Items tagged with music

We haven't played with this yet but it looks pretty promising.  Those of you that struggle with Apple's rather restrictive practices when it comes to taking your music that is on your iPod to another machine, might want to check out the freeware package, SharePod.  An intuitive utility for the iPod, iTouch and iPhone, SharePod gives you a myriad of file management capabilities that enable you to backup, share and change the presentation of your media.  In other words, where there's a will, there's a way...  SharePod's "Copy to PC" interface, courtesy: SharePod And from SharePod's creators SharePod is easy to use and works! Here’s some of the main features: Add & remove... Read more...
If you are old enough to remember what MTV was like back in the 80's, then somewhere in the far recesses of your mind--sandwiched between memories of Pet Rocks and scrunchies--you once knew that when MTV first launched, "MTV" actually stood for "Music Television." With seemingly back-to-back reality shows and teen dramas now, you'd think that the folks over at MTV forgot all about the popular culture revolution they helped launch. Well, it turns out they haven't forgotten about their origins, they've just been busy digitizing those early music videos for inclusion on the newly launched, MTVMusic.com site. "For all of you haters out there griping about how MTV doesn't play music videos anymore,... Read more...
MySpace Music was expected to be successful, but this successful? It was launched at 12 AM EDT on Sept. 25th, and despite that short period of time, it has already streamed over a billion songs (and yes, we have contributed to that streaming). In comparison, (though obviously not fair as iTunes is a pay service, while MySpace Music streams for free) it took Apple nearly 3 years, from April 28, 2003 to February 23, 2006, for its one billionth music download. MySpace hasn't provided info such as username, song played or the like, but it did say the following: We’re extremely pleased with the launch of MySpace Music—clearly our users around the world are engaged and excited about the new music experience... Read more...
It's no secret that music sales comprised of physical media (i.e. CDs) are down in the face of huge competition from iTunes and other digital distribution channels.  At the same time, no one ever said the record labels would give up on physical sales easily.  Today SanDisk, along with the four major record labels (Warner Bros., EMI, Sony BMG and Universal Music Group) have announced a new format: slotMusic. slotMusic is essentially a microSD card with an album on it, and the partners plan to roll it out in time for the holiday season.According to the format's official site, Wal-Mart and Best Buy are already lined up to stock the cards.With slotMusic, songs will be loaded onto what are... Read more...
All right, readers, we're sure some among you participate in the downloading of somewhat dicey material (read: copyrighted). If you could have a license to illegally download as much as you wanted - and yes, we suppose, if you had a license, it would no longer be illegal - how would you feel about it?On the other hand, if you had to pay such a fee (tax?) even if you didn't download illegally, how would you feel about it?Those are the questions on the table as rumors fly about such a possible fee in the U.K. The Independent reports that today John Hutton, the Business Secretary, and Andy Burnham, the Culture Secretary, will unveil proposals which include ISPs sending letters to thousands of repeat... Read more...
Yes, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Prize winner and internationally known humanitarian, is a fan of free music. Don't read that to mean he supports illegally downloading music, however.Tutu has become involved with SOS Records, a label that plans to let users decide which acts it signs. Tutu was in New York on Tuesday to help launch the label's site, which will offer open MP3s free of charge.In a telephone interview with CNET News.com, Tutu, famous for helping to end forced segregation of blacks in his home country of South Africa, said that after hearing about the idea from SOS Records' CEO Steve Nowack--during a chance meeting in an airport--Tutu instantly loved the idea."I am participating... Read more...
As though we need still another reason to hate DRM, here comes one.  Remember the now-defunct MSN Music store?  Hopefully you weren't one of the few to use it.Customers who have purchased music from Microsoft's now-defunct MSN Music store are now facing a decision they never anticipated making: commit to which computers (and OS) they want to authorize forever, or give up access to the music they paid for. Why? Because Microsoft has decided that it's done supporting the service and will be turning off the MSN Music license servers by the end of this summer.MSN Entertainment and Video Services general manager Rob Bennett sent out an e-mail this afternoon to customers, advising them to... Read more...
