Apple’s One-Click Link to Remove Unwanted U2 from iTunes Marks a Textbook Marketing Fail

Execution is everything. Musical tastes are personal. And it seems that force-feeding people a new album from U2, unsolicited, doesn’t go over well. Apple giving away U2’s new Songs of Innocence is in itself not a bad thing. But there are two problems. One, the album is poorly reviewed – think Paul McCartney “Wonderful Christmastime” rather than Abbey Road. Two, because the album simply appeared in purchased music – and because iTunes (cleverly enough) displays what you’ve purchased from iCloud – it showed up in people’s collections when it didn’t belong. So, we’ve learned something. This doesn’t work. And as …

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What’s on Your Holiday Wish List – Beyond the Usual Suspects? (Open Thread)

Disco Christmas! Photo (CC-BY) paparutzi. Yes, it’s that gift-y time of year again, which naturally means among lovers of music technology, thoughts turn to gear wishes and dreams of new hardware. We’ve asked in the past what readers want in their stockings and presents – and, just as interestingly, what they’d give to others. And you’ve come up with fascinating ideas. This year, I’ll frame the question a bit differently: what, beyond the usual suspects, would you love to have? Books or music collections? Handmade or boutique items? Unique tools and toys that’d help you be creative? And what would …

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A CDM Holiday Gift Guide: Musical Goodness, All Under $200

Photo (CC-BY) JD Hancock. We users may sometimes gripe, but music technology gives us an impossibly wide variety for which to be thankful. From free (as in beer, as in freedom) to high-end and spendy, from software plug-in to acoustic instrument to solid-state electronics to toy, you’d run out of time and money long before you ran out of exceptional, music-inspiring choices. I think the passion people feel for music is the cause: economics and logic be damned, we’re all glad to make music part of our life, both as makers and consumers. Tools aren’t everything – it can be …

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Truly Last-Minute Gift: Osmos, the CDM Game of the Year, for Mac and Windows

For a truly unique and very much last-minute gift for anyone you know, look to CDM’s favorite game of year, the gorgeous, blood pressure-lowering title for Windows and – at long last – Mac. I may personally identify a little too much with the abstract protagonist of this game, as my holiday activities could well be described as floating around the universe, sucking particles into my gravity well as I grow in size. But whether or not I feel literally like an expanding bubble of matter, one of my favorite experiences this year was entering this ingenious physics-based game. It …

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Last-Minute Meta-Gift-Guide: Music and Electronics Gift Guides from the Blogosphere

It’s either the last chance to rush delivery on gifts, or the first chance to start thinking about picking up some music tech projects for yourself to keep up with musical New Years’ Resolutions. Either way, it’s time to give a shout out to some of the great gift guides that have been going up around the Interwebs. And nicely enough, there’s a strong emphasis on cheap and DIY projects, meaning these can be ideal even in tough economic times. SX-150 button mod from Collin Cunningham on Vimeo. MAKE: Blog > Music Makers’s Gift Guide Assembled by our friend (and …

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Mailbag: A Christmas Question – Too Much Techno?

CDM receives all sorts of fascinating emails, and it’s about time — especially in the spirit of holiday giving — that we share them. Cheryl writes us: interested in your dj11.My son who has the gifted ear for music has it on his x-mas list.Wondering if this is too much tecno for a precussor to a it guy with a great ipod at partiesand playing around at home Is it too much techno? If you have the gifted ear for music, please share your advice, if you can think back to those innocent, young days when you were but a …

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Holiday Gift Guide: Last-Minute Digital Musician Gear + Games

It’s not too late. In the spirit of procrastination, I offer my last round-up of products. Mail order these suckers “rush” or stop by your local music store, and you’ve still got time. (Or, if you’re really lucky, you’re giving to someone like me with a January birthday and the “holiday season” just extends onward and onward.) Here’s the rules: all gifts are about US$200 and under (street). Sound tough? Not at all: there’s lots of good gear that can be had on the cheap — cheap enough to buy yourself. (I definitely want a Rock ‘N Rhodes Christmas; more …

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Holiday Gift Guide: Moog CD + Soundtrack + Apparel

There are plenty of Moog-labeled goodies deserving of special mention in our ongoing gift guide. It’s a bittersweet pleasure since we lost Bob Moog this year, but the Moog film (above) and accompanying film soundtrack are simply must-have, and a worthy gift even for those new to synths. They’re available from your local CD and video outlets, or as a set directly from Moog Music.Some criticized the Moog film for eschewing narrative and history, focusing instead on modern interviews, but perhaps that’s the most appropriate: it’s a picture of the Moog synth and legend as it lives now, as seen …

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Holiday Gift Guide: Music and Books

Looking for gifts for others, or yourself? Or a way to drop hints about what you want? CDM is here to help. Next up for digital musicians ready to give and receive: music with a conscience, and books worth reading, many suitable as stocking stuffers.

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Holiday Gift Guide: Best Digital Music Picks from Femalemusician.com

Online exclusive: Kicking off this week’s guide to holiday gifts, Theresa Orlando joins us from Female Musician.com. Theresa’s site and studio help young female musicians like vocalist Ashley Jewdy (shown) hone their craft and digital studio skills. Theresa brings us some of her favorite picks for musicians, including a book/video on breathing technique for singers, music lessons in Long Island, an inexpensive mic duo, mutable guitar cables that prevent pops and squeals, and iTunes music.

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