From the announcement that a new UK-based audio brand has emerged with in-ear monitors, to Amazon announcing updates to its Fire TV devices, and Iron Maiden releasing remastered albums - it's What Hi-Fi?'s Wednesday Wrap

Parlophone Records has announced that 19 of Iron Maiden’s albums have been rereleased in the Mastered for iTunes format. The albums have been encoded from 24-bit/96kHz masters.

The series includes all 15 of the band’s studio albums, two Best Of compilations and two live albums, all of which have been selected by founding member Steve Harris. 

Steve said of the rerelease: "The records have been available digitally before, when this medium first became a platform for music distribution, but that was mastered with CDs in mind.

"The iTunes process involves a different approach and it's great to finally deliver the music to our fans in as close to a pure and accurate sound as we could possibly achieve."

Source: Iron Maiden

MORE: Remastered Led Zeppelin albums now available on Tidal

Amazon Prime Music and Prime Stations

Amazon has recently introduced Prime Stations, an add-on feature to its Prime Music service. 

Available only to Prime subscribers in the US, Prime Music is essentially a streaming service, offering listeners unlimited ad-free access to Prime Playlists, and in excess of one million songs and albums. 

Prime Stations offers a more curated service, with several genre-based stations available. The service learns your likes and dislikes through the use of a rating system, and will play similar music you might like. 

Prime Music is available on Amazon Fire devices including Fire TV, iOS, Android, PC, Mac and the Amazon website.

Source: Amazon

Damson Headbones

Damson’s bone-conduction headphones, dubbed ‘Headbones’, were first unveiled at CES 2014. They’re now available to buy for £100.

They take advantage of the acoustic properties of the human skull, and sit on the temporal bone, either in front of, or behind the ear. Vibrations are sent through the skull to the cochlea, the part of the ear responsible for hearing.

The design therefore leaves your ears free to hear outside noises.

They work with most Bluetooth devices and offer (a claimed) up to eight hours of continuous playback, or 300 hours on standby.

Source: Damson

MORE: Damson launches bone conduction Headbones

 

More after the break

Trinity succeeds on Kickstarter

New UK audio brand Trinity sought £40,000 of funding on Kickstarter for its range of three in-ear monitors. It reached the funding goal in just eight days, and has raised just over £50,000 at the time of writing.

The £30 Hyperion headphones weigh just 13g and feature 8mm neodymium drivers and 1.2m multi-braid cable. The second model is Techne, which feature the same neodymium drivers but come with three tuning filters for making adjustments to bass, treble or audio balance. Techne will cost £65.

The final pair is the Delta, which will be available for £90. These again use the 8mm neodymium drivers, but feature Trinity’s custom-tuned single balance armature for “increased performance”, and the same tuning filters that come with Techne.  

The in-ears are expected to ship worldwide in June 2015. You can pre-order a pair on the company’s Kickstarter page here.

Source: Kickstarter

Music downloads still ahead of streaming in US

According to the Recording Industry of America, paid music downloads accounted for 37 per cent of US music revenue in 2014, while streaming contributed 27 per cent. The findings also show that iTunes’s revenue fell from 67 per cent in 2013, to 52 per cent in 2014, while Amazon’s rose from two to 19 per cent, and Google Play’s from four to 11 per cent. 

MusicWatch estimates there are now approximately 130 million music streamers, using both audio- and video-based services. Russ Crupnick, founder of MusicWatch said: “If the trends continue through 2015, streaming could surpass paid downloads as the largest revenue source for the US music industry.”

Source: Home Media Magazine

This certainly ties in with the recent news that sales of digital music equalled those of physical formats for the first time in 2014, and is yet more proof that people are turning to the convenience of streaming.

Arcam MusicLife app

Arcam has announced a new MusicLife application for iOS devices, which can be used to play media stored on network and UPnP servers.

Users will be able to stream content from a server or computer to iPhone, iPad, network-connected Arcam hi-fi and home cinema components and any Bluetooth device.

Content can also be easily streamed directly from an iPhone or iPad to Arcam components or Bluetooth devices.

The app has been designed in-house, and is said to offer faster navigation and an all round better user experience over the previous SongBook app.

Playlists can be created and rearranged, Arcam Bluetooth devices can be turned into network streamers, and connected devices can now be renamed.

Arcam has said there are currently no plans to produce an Android version of the app, as there is already a “greater selection of well supported and fully featured UPnP apps”.

Amazon X-Ray

Amazon has announced that its X-Ray feature for movies and TV shows is now available on Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. 

The service, powered by IMDb, will give users trivia, actor information and soundtrack music of what’s being viewed on screen. Returned information includes showing what else the actor(s) have been in, background stories for characters and outtakes.

To access the extra information, simply click “up” on the supplied remote control.

Source: Amazon

Comments

AlbaBrown's picture

Pure and accurate sound via iTunes??

Saddens me that news like this is reported without actually pointing out that it is incorrect!

"The iTunes process involves a different approach and it's great to finally deliver the music to our fans in as close to a pure and accurate sound as we could possibly achieve."

Surely the best (most accurate) way to deliver a remastered 24 bit/96khz album is to present it on a platform (ideally as a download) that doesn't slaughter it down to a (highly) lossy format!