Update, Thursday 1/30: Today, I received a followup e-mail from Audiolife CEO and co-founder Brandon Hance. Audiolife has changed its cut on digital album downloads from $3.50 to $3.00, and on digital singles from $0.35 to $0.30. The company has also posted a detailed price list, including prices for different configurations of t-shirts. I've modified the original post accordingly.I stumbled across a new service on Wednesday that, at first glance, seems to trump CD Baby for selling CDs online.
Update 10:30 a.m. PST: Added new information, including comments from Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio).
President Obama on Monday signed an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency to immediately review its denial of California's request to set auto emissions standards stricter than the national standards, saying, "the days of Washington dragging its heels are over."
Obama commended California for trying to forge tougher fuel efficiency standards and said, "Instead of standing as a partner, Washington stood in their way."
The president also said new fuel efficiency standards should … Read more
Social news site Reddit, which was acquired by Conde Nast's Wired Digital division two years ago, has announced the start of a new strategy to distribute its technology around the Web. It's partnered with the U.K.'s Independent newspaper to install Reddit technology on its Web site and encourage readers to vote up and down on the news.
While a prominent button for the Independent's internal voting system will appear on each of the publication's online news stories (these will show up in a few weeks), it will also accept links submitted from around the … Read more
Hey, indie bands. Does MySpace Music's big focus on the major labels make you sad? iLike wants to hear from you--literally.
The "social music" company, best-known for its add-on apps for Facebook and iTunes, has partnered with music distribution start-up TuneCore so that unsigned artists can market their music through iLike and get royalties when it's streamed there.
TuneCore already lets independent artists sell their music through iTunes, Amazon MP3, and Rhapsody, which has a deal with iLike (and MTV and Yahoo).
It's not surprising that a company such as iLike would choose to make … Read more
No, this isn't that Aaron Sorkin thing.
The movie, called One Track Mind, is a surf-theme movie created by Woodshed Films, the production company behind a number of outdoors-focused productions, including several created by crunchy singer-songwriter Jack Johnson. It'll be available on Facebook Thursday and Friday, and a live-chat session with director Chris Malloy will take place on Thursday evening.
The film and video chat session will be broadcast … Read more
IODA, the indie-music distributor, has gone through a round of layoffs, the company confirmed Wednesday.
The "reduction in workforce" took place a couple of weeks ago and affected mostly the technology and administrative units, according to Heather Staples, a spokeswoman for the company. A source affiliated with San Francisco-based IODA, which stands for Independent Online Distribution Alliance, said the company trimmed staffing by 15 percent. Staples declined to disclose how many employees were let go, but she said it was less than 15. She did say the company now has 75 employees.
"There was some belt tightening … Read more
When the history of the early 21st century is written, I'm afraid Radiohead will be included for pioneering a new business model rather than their groundbreaking music. Last year's digital-first release of In Rainbows allowed users to pay whatever they wanted for the download. Now there's an entire Web site devoted to pay-what-you-like: Aralie.com. It's a no-risk way for listeners to discover new music from independent bands.
It's also a no risk-way for independent musicians to get some exposure: it costs nothing to upload a song, there's no contract involved so you can … Read more
Back in January, social music service Last.fm announced that it would be launching something called the Artist Royalty Program that allows unsigned artists to reap royalties each time one of their songs is played through the site's ad-supported streaming music feature or Web radio. (They just have to upload their music first.)
On Wednesday, the service announced that the Artist Royalty Program had gone live and that more than 450,000 tracks have been uploaded in conjunction with it.
"We're leveling the playing field by offering them the same opportunities as established bands to make money … Read more
Au revoir, les enfants de Microsoft. C'est bien l'heure de Linux ici en France!
This was the French police's message to Microsoft today, putting the icing on the open source cake it started baking back in 2005 with a move of 70,000 Windows XP desktops to Ubuntu Linux.
The process and the motives are clear:
"We will introduce Linux every time we have to replace a desktop computer," [Colonel Nicolas Geraud, deputy director of the gendarmerie's IT department] said, "so this year we expect to change 5,000-8,000 to Ubuntu and then 12,000-15,000 over the next four years so that every desktop uses the Linux operating system by 2013-2014."… Read more
Last year about this time, several independent Mac software developers teamed up to put together a bundle of nine award-winning Mac apps for the vastly reduced price of $49--with 25 percent of the purchase price donated to the charity of your choice (chosen from a list). The whole thing took place at a very well-designed site called MacHeist.com and more than 16,000 users snapped up the limited time offer--it was really a great deal! The fun part about the offer was that the developers of MacHeist made it into a kind of scavenger hunt by letting users search … Read more