GRACE NOTES

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Sep 16, 2011 0 comments

It's become ubiquitous. Anytime you see a person jogging, there's always a cord flapping in the breeze and on closer look, you'll see their earphones. They're having an endorphin rush, zoning out to their favorite tunes. But - you have to wonder - can earphones designed for the rigors of exercise really sound okay? And more important, how safe are they to wear?

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Oct 04, 2012 0 comments

Six months ago, we reported that Neil Young was going around talking about a crazy idea he had for a new music business model.   He had some high-res, music-in-the-cloud idea that he thought would revolutionize the way people listen to music. Would it be the Segway of the music biz?

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Oct 06, 2011 0 comments

The death of Steve Jobs was covered by the media in a manner usually reserved for heads of state. But, the truth is that he probably affected your life more deeply than most presidents or prime ministers. If you use Apple products, you hold the contours, colors, buttons, and menus that Mr. Jobs personally obsessed over and approved.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 15, 2013 0 comments

Alan Parsons’ Art & Science of Sound Recording is a series of videos available on DVD, online streaming, or download that offer a fascinating look into the recording industry, hosted by legendary producer, engineer and performer Alan Parsons. With years of experience at Abbey Road Studios and credits including Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Parsons is an eminently qualified host.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Aug 12, 2011 0 comments

One of the most anticipated of this summer's releases, Rise of the Planet of the Apes certainly rises to the hype, thanks to the help of some newfangled technical expertise and a lot of good old-fashioned attention to detail.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jul 09, 2012 0 comments

Although the rumors have been flying for months, it's now official: last week Beats bought the music streaming service MOG, paying somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Feb 27, 2012 0 comments

While most folks were talking about either Angelina Jolie's leg, or J-Lo's alleged wardrobe malfunction, many people noticed a more glaring problem during the broadcast of the 2012 Academy Awards. While the show is generally a model of excellence in production, almost immediately viewers noticed a problem with the audio feed.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Dec 03, 2012 0 comments

Audiences around the world are already purchasing tickets for the premiere of Peter Jackson’s vision of the predecessor to J.R.R. Tolkien’ the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In a departure from the single-volume original, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will also be a trilogy, but perhaps more noteworthy is Jackson’s decision to shoot these films in 48 fps HFR (High Frame Rate) 3D. Specifically, Jackson is using high-resolution RED Epic cameras running at 48 frames per second with 5120-by-2700-pixel resolution. While Peter Jackson defends the format, critics worry that that instead of being a cinematic visual treat, the films will have the familiar look of a TV soap opera.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Dec 13, 2011 0 comments

Consider this fact. Over 80% of people watching TV or movies at home do so while also surfing the Internet or using their smartphones. No one just sits and watches movies anymore. If I was a film-maker, I would be pissed.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Aug 09, 2012 0 comments

It’s no secret that here at Sound+Vision, we’re fans of Slacker Radio — I’ve been singing their praises since they first launched. Now there’s a new reason to love Slacker. While it’s easy to create your own stations personalized for your own tastes in music, Slacker has just announced a new free station, Bass and Beats, that is designed to showcase “the best low frequency tracks ever.”

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jul 31, 2013 0 comments

Last week, Google released Chromecast, an HDMI dongle that promises to turn your “dumb” TV into a slightly smarter one. With a price tag of just $35, the device is sold out everywhere, and its bundled 3-month Netflix subscription has been halted, due to overwhelming demand. So what’s this little device causing all this ruckus?

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Nov 01, 2011 0 comments

It's really hard to feel sorry for any of the major cable providers. Shout out if you absolutely love your cable company. Anyone? So, when Time Warner Cable announced a significant drop in subscribers and a corresponding decline in their earnings last quarter, you didn't see a lot of crocodile tears. In fact, anyone who's spent an hour or five dealing with cable customer service will likely feel at least a bit of glee to hear about TWC's corporate woes. But what does this say about how we're all watching TV?

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 30, 2013 0 comments

The first Iron Man was an unqualified hit, featuring a terrifically witty and sly Robert Downey, Jr. The second Iron Man was merely tolerated because the first was so good. Good or not, the movies banked an impressive $1.2 billion in box office receipts. With that much money in play, a lot is riding on this latest release. Is the suit still strong, or has it become a rusty relic?

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Mar 12, 2012 0 comments

A Princess of Mars was the first serial novel published by adventure writer Edgar Rice Burroughs (the Tarzan guy) almost exactly 100 years ago. It’s a classic tale: Civil War veteran is mysteriously transported into the midst of two warring cultures, of course, with a beautiful woman to be saved. Hmm, countless sci-fi films and more than a few Western flicks have borrowed that theme. Most recently and notably, James Cameron has said that A Princess of Mars (which he read as a child) was his inspiration for Avatar. Here’s the problem: Once so many others have copied it, the original feels — oddly enough — derivative. Despite all that, Disney gambled that Princess had enough life left to kickstart a new franchise.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: May 16, 2013 0 comments

 

In addition to innumerable television episodes, Paramount has produced no fewer than 12 Star Trek feature films. The canon is vast, and the core characters and their relationships are familiar to many moviegoers. The dilemma is this: How to make a film that satisfies both hardcore Trekkies as well as more casually invested international movie audiences. Does this latest installment boldly reinvigorate the franchise, or merely recycle it?

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