It's hard enough to keep up with a digital music collection spanning thousands of tunes over gigabytes of disk space, but what do you do if you have LP records, cassette tapes, Edison wax cylinders, and other musical media? Duck Software's Album Tracker can help music lovers get a handle on their ever-expanding libraries. It's a highly customizable music database that lets you organize your music by genre as well as title, artist, and other typical categories. It's not a music or media player and doesn't try to reorganize or convert your library; it simply … Read more
Fate smiled on Mark Gorton this week.
The founder of file-sharing company Lime Wire agreed on Thursday to pay $105 million to the Recording Industry Association of America to settle a 5-year-old copyright case. Sure, that's a lot, but consider that the settlement figure is equal to only 7 percent of the $1.4 billion the RIAA sought.
This is likely the final chapter for LimeWire, after 10 years in operation. The two sides agreed to settle a year to the day after U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood ruled that Gorton was liable for willful copyright infringement. Later, Wood ordered that the LimeWire peer-to-peer network be shut down. The financial agreement between Gorton and the labels came amid a jury trial to determine how much Gorton would have to pay in damages.
For fans of cheap, easy-to-obtain music, a few modest reasons for hope sprung up during the two-week-long damages trial.
Edgar Bronfman, CEO of Warner Music Group, one of the four largest record companies, said under oath that he supported the unbundling of music. You might be saying to yourself: "So what?" People have had access to unbundled music for a decade now, thanks to services like iTunes and, yes, LimeWire. All I can tell you is that there are plenty of decision makers at the labels who believe the industry won't recover until consumers are buying albums again. … Read more
Nero Kwik Media is a light and free media manager with which you can organize, edit, and share your music, photos, videos, and data. Imagine iTunes and iPhoto rolled into one, then trimmed in half. While this download is technically "free," there is one caveat: you'll have to purchase some of its functionality in the form of "apps" listed in Nero's built-in store. Sure, most of these add-ons aren't too expensive, but it's a shame that a few of them (like Nero Kwik Play, a video decoder) don't come with the … Read more
The analog vs. digital debate has been raging for nearly three decades, and there's still no clear winner, because it's really just a matter of personal preference. I'm fine with that, but there's a lot of sniping in the analog/digital wars, and each side never misses an opportunity to put down the other side as misguided, deaf, just plain stupid, or worse. Each side claims its chosen format is superior and the opposite's is garbage.
I'm an analog guy, but I'd admit that analog's distortions, speed variations, and noise/hiss make … Read more
The Audiophiliac Steve Guttenberg makes an unusual midweek appearance on today's 404 episode and as usual, the discussion topics cover Steve's audiocentric stream of consciousness with a touch of disillusionment, like a Web site that takes the creativity out of naming your band, a mask that enhances audio, the unnatural origins of 3D, and the degrading quality of CD-Rs over time.The 404 Digest for Episode 802 Korn and Hoobastank should've used Band Name Maker. Tape Op magazine offers free subscriptions to print edition. Add Steve Guttenberg on Twitter. Check out Steve's blog on all things audio, The Audiophiliac. Episode 802 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Reports of the death of the CD have been greatly exaggerated. With sales hovering around 326 million units in the U.S. in 2010, the CD still generates a sizable hunk of income for the music business. You may not give a hoot about that, but if you care about sound quality, it still makes sense to buy a great-sounding CD player. I buy one or two CDs a week on average, and as I recently pointed out, it may be a very long time before iTunes or Amazon ever get around to selling CD-quality downloads. Why waste your money … Read more
You could either junk your obsolete CD player or give it a full makeover like this elaborate project by Russian site Steampunker. The player was stripped down to its innards and transplanted into a custom retro-styled chassis crafted out of wood and brass. Special touches such as analog dials and matching legs were also added.
To complete the audio system, a pair of PC speakers was given a similar overhaul in a vintage-looking cabinet for handling sound reproduction. Instructions for assembling this contraption are available here.
MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer questions e-mailed from our readers. This week we have questions on the OS X keychain not saving passwords, internal speakers no longer working on a MacBook Pro, an external optical drive not reading some discs, and Apple's FaceTime application not running. We continually answer e-mail questions, and though we present a few here, we certainly welcome alternative approaches and views from readers and encourage you to post your suggestions in the comments.
Question: OS X Keychain not saving passwords
MacFixIt reader "Raul" asks:
My OS X Keychain does … Read more
Warner Music Group is reportedly entertaining acquisition offers even as the third-largest record company continues to pursue its own acquisition of troubled rival label EMI.
The New York Times reported that after being approached by buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Warner Music hired Goldman Sachs to seek out buyers. Instead of selling to KKR, Warner's management wanted to see what kind of price it could get on the open market.
Warner Music is home to such artists as Green Day, Faith Hill, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. According to the Times' story, Warner's private-equity investors want Warner … Read more
PITMAN, N.J.--In this corner of the music universe, you won't find many limousines, groupies, or people lighting guitars on fire.
While the public often associates the music business with jet-setting rock stars and lavish living, this place is marked by minivans, Phillies and Eagles fans, and, very soon, people without work.
Pitman, which has 9,365 residents and is about 17 miles southeast of Philadelphia, is home to one of Sony's two remaining U.S.-based CD-manufacturing plants--until March 31. After that, the company will shutter the facility and 300 workers will be out of jobs. … Read more