President's Message
December 2002

1.  The New York Times reports that the 45 rpm record is back -- in a high-tech form. Verbatim Corp, a maker of compact discs, is out with a new product called the Digital Vinyl CDR. It's a recordable CD-ROM that looks just like an old 45 record, right down the black vinyl-like surface, complete with grooves and a label in the middle. It just the thing to record digital versions of your Motown or Elvis collection.

2.  A while back I had reported on the problems with 80 minute CDR blanks (versus 74). 74s are becoming increasingly rare. Well, technology moves on. I can report that recent 80s with my year and a half old Plextor burner routinely pass File Compare and are thus a bit-accurate copy. I tried the Plextor on some old 80s that I had put aside because of problems and found that some worked OK, some didn't.

3.  I received a spam message from Musical Interface Technologies (MIT) ("This is not Spam. You have received this email because you have voluntarily opted into the mailing list.") about their new adjustable impedance matching system. It is a box in-line with an interconnect that has switch settings to adjust the impedance matching. Clicking on "learn more" reveals no new information so I'll just have to consign it to the voodoo audio file.

4.  Under the teaser, "Attention, Mr. Phelps this disc will self-destruct in eight hours", a perishable DVD is announced in the NYT. Once opened, a dye sandwiched between the layers interacts with air, leaving it opaque. Atlantic Records is issuing a free sampler of the hip-hop group Nappy Roots. The disc was developed by a New York company, Flexplay. With a maximum life of 60 hours, it has been a solution in search of a problem. Originally developed as a way to protect software, it was then offered to movie studios. This year such discs were given to the press to promote the James Bond movie "Die Another Day." It could be used for rental discs that didn't have to be returned. (I assume it is reacting with the oxygen in the air. I could imagine getting a tank of compressed nitrogen and flushing a sealed container to remove the air and prolong the life of the DVD indefinitely). 14Nv02.

5.  Connoisseurs of gourmet salts (Sicilian sea salt from the vast salt flats at Trapani, Indian black salt, which is a beautiful indescribable lavender, Oshima Island Blue Label salt, one of the rarest in the world and available for purchase in small amounts only by members of the Salt Road Club, Diamond Crystal Kosher salt, fleur de sel from Ile de Re in Poitou-Charentes etc.) were stunned by Robert L. Wolke's articles in The Washington Post claiming that all salts taste the same. A retired chemistry professor, he says if two salts differ it is only due to their differing crystal shapes and sizes. With the help of two food scientists, the author of "Salt Chic" conducted double blind tests using 3% solutions. He found no significant difference. (Vogue Jl01) [Webmaster's note: also look HERE ]

David Hadaway

President, Boston Audio Society


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updated 11/11/04