Have your heard Rihanna yet? She of "Umbrella" fame, her hit collab with Jay-Z that's been all over the charts, radio, and Web lately. You can stream it for free on Download Music--and this week she's also the star of our ongoing Best New Music video report, a collaboration with our buddies over at CNET TV. Watch and listen as Anngie Dehoyos gives the lowdown on what makes the song so gosh-darn great. Then catch Peter Gavin's take on indie heroes Blonde Redhead and my own shakedown on the haunting new album from Charlotte … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--If there's one business where the intersection of new technology and old is creating confusion, I can't think of a bigger muddle than the recording industry.
So it is that I had a chance to listen to an interesting discussion on the future of the music business here at the wrap-up day of the iMeme conference organized by Fortune magazine.
Jerry Harrison, who used to play with the Talking Heads (and is now chairman of iLike) offered a provocative and entirely insightful comment about where things likely may be heading.
Nowadays our choices are still limited because … Read more
This Sunday may not be doomsday after all for the smaller Internet radio stations that feared the onset of new royalty fees would kill off their operations.
But contrary to some published reports traversing the blogosphere on Thursday and Friday, SoundExchange, the nonprofit group charged with collecting the payments, has not made any sort of blanket pledge to delay enforcing the contentious new Webcaster payments established earlier this year by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board, according to spokesman Richard Ades.
"There is a misunderstanding, and SoundExchange is making it very clear that everybody is expected to comply with the law," Ades told CNET News.com Friday.
The CRB ruling at issue requires Internet radio operators to pay additional fees to SoundExchange, which passes them on to artists and record labels, retroactive to 2006 and through 2010. Webcasters opposed to the new rules say the changes could drive up their mandatory payments by as much as 300 percent for larger entities and 1,200 percent for smaller ones, arguing such increases could put them out of business.
Here's where it gets complicated.
We can't imagine why, but some might say the world really doesn't need another MP3 player. But Bang & Olufsen rarely seems to play by conventional rules--or wisdom.
True to form, the high-end company has taken yet another unexpected turn. The "BeoSound 6" is surprisingly simple, as Engadget rightly observes, given the B&O reputation for flamboyance in its various products. But sometimes, less is more: As evidenced by the "BeoSound 2," unconventional form doesn't necessarily translate to exceptional quality.
The BeoSound 6 is nevertheless sleekly designed with its silver casing, spare … Read more
The Wall Street Journal yesterday had an interesting piece [Sub. req'd] on the value of piracy to the music industry. No, not in Tim O'Reilly's classic 'Piracy is progressive taxation' sense, but rather in figuring out what people actually want to hear.
Earlier this year, Clear Channel Communications Inc.'s Premiere Radio Networks unit began marketing data on the most popular downloads from illegal file-sharing networks to help radio stations shape their playlists. The theory is that the songs attracting the most downloads online will also win the most listeners on the radio, helping stations sell more advertising. In turn, the service may even help the record labels, because radio airplay is still the biggest factor influencing record sales....… Read more
Online community Imeem launched in August 2005, and although I wasn't familiar with the service at the time, it sounds like a blend of several popular features: social networking, instant messaging, blogging and photo sharing. At some point, the company added a feature that would let users create playlists from their personal music collections, then stream these playlists to other users. By spring 2007, the service claimed 16 million active users.
The concept was a bit like MySpace.com, and like that site, Imeem eventually drew a copyright infringement lawsuit from a major record label--Warner Music Group, in this … Read more
Owl Music Search is a cool tool that was spotlighted at a Creative Commons Salon last night. The potentially endangered Pandora and Last.fm recommend which music you'll like by matching text descriptions of albums, artists and songs. But Owl analyzes the actual waveforms of music files and matches them to similar tunes, many of which have Creative Commons licenses.
When I uploaded Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," Owl dug up 44 tracks by Loretta Lynn, Outkast, the Rolling Stones, Marilyn Manson and others, highlighting snippets of their songs that resembled parts of "Hallelujah." Owl has … Read more
A federal appeals court has declined to grant a petition by Webcasters to delay the onset of new royalty fees that they argue could imperil their offerings.
In a one-page order filed late Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the opponents of the fees "have not satisfied the stringent standards required for a stay pending court review" and rejected their request for an emergency stay.
Barring an 11th-hour agreement, then, between Internet radio operators and the music industry, the new fees are scheduled to kick in on Sunday.
Jonathan Potter, executive … Read more
With professional music software selling for hundreds of dollars, finding a comparable freeware program is no small potatoes. Audacity is an impressive open-source audio editor that has upped its own ante in the new beta version, Audacity 1.3. If you're attuned to the basics of fading and trimming, this guide urges you on the next step of your journey, mastering MP3 files for Web publishing, cell phone ringtones, and podcasts. Here are a few pointers.
If you haven't yet, download the suite of Windows plug-ins from the Linux Audio Developer's Simple Plugin API (LADSPA). When using plug-ins, remember to select the section of track you wish to affect before opening the tool. Also, if you're planning to make ringtones, check out the special tips at the end of this article.… Read more
Next Sunday, Prince fans in the United Kingdom will be able to get a new 10-song CD, Planet Earth, simply by buying a newspaper.
The Mail on Sunday has bundled CDs several times before, and they usually have sold about 2.5 million papers with these promotions. By way of comparison, the top-selling album this year reached sales of only 1.7 million copies in the U.S. as of July 4. So this is a no-brainer for Prince: he immediately gets his music into the hands of 2.5 million people, some of whom might then buy concert tickets, … Read more