The beginning. Now... what's next? Photo courtesy Pioneer.

Pioneer Reminisces About CDJ’s Evolution; Building Up to New Release? [Video]

Pioneer DJ is celebrating its 20th anniversary with some looks back, starting with a celebrity-packed video that recalls the evolution – and impact – of the CDJ. The material is basic (yes, we kind of know what a CDJ is and how vinyl works), but it’s charming to see this star-studded roster take us back through time. And it’s tough to overstate the CDJ’s role in modern DJ culture. I can’t count the number of CDJ sets I see, even in the age of laptops. (I can count the number of iPad sets I’ve seen – that’d be on one …

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Augmented Reality CDs into DJ Tools; DJing with SoundCloud, Clock Faces, More

First Augmented Reality Music CD :: Latrama :: Love & Projects :: from musikame on Vimeo. Want the CD as object to come alive again? Here’s yet another approach: make it into an input for webcam-based augmented reality. The album “Love & Projects” by Latrama uses the packaging to trigger augmented reality “DJing” of the playlist. Put the CD in front of your webcam, head to a browser-based tool, and you get turntable controls for playing the album live, complete with scratching, pitch, delay, filter, and volume controls. There are more downloads available, as well. Of course, this raises the …

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Last Days of Compact Disco: Album Lovers Hand-Make Musical Objects

While Mac blog TUAW calls on Apple to kill optical drives (does Apple need that kind of encouragement?), the shiny digital compact disc and the album in general still have their devotees. Sure, album sales are down. Sure, digital downloads are in. But look beyond business or practicality for a moment at these exotic hand-constructed musical objects, and what you see is sheer love. A hand-constructed CD or vinyl album is a gesture of making music for someone, not for the ether. I raised the issue early last month, and readers responded with lots of examples of handmade records, which …

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Reclaim the Album’s Soul: Tips for Handmade CD Artwork, Make One Sunday

You hear the repeated chorus: music in the digital age has become meaningless and valueless, like turning on water from a tap in the middle of Rome. But, quietly, a movement is stirring that is reclaiming the value of music. Armed with nothing more sophisticated than markers, paper, collage materials, and imagination, they send mixes of music like grade school Valentines. Heck, they even use the mail. It makes the album more personal than it was even in its golden, mass-produced age. Many of the practitioners in this case are returning to the cassette and mix tape. But I was …

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bpitchcontrol Releases Telefon Tel Aviv’s “immolate yourself”

Ellen Allien’s Berlin-based label bpitchcontrol this week released Telefon Tel Aviv’s third album, which we’ve sadly just learned will be a posthumous release for the duo’s Charlie Cooper. “immolate yourself“ unites ten tracks with the aim to give the term electro pop a new definition for 2009. although each track has its own story to tell, together they paint a bigger picture that encapsulates the telefon tel aviv sound. arguably the albums standout track “helen and troy“ was in fact the last track to be finished and in a way marked the studio climax. as telefon tel aviv state, “we …

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ISO Releases Standard for Care and Feeding of Your CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs

The ubiquitous shiny disc. Photo: “Fanch The System.” There’s a massive misconception of digital formats, that somehow if something’s digital it’ll last forever in a pristine state. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth: because digital formats are so intolerant of any error, they’re actually more susceptible to physical harm than analog formats. (If you don’t believe me, compare a vinyl LP with some scratches on it to a CD with a single scratch.) Now, the question is, how dedicated are you to proper care and feeding of your discs? Enough to care whether you’re handling your CDs …

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Digital DJ Controllers: A Hybrid Numark Turntable, Stanton Sans Vinyl

Since this week has become Unplanned Unofficial Vinyl Week, I might as well keep going. Vinyl with printed timecode is just one path. Here are two examples (one recent, one upcoming) of products that have found other means of connecting digital sound to the turntable. If a product like Traktor Scratch or Serato Scratch Live represent the maturation of the integrated vinyl + hardware + software solution, these two tools virtualize the turntable experience in other ways. And they demonstrate just how much control technology can change in music, turntable or no. The Numark X2, above, as pointed out by …

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Pay What You Will for Nine Inch Nails, from Free to $300

Trent sez: “Buy all these music formats from meeeeeeeeeee!” Photo: Jenna Foxton. Artists are known to mouth off a bit about the Future of Music and Digital Distribution and whatnot, but Trent Reznor is putting his money — and not money — where his mouth is. Nine Inch Nails Menu of Ordering Options for Ghosts I-IV via Mashable: Practice What You Preach: Nine Inch Nails Gives Away New Album And they certainly have their bases covered with their new album “Ghosts”: Get the first volume of the album free on torrent sites (or via the NIN site) Pay US$5 for …

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Beyond The Apple – Wal-Mart Music Landscape

Above: The future of iTunes? By dave_mcmt. By now, you’ve likely heard that Apple’s iTunes Music Store has taken the #2 spot in music sales — all music sales — right behind retailer giant Wal-Mart. This tends to lead to one of two somewhat gloating reactions from Apple advocates. One is a sort of “rah, rah, go Apple!” attitude. The other is along the lines of “hurrah, discs are dead, go throw your CDs in with your eight tracks and vinyl while we leap into the future!” A typical sentiment comes from Scott McNulty on The Unofficial Apple Weblog: “I …

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Want to Encourage CD Sales? Add Crack, Guns

An RIAA/District Attorney training video warns about the dangers of CD spindles. But what could be inside? Photo: Hackintosh, apparently the Martha Stewart of hacker cuisine based on this innovation. Suffice to say, we at CDM discourage pirating music. I should hasten to add, though, that we’re also generally opposed to terrorism, illegal firearms, and narcotics — just in case there’s any doubt. According to a training film produced by the National District Attorneys Association and Recording Industry Association of America, and leaked on the Interwebs (doh!), these things typically go hand in hand. In the course of the film, …

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