you're now part of UAV blogger family and I simply must say, fred exaggerates ;-) Yes, the times they are a-changing! Best, Angela

Mar k Waldrep's picture

Nice to see efforts towards better audio quality make to the UltimateAVmag.com blog list. There is a whole world of possibilities when music fans experience audio that has produced to maximize fidelity rather than dumb it down. Files can range from LOW-DEF (MP3, AAC), to STANDARD DEF (CDs) to REAL HD AUDIO (96K Hz/24-bits at iTrax.com) and they get better at each stage...but only if the original master was recorded at that standard. I look forward to hearing your posts...there is a lot to say.

Scott Wilkinson's picture

Mar k makes an excellent—and often overlooked—point about the original recording. This is definitely something to keep in mind when evaluating the quality of downloaded content.

Mar k Morrison's picture

Check out Chesky Records new download section on their website!

bandsxbands's picture

I truly believe that we have reached the point where technology has become one with our world, and I am fairly confident when I say that we have passed the point of no return in our relationship with technology.
I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Societal concerns aside... I just hope that as technology further advances, the possibility of transferring our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could experience in my lifetime.
(Posted on Nintendo DS running R4i SDHC DS S3)

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