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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 12, 2009 0 comments
What did the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show tell us about the future of CES and our industry in general? That was the question on everyone's lips. When asked "how are you," I cheerfully answered: "employed." This never failed to bring a smile. CES 2009 was hardly a failure. While it did not draw the 147,000 people of 2008, it still mustered 110,000, according to a press release from the Consumer Electronics Association. That is not too shabby by any standard. On the magazine's audio beat, I found fewer audio exhibits in the South Hall, but more at the Venetian, so seeing stuff and blogging about it kept me busy.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 06, 2011 0 comments
What to our wondering eyes should appear on the floor of South Hall but the Grey Lady herself, The New York Times, touting her apps for computers, smartphones, e-readers, and of course this year's particular CES obsession, tablets. The paper's show coverage also refers to (other) media companies chasing partners at this year's CE extravaganza.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 06, 2010 0 comments
Noel Lee is always good for a quotable line or two. For instance: "We loooove 3D!" And, if your 3D experience isn't all you wished for, "don't blame the TV. Blame that cheap-ass HDMI cable you bought." Monster's four classifications of HDMI cable speed have now gone to six, topped by the 17Gbps Hyper Speed cable. HDMI wasn't the only thing on Lee's cable agenda, of course. He also discussed USB 3.0 cables for next-gen drives, players, cameras, etc.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 01, 2016 7 comments
Has concertgoing become a lost art? Observing behavior at concerts, I can't help wondering if some of my fellow audience members have lost the ability to listen in the moment. And the music suffers for it.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 07, 2009 0 comments
The U.S. is little more than a month away from the final deadline date for the transition from analog to digital television broadcasting, coming on June 12, 2009. So how are we doing? According to a new poll from the National Association of Broadcasters, we're doing OK, with 82 percent of broadcast-dependent TV households fully prepared for the DTV transition. This is a huge improvement over January.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 10, 2009 0 comments
More on Procella: "You can't buy them" -- that's what visiting engineers used to be told by the denizens of the DTS testing room in Europe. That is what inspired the Procella folks to go into the speaker business. Following a third-generation redesign, now you can buy them. Shown is the P8, bolted on the P15, and don't call the latter a subwoofer. It's a "powered bass unit" that goes down to 40Hz at a thundering 126dB.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Feb 06, 2006 1 comments
I love Leo Kottke's virtuoso guitar playing. Still, I hesitated to buy his album Sixty Six Steps, with bassist Mike Gordon, when Amazon specifically warned: "This Sony CD includes SunnComm MediaMax Version 5 content protection software that may expose security vulnerability when played on PCs." I don't love anyone quite enough to put a MediaMax-tainted CD into my PC. And when I rip a new CD for use in my iPod, I prefer a nice clean MP3 to the WMA-DRM format dictated by MediaMax. The iPod doesn't accept WMA files with DRM.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 11, 2016 1 comments
Audio highlights and trends from CES 2016 worth writing home about.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 01, 2015 6 comments
I recently spent a few weeks exhaustively reviewing five headphone DAC-amps. They included the Schiit Fulla ($79), AudioQuest DragonFly v1.2 ($149), Oppo HA-2 ($299), Celsus Companion One ($595), and Sony PHA-3 ($1,000). Of course anyone who buys one of these products will find that the listening experience depends heavily on the headphones used with it, and there's no predicting which headphones an individual buyer may use, so I chose a varied selection: the Oppo PM-2 ($699), Sennheiser HD600 ($400), and Sony MDR-V6 ($110). Then I had to choose the demo music. That was fun—anyone who says a job like mine isn't fun should find another job—but it took some care and forethought. Just as associated gear affects perception of an audio product, so too does the music.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 29, 2008 0 comments
The VCR quietly passed away this month as JVC stopped making standalone VHS decks. There are still some VCRs in the pipeline--and VHS will survive in DVD/VCR combos. But the era of the VCR has drawn to a close.

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