It’s a Fact: Museums Are as Big as Sports and Entertainment!

[BBC, LTTW, LONDON] At 6.7 million, the British Museum is set for record attendance in 2013, up 20% on 2012 and beating 2008’s previous record of six million, according to a recent report by the BBC. The number is also rivaling the total of 9 million sold tickets to London Olympics 2012, and beating 2013’s all music festival goers of 6.5 million; and keep in mind that this is from the British Museum alone!

The same observable fact was also happening in the United States, a nation of more than 17.000 museums. According to the American Alliance of Museums, There are approximately 850 million visits each year to American museums, more than the attendance for all major league sporting events and theme parks combined (483 million in 2011). By 2006, museums already received an additional 524 million online visits a year just from adults, a number that continues to grow.

With such staggering numbers, both the British and Americans are safe to say that museum is as big as sports and entertainment; and this might be very useful for the museums enthusiasts across the globe.

Museums are popular

In today’s climate where history and cultural heritages are not voiced as loud as sports or entertainment, especially among the young generation, those numbers could speak louder than words. Museums are popular; and probably unlike sports and entertainment, there are rooms for everyone; from all ranges of ages, income, education, and nationality.

The British Museum’s director, Neil MacGregor, said: “I am delighted that so many people have visited the world collection at the British Museum in the last year. Displays onsite, loans and touring exhibitions nationally and internationally, big screen viewings and online access mean this is truly a dynamic collection that belongs to and is used by a global citizenship”.

To Americans, museums are viewed as one of the most important resources for educating the young generation, telling important stories by collecting, preserving, researching, as well as interpreting objects, living specimens and historical records. With more than a billion tangible world heritages preserved and protected in one place, perhaps near to their home, museums are considered a more reliable source of historical information than books, internet, teachers or even personal accounts by relatives, according to a study by Indiana University.

In short, one would say that history and cultural heritage is indeed as popular as sports and entertainment; or in other words, museums are as big as football matches and music festivals.

However, museums are losing its charm in many other countries, such as in Indonesia. In fact, some are “successfully dying”, as the common joke says. So, if Indonesia, with its 17,508 islands covering an area of 741,050 squares miles, has thousands if not millions of museums’ materials which may have potentials as great as the British Museum, how should we evaluate this?


CES 2014: (Slow) Progress in Audio Technology

[CES, GRAMOPHONE, LTTW, LAS VEGAS] With CES welcomed the year 2014, the advancement within the audio technology will remain as minor as before; or will it not?

Consumer Electronics Show 2014, the largest global gathering for the consumer electronics and technology industry, is history. The International CES 2014, which was held in Las Vegas from January 7 to 10, is often viewed as a barometer for where technology is headed in the coming year.

As probably expected, the show is centered on the race to be the next kings of convenience: curvier, smarter and more wearable devices. Many manufacturers have been claimed that 2014 will be the year of technology contestations; from the once cutting-edge products as mobile phones, tablets, video games, and TVs, to more forward-looking ones such as automated cars, home automation, and the attractive smart watches.

In audio technology, particularly on the advancement of audio equipment, the race is on as well. Manufacturers such as Arcam, Naim, T+A, Cambridge Audio, Meridien, Sony, and many more, are competing to please music enthusiasts—especially the audio hardcore ones. Not just to please the ear with staggering 300 kg Statement amplifier system from Salisbury’s Naim Audio of output in Class A for clarity and sweetness for instance, but also to provide more convenience in arranging your home audio system with high-end digital (and wireless!) speakers and amplifiers from Meridien and AirStream.

In 2014, change will be in the air, literally and figuratively, where manufacturers have big plans for wireless sound and smarter compo, such as introduced by the T+A in its Caruso Blu, an all-in one system combining CD, SACD, DVD and Blu-ray playback, internet radio, FM and DAB tuners, and access to music on network servers, USB storage or Bluetooth devices.

The high-resolution revolution is coming—sometime (read the full article)

From CES 2014 al0ne, many perceived that audio technology is progressing. However, the progress is frustratingly slow, compare to other product categories that make big leaps forward year after year. More probably expected as well, the audio section (within the Home Theatre and Audio category) were less visited and less widely covered than a curved TV, or automatic cars, or smart watches.

In times of all things digital like now, perhaps the primary convenient in most of audio consumers means small, smart, mobile, and cheap; while the high-resolution sound—the best way musicians want their music to be enjoyed —may comes in second, or third, or even means nothing at all. In CES 2014, many manufacturers and the whole industry were seemed to agree that this year is not the right time to expect consumers to move up from MP3 files to much more data-hungry high-resolution content. Hence, little surprise that the technological advancement is progressing slowly.

However, there is much to learn from this. CES 2014 has shown to the world that things has pretty much turns up-side down lately. Perhaps in just several years ahead, there will be cars that drive you home, or watches that’ll be ‘smarter’ than books, or computers that will be composers and called ‘compusers’. So, who’s progressing slowly anyway? The technology or the human?