A New Theme in Music Technology: Slow Development

Wise words I intend to live by. Photo (CC-BY-ND) Geof Wilson. I’m a blogger. I’m supposed to be all about shiny, about scoops and exclusives, about fast-paced development. But even I’ve begun to wonder about the expectations some developers and users alike have about pace. And that doesn’t just apply to the vendors: it applies to writers and users, too. One theme repeated again and again by developers around NAMM: let’s slow down. It’s not a new idea, but several recent developments make it doubly relevant.

READ MORE →

A Blog Focused on Sound Design, Special with Game Sound Veteran Rob Bridgett

Designing Sound, as the name implies, focuses entirely on the craft of audio from film to games. While there are industry-driven sites devoted to the topic, this blog is entirely the labor of love of composer and sound designer Miguel Isaza, whose writing has also appeared on Spain’s Hispasonic and Monofónicos. (Miguel also tweets to Reaktor aficionados as reaktorlovers.) That personal perspective has imbued the site with the feeling of artists talking to artists. http://designingsound.createdigitalmusic.com/ All week, Designing Sound has focused on Rob Bridgett, who has worked on numerous sound designs for games. Despite the massive growth of the game …

READ MORE →

Signs of Change, Ingenuity in Music Distribution

Photo (CC) Clonny. Details on Flickr. With the weakened world economy, content in general faces plenty of gloom and doom. Advertising models are severely weakened. But, oddly, in the world of music, there are some positive signs that the shift to decentralized, online distribution might actually be going well — and maybe economic pressures are simply ensuring the parties involved find some way to make the adjustment. And music distribution is becoming wonderfully weird and diverse – maybe far more so than in recording’s so-called golden age, an era in the past dominated by racial division, predatory labels, and a …

READ MORE →

Making it as a New Artist: Trent Reznor and Techdirt Founder on What to Do Now

We’ve all watched and commented on bands like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails releasing free albums and still profiting by them. Will this model still work for new artists, though? Trent Reznor posted yesterday that the Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication reissue is “how you sell music today”. As a rebuttal to the usual “that only works for established artists” replies, he’s followed this up with an extended post on what artists who haven’t reached the Beasties or NIN level of profile can do to get established. NIN’s $300 deluxe edition of Ghosts sold out in under two days, grossing $750,000. …

READ MORE →

Universal Music: Out with DRM, In with Google Android and Mobile

Photo (CC) lee leblanc. CNET has a terrific interview with Rio Caraeff of Universal Music Group’s eLabs. Caraeff is a new breed of record exec – the kind of people we’d actually want running the industry. He’s a software guy and a mobile guy. UMG digital chief on iTunes, DRM, and Android [CNET Digital Media] The record industry has clearly seen the light on DRM, so that’s not really news, except that now you can see them saying it in public (and I imagine there has been long-running internal lobbying from those in the industry who got it long ago). …

READ MORE →

CDM Does Not Break NAMM Embargoes; Why That’s Good For You and When to Tune In

(Harry Potter book shipment.) Photo: Michael Henderson. When should you tune in tomorrow to get the news? Thanks to the fact that some folks do send CDM press releases under embargo, some big announcements should happen at: Thursday, 1:00pm Eastern Time: This is the opening of the NAMM show, so it’s when many embargoes are lifted. Any really big stories that deserve it will get immediately published then. Thursday, 3:30pm Eastern Time: I have some specific stories that are held for this specific time that will definitely be published then. Over the weekend and later: Because I want to actually …

READ MORE →

RIAA Website: Portrait of an Industry Group Out of Touch with its Own Interests

This Website is brought to you by Chicken Little and Bad Cop. Much of the debate online about the record industry has devolved – with quite a lot of help from the misguided message of the US trade group, the RIAA – into a debate about piracy. It winds up being something dumb, like, “Piracy is evil!” “No, piracy is great!” Wow, this should be a really insightful discussion – I can’t wait! Piracy is, pure and simple, “loss prevention.” People often laugh off the comparison between piracy and things like shoplifting. But I think that comparison isn’t made enough …

READ MORE →

Judge to Record Industry: Lay off Mom and Dad’s Computer, For Now

Harvard’s Legion of Legal Super-Heroes. They can lock arms and emit a powerful beam of Legal Logic that can defeat any foe. Yeah, okay, I’m glad I’m not in law; these look like the sorts of people who would beat me. What happens when people targeted by record industry legal intimidation fight back? What if they not only defend themselves, but go on the offensive, counterclaiming the industry is abusing the law and legal process? What if courts decide the industry really can’t hijack an unrelated PC belonging to someone’s Mom and Dad? That’s what’s at stake in a case …

READ MORE →

Harvard Students Defend Privacy Against