Items tagged with music

With all the talk of music piracy clouding the airwaves these days, it's rather refreshing to hear some positive news about music in the digital age. And despite what the RIAA or anyone else may have you believe, music sales are still happening. Just not in the same way that they were when your mother was buying records. According to a new report, compact discs only accounted for 65% of US music sales in the first half of 2009, while digital downloads are expected to "nearly equal CD sales" by the close of 2010. What's remarkable about this is how quickly the shift in culture has taken place. Generally speaking, it takes quite some time for individuals to stop buying a mainstay and start buying... Read more...
Qtrax - the legal, ad-supported free music download site - will begin its worldwide launch in October, starting with the Asia-Pacific region.For starters, it will operate in China (including Hong Kong), Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. The official date is Oct. 29, a Thursday. By year's end, it will officially launch in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, though it already has been available as a 1.0 "preview" download in the U.S.It appears to be available only for Windows users who have Windows Media Player 11, Microsoft .Net 2.0 and DRM security update.Qtrax was announced last year and has deals with all the major music companies... Read more...
Well, well--turns out those pricing leaks from Amazon the other day were legitimate, and now Microsoft has stepped in to confirm what most of the tech-savvy world already knew. The company's next-generation Zune, and arguably the iPod's most serious competition to date, will begin to ship to US customers on September 15th, or just over a month from today.For those who can't wait to get in on the action, a slew of retailers and e-tailers are offering consumers the ability to pre-order the device, which will be made available in 16GB and 32GB capacities. The world's first touch-screen Zune will boast HD Radio support (a first for a portable music player outside of Insignia's NS-HD01) and it will,... Read more...
You know what we haven't heard much about lately? Piracy. It used to be all the rage, but after iTunes (and pretty much every other online music store) went DRM-free, it seems those stormy waters have calmed. Or, on second thought, maybe no one was talking about it. New research from the University of Hertfordshire over in the UK has found that an alarming amount of 14 to 24 years olds are still pirating an insane amount of music. How insane? Try 8,000 tracks for each person that puts on their eye patch and heads out to the digital sea. Now, we should warn you that these numbers can't be taken as 100% true. The research involved a survey, which was commissioned by none other than UK Music, so... Read more...
iHome has been pushing out iPod and iPhone docks for as long as we can remember. The company has to have literally dozens of options ranging from bottom-end to fairly nice, some of which actually double as alarm clocks. The company's latest, however, is uniquely upscale, with sound from Bongiovi Acoustics and a design that'll have anyone swooning.The iP1 is the first item in iHome's Studio Series, and the Bongiovi Acoustics Digital Power Station technology includes a processor that actively scans the recorded material and compensates for any deficiencies across the audio frequency spectrum, effectively restoring it to the sound the artist originally intended to be heard. The device outputs 100... Read more...
DRM, or Digital Rights Management, never did go over well in the court of public opinion. To the music industry at large, DRM was a mostly futile attempt to lock music down to certain players or systems, thus making it something harder--in theory, anyway--to freely distribute. In reality, however, those who were circumventing the rules in the first place just kept doing what they were doing: circumventing the rules. Meanwhile, honest music buyers were saddled with tracks that had all sorts of limitations, from where they could be played to how many times they could be burned onto a blank CD.Slowly but surely, music outlets began to turn their back on the RIAA's favorite technology, and while... Read more...
Done with Bose? Looking for something new to strap on your cranium? Audio-Technica has just the thing. The company--which is known for designing cutting-edge, high-end cans--has just issued its ATH-ANC7b QuietPoint active noise-canceling over-ear headphones. Sure, they're just improvements upon an earlier model, but aside from providing 85% noise-cancelation, listeners will find better sound quality, comfort and convenience. According to A-T, these new headphones provide a smoother, more natural tonal balance, and the earcups have been redesigned for greater comfort. In addition, the ATH-ANC7b is supplied with 1.6 m (5.2') and 1.0 m (3.3') detachable cables, and offers easier battery access.... Read more...
