Audio Briefs

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Gracenote IDs 2 Billion CDs
Emeryville, Calif. — Gracenote’s online CD database, launched as CDDB, has identified 2 billion CDs after 10 years in business, the company said. The number doesn’t include CDs identified by Gracenote databases embedded in consumer devices. The database can identify 3.5 million CDs and their 44 million tracks while providing album, track and artists metadata. In addition, another 8 million tracks can be identified by their waveform. The database includes content from 213 countries in 80 languages.

Escient Offers CD Ripping
Indianapolis — Escient has teamed up with Get Digital, also of Indianapolis, to offer a CD-ripping and data-tagging service for dealers looking for a quick way to rip and load their customers’ CD collections onto Escient’s FireBall music management systems. The service, called QuickFire Music Loading, rips and encodes songs in MP3 or lossless FLAC formats onto a FireBall’s hard-disk drive. Dealers send a client’s CD collection and FireBall to Get Digital, which ships back the loaded FireBall, the CDs and a DVD-R containing archived backup files. Two- and five-day turnaround are available. Prices start at 200 discs, with additional fees in 100-disc increments.

ReadyToPlay Teams With 4
Palo Alto — ReadyToPlay has teamed up with three audio suppliers to promote its CD rip-and-load service to consumers. The company has struck relationships with Elan Home Systems, Integra, Request and Sonos. The company previously teamed with Cambridge Sound Works to offer its service through Cambridge stores. ReadyToPlay rips and encodes in the MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLAC and Ogg formats.

Piega Sets Up U.S. HQ
Hardy, Va. — Switzerland-based speaker maker Piega has teamed up with its U.S. distributor, Sanibel Sound, to form a joint-venture company that will market Piega speakers through luxury dealers that specialize in custom installation. Piega USA launched with four rep firms covering most of the United States, but some territories are still open. Piega is known for its concentric ribbon-tweeter/midrange-driver design.

Integra Adds 2nd Server
Upper Saddle River, N.J. — Integra’s newest music server, the Net-Tune NAS-2.6, expands the brand’s server selection to two and offers more features at a suggested $3,600. It ships in April.

Both stream audio from the server to up to 12 Ethernet-networked amplified Net-Tune clients or Net-Tune ready home theater components. The current NAS-2.3 features a single-zone analog output, but the new model features four independent zone outputs for fixed/variable line-level distribution to multiple rooms in a typical distributed-audio system.

In addition, storage capacity expands to 160GB from 80GB, and music can be accessed from an Ethernet-connected PC, allowing for simpler transfers to MP3 portables and simplifying the creation of backup copies.

The NAS-2.6's built-in CD drive features 22x ripping speed and stores audio as uncompressed PCM files or as MP3 files at multiple bit rates. It accesses the Internet either by broadband connection or built-in dialup modem to download disc and track information from Gracenote’s online database.

The NAS-2.3 uses Imerge’s XiVA platform.


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