PhonoLinks 2007

Phonograph, the Brooklyn-based quintet, released their new album on October 9, 2007 featuring a logo designed to look like a phonograph company's label titled Hiawatha Talking Machine manufactured by PHONOGRAPH. This image is from Phonograph's website portal entry at



For the Record

A new generation of music collectors is learning the virtues of vinyl.

United Hemispheres, Summer 2007 by Damon Brown


Once the preferred medium of aging rockers and Luddite dinosaurs, records are hip again -- and valuable. "Rock music can be extremely cheap genre to collect...but if you're interested in more obscure psychedelia, tiny local bands, and subgenres like that, then the cost can be astronomical," say Rick Wojcik of In fact, according to Jim Dawson's and Steve Propes' book 45 RPM, the most expensive 45 single will run you about $23,000. That's about $8,000 per minute of music. Invented by Emile Berliner in 1888, vinyl mapped out the earliest jazz and blues recordings, ushered in rock'n' roll, and gave listeners disco beats. But an '80s disco backlash and a new technology called the cassette tape threatened to bury the record permanently. A generation later, hip-hop DJs, jazz purists, and hipster musicians respect vinyl not only for its classic, sensual aesthetics but also for the quality of the sound. And collecting records is an affordable way to bone up on your music. "It can still be one of the cheapest ways to acquire music," Wojcik says. "Both classic albums and rare treasures can be found cheaply." Ebay and other internet sites, while great places to browse, should be used only if you're buying from a reputable source, because you can't inspect records in person. Finding quality records is a lot like purchasing fruit: You want them to be shiny, with no marks, scratches, or flaws. As with most collecting, "the important thing is to find music that you like," says Rick Morey of "If you don't get the return you're expecting, you still have a great collection that you like."



Sunday, 1 April 2007

Gromit steps into HMV logo role

The world famous HMV logo is to get a new dog - in the shape of the heroic and long suffering Gromit.

The new image is based on the original 1898 His Master's Voice oil painting which features Nipper the dog listening to an early gramophone recording.

HMV will be using the image for three months to support the promotion of children's DVDs at its stores.

Bosses assured customers Nipper was not in danger and would still represent HMV in other uses of its logo.

'Much loved'

Aardman's Nick Park said: "It's a great honour to be stepping in the same paw prints as an icon as big as Nipper. Gromit will look after 'the seat' for as long as Nipper allows."

HMV marketing director Graham Sim said: "I can't imagine that we would have entrusted our brand to anyone other than Aardman, who, in Wallace and Gromit, have created a much-loved British institution.

"We're delighted that Gromit has agreed to stand in for Nipper on this one occasion."

The original picture, together with its copyright, were sold to the Gramophone Company, now EMI, for £100 in 1898, with Nipper first appearing on an HMV record label in 1907.




Listen Gromit, you’re top dog now

A new generation of music collectors is learning the virtues of vinyl.

The Sunday Times, April 1, 2007

THE little dog listening to an old gramophone has been one of the world’s most instantly recognisable images for 100 years.

Until now. Nipper the terrier is being replaced this week by Gromit, the Plasticine dog from the Wallace and Gromit animated series.

The original image is based on a 19th century painting by Francis Barraud. Nipper was supposed to be listening to a recording of his dead owner. Hence the name given to the picture: His Master’s Voice.

Over the past century it has been adopted as a logo by different record companies in Britain, the United States and Japan, and by HMV, the world’s biggest chain of record stores.

This week the HMV group is switching to Gromit. The only master’s voice he is used to is Wallace saying: “Nice cheese, Gromit.”

It is a unique marketing deal in which no money has changed hands.

HMV is to use the Gromit image in the windows of its 220 stores and in advertisements in the press and on the London Underground for the next three months as part of a collaboration with Oscar-winning Aardman Animations, the maker of Wallace and Gromit and films such as Chicken Run and Flushed Away.

The chain decided on the change to refresh its image and to attract younger customers.

Aardman’s Nick Park, the film maker behind Wallace and Gromit, agreed to spend three weeks overseeing the sculpture of a new 4in-high model of the dog listening to a gramophone. Aardman believes the association will boost sales of DVDs of Gromit’s films and its other titles.

“It’s a great honour to be stepping in the same pawprints as an icon as big as Nipper,” said Park last week. “Gromit will look after the seat for as long as Nipper allows.”

Gennaro Castaldo, HMV’s spokesman, said: “It is a merger of two much-loved logos. The agreement is for an initial three-month period, but I imagine it’s very likely that we’ll be discussing an extension of this and other ways that we can work together in future.”

With sales of CDs slipping, record stores like HMV are determined to attract younger customers. Last week a 200-strong queue of youngsters formed outside its flagship store in London’s Oxford Street to see Destiny Hope Cyrus, the 14-year-old star of the Disney Channel television series Hannah Montana.

