Will the Next Album You Buy Be Flash Memory? SanDisk Joins Major Labels, Big Box Retail, with slotMusic

Distributing music on USB sticks or removable flash memory is an idea various parties have tried for the last few years. The Creative Commons advocates at self-proclaimed “non-evil” indie label Magnatune sold USB sticks pre-loaded with ten albums in 2004; Barenaked Ladies had the nicely-named Barenaked on a stick. But to really make the idea (ahem) stick, you’d need some big distribution. And that’s what a new initiative backed by the major labels and massive flash memory manufacturer SanDisk promises to do. slotMusic.org | Press Release See also GearLog, which notes that SanDisk previously did a free promotional SD of …

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Hands On Tenori-On: Close Encounters of the Interactive Music Kind

Game and film composer Gary Kibler is back from Tuesday’s TENORI-ON launch event with words and images reflecting upon this new instrument. (See comments for lots more discussion, of course!) And for some reason, he’s been playing with his mashed potatoes… -Ed. See also: Yamaha TENORI-ON Launch: Photos, Videos, Interviews, Demos, Details, and a Music Box THE TENORI-ON : I know this. This means something … Literally what TENORI-ON means in Japanese is "sound in your palm" but what I came away feeling after hearing Toshio Iwai‘s story and later experiencing this innovative musical device for myself at Yamaha’s UK …

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DeVotchKa Rocks the Theremin, Does Not Play Star Trek Theme

Photo: Chad Johnson If you want a look at the future of music, DeVotchKa might be a glimpse. On first hearing, you say, “hmmm, they sound sort of Eastern European … punk.” And then you realize they’re singing in Spanish. In fact, this band, which got an extra injection of popularity from the movie Little Miss Sunshine, is a hybrid Romani – Greek – Slavic – Spanish – Latin – Punk – Folk – Rock indie band that got its start playing burlesque. What does this have to do with digital music creation? Because if technology is every going to …

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NI-Stanton Final Scratch Divorce Turns Ugly; NI Responds

For those of you who missed the fireworks, Native Instruments recently left its partner Stanton Magnetics (makers of Final Scratch) to pursue its own DJ strategy, which it unveiled at NAMM as (coincidentally named, I’m sure) Traktor Scratch. As with any breakup, that raised questions about support. Here’s where the first bad news hits: the existing Final Scratch software is incompatible with Intel Macs. And that combined with other compatibility issues could mean the big losers here are Final Scratch customers, who are likely to be really unhappy when they learn the “solution” means buying new products, whether from NI, …

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Vista Journal: Recommendation – Don’t Upgrade Yet

At the risk of stating the obvious: now is not yet a good time to upgrade to Vista. That much is generally expected with a new operating system. What’s unexpected is that it’s some of the biggest partners who aren’t ready. Microsoft’s own developer tools for Vista are still in beta. Basic hardware drivers are missing. NVIDIA and ATI are missing drivers for major, current-generation video hardware. And worse, marketing materials from Microsoft and some of their larger partners are distorting the reality of the situation. Unless you have drivers in hand for your computer, your graphics drivers, your sound …

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Vista “Content Protection” DRM Won’t Impact Music Production, Says Microsoft and You

Good things about Microsoft: they’re the rich kid next door who can book Jefferson Starship for their Vista launch tour. Good news for PC users: DRM probably isn’t going to keep you from getting a shiny new OS after all. Whether you choose Mac OS X, Linux, Windows XP, or Windows Vista — or some combination as I do, and let’s not forget your hacked Commodore 64 — your OS choices should be based on fact. As you know, we’re not exactly big fans of over-aggressive Digital Rights Management and content protection. But readers here have found ways of using …

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NAMM: M-Audio Announces Xponent. DJing Stays Pretty Much the Same.

Wallace is CDM’s resident turntablist, and he’s also immune to blind gear lust. I’m waiting to pass judgment until I get first-hand contact with Xponent, but I’m equally confused from a product perspective. Now, let’s see — we could copy and paste a press release here. Or we could try Wally. I just hope we’re able to figure out what he really thinks. -PK Let me get this straight – an overpriced control surface is what’s gonna change DJing? M-Audio Torq Xponent M-Audio announced their Xponent control surface/USB audio interface today, and this long-time DJ is distinctly underwhelmed. You know, …

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Macworld: Will Apple Keep its iPhone Closed? Multi-Touch Patents?

After the Macworld keynote glow wears off, the question is, will the iPhone be another closed box, shut off to brilliant third-party developers? It’s not as if we won’t have choices. Gizmodo points out the open-source OpenMoko alternative. But there’s still some hope Apple might let developers in — and even Flash would be fantastic. Apple’s iPhone prototype is a beautiful culmination of user interface design and industrial/product design. But the core of the product really is its multi-touch interface, which should gratify readers of this site. Almost from the moment this site was founded, you’ve advocated the possibilities of …

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Costs of “Content Protection” in Vista: The Sky is Falling?

Several of you have written to point to a new article by Peter Gutmann, who argues that content protection (known commonly as DRM, but arguably broader than that) will exact a major cost in Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Vista. These issues should be of special interest to Windows musicians: Gutmann predicts Vista’s new content protection features will disable video output functions, eliminate open source and unified drivers, consume more resources, and cause a major loss in device compatibility and system reliability.

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