As though timed to coincide with the much-anticipated release of indie rock powerhouse The Arcade Fire's album release this week (it's a must-listen, by the way), Monday night's monthly NY Tech Meetup at Cooper Union featured a trio of Gotham-based start-ups devoted to spreading the buzz about independent music. One's a marketplace; one's an ongoing competition; and one's a way to discover what the people who are discovering new music are discovering (in other words, an aggregator).
Internet radio services are set to see a rise in the fees they pay record companies for Webcasting their songs.
According to Wired News' Listening Post blog, the U.S. Copyright Board on Friday announced new royalty rates, effective starting 2006 up until 2010. Under the new rules, stations will owe a retroactive rate of $0.0008 for streaming each song to each listener in 2006. Rates go up from there, reaching as high as $0.0019 per song by 2010.
From the very moment Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple iPhone at MacWorld two months ago, every corner of the tech world has been buzzing that the thing would be too darned expensive. Indeed, we said the very same thing in our initial analysis of the device. Apple is asking a lot of people to pay $599 for the 8GB version of the iPhone, particularly when that also comes with a two-year contract to Cingular. And what's more, a few studies conducted since January indicate that very few people (one study cited just 1 percent of respondents) would pay that … Read more
Given the countless ways that have been devised to encase the iPod, we're surprised that it's taken so long for the latest trend to reach the ubiquitous music player: lumber.
As wood has become popular for everything from computers and laptop cases to TVs and cameras, it seems no-brainer to apply sylvan designs to iPods and MP3 players, as Tokyomango notes that Japanese toy maker Asuka Kobo has done. Then again, maybe it has something to do with the way they look. Somehow, wood just doesn't seem appropriate for the sleek design of the media player, no … Read more
Almost exactly one year ago, LL International--parent company of Dada footwear--quietly announced the Code M system, a "proprietary, patent-pending wireless technology application for footwear that delivers both audio and data." Today, I'm refreshing my original Alpha Blog here to remind us all of the original design of these--how shall we say? Awesome shoes. You may be rightly wondering why, and the reason is twofold. First, we've just recently managed to get our hands on a preproduction pair of said footwear, and the final sale model is due for review any day now. Second, I once again … Read more
This will be a weekly article tracking the most popular ringtones.
Ah, to be Chris Brown. The 18-year-old has a double-platinum album, was nominated for a Grammy, and has no problems with the ladies. But now, in even more exciting news, his single "Poppin'" is the top ringtone in the United States this week, according to Billboard.
The second hottest ringtone is Buckcherry's "Crazy B****." A catchy tune, yes, but you might run into trouble if you assign it to your girlfriend's number.
Proving that they're not dead yet, the Canadian rock band … Read more
Who would have thought that the latest design trend for iPod docks would be tubes? And no, we don't mean the Internet(s).
The Roth version doesn't have speakers but does sport the same mad-scientist-lab look of the Japanese version and promises superior quality at its price of 400 pounds, or about $768 (which is a bit … Read more
If nothing else, this musical instrument is worth mentioning because it's not one of those infernal USB guitars that are encouraging middle-aged men everywhere to make fools of themselves. Ion's "USB Electronic Wind Instrument" looks like a futuristic clarinet but does a lot more, offering "a range of woodwind, brass, string, synthesizer, percussion and other instruments straight from your computer."
Chip Chick notes that the instrument also comes with its own software and touch-sensitive buttons that can vary pitches and blends for truly original arrangements. That could be a good or a bad thing, … Read more
Gadgets that light up to musical rhythms are everywhere, but they're generally stationary. That's where the "Robotic Laser Ball" has them beat. This disco bot actually hits the dance floor on its own and "gyrates violently and flashes lights in time to your music," according to Red Ferret, for 50 seconds at a time. But keep an eye on it--the ball measures only about 4 inches in diameter, so it could get stepped on.
We're not terribly fond of gadgets that change colors just for the sake of doing so--some Cravers are downright indignant, in fact--but this one may be an exception. If nothing else, Aigo's "Omnisphere" deserves at least some credit for its sheer number of colors: 4,096 of them in "high-illumination LED," according to Gadget Candy.