Radio Currents Online - Apr 26 - May 2, 2004
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
RIAA Drops Amnesty Program
Apr 20, 2004 - The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has ended its program that offered file sharers amnesty from the group's legal campaign to stop the unauthorized music-file swapping over the Internet. The announcement was quietly made on the RIAA website, but it did not reach public awareness until April 20.
The program, called Clean Slate, made the promise that the RIAA would not prosecute individuals who vowed to erase unauthorized content from their computers, destroy hard copies of illegally obtained copyrighted materials and abstain from future file swapping, if the user would send a notarized apology to the trade group.
The amnesty program debuted in September 2003, around the same time that the RIAA announced its first round of lawsuits against illegal file sharers. The offer came under attack from the public, citing that it opened file sharers to action from potential lawsuits from organizations other than the RIAA. The RIAA was served with the California suit. In a legal memo filed April 20, the RIAA sought to have the lawsuit dismissed because the group had ended the amnesty program.
In the court filing, the RIAA states that 1,108 individuals responded to the initiative.
Kiss FM 92.9 Chooses Harris for Olympics
Las Vegas - Apr 19, 2004 - Kiss FM 92.9, Greece's first Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) radio station, has chosen the Harris Broadcast Communications Division to help transmit information to the visitors of the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Harris is providing a complete audio head-end for DAB transmission for as many as 20 audio channels comprising 20 D-ACE DAB encoders, a D-EMUX ensemble multiplexer and the PC software for controlling the entire system.
The Harris equipment was sold through its local distributor, Anthony Spyropoulos, Electronic Applications and the project is being developed by the Olympic City of Amaroussion in Athens.
Kiss FM 92.9 will transmit programs on channel 13A, 13B and 13C in 20 different languages, including Greek, English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic, Russian, Turkish, Japanese and Chinese.
Voice Actor Chooses Aphex Mic Processing Chain
Sun Valley, CA - Apr 26, 2004 - Veteran voice actor Billy West, whose cartoon character voices include Ren, Stimpy, Fry (of Futurama) and dozens of others, uses the Aphex mic processing chain to capture the nuance of his many distinctive voices. West's Aphex mic processing chain includes the Model 207 Tube mic preamp, the Model 661 Expressor and the Model 204 Aural Exciter + Big Bottom.
West's list of credits includes some of the most popular animated cartoon features and commercials. In addition to Stimpy and Ren, West voiced many characters from Fox's Futurama (including Fry, Dr. Farnsworth, Zapp Brannigan and Zoidberg), Nickelodeon's Doug, and Disney’s movie Space Jam. Currently, he can be heard in new commercials as the Honeynut Cheerios Bee and The Red M&M.
Live365 Makes Deal with ASCAP, BMI and Sesac
Foster City, CA - Apr 21, 2004 - Live365 has made deals with performing rights societies ASCAP, BMI and SESAC to offer discounted Internet licenses to select Live365 broadcasters. The agreement is designed to encourage Internet broadcasters to use the services of Live365 for performing rights licensing that authorizes them to stream stations from their own websites. The total monthly fee for eligible broadcasters will be either $38 or $48 to cover licenses from all three societies.
Sirius Increases Subscriber Base
New York - Apr 21, 2004 - In its first quarter 2004 financial and operating results, Sirius Satellite Radio noted that it had 351,663 subscribers on March 31, 2004. This represents a net subscriber addition of 90,602 during the quarter, a 138 percent increase over the net subscriber additions reported by the company at March 31, 2003.
During the first quarter of 2004, Sirius announced several new distribution and programming agreements, which are expected to make Sirius available through more than 20,000 locations.
BMG and Yes Partner on Ecommerce System
New York - Apr 20, 2004 - BMG and Yes have launched a program that allows listeners to discover more about songs being played on 2,315 U.S. radio stations. Users can identify any song that played in the last 24 hours by browsing to mobile.yes.com and selecting their radio station and the time they heard the song. Customers are able to buy the CD, download ring tones from songs by BMG artists, stream video and audio on compatible handsets, enter contests, play trivia games and display pictures featuring the artists all through their mobile phone.
The new service can be accessed through the Music category of AT&T Wireless' popular Mmode service and is also available on WAP-enabled mobile phones at mobile.yes.com. The service works on all WML and XHTML phones that provide the Click2Music wireless channel as developed by Crisp Wireless and integrated with Yes.
The new service was demonstrated at NAB2004 on April 20 during the Emerging Content, Emerging Devices, Emerging Business Models panel.
Harris Makes Mimic Capability Standard in NeuStar HD Radio
Las Vegas - Apr 19, 2004 - Mimic is a proprietary Neural technology that can duplicate any sound signature in a matter of seconds and is now a standard feature of Harris' Neustar HD Radio codec processors. Using advanced spectral image mapping techniques, Mimic eliminates audio analysis and manual tweaking that have been necessary to replicate a sound signature in the past.
Neustar HD AM and FM are the first codec processors for HD Radio. Both units use unique audio cleaning, codec preconditioning and bit-reduction methods to help broadcasters make the most of HD Radio's existing new capabilities, despite channel constraints (AM channels are limited to a data rate of 36 kilobits-per-second, and FM channels, to 96 kilobits-per-second for FM).
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