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Inter.view with Steven Rochlin, owner and manager of the Enjoy the Music site & HiFi magazine

by Lucio Cadeddu

[Italian version]

LC >
Could you please briefly introduce you to our readers, when did you start to play with HiFi and HiFi-web publishing etc.

SR >
(Said in humor like an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting) Hi, my name is Steven R. Rochlin and I'm a music lover.
My love for music began at the age of five when good ol' dad took me to see the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra perform Tchaikovsky's 1812. Instead of cannons during the last section they used dynamite blasting caps! Needless to say that got my attention! From then on it has been an addiction for higher musical enjoyment each day.
This brought about my first "day job" which was with Heathkit Electronics and eventually leading me to hire other music lovers who have helped in bringing the Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine into reality.

LC >
You have a pretty unusual approach to HiFi listening and testing. For example, like some of us here at TNT-Audio, you use even pop/rock/dub records to test HiFi with while normally just Classical Music is considered "serious" enough to do this.
Could you please spend a few words on this "hot" topic?

SR >
Classical and jazz music on both vinyl and CD is also used for reviews, yet i do enjoy my pop/rock/dub music too. Since most people know me from the web they see my lyrics at the end of e-mails and newsgroup posting are generally the more modern music.
I have found that I can not enjoy my beloved jazz or classical music while surfing the web as these styles of music deserve more respect then being simply "background noise".
Classical Music in particular tends to pull me away from my Internet work so it is enjoyed when my day, and computer work, is done.
This includes jazz and blues as well such as my favorite female singer Billie Holiday. She makes me cry and deserves as much attention as I can give her. A wonderful performer indeed with a truly sad life. You can hear it in her voice...

During reviews there are times music from more modern groups such as Prodigy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rush, and the like are used.
Lucio, as you have also surmised there are lessons we can learn about equipment when playing, say, Prodigy for instance. Prodigy's The Fat of the Land will make or break any subwoofer system.
As you know Lucio the song "Breathe" has extremely fast pulsating bass notes that can sound like da-da-da-da-da in a better system, or blablblabablab in lesser ones.
I would humbly say my reviewing style is "using the right tool for the right job". i would argue that no one song, or type of music can tell you everything about every price of equipment.
This includes recordings of pipe organ or piano that are probably the true Kings of instruments.

LC >
Roughly summarizing, you started with a non-profit audio site, then you began to accept ads, then you built a whole new HiFi magazine.
May you tell us your (unbiased) ideas about HiFi publishing on the Web?
For example, your thoughts about advertising support from Manufacturers and the like. Also, what do you think about Usenet non-moderated Newsgroups?

SR >
Ok, I was nuts. Insane!!! What in the world was I thinking?!?!? From a small Internet website to a full fledged 1.2+ megabytes of data delivering, customized browser wielding, high technology streaming multimedia website.
What kind of lunatic does such a thing? Well, frankly, a music lover such as myself who thirsts for more, more, more!
More content, more information to share and most important of all more friends who can also share their own unique insights. In fact we are very proud to have one of your own writers, Thorsten Loesch, reviewing for us. He truly is a diamond in the rough.

As for advertising, have you seen the costs of new digital cameras, laptop computers and dedicated servers lately? Maybe in my next life I will be born rich, yet the money G-ds treat me as others in this world.
Eventually there needed to either be a slowing down of the Enjoy the Music.com website or...
So before we accepted dollar one a vote was taken by those who were at that time viewing the website. I asked them if they did not mind for us to accept advertising to help expand the website.
Everyone agreed but one person. Every dollar (and more) is used towards the website. Lucio, if you only knew the (deleted five figure financial number) of dollars the Enjoy the Music.com website costs.
Two years ago just before advertising I was virtually in personal bankruptcy! Seriously! Hmm... Maybe my love for music and sharing this joy with others has gone a bit far? Still, if I can bring more musical enjoyment to just one other person out here in cyberspace then I feel my work has not been wasted.

As for unmoderated newsgroups, they can be fun from time to time, though like audio I like more signal than noise. There are many great newsgroups out there with incredibly wise individuals.
One of the great things are the silent lurkers. I get quite a bit of e-mail from silent lurkers.

LC >
And now for something completely different: some ramblings about hi-end. Where is it really going to? :-)

SR >
Wireless. Subscription. A full "net" of low orbit satellites will deliver us very high quality audio and video to our Personal Data Systems.
These systems could be anything from the automobile unit to personal handheld devices all the up to full home entertainment systems.

LC >
And what about the multichannel experience? According to you, will multichannel replace stereo?

SR >
Maybe not replace more than augment. As time goes by a set standard will be achieved and through the wonders of digital technology proper reproduction will be achieved.
What we are using now is so technologically inferior to the true possibilities. It equates to video games where approximately 20 years ago we had basic tennis programs like Pong to today's 128-bit systems. As Doc. Brown of the movie Back to the Future says "The future is what we make of it, so let's make it a good one."

LC >
As usual, plans for the future, what about another new mag or...car? :-)

SR >
Another new magazine? Please, with what time? I right now work about 20 hours a day. As for a car. Hmmm... Let me see here. Madam Mareesha predicts it will be red, have an engine, some brakes, and a prancing horse on the front.
My hopes would be for the early 60's 250 Californian but odds are it will be more the "chairs and flairs" variety. (Humor) Of course there is always a good job for me in the fast food industry. Um, would you like fried with that?

The whole point in life is to just have fun. Be good to yourself, and to each other. Of course what really matters to me is that you all... Enjoy the Music.

Courtesy by Steven Rochlin for TNT.

Copyright © 1999 Lucio Cadeddu - http://www.tnt-audio.com

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