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Qobuz Comes to the US; Circuit City Returns?

Written by Bill Leebens

If CES is good for nothing else, it’s good for generating press-releases. As we can read in the press-release that will follow, Qobuz (koh-BOOZ, if you’re French; KO-buzz, if you’re a Yank) is indeed coming to the US. The streaming service was the first to offer hi-res downloads, but until now, has been available only in Europe. Qobuz did participate in the Hi-Res Pavilion at CES, along with MQA and numerous other companies.

LAS VEGASJan. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Qobuz, a European commercial online music streaming and downloading service, announced today its high-end system will be available in the United States beginning in mid-2018. Qobuz is the highest resolution music streaming service in the world, providing users with the most in-depth and interactive music experience possible. It offers an extensive music catalog of 40-million tracks and is the only service to offer over one-million high-resolution tracks. Qobuz works on Mac/iOS/Android/Windows operating systems, and is integrated with all of the most prestigious Hi-Fi brands.

Meet Qobuz at CES® 2018 in the Digital Entertainment Group’s Hi-Res Pavilion,
Booth #14735, Central Hall

“We are absolutely thrilled with the idea of offering American music lovers our extraordinary online music service,” stated Denis Thébaud, Qobuz president. “Our team is made up of dedicated, knowledgeable discographers, who, day after day, sift through our catalogue, to bring the past to life and to discover new great talent. They help our users unearth discoveries in all musical genres. Qobuz is a specialist in all genres. We look forward to bringing our service to the American audiophile.”

Developed by Music Lovers for Music Lovers
In addition to passionate music lovers – regardless of genre – the Qobuz high-end music service is aimed at two other segments of the public. The first segment is art and culture enthusiasts, who are eager to enjoy a cultural vision of musical heritage. In Europe, Qobuz has gained a solid reputation among fans of classical, jazz, and heritage genres such as classic rock. The other segment Qobuz targets is informed music lovers, who want to enjoy the best possible sound quality to satisfy their acute ears and sophisticated equipment.

More Than Just Music, Go Behind the Scenes with Qobuz
Qobuz produces its own editorial content, including hundreds of thousands of album reviews, introductory articles to the artist’s discographies, biographical portraits, and exclusive photographs, art, and videos. This independent and original editorial line encourages the musical curiosity of its users and creates a recommendation system that is completely unique from others.

Qobuz offers an extensive music catalog with 40-million tracks. It has the rights to an entire range of major and independent record labels around the world. It always offers this content in a quality that is superior to most other platforms, at the very least in FLAC Open-Source format in 16-Bit/44.1 kHz quality, similar to CD quality, and far superior to your typical Lossy (such as MP3) streaming music service.

Qobuz has unparalleled expertise in the field of Hi-Res music and offers music lovers a huge Hi-Res (24-Bit up to 192 kHz) catalog of one-million tracks (80,000 albums). All of it is available for either streaming or downloading, without any up-sampling or re-encoding.

Enjoy Your Music the Way You Want to
Qobuz is a comprehensive service offering both streaming – up to Hi-Res quality and without concession, and “pay-as-you-go” downloads. It offers users a full range of applications for listening on-the-go or at home. These include PC, Mac, and Windows; and both iOS and Android mobiles or tablets. These applications offer inspired functions, and in some cases ones that are unique, such as providing access to digital album booklets in every streaming subscription.

Qobuz is available for Hi-Res streaming on the largest connected audio systems, such as ChromeCast Built-in enabled products Sony, Naim, JBL, Harman Kardon, LG, B&O Play, Philips, Vizio, Pioneer, Onkyo, Grundig, Polk, Raumfeld. Multi-room audio leaders such as Sonos, Yamaha MusicCast, Bluesound, Devialet, Linn and Samsung. High-end brands such as Mark Levinson, Auralic, Aurender, Lumin, T+A, AVM, Burmester, Esoteric and Sim Audio.

It is compatible with DTS Play-Fi and all brands associated, such as McIntosh, Sonus Faber, Paradigm, Phorus, Rotel, Thiel, Anthem, Arcam, Definitive technology, Klipsch, Martin Logan, Dish, and many more.

Moreover, Qobuz can be played via Bluetooth, Airplay and third party applications BubbleUPnP (Android), USB Audio Player Pro (Android), mConnect (iOS & Android), Audirvana (Mac), Kodi, and Hercules Djuced.

About Hi-Res Audio
Qobuz delivers Hi-Res Audio content as defined by the Japan Audio Society (JAS), a body that provides a definition of Hi-Res Audio and operates a label of the same name. The term Hi-Res audio includes all analogue devices capable of reproducing or recording at frequencies of 40 kHz or above (microphone, headphones, speakers, etc.) and all digital devices capable of processing or converting 24-Bit or higher signals.

To qualify as Hi-Res, the volume of information transmitted must be greater than that of a CD (16-Bit/44.1 kHz) or DAT (16-Bit/48 kHz). There is not just one type of Hi-Res file, there are many formats including: FLAC, WAV, ALAC, AIFF, DFF and DSF. In practice, all of these formats can be considered to belong to the Hi-Res class if they are encoded in 24-bit (except for DSD formats derived from the SACD, whose 1-Bit operation is different).

About Qobuz
Founded in 2007, Qobuz is a French commercial online music streaming and downloading service that addresses the needs of curious and discerning music lovers across the globe. It is currently available in 11 European countries. Complementing its unparalleled expertise in sound quality, Qobuz offers an exceptional range of music genres as well as exclusive editorial content independently curated by a team of experts. Qobuz offers subscription to streaming services with genuine CD quality audio of more than 40-million tracks from all repertoires and genres. Today, Qobuz has the largest catalogue of 24-bit Hi-Res albums for downloading, and now offers the very first Hi-Res streaming subscription, called Sublime+.


Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous at CES:

We recently ran a story about how Circuit City’s bankruptcy had entered its tenth year;  at CES, an ever-optimistic group announced they were planning on reviving the chain.


That would be the one question not answered at the show. Presumably, they think the name has legs. God bless ’em. The press-release:

Circuit City is set to announce official company relaunch at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday January 8th at 3:00 PM PST during a special press event.

Circuit City is set to announce official company relaunch at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday January 8th at 3:00 PM PST during a special press event.

The iconic brand will relaunch with a new agenda of enhancing shopping experiences with cutting-edge technology.

Under new ownership, Circuit City will relaunch with a dynamic, social-focused e-commerce site, along with various concepts of innovative retail stores, and unprecedented e-commerce technology offerings.

At the CES event, Circuit City is expected to announce its official launch concentrated on the retail verticals of e-commerce, mobile, technology, omni-channel commerce.

The company is also announcing a partnership with IBM Watson commerce, which incorporates AI and other new retail technologies to its web platform.

After evaluating other options Circuit City selected IBM because of its aligned vision with AI and how this technology can ultimately transform how clients shop for electronics. The IBM web commerce platform will allow Circuit City to expand offerings for a personalized shopping experience and enhance the product discovery journey.

The new Circuit City leadership team consists of executives with experience across top-tier leadership companies. The relaunch will be lead by CEO, Ronny Shmoel, who brings vast retailing, e-commerce, and global sourcing expertise.

Additional details of the Circuit City relaunch and rollout plans to be announced at the press event. One-on-one interview sessions are available and currently being scheduled with Mr. Shmoel, and other members of the leadership team.

Circuit City is an iconic brand in the Consumer Electronic industry, established 1949 and relaunched under new ownership in 2016. Circuit City appeals to and accommodates a vast range of customers from legacy Circuit City customers to Millennials.

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