Friday, December 22, 2006

CES International 2007

I finally booked my flight and hotel this week for the CES show in Las Vegas, which runs from Jan. 8th to the 11th. I found another cheap rathole about a mile from the strip. I plan to spend a lot of time at "The Show" where all the high end audio products are showcased. I'll also try to spend some time at the HTPC related vendor's booths, like Microsoft (so I can voice a few of my complaints/concerns with Vista), NVidia, etc.

I'll take my digital camera so I can take pictures of anything interesting to share on my blog. Let me know if you are planning to attend and would like to meet with me to talk about my products or business plans. I'm going to try to attend the AVS Forum CES 2007 Party. Hopefully I can meet some of you there.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Blogger Broken?

It looks like a lot of people using Blogger or Blogger beta (myself included) have reported a problem with their blogs. As you can see, if this hasn't been fixed, the left column has been squeezed to the left.

Hopefully, the Blogger support staff will come up with a fix real soon.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Another Tune for the Holidays

This weeks SongSpot is a really nice song from Rick Cutler called "Gloria" from his album 'Sanctuaries'. In his bio, it says Rick studied both at the Julliard School as well as with jazz great Chick Corea. I'm a big Chick Corea fan, so that was enough to convince me to pick Rick's song as this weeks tune. Besides, I feel sorry for anyone who has to tour with Liza Minnelli. Actually, it's probably one of the more entertaining jobs in show business, but I still think she's a bit of a freak.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Tis the Season

This week's SongSpot is another tune to help get us in the mode for the holidays. I'm probably driving my family nuts with all the holiday music in our house, so I thought I'd share some with the rest of this small little blogworld, blogosphere, or whatever you want to call it.

This week's tune is from a Boston trio called Siúcra (pronounced shoo-kruh). The name of this song is 'Christmas Day, Christmas Night' and it is on their album "A Very Siúcra Christmas."

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Does Portable Music Have to be Compressed?

There's a post over on Slashdot linking to an article at The Christian Science Monitor about portable music players and compromised sound quality. This is certainly a concern of ours. Many people probably can't really hear the difference between a lossy compressed audio track and a losslessly compressed audio track when listening with their portable music player. And most of the major online music distribution services like iTunes offer only lossy compressed audio probably because the majority of their customers are iPod owners and it is faster and easier to download these smaller files.

The article also mentions a study by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) that showed 56% of consumers have never heard what they would consider a 'great audio experience' and therefore don't even know how to evaluate audio quality. I don't know if this is discouraging or if I should be encouraged by the potential untapped market.

However, if the music industry eventually replaces all of the packaged uncompressed audio currently available on optical disc with downloadable lossy compressed audio tracks, then those of us with higher quality audio systems might suffer.

I don't think this will happen. I've mentioned in earlier posts that there other online sources who offer downloads of uncompressed or losslessly compressed audio like Magnatunes and MusicGiants. We may have to pay a little more for these higher quality formats, but I think it is worth it. It will be interesting to see if the larger online music stores ever offer high quality audio or if it just becomes another niche market. However, with the Internet and worldwide distribution, niche markets can do pretty well because of the long tail effect.

Monday, December 04, 2006

When Rain Turns Into Snow

This week's SongSpot is from Alastair Moock's song 'When Rain Turns Into Snow' from his album Walking Sounds.

Suddenly the weather really cooled down here in Wisconsin. A little over a week ago, we were hitting fairly comfortable temperatures (over 60°F/15.5°C) for this time of year. Now we are only hitting daytime highs of about 28°F/-2°C. Sweater weather to full-on Winter coats. Oh well, our family really likes to play in the snow and now we have a couple inches. Hopefully it will last and accumulate.

This song uses the phrase "love turns into memories when rain turns into snow" to express the rather depressing feeling when falling out of love. So it really doesn't fit the happy feelings we have with the onset of Winter and the switch from the cold, wet, and sloppy rain into beautiful, graceful and playful snow.