Other stars who have made personal appearances at the store include Joss Stone, Girls Aloud, the Killers and Madonna.

Despite their differences in appearance, Nipper and Gromit do have something in common. Both are from Lancashire.

Nipper, so named because of his tendency to nip visitors’ legs, lived in Liverpool with Barraud after his first owner, the artist’s brother, died penniless.

The artist noticed that Nipper used to sit in front of his Edison-Bell phonograph, an early cylinder recording and playing machine, and look puzzled as to where the sound came from. He replaced the phonograph with a gramophone when a gramophone company agreed to buy the copyright after he completed the painting in 1898. Nipper first appeared on a letterhead in 1907.

The original painting is valued at £500,000 and is kept in the boardroom at the headquarters of EMI Records in London.




This phonograph was seen in a Budapest alley in November 2007 by Friend of the Phonograph Doug Keister. It has a few modifications, like the horn and the machine's front panel (featuring an Edison cylinder label as the machine's banner). This machine is known to some phonograph collector's as a crap-o-phone. See The for additional information on phonofakes and forgeries.



Visit Penn Station in NYC to see a mechanical display of items celebrating New Jersey's contribution to culture and civilization. Sponsored by the City of Newark, NJ, an artistic interpretation of Edison's early Phonograph naturally catches the eye of all Friends of the Phonograph. Behind the phonograph is another Edison contribution - moving pictures.





Alicia Keys received five Grammy Awards in 2002. According to Wikipedia, the most Grammys won by a Female Artist in one night has been accomplished by five different artists: Lauryn Hill in 1999, Alicia Keys in 2002, Norah Jones in 2003, Beyonce in 2004 and the members of the Dixie Chicks in 2007. See Wikipedia for for information about the Gramophone Awards and current Grammy "records".



CD spins, but not in grave yet

January 20, 2007 - By Mark Brown,, Rocky Mountain News

Hey, guess what? The CD isn't dead after all.

When the compact disc was introduced in 1982 players were expensive and titles were very few and costly, but CD plants couldn't keep up with demand.

By 1987 publications like U.S. News and World Report were publishing articles about "the stunning success of CDs," with customers swarming "like locusts over the compact-disc bins" while vinyl was relegated to "no-man's land."

In 1988 the CD overtook vinyl to become the dominant music delivery format, just six years after being introduced.

Since digital downloading kicked in eight years ago, experts have been predicting the death of the CD on a yearly basis. But while CDs had killed vinyl by year eight, according to the year-end report from Nielsen Soundscan, digital downloads accounted for less than 6 percent of music sold in 2006 - that pesky CD still makes up 94 percent of total music sold. Sales of downloaded albums were up 101 percent from 2005 to 2006. But in 2006 that was still only 32.6 million albums. CDs, on the other hand, moved 555.6 million units.

The first album available for digital download back in 1999 was Chuck D's There's a Poison Going On, which kicked off the era of legitimate downloads. It was institutionalized five years ago this month when iTunes formally was launched. This month Apple introduced iPhone, which combines the iPod with cell phones, web browser and other functions.

All those things have an effect. Nearly 1.2 billion units of music were sold in '06, but that counts every 99-cent downloaded track with the same weight as an $18 CD.

And while CD sales are down, we're looking at CDs out of context. Sure, they had huge growth rates in the '90s when everyone was replacing their vinyl with CD. But you don't have to replace those CDs to put them on your iPod - you just load the songs.

The people who spent thousands of dollars on CDs aren't about to abandon the format right away. Still, CD sales are steadily on the wane. The market is down 7 percent for total music sales from '05.

The Dreamgirls soundtrack stayed at No. 1 on the Billboard album charts this week - but that was on the sale of only 60,000 copies, the fewest discs sold for the top album since Soundscan started keeping records back in 1991.

There's no doubt CDs will go away someday. It's just further away than anyone imagined. or 303-954-2674


Edison's original phonograph is in the pantheon of revolutionary-but-outdated inventions...

A model of an 1879 street light burns in the Edison Museum in Edison, N.J., in front of a portrait of inventor Thomas A. Edison. A California legislator attempted to ban Edison's invention in favor of a more-efficient fluorescent variety. Photo by Mike Derer AP

The following excerpt reports a growing movement to replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient fluorescent lighting, using the phonograph as an example of the march of technology supplanting outdated inventions.

Edison's light bulb could be endangered USA Today, 2/9/2007 By David Porter, The Associated Press EDISON, N.J. —

One of the inventions that put this central New Jersey town on the map could go the way of the typewriter and the horse and buggy if some lawmakers have their way.

The incandescent light bulb, perfected for mass use by Thomas A. Edison in the late 19th century, is being supplanted by fluorescent lighting that is more efficient and longer lasting,.

