If you see a lot of live music in small clubs, you've probably had the experience of being blown away by a band that hardly anybody else knows about. Once in a great while, your instincts are validated by the masses--the band becomes popular and you get to brag about how you knew them back when. But more often than not, the law of averages kicks in, and the band continues to toil in obscurity for a few years before breaking up because the bass player's pregnant or the keyboardist got a high-paying corporate advertising gig. You ask … Read more
There's more at stake than usual in the Super Bowl this Sunday. There's bragging rights for not only Giants and Patriots fans, but also between Manhattan and New England clam chowder lovers nationwide. In other words, it's "chowder vs. chowda." There's even a friendly wager between New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino where the loser will donate local foods (such as pizza, Dunkin' Donuts, and chowder) to charity in the other mayor's city. So, may the best team/soup win! To get in the spirit, here's a free playlist … Read more
Peer-to-peer file-sharing generally involves free software, and much of the technology is certainly still legal in the United States (for now). However, once you start trading copyrighted material like music and movies, that's where legal problems arise. If you're trafficking, uploading or downloading copyrighted digital material without consent of the owner, you are infringing. You are also risking the possibility of massive penalties, more if the work in question has not yet been released.
The music industry is preoccupied with giveaways these days.
The latest example will come on Sunday, when New York Daily News subscribers will find an access code in their paper that they can use to retrieve three free songs from EMI Music.
Subscribers punch the code into the newspaper's Web site, Nydailynews.com and the music is theirs. They have over 120,000 tracks to choose from.
Among the songs available is an unreleased track, "It's Love" by Ringo Starr. The promotion will also run on the following Sunday, the day of the Grammy awards.
Combining … Read more
After walking the floor of this year's Consumer Electronics Showcase (CES), I've seen the future of MP3 players, and it's dull. In 2008, it seems manufacturers are becoming more content with the idea that they'll never compete with the iPod in the hearts and minds of consumers. Unfortunately, there's still a noticeable lemming effect that keeps manufacturers pumping out Nano clones despite their better judgment. As Apple's own iPod prices keep declining, however, and their iTunes software becomes stronger, the incentive for consumers to buy non-iPod MP3 players will inevitably shrink. In order to adapt (and possibly coexist) with an increasingly iPod world, why don't manufacturers throw out their stale B-grade MP3 players and start seizing the unique opportunities to create niche devices for today's Long Tail marketplace? After all, there are problems to be solved with MP3 players that no one--not even Apple--has been able to figure out yet.
For instance, here's something that has always puzzled me:… Read more
At first blush, Qtrax seemed like a good idea.
Executives there wooed reporters by promising to corral illegal file sharing. They built an interface on top of the Gnutella network where millions of songs are pirated. They pledged to offer users a legal way to download and share music.
Qtrax managers said they had convinced the big record labels that it could turn file sharing into a cash cow for them. They said all four of the most powerful labels were on board.
But on Monday, Qtrax was more than 12 hours late launching its music service. A day earlier, … Read more
If Amazon's music store going international wasn't enough digital music news for you today, 7digital took the liberty of announcing its international roll-out plans today, and its CEO took time out to talk to us one-on-one.
The DRM-free 7digital download store is often discussed alongside iTunes, eMusic, and Amazon as a major player in the music download world. It was one of the first online stores to host EMI's DRM-free catalog and now offers more than 3 million tracks, the majority of which are sans-DRM.
Today it announced it's set to receive 4.25 million pounds … Read more
Social media site Imeem announced Monday that it has purchased Anywhere.fm, a small San Francisco start-up that has created an online music player and Web radio technology. No financial terms were disclosed.
This acquisition is clearly about the technology. Anywhere.fm, founded less than a year ago and funded by Y Combinator, has created software that allows users to upload their MP3 collections to the Web and then stream them through their browsers. This could help out Imeem in the user experience department; the service has been criticized for being somewhat difficult to use. A release from Imeem hinted … Read more
For years the music industry has fought the idea that music should be free. Today, it has decided to play along.
In a sign that the music labels are finally desperate enough to experiment with new models of distribution and monetization, more and more bands and their labels are following in the footsteps of Radiohead to discover that "free" can pay.
Now a host of new services, with the backing of major labels, are promising to revolutionise how music is distributed by offering millions of tracks, from much-hyped wannabes to established acts such as U2, for nothing.
Competing for attention at the Midem trade show, the services promise a global jukebox, paying for the free music by attracting advertising. Meanwhile, some acts are queueing up to swap their deals with labels for agreements with big advertisers which would further blur the line between bands and brands.… Read more
There's another way besides certain popular video games to emulate your favorite guitar heroes--have them teach you themselves.
An Atlanta-based start-up is launching iVideosongs.com on Tuesday at the Demo Conference in Palm Springs, Calif. Users can pay to download videos of famous guitarists and expert music teachers giving detailed musical instruction in high definition.
For $9.99 each, artists such as Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jeff Carlisi of .38 Special, and Alex Lifeson of Rush, spend time demonstrating how to play all the different parts of some of their most famous songs. The lessons are … Read more