Mark Fleischmann

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Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 28, 2016  |  1 comments
PRICE $3,499

Compatible with DSD and 32-bit PCM
Streams to and from other devices
Extraordinary build quality
Breathtakingly high priced
32-bit capability is irrelevant to non-professionals

Astell & Kern’s AK380 offers copious network audio features and the unique plus of native 32-bit playback—but is it worth the high price to consumers?

Shock lead of the year: Astell & Kern’s AK380 music player retails for $3,499. That’s an awful lot to pay for a pocketful of music. But it seems unjust to start a review of such a product by carping over its price before evaluating its merits. After all, not many people muster moral outrage over the price tags on Porsches, Patek Philippe watches, or 99-point offerings in Wine Spectator. Why should high-end audio units—including the Pono, a comparative bargain at $400— be the only perfectionist products to face puritan scorn? No, as a consumer, I wouldn’t pay $3,499 for a music player. But as a critic, I’m willing to consider cost-noobject items on their own terms.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Dec 09, 2008  |  0 comments
Legit download music sales have passed a notable milestone at Warner's historic Atlantic Records. The label now sells more downloads than CDs. This is believed to be a major-label first.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Dec 11, 2015  |  0 comments
Barely a week after the FCC approved its merger with DirecTV, AT&T lost no time in offering new bundles exploiting the new entity’s many talents. “We’re going to deliver more TV and entertainment choices to more screens—when and where our customers want it,” said an executive.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Oct 01, 2014  |  0 comments
The proposed merger between AT&T and DirecTV would create the nation’s second largest pay-TV company. With the telco bringing 5.7 million U-verse subscribers to the table, and the satellite operator a considerably greater 20.3 million, the merged entity would have 26 million video subscribers, ranking just below the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable with 30 million subscribers.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 15, 2008  |  0 comments
Customers of AT&T's U-verse will be offered free Total Home DVRs at no extra charge over the cost of their subscriptions.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Mar 27, 2007  |  0 comments
Looking for a new way to get TV onto your PC? If you already subscribe to AT&T's next-generation U-verse service, you can also sign up for a free 14-day trial of OnTheGo. If you keep it, you'll pay an extra $10 month (over and above the usual U-verse cost) to access 30 channels from your PC. Mac users will not be pleased to hear that the service requires Windows XP, Internet Explorer, and the Windows Media Player. And the initial lineup may provoke further gripes: Fox News and Bloomberg but no CNN, Comedy Time but no Comedy Central. However, AT&T promises to add more channels as well as video on demand. OnTheGo is a joint venture with MobiTV, whose other activities include routing TV and XM channels to cell phones.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 18, 2006  |  7 comments
AT&T has snuck into the television-delivery market on silent cat feet. Without fanfare, the company formerly known as SBC has begun providing TV-over-IP service to a lucky handful in its hometown of San Antonio, Texas. Ironically, that's the same state where arch-rival Verizon has premiered its own television service. Unlike Verizon's capital-intensive all-fiber-optic approach, which extends fiber directly into the home, AT&T is building fiber only as far as "nodes" in the neighborhood, then compressing the signal into copper lines for the final leg of the journey. AT&T's initial offerings include 200 channels, including all the major networks, and some on-demand programming. This is a huge story and I'll get back to it as soon as I know more.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Mar 27, 2009  |  0 comments
The bad news, at least for some, is that AT&T will begin sending warning notices to its internet service customers who engage in illegal file sharing. The good news is that this is the Recording Industry Association of America's new alternative to filing mass lawsuits.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Aug 29, 2008  |  0 comments
AT&T is going into the a/v custom installation business. I am running for president of the United States on the Audiophile Party ticket. Only one of the two preceding statements is true, but which one? They're both equally outlandish.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Apr 06, 2007  |  0 comments
Sign up with AT&T as your video provider and you'll get a year of free HDTV. The offer is available to new U-verse subscribers. If that next-generation hybrid fiber-copper IPTV service is not available in your area, the offer also applies to AT&T-branded DirecTV and Dish Network service.