LaCie Introduces the First Mobile High-Definition Multimedia Player: LaCinema Rugged HD Enjoy HD movies on any HDTV One cable connection to HDTV via HDMI User-friendly graphical interface Shock-resistant and designed for mobility LaCie announced today its LaCinema Rugged multimedia hard drive is now available in High Definition – LaCinema Rugged HD. The LaCinema Rugged product range has the most compact, reliable, and mobile multimedia players on the market. Now, with enhanced HD capability, the LaCinema Rugged HD is the first multimedia player in its class, to allow users to store and play High Definition content – on any HDTV in Full-HD 1080p resolution. The LaCinema Rugged HD comes with 500GB*... Read more...
A vast majority of iPhone applications may end up abandoned, but we know of at least one app that a Los Angeles-based band simply can't do without: FourTrack. As the iPhone continues to push the envelope of what's possible on a smartphone, the band--which goes by 'The 88'--has managed to record an entire track using Apple's smartphone. It's hard to believe, but it's true.The app, which was crafted by Sonoma Wire Works, sparked an idea to jot down song ideas on the fly, and eventually the band simply used the 14 recorded tracks to create one of their published songs. The single is called "Love Is The Thing," and it's available now in the iTunes music store for $1. A video of the making process... Read more...
Record label done you wrong? Not a problem if you're Danger Mouse. In a rather bizarre story, the famed music maker and producer (who is one-half of the group Gnarls Barkley) has decided to release a blank CD as his next album. Yes, a blank CD. If you'll recall, group System Of A Down released an album a few years back entitled 'Steal This Album,' but this is a whole new level of rebellion.As the story goes, his record label (EMI) canceled his newest disc, with sources citing a "legal dispute" as the hang-up. Currently, the album is already being streamed online, and while the 13-track album can be heard that way legally, there's no indication of how long the stream will stay live. The plan is... Read more...
Napster unveiled its latest plan to compete in the subscription music space by offering a $5 per month service that is similar to what Zune users enjoy. Through Napster’s latest offering, you’ll enjoy a combination of on-demand music streaming and five tracks to download and keep each month. At that price, you basically buy five tracks each month (assuming you’re paying $1 per track) and get the subscription service as a bonus.   Under the terms of the new offer, users can listen to any track from Napster’s catalog of more than seven million songs as often as they like in CD quality. Users can also listen to more than 60 commercial-free radio stations and more than 1,400 expertly programmed... Read more...
Apple has rolled out the 100% DRM free iTunes, otherwise known as iTunes+. With this change also comes variable pricing; songs now cost $0.69, $0.99, or $1.29. Most albums still cost $9.99. Users who have purchased music via iTunes prior to the upgrade have the option to upgrade their songs, albums, or their entire library for a cost of $0.30 per song. Recording companies will choose the price of their songs, much as they did for CDs sold in store and online. The move to iTunes+ was officially announced in January at the Macworld Expo convention. With the rollout of iTunes+ today, Apple has officially done away with copy-protection technology known as DRM (digital-rights management). Without... Read more...
It's happening everywhere, really. Movie set-top boxes around the world are growing functionality at an alarming rate. Boxee has arrived on the Apple TV. Amazon Video on Demand is on Roku. And now, Pandora -- the world's most loved internet radio source, unscientifically speaking -- is on Vudu.Aside from boasting one of the largest high definition VOD lineups in the industry, Vudu can now provide its users with the smooth streaming sounds of Pandora -- and for free, of course. The music application is the first of its kind on Vudu's Rich Internet Application platform, and it's joining YouTube, Flickr, Picasa and a selection of over 120 channels of web based video content available to Vudu owners.... Read more...
Astoundingly, it looks like the darkest DRM days are behind us. As more and more companies digest the fact that DRM only hurts the legitimate buyers and gives pirates even more incentive to plunder for  illicit bounty, we're seeing the DRM shackles removed from music stores across the web. The latest major company to cast aside the chains of DRM is Vodafone, which has become the very first mobile operator on the planet to offer up its entire music catalog (for PCs and mobile phones) with absolutely no DRM. In other words, when Vodafone customers download digital tracks from it, those subscribers can then move that file to any computer or media player and listen in without worrying over compatibility.... Read more...
Although Nokia isn't the hippest brand in America -- in large part due to its reliance on unlocked sales rather than subsidized sales like with the iPhone and BlackBerry Storm -- it does have one differentiator that sets it apart from the competition: "Comes With Music." Said service launched in the UK just months ago, and generally speaking, acclaim has been high. So high, in fact, that the company is getting ready to expand it to more corners of the globe.For those unaware, "Comes With Music" is an unlimited music service that is bundled with select Nokia handsets. If you buy a CWM-enabled phone (which is slightly more expensive than the standard variant of that same phone), you can then download... Read more...
We've all heard it before -- "turn that music down, or you'll lose your hearing!" According to a European Union scientific body, said phrase has never been truer. According to new data released this week by the EU Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (what a mouthful!), up to ten million young Europeans are "in danger of damaging their hearing by playing their MP3 personal music players too loud." Rather obviously, the study found that "listening to MP3 players and other personal music players at high volumes for long periods of time could cause loss of hearing and tinnitus, a ringing sensation in the ears." In more interesting news, it also discovered that between... Read more...
Line 6, Inc., the industry leader in modeling technology for music products, announces POD Studio KB37, a powerful USB audio interface that combines a 37-key MIDI controller and multiple inputs and outputs with a complete collection of pro audio software that includes POD Farm, the premium tone plug-in."POD Studio KB37 will revolutionize the way guitarists record, just like the original POD," remarks David Dolan, Line 6 Product Marketing Manager. "It has the supreme power and flexibility that today's recording musicians demand for complete control over their software tracks, audio tracks and creative visions."POD Studio KB37 easily outperforms similar interfaces. It boasts up to 96 kHz/24-bit... Read more...
Just as blogging makes everyone a writer, and digital cameras make everyone a photographer, Microsoft is now looking to make everyone a musician with its new Songsmith software. Songsmith is actually a relatively simple program with some very complex technology behind it. Using "signal processing and artificial intelligence techniques developed at Microsoft Research" and the University of Washington, Songsmith analyzes your voice as you sing into a microphone connected to your computer, and then automatically generates musical accompaniment to compliment what you sang--think of it as your own recording studio backup band.Microsoft is positioning Songsmith as a way for both songwriting neophytes... Read more...
Hewlett-Packard's ready to release its latest MediaSmart servers, and, for a change, they don't hate the Mac.The EX485/EX487 are designed for home or home office use, in large part to enable you -- or your friends and family -- to access any media (music, photos, videos, etc.) via the Internet. You can network all your media files from all the computers in your home and create an online server that you can, in turn, make available to grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, godparents, best friends from high school, you know, anyone. It also enables an automatic backup of all these digital memories.It is based on Microsoft’s Windows Home Server operating system, but according to a pdf on HP's website,... Read more...
Early Saturday, Warner removed all of the labels music videos from YouTube after negotiations broke down regarding its licensing agreement with the Google owned video website.This development came as all four major labels including Universal Music Group, Sony Music, and EMI are in negotiations about their licensing deals with YouTube."We are working actively to find a resolution with YouTube that would enable the return of our artists' content to the site," Warner said in a statement. "Until then, we simply cannot accept terms that fail to appropriately and fairly compensate recording artists, songwriters, labels and publishers for the value they provide." YouTube has become an important revenue... Read more...
Rivals of Apple's iTunes store and technology rights groups are speaking out. They believe Apple may be unfairly blocking rival software makers from selling music on the iPhone and new iPod Touch. Currently, four out of every five songs purchased on the Internet come from the iTunes store, according to a release from Reuters. This statistic becomes ever more important as digital downloads become increasingly popular. In fact, last month, for the first time digital sales surpassed CD sales. This popularity is largely in due to Apple's ability to produce and market innovative products. Today the iPod is the standard from which other digital music players are compared. Yet, the iPod... Read more...
Songbeat has released a new version of its online music search, allowing users to search more engines simultaneously, along with the ability to play, export, and download songs. It can stream from SeeqPod, Project Playlist, Spool.fm, and iAsk, along with downloading music from your last.fm stations. To "download" the music, the Songbeat application records the live stream. According to Songbeat, this method of downloading is legal in Germany, where the company is located. The free version of Songbeat allows 25 song downloads for free, however, to get more users must download the full version of the application for $29.99. Along with the full version, Songbeat hopes to make additional revenue... Read more...
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