Last month, California Assemblyman Lloyd Levine announced he would propose a bill to ban the use of incandescent bulbs in his state.

And Thursday, New Jersey Assemblyman Larry Chatzidakis introduced a bill that calls for the state to switch to fluorescent lighting in government buildings over the next three years.

"The light bulb was invented a long time ago and a lot of things have changed since then," said Chatzidakis, a Republican from Burlington. "I obviously respect the memory of Thomas Edison, but what we're looking at here is using less energy...."

Many states encourage their residents to replace their incandescent bulbs through a federal program supported by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.

In New Jersey, the state where Edison acquired more than 400 patents for innovations such as the phonograph and electric railroad car, utility is trumping nostalgia. The state recommends switching to compact fluorescent lamps as part of its Clean Energy Program.

Even Stanley acknowledges that, more than 125 years after its invention, the day may be approaching when the incandescent bulb takes its place alongside Edison's original phonograph in the pantheon of revolutionary-but-outdated inventions.

"It's a 19th-century invention that was perfected in the 20th century," he said. "That's part of the evolution of all inventions."



Mailer for Brass Trio concert used a Victor Gramophone with a horn, trombone connected to where the tone arm would normally be, and a trumpet in the rear as its promotional logo. February 6, 2007.



CD celebrates 25th anniversary - August 17, 2007

Click this link to read CNN's article related to August 17, 1982, "when row upon row of palm-sized plates with a rainbow sheen began rolling off an assembly line near Hanover, Germany." The age of the CD had begun.

"The recording industry thrived in the 1990s as music fans replaced their aging cassettes and vinyl LPs with compact discs, eventually making CDs the most popular album format."



USB Turntable - Turn your old 45s and LPs into MP3s!

Summer 2007 United Airlines

"Now you can easily convert your treasured vinyl collection to CD or MP3! Our new state-of-the-art USB turntables with software enable you to edit and cleanup up your digitized audio files by simply plugging the USB connector directly into your computer..." Deluxe USB Turntable $239.95



25 years of 'eureka' moments

May 21, 2007 USA Today

This research by USA Today created a list of 25 inventions that changed our lives since 1982. (USA Today did this as part of their celebration of 25 years in business).

Ranked Number 6 - DVDs "Americans traded all those hours rewinding video cassettes for hours watching directors kibitz about behind-the-scenes antics with the introduction of digital video discs in 1995. Consumers spent $7.4 billion on DVD rentals last year, up 10%. VHS rentals plummeted 74%, to $281 million."

Ranked Number 8 - iPods Walking down the sidewalk hasn't been the same since November 2001, when Apple introduced its iconic portable digital music player. It wasn't the first player, but fans declared it the coolest and easiest to use by snapping up more than 100 million of them.

Ranked Number 13 - Flat-panel TVs "RCA pioneered flat-panel technology in the late 1960s. But it took nearly four decades before consumers got the idea. This year, 68% of all digital TVs sold are forecast to come with flat panels."

Ranked Number 22 - TiVo The gadget is now a verb, with 4.4 million subscribers TiVo-ing their favorite TV shows. The digital device changed TV-viewing habits after the first TiVo was shipped in 1999.

Ranked Number 25 - Karaoke " What makes you sound so very good singing Stairway to Heaven? Two stiff drinks get you on stage in front of amused and horrified co-workers. But it's the karaoke machine invented in 1983 that really did the trick. The most popular karaoke song today? Patsy Cline's Crazy, says "




CD player (2007)

yong jieyu + ama

A 2 day workshop with Joris Laarman. The aim is to analyse a product in its history and function and redesign it.

A CD player was disassembled and the components rearranged to suit the layout of a phonograph. The speakers are put below the trumpet loudspeaker for amplification. The wooden box is made slightly more spacious then the electrical PCB board needed to achieve bass resonance. The laser pointer is shifted to the top allowing the spin of the CD to be clearly shown.

By bringing back a familiar nostalgic form of a phonograph, the design seeks transport the user back to the golden age of phonographs in early 1900s where sound broadcasting had a magical feel.

Go to for more designs.



25 years - Things that have gone "Good-bye"

The long goodbye

June 4, 2007 USA Today

This article by USA Today created a list of things that have changed in the last 25 years. "Times have changed for Michael Jackson (No. 24 below) and vinyl records (No. 5) since he released Thriller 25 years ago. Today, we look back at 25 years of other changes in our lives..." (USA Today did this as part of their celebration of 25 years in business)

5 Vinyl records

Music used to be big. Literally. Before palm-sized CDs took over, songs were embedded in vinyl platters the size of hubcaps. And then there were 8-tracks and cassettes. But that's another story.

Photo, Henry J. Koshollek, AP





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