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Discover New Music

  • Supernature

    • 10 out of 10
    • Goldfrapp
    • On their latest CD, Supernature, Goldfrapp has put together a successful mix of 1980-era New Romanticism, German cabaret, and T. Rex glam that leaves you riveted even through the album's lulls. It's a great amalgam that sounds current without sounding at all dated.

  • Life's Rich Pageant

    • 8 out of 10
    • R.E.M.
    • In the long series of R.E.M.'s evolution, this album (finally?) showcases their ability to capture on tape what had been happening in the live for years: heartfelt, sweat-filled performances that just
  • An Evening with George Shearing & Mel Torm�

    • 10 out of 10
    • Mel Torm� & George Shearing
    • Of the three men who taught me how to sing, the last was Mel Torme. Apparently, Mel Torme is a joke to anyone more than a decade older than me, a living parody of a Vegas crooner. But I stumbled on th
  • The Wall (Deluxe Packaging Digitally Remastered)

    • 10 out of 10
    • Pink Floyd
    • Okay, someone had to say it, and though others on the iPO staff are more qualified to review this album, I decided the time was now. This is the quintessential concept album. Though others came before
  • The Stooges

    • 8 out of 10
    • The Stooges
    • Another pillar of my musical foundations, The Stooges' first album is one those records whose influence far outweighed its popularity. Like The Velvet Underground & Nico, hordes of people wh

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In-Stat Sees Tempered Growth of Media Adapters; AirPort Express Leads Audio Category

Market research firm In-Stat has issued a new report stating that stand-alone media adapters, which bridge computers with such analog consumer electronics as TVs and stereos, could grow at an annual rate as high as 76% through 2009. However, those sales will be tempered by the eventual inclusion of adapter technology into traditional consumer electronics. In-Stat's 58-page report is priced at US$2,995.

The company breaks that market into three sub-segments: media center extenders, audio/video media adapters and audio adapters. In-Stat classifies Apple's AirPort Express Base Station, which extends wireless Internet connectivity in addition to streaming iTunes music to a stereo, under the audio adapters category, where company Research Director & Principal Analyst Joyce Putscher said it leads the pack.

"That's been driven largely by the success of the iPod," she told The Mac Observer. "A lot of people start with an MP3 player and then ask themselves: 'How do I play these audio files on my living room stereo system?'" She noted that even computer users without iPods are attracted to the AirPort Express device, which supports Macs and PCs, because of the popularity of the iTunes software and the desire to access the music in that library from other locations in the home.

Media center PCs, which are designed to go into the living room and hook right into an entertainment system, haven't fared well, but that's because the concept of moving audio and video off a computer has been relegated to tech-savvy early adopters, Ms. Putscher explained. "As more people become familiar with using audio and video files," she said, "that will change. The early driver of this was audio, but soon it will be video too."

Many industry analysts have speculated about Apple's possible entry into the downloadable video realm, but Ms. Putscher declined to join them. However, given Apple's high profile and plans by consumer electronics manufacturers to build media adapter technology into upcoming devices, it's safe to assume that the audio streaming capabilities of AirPort Express and similar devices could find themselves part of entertainment system components in the coming years. Whether Apple develops something similar to stream video remains to be seen.

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