In the beginning, Edison created the phonograph, and it was good. It was also monaural. The vertical modulation (referred to as hill-and-dale recording) of the groove neatly encoded the amplitude variations of the analog-input waveform and likewise could reproduce the waveform. If engineers had stuck with hill-and-dale, the world would be a very different place. But they kept tinkering, as engineers are wont to do, and they found an improvement.
Referring to the sound of the 12-cylinder engines in Ferrari cars, conductor Herbert von Karajan said it was, "a melody that no conductor would ever be able to reproduce." Considering that the maestro was not modest when speaking of his abilities, that is quite a compliment. He was right, of course; some engines, tuned with the right exhaust, yield a glorious sound. With further tuning, apparently they can also yield glorious music.
Marvel is unleashing its latest Captain America saga, hoping that the recent disappointing Superman/Batman outing by DC Comics has not diminished the public’s enthusiasm for comic-book mayhem. Last night, resplendent in my superhero costume and not pulling any punches, I heroically battled supervillain Ken Pohlmann at the press screening of Civil War....
Quick. What's the company everyone loves to hate? The cable company, of course. The aggravating installation, the inexplicable outtages, the maddening programming bundles, and the fees. Oh yes, the fees. But there's hope, and possibly change. President Obama has endorsed a proposal that would eliminate perhaps the most annoying cable TV fee. That's good, right?
I am sorry. Only certain people will be allowed to read this column. To ensure that you are qualified, you must first correctly answer this question: What is the relationship between cassettes and pencils? If you can answer that, feel free to read on. If you can’t, please move on.
Vizio recently unveiled its new P-series models. And they are pretty impressive, featuring 4K UHD and the very cool SmartCast app that essentially builds in all the capabilities of Google Cast. Since they are Vizios, they are very competitively priced. Very nice. The problem is, if you want to be a stickler for details, these devices aren't actually TVs.
Every audio and video gearhead is familiar with the world-famous Lirpa Labs. We can count, using many of the fingers on our hands, the number of wonderful Lirpa products we have owned over the years. Whether you have an average IQ allowing you to recite the alphabet from A to Z, or a super IQ and can recite it from Z to A, only a few people can truly comprehend the genius of Lirpa. Yes, indeed.
Lirpa. Yes, indeed.
Depending on how long you keep your cars, it's entirely possible that your next car will drive itself. Even if you're two years into a three-year lease, given the furious development of autonomous technology, self-driving cars are a fait accompli. But more to the point, given the interests of this site's readers, self-driving cars open the door to entirely new kinds of vehicle entertainment systems. Case in point: this patent recently issued to Ford.
Sonos is a terrific company with terrific products. I reviewed their first-generation wireless speaker, back when no one had ever heard of streaming, and it blew my mind. Since then, of course, Sonos has become the Gold Standard for whole-house playback. But suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, Sonos is changing course and laying off employees. What the heck?
I'm on record (ha!) stating my opinion that the vinyl resurgence is socially and morally significant. Interest in vinyl is up, vinyl sales are up. Are downloads and streaming in trouble? Well, of course not. Still....