Apple’s Ping Launch is a Dud, But The Web is Alive with the Sound of Music

“ping” came before Ping – and it might just outlast it. Photo (CC-BY) Noah Sussman. And yes, when I asked readers about Ping, a number of people referred me to this one. Before diving into the litany of gripes from artists regarding Apple’s Ping social service, it’s worth saying: some critics say they expected better. Many artists want a smarter, more social iTunes. That’s the only reason anyone is spending time talking about the service’s perceived flaws. Cellist and laptop musician Zoë Keating, an independent artist with collaborations from Imogen Heap to DJ Shadow, reminded me of that via Twitter. …

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Preview: The Chemical Brothers Go Audiovisual for New Album ‘Further’

Out today in the US is the new release from The Chemical Brothers, ‘Further.’ From what I’ve heard so far, expect a full-bodied, raucous record of sounds, neither particularly retro nor modern. I’m withholding judgment on how successful the direction is until I spend some quality time with it. I find it interesting that the press materials suggest the result should sound a bit like a live set – and I likewise look forward to seeing the act live when they come to New York in early September. What’s also interesting about this release is that it’s an audiovisual album. …

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Music Game Revolution, Now Indie Friendly, as Rock Band Network Goes Live

They are the robots: Flight of the Conchords. Now, you are the robots, too, as Rock Band Network opens the indie floodgates to the music-distribution-as-game model. (And yes, you’ll get to sing along with the Conchords, too.) Photo (CC-BY-SA) kris krüg. Music games Rock Band and Guitar Hero are simple enough in terms of gameplay, but testifying to the power of people’s passion for music, their impact has been staggering. At a time when purchasing recorded music has waned from a 90s peak, downloads for games are proving surprising growth, despite pundits predicting the segment would cool off. The talents …

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TouchDJ Arrives for iPhone

You’re now approved to DJ with your iPhone. Or at least the app is. I’m not sure if I can take credit for getting Apple’s attention, but Apple has approved the TouchDJ application from Amidio. That’s big news, partly because developer Amidio has consistently been at the forefront of musical development on the platform, including their Noise.io synth and wild hexagonal JR Hexatone Pro. This also is a big blog to the theory that Apple is intentionally blocking DJ apps — and a big boon to the theory that the App Store is just plain clogged, even if it may …

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iPhone Developer Limbo, Sonorasaurus, and Music as an Application

Yesterday, I talked about two complaints of music developers writing applications for the iPhone. These come from developers who are really iPhone fans, who just want to get their software released and (for many music devs) better categorized on Apple’s store. Pajamahouse Studios, maker of the new Sonorasaurus remix application, follow up with a more detailed explanation of their situation. These are not rejections; at least rejections are generally accompanied with some sort of suggestion of what would need to be changed. They represent the dreaded iPhone developer “limbo,” in which an application is neither rejected nor approved. For Sonorasaurus, …

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Rant – Congratulations, Apple: “Syncing” Music Now Means “Using iTunes”

Photo (CC) Tim Douglas. Critics frequently attach the phrase “lock-in” to Apple’s iTunes Store – iTunes – iPod/iPhone combination. But, in the post-DRM age, what does that mean, exactly? First, you have to recall that while for many of us the manual drag-and-drop music management is appealing, it isn’t so for many average consumers. They want sync. That means that music will be stored in iTunes and synced to Apple devices and nothing else. Apple is serious about locking you to their store and their devices, enough so that they frequently update their software with special keys that prevent the …

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Digital Sales Up, But is Apple Monopoly the Price? NPD, Mint Data, Editorial Analysis

Data and images courtesy Mint.com. Mint.com, the online financial management tool, has put its numbers together with market researchers NPD Group to analyze music spending. The results: when it comes to consuming recorded music, digital music continues to rise. At the same time, so does Apple’s grip on the music consumption market, a combination that includes proprietary control of a music store, a music player, and the leading mobile device.

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Going Mobile: Nintendo DS-10 Comes to North America

Today was full of good news for people interested in carrying pads in the palm of their hand. Fans of the Nintendo DS in North America, the Korg DS-10 Plus synthesizer for Big N’s game system is now coming to your side of the Pacific Ocean. (That also bodes well, I think, for other parts of the world.) The DS-10 I think really deserves some credit for making a straight-up music title a hit on gaming platforms, and its success certainly surpassed my own expectations. It’s not a game, it’s not an interactive experience, it’s not a music game – …

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Super Cute: Indie Rock Coloring Book

Super Cute Thursday (unplanned) continues, with an adorable indie rock coloring book. It’s hardly the first. STS9 and recently the lovely Riceboy Sleeps limited edition by Sigur Ros’ Jonsi and Alex came with coloring books. Perhaps inspired by musicians entering parenthood, it’s all the rage. If you can’t be pressured to select just one band for your (or your kids’) coloring pleasure, here’s The Indie Rock Coloring Book, a project of the Yellow Bird Project, which gives to artists’ charities. You get to not only color but solve mazes and connect-the-dots. Hey, with music increasingly intangible in the digital age …

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