The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Streaming gains even more momentum. Korean carmaker Hyundai will abandon in-dash CD players and titan CD seller Naxos will launch a high-definition streaming service.

January 24, 2015
3 Comments

No doubt about it.

Streaming seems the sound wave of the future.

That’s what the news about sales and trends points to, anyway.

Streaming through such services at Spotify or various app stores and retailers like Amazon.com looks to be the inevitable next step from CDs, just as CDs followed tapes and tapes followed LPs and vinyl (78, 45 and 33-1/3 RPM)-– even though vinyl is making something of a comeback among audiophiles because of its superior, less harsh sound quality.

But consider some new developments coming out of Asia, which seems to be setting the trend for the dissemination of Western classical music more than Western culture or Western industry is doing in Europe and the United States.

Korean carmaker Hyundai will get rid of CD payers in its next year’s models. Instead the music connections will run through Bluetooth electronics that link up solely to MP3 players and iPods. (Below is a photo of the new dashboard taken at a recent industry show.)

Hyundai new car audio system

Here is a link to a story that has more technical details plus a defense of KEEPING in-dash CD players – below is Japanese carmaker Honda’s more traditional in-dash CD player and changer — and the virtue of listening to one entire CD:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-who-still-listens-to-cds-in-the-car-20150114-story.html

Honda in-dash CD player and changer

Then consider the fact that Naxos – the Hong Kong-based budget CD label that now dominates the CD industry – is about to launch a high-definition streaming service.

http://www.classicalmusicmagazine.org/2015/01/naxos-launches-hd-streaming-service/

Naxos Records logo

Penderecki Wit Naxos

Here is some background about the company, based in Singapore, that will service Naxos’ streaming site:

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2422084

The Ear has very mixed feelings about this news. He listens to all sorts of formats in the car — radio, CDs and iPods.

What about you?

Would you buy a new car without an in-dash CD player, a car that relies only on wireless and streaming technology?

And how dissatisfied are you with the sound quality of CDs versus streaming or other formats?

The Ear wants to hear.

 


Classical music: Can anyone tell The Ear what has happened to The Exclusive Company on State Street?

January 20, 2013
10 Comments

By Jacob Stockinger

There is no phone message when you call.

Nothing saying “This number is disconnected” or “This number has been changed to so-and-so.”

Just an endless busy signal.

But there is no business.

There is no sign in the window, either.

It’s obvious that The Exclusive Company store at 508 State Street, in downtown Madison, has been closed for a while, probably since Jan. 1. Just look at the recent photos of the exterior and the of the interior, which is being gutted and renovated. 

Here are the old and new exteriors:

Exclusive Company exterior STATE ST

Exclusive Compnay closes 1

And here are the old and new interiors:

Exclusive Company interior State St

Exclusive company closes 4

When I last checked into the future of the store, the ever helpful manager told me it would be moving to another Madison location away from State Street. And I posted a story about it. Here is a link:

https://welltempered.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/classical-music-the-exclusive-company-on-state-street-is-moving-but-not-going-out-of-business/

And here is a later story from the Wisconsin State Journal with more background but still no hard info about the store’s future:

http://host.madison.com/business/the-exclusive-co-state-street-s-last-full-line-record/article_4153594e-32b2-11e2-97c3-001a4bcf887a.html

Since then, I can’t find out anything.

Even when you visit the Exclusive Company’s statewide website, the old store — with its old address, old phone number and old hours — is still listed. What is the point of having a website if it isn’t updated with current information?

http://www.exclusivecompany.com/Section/Locations/index.html

It’s a shame. The store, which sold classical, pop, rock, jazz, folk, world and other music, was around for 24 years. And for 24 years I did business there, especially enjoying the great classical selection when the late Charles Lunde (below) ran the classical section.

Exclusive Co outside with Lunde

All the time I loved doing business there.

And I still want to do business with the store, wherever it is.

But I need something to go on.

A new phone number.

A new address.

A date for opening.

Or even a confirmation that it is gone for good, like the other Exclusive company store on the far west side that closed three years ago.

In the meantime, another store — the Earthbound Trading Company — is going to move into the location and it looks like it will be pretty soon, my guess is in late January or early February.

Exclusive Company closes 3

Exclusive company close 5

So can anyone help me learn the future — if there is one — of the lasting remaining  Exclusive Company store in Madison? A reader? A worker in another branch?

The Ear wants to hear.


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