June 4: Apple kills iTunes (not)
On June 3rd, Apple held one of its popular launches before the members of the Worldwide Developers Conference. It previewed some terrific updates to software, plus the long-anticipated launch of a Mac Pro that is actually meant for pros. But the big headlines were about something else. This one is from the Telegraph, a British paper about as reliable as your first spouse. Apple would now concentrate on its music streaming service, and stop selling albums.
Only it wasn't true.
Who started this dimwit story? It may have been Forbes. Or Business Insider, whose record of being wrong about Apple verges on perfect. Even the New York Times fell into the easily-avoided trap. What's clear is that many reporters prefer to copy each other than do actual digging...such as watching the Apple event. It seems there really is a thing as Fake News.
The iTunes store is not going away. Repeat: it's not.
However, the iTunes software is being divided into music and movie sections, and is therefore changing names.
May 10: UHF 100 is out
We got it done, all 89 pages of it (a record, not counting issue No. 32, The Dream Book -- and was that a mistake!).
On the cover is the Gershman Acoustics Posh speaker, one of the products reviewed in this issue, and behind it is our fireworks of celebration. Since they're virtual, they won't scare the dogs.
There are other products reviewed too, including the Atoll IN300 integrated amplifier, and a couple of cables from BIS Audio, aimed at owners of recent turntables. But we also looked back at reviews of particularly significant products, including loudspeakers, amplifiers, and CD players. Some of these products are still available on the used market at (possibly) bargain prices, so we try to answer the question: should I look for one?
Our usual Software review section is a little different too. Aside from the usual reviews of CDs, LPs and movies, we include three books. Two of them are novels with hi-fi themes. And another is a self-contained course in electronics, in case you want to better understand what manufacturers are trying to tell you. Or in case you want to try your own hand at building something.
Get your own copy of issue 100 here. Or subscribe here.
And now...on to issue No. 101, an extended course on high fidelity and how to make your system do what you want
Superspike feet with built-in spikes
replace the plastic feet on your gear
using the same screw. A set of four, $80 (Canadian).
May 8: UHF 100 launching tomorrow
We've realized that this is the biggest issue in our history, with some 89 pages. And it's some history, because this is our hundredth issue. To celebrate (and we do think it's worth celebrating), we have included a number of articles on the history of high fidelity, articles you are unlikely to read elsewhere. We will begin sending it out tomorrow (Thursday May 9th).
But first things first. May we ask you to check your e-mail address, and make certain we have it?
Each time we launch a new issue or send out a subscription renewal letter, some of our e-mails with download links are returned. The most common reason is that you've changed e-mail address and you haven't let us know. A second reason may be that you have not spelled the address correctly. Yet another reason may be that you are using a spam filter that can't tell our subscription notification from spam. If that's your case, please put our e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) on your "white list" of approved correspondents.
What happens if our notification can't be delivered?
Nothing, alas. Our message bounces back, and you don't receive the magazine you paid for. We know that will happen to a couple of dozen notifications, and all we can do is issue this reminder.
Stand by for launch...
April 26: Show reports in UHF No. 100
It's a big issue, and it includes our usually take on some audio shows, including the Montreal Audiofest, but also covering CES...on which the sun appears to be setting.
There will of course be equipment reviews, including that of the Gershman Posh loudspeaker, the most expensive product we have ever reviewed, but also one of the very best. And if you've bought a turntable with plug-in cables whose quality could be problematic, we'll have a couple of alternatives.
And because it's our hundredth issue, we will do capsule reviews of a number of products that particularly caught our attention over the years, loudspeakers, amplifiers and more. In each case, we ask the key question: should I look for one? Our answer isn't always yes, but some of those products could be the biggest bargain you could find.
So when is the new issue coming?
Next week. Subscribers will receive an e-mail notification with the download link and a reminder of the user name and password. We'll also have a link for buying the issue, for $4 anywhere in the world.
March 15: Show time coming to Montreal
It's one of North America's oldest high-end consumer shows, and it remains one of the best. But the Montreal Audio Fest has, over the years, changed name and changed structure.
What's unusual about the Montreal show is that it is not run by a corporation or a club but by a non-profit organisation. Only two people (Sarah Tremblay et Michel Plante) draw salaries, and a lot of volunteers are called upon. Second, the show is right downtown at the Hotel Bonaventure. You can get there from the Métro or the railway station without needing a coat.
And, one more thing: admission is free. You are asked to register (you can do it on-line), but it costs you nothing. So if you have a non-audiophile friend with an open mind, you know what to do.
See you there?
February 6: HMV becomes Canadian
We're not talking about the Canadian HMV record store chain, which went broke more than two years ago, but the original one in the UK, This one, on London's Oxford Street, has been here since 1921, when it was opened by the great British composer, Sir Edward Elgar. But fewer and fewer people buy music in physical form, and the fabled HMV has gone bankrupt...for the second time.
Enter a Canadian savior, Doug Putman. He's familiar with the HMV brand, because when the Canadian company went under, his tiny record chain, Sunrise Records, took over the leases (though not the name) and filled its new stores with fresh stock, including vinyl.
This time, Putman is buying the name -- which has more resonance in the UK than elsewhere -- as well as most of the stores. The Oxford Street store is closing, though. The rent is just too high.
Putnam says that, not long ago, independent bookstores were given up for dead, but the survivors are thriving. He has hopes his HMV stores, well stocked with vinyl, will do as well.
February 1: Vinyl everywhere
You don't need to be an LP collector to want a turntable (although it helps). Perhaps you have 50 or 100 albums you never could decide to abandon, and perhaps you add a disc or two each month. That's why you can buy an inexpensive turntable from the likes of Ion or Audio-Technica. Most come with built-in phono preamps and digital ouputs. You can digitize your favorites and listen to them on your phone...although frankly that's a pain, and the results make MP3 seem pretty good.
Enter McIntosh, and its new MTI100 turntable. It's a pretty good-looking belt-drive turntable, with a built-in phono preamp (whose tubes are placed awkwarly to the right of the arm rest), a class D power amplifier with speaker outputs (50 watts into 8 ohms), plus analog outputs, a subwoofer output, and a Bluetooth receiver. Just add your own speakers. Oddly, there's no digital output to make digital copies of your LPs. But who doess that anymore?
This isn't a product you'll add to a hi-fi system, since in fact it is a hi-fi system. And it's priced like that, at $6,500 USD.
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