Here's some summer reading: Thoughts on Music, by Apple's Steve Jobs (apple.com/hotnews/thoughtsonmusic). It's not a romance novel, or even a juicy tell-all. Instead, his short treatise may change the future of recorded music.
On February 17, 2009, all analog TVs in America will go kaput. Turn on your trusty Zenith, and you'll get - static. Whack it as much as you want (and feel free to take out your frustrations), but it won't do any good. The TV set itself is still perfectly fine. It's the analog broadcast signal that's the problem. In particular, it won't be there anymore.
Let's be honest: No one really cares about treble response. What's that all about anyway? "Air" or something? Give me a break. Frankly, if you are a real music lover or movie buff, you've been listening at loud levels for plenty long enough to fry your ears' high-frequency response anyway. Good riddance. And what's the deal with midrange?
"DO I FEEL LUCKY?" (Well, do ya, punk?) That's the question that millions of people are asking themselves as they think about buying a new video player. In particular, should they go for Blu-ray Disc or HD DVD? If you choose one and buy a few hundred movies for it, but the format goes bust, you'll be lucky to recoup pennies on the dollar on eBay. That's quite a gamble.
Everyone knows which company is the No. 1 seller of MP3 players. But do you know who's No. 2? It's not a major electronics company like Sony. And it's not a major computer company like Dell. It's SanDisk. How can an "unknown" company like that become a powerhouse in a consumer technology market?
MAKE NO MISTAKE: The equipment reviewers at Sound & Vision aren't nice people. Without naming names, I'll just mention the following: three restraining orders, steel-cage death-match champion, and a lifetime ban from the National Hockey League. And that's just one of the reviewers. Frankly, they're curmudgeonly, tough SOBs.
In a world of earbuds, plastic pods, and itty-bitty phones, there's something reassuring about an A/V receiver. In appearance, at least, receivers are throwbacks to the olden days of stout components and heavy lifting. But receivers are dinosaurs in weight only. Case in point: The new Onkyo TX-SR804 A/V receiver, which, looks aside, is thoroughly modern.
January 11, 2007 - Imagine that you've wandered into a Best Buy or Circuit City - one that covers 35 football fields, with 65 miles of carpeted aisles, jammed with 140,000 customers and 4,500 news reporters. Every conceivable, and often inconceivable, new product is there, ranging from 108-inch LCD TVs to tiny microchips to implant in your dog.
The ingenuity of loudspeaker designers never ceases to amaze me. It seems like a simple enough proposition - mount a speaker in a box, then field as many boxes as you have channels. Simple, but 6.1 = 7 is a lot of boxes, even for the most fanatical audiophile's spouse.