The Best of the Year - 29/12/07

That high-pitched whoosh you can hear is 2007 passing - where did it go, and what did we miss? Well, let's not talk about the Rugby World Cup, Euro 2008 qualifying, any cricket Test series or the F1 world championship, OK?

2007 was also the year in which we said goodbye to Ike Turner, Oscar Peterson and the Hammersmith Palais, while against all the odds Shane MacGowan made it to 50.

And now the sales are on, and it's almost time for those of us who've had a long festive break to get back to doing some work.

2007 was also the year when this site got relaunched, and plans put in place for a wholesale redevelopment, the fruits of which you'll be seeing in the first half of 2008.

Thanks to all of you who've registered and made the 'new' such a success: there are now 8000 of you signed up for the forums, and the site's already beating the traffic targets the people in suits had set for next year. So no only are you helping each other and engaging in some pretty lively discussion - you're also make life a lot easier for us to get the resources to make this site even better.

We went 'live' with this version of the site in early June, and since then we've been bombarding you with news, answering as many questions as we can on the forums, keeping the more rowdy members in line to avoid scaring off those of you new here, and giving you the chance to win some great prizes.

We've given away a £1000 Onkyo receiver, an Award-winning Marantz DVD player, cables from The Chord Company, two Sony Blu-ray players and a stack of movies, and we're planning more great competitions in the coming months.

The most-viewed features here have been our 'How To...' guides, while we've kept you up to date on developments in home cinema, HD TV, all things iPod and MP3, and of course brought you news of the latest hi-fi equipment.

The Forums, meanwhile, have covered some familiar ground - mention cables and within a day a slanging match develops -, but there's been no shortage of examples of users helping each other, and alerting others to the best bargains they've spotted. We now have almost 20,000 threads and nearly 30,000 postings, and it's a special hello to williamscott747, who became our 8000th member sometime on Saturday.

If you haven't already done so, click here to join up and start talking hi-fi and home cinema with fellow enthusiasts, or here to subscribe to the magazine.

In the meantime, we'd like to wish you a happy, peaceful and prosperous new year from the whole What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision team.

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.