Put this in your rumor bucket for now, but the Financial Times says Apple is in discussion with the music industry over a possible "all you can eat" music plan for iTunes.Apple is in discussions with the big music companies about a radical new business model that would give customers free access to its entire iTunes music library in exchange for paying a premium for its iPod and iPhone devices.The “all you can eat” model, a replica of Nokia’s “comes with music” deal with Universal Music last December, could provide the struggling recorded music industry with a much-needed fillip, and drive demand for a new generation of Apple’s hardware. It very much seems out of character for Apple.  Apple... Read more...
Various companies and even the RIAA have either settled with or won numerous law suits against pirates and/or networks that allow piracy such as the old Napster or Kazaa.  We're talking at least 9-figures worth of damages awarded and/or settlements paid off, but yet the artists don't seem to be getting paid:"Artist managers and lawyers have been wondering for months when their artists will see money from the copyright settlements and how it will be accounted for," said lawyer John Branca, who has represented Korn, Don Henley, and The Rolling Stones, among others."Some of them are even talking about filing lawsuits if they don't get paid soon."It would be an incredibly ironic end to the music... Read more...
iTunes recently overtook BestBuy to be the nation's #2 retailer of music.  If the sales trends continue, it's only a matter of time until Walmart is toppled.“The latest sales figures, which holds every 12 songs downloaded as the equivalent of an entire CD, is not just a win for Apple, but also proves that the entire paid digital music download industry is rapidly growing. According to NPD, legal digital downloads "sharply" increased in 2007. Interestingly, there was also a 10 percent decline in overall music spending -- most likely because online digital music retailers give consumers the ability to purchase single songs in place of entire albums.”We can't help but wonder if major retailers... Read more...
As with all rumors, please take the following news item with a grain of salt until we can receive official confirmation or denial from Yahoo.Yahoo may be attempting to break into the MP3 download business sometime in 2008.  At this stage it appears that Yahoo is in preliminary talks with various players in the music industry, and nothing appears to be finalized just yet.“The talks, held as recently as last month, were preliminary because Yahoo is still working out the details, said the executives, who requested anonymity because of the discussions were confidential."Having an industry stalwart like Yahoo jump into the fray could prove interesting.  It's also hard not to wonder if Google... Read more...
It wasn't all that long ago that online music vendors starting selling DRM-free tracks, often at a small premium and/or small loss of audio fidelity.  At the time it was viewed by some as a marketing experiment to see if people would pay more to avoid  headaches related to Digital Rights Management, and now it appears that there is a definitive answer to that question:“DRM-free music sells at a much higher rate online than protected music, according to UK-based digital music store 7 Digital. In fact, customers buy it four times as often as they do DRMed music. As a result, almost 80 percent of the store's sales are of DRM-free content. 7 Digital may not sound familiar to some, but it... Read more...
There hasn't been much love lost between NBC Universal and Apple, especially in the wake of the PR battle that recently took place when NBC announced they were not renewing their contract to have their programming available via iTunes after their current contract is up.  Whatever the true reason for that particular decision, it seems that the PR battle is continuing, this time with NBC Chief Exec Jeff Zucker claiming that Apple destroyed music pricing as we know/knew it."We know that Apple has destroyed the music business -- in terms of pricing -- and if we don’t take control, they’ll do the same thing on the video side," Zucker said at a breakfast hosted by Syracuse’s Newhouse School of... Read more...
Since Amazon MP3 opened, it's been obvious that Apple would have to respond to its lower prices, and they have, by lowering prices on its unprotected music files to match at 99 cents.While there is no reason to think that Amazon has taken the market by storm, it’s clear that it is a competitive force. If iPod users decide to try Amazon’s store in order to save 30 cents a track, suddenly the iTunes would become less central to the online music business. Nothing would do more to please the music labels, which have been increasingly concerned that Apple is dictating the terms of their business.Amazon still has advantages, with MP3 format vs AAC, and with tracks from Universal Music Group. ... Read more...
The RIAA has prevailed in its suit against a Minnesota woman, who they accused of uploading 1700 music files, for copyright infringement. The jury of twelve awarded the plaintiffs a whopping $222,000 dollars.The verdict, coming after two days of testimony and about five hours of deliberations, was a mixed victory for the RIAA, which has brought more than 20,000 lawsuits in the last four years as part of its zero-tolerance policy against pirating. The outcome is likely to embolden the RIAA, which began targeting individuals in lawsuits after concluding the legal system could not keep pace with the ever growing number of file-sharing sites and services. Still, it's unlikely the RIAA's courtroom... Read more...
Internet retail giant Amazon.com today launched its "Amazon MP3" digital music download service. The 2 million songs available come without Digital Rights  Management restrictions, and will play on most any device  that can handle a sound file. Most songs are priced from 89 cents to 99 cents, with more than 1 million of the 2 million songs priced at 89 cents. The top 100 best-selling songs are 89 cents, unless marked otherwise. Most albums are priced from $5.99 to $9.99. The top 100 best-selling albums are $8.99 or less, unless marked otherwise. Every song on Amazon MP3 is encoded at 256 kilobits per second, which gives customers high audio quality at a manageable... Read more...
The music industry just can't admit that the CD, although not dead, is dying.  The latest attempt to save the medium, the "ringle" combines three songs with a ringtone for one price.  But the price they are suggesting isn't one that is likely to grab many buyers. The original version of the song, plus a remix and an older song would be combined with a ringtone download for a single price. While the RIAA has approved the "ringle" term and plans to push for it industry-wide, only Universal and Sony BMG have signed on so far. Ringles will retail for $6-$7 USD, and it is believed that stores will pay around $4 per disc to carry them. So far, Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy and Amazon have... Read more...
Wal-Mart has joined the likes of Amazon.com and iTunes today - it is offering MP3 downloads, free of DRM.  Much as it's hard to applaud anything Wal-Mart does, it is a major step when the world's largest retailer signs up. Wal-Mart announces the launch of "DRM-free" MP3 music downloads, now available online at https://www.walmart.com. At only 94 cents per track and $9.22 per album, the new MP3 digital format delivers value, convenience and the ability for customers to play music on nearly any device, including iPod(R), iPhone(R) and Zune(TM) portable media players. Wal-Mart is one of the first major retailers to offer MP3 digital tracks with music content from major record labels such as Universal... Read more...
It's been said that if you want DRM-free music, take your CD and rip it to your hard drive.  But everytime you do something like this, you lose something: quality.  The compression involved in creating the MP3 file reduces the fidelity of the sound.  But this is something we've all become used to, and it's still as good as the original, right? Not really. For purists, it's the dark ages of recorded sound. "You can get used to awful," says record producer Phil Ramone. "You can appreciate nothing. We've done it with fast food." MP3s have won the war of the formats because of technology, not because of their audio quality. "It's like hearing through a screen door," says... Read more...
Perhaps signalling another nail in the coffin of DRM, Universal Music Group has announced that it will begin a test program of DRM-free music sales, starting August 21st and lasting through January 31st of next year.  Surprisingly, the songs will not be available through iTunes, which has already been selling DRM-free music from EMI, though for a higher price than normal ($1.29 vs. 99¢). Universal, the world’s biggest music conglomerate, said it would offer albums and songs without the software, known as digital rights management, through existing digital music retail services like RealNetworks and Wal-Mart, nascent services from Amazon.com and Google, and some artists’ Web sites.The... Read more...
A new worm has been unleashed that has the capability of deleting MP3 files. Known as the Deletemusic worm, it uses removable devices as a vector. Once the infected device gets accessed, the worm starts its work. It first multiplies onto all drives and is executed when Windows fires up. “‘With so many people relying on their PCs to store their digital music, rather than physical CDs, a worm capable of deleting an entire MP3 collection could leave someone thousands of pounds out of pocket,’ said Orla Cox, Security Operations Manager, Symantec Security Response. ‘We would recommend all users with MP3 files on their PCs to remain cautious about the removable media devices they are using in their... Read more...
Compared a year ago, digital music sales are now double what they used to be. However, the research report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) also said that the music industry as a whole continues to slump. Although digital music sales are still growing quickly, the growth has not kept up with shrinking CD sales. In fact, for seven consecutive years, global music sales have declined. From 2005-2006, sales figures dropped 5% from $19.6 billion to $20.7 billion. Perhaps what is happening is that digital music sales are becoming a substitute for CDs. However, the overall decline in music sales may lie in the fact that with digital music, consumers can mix and match... Read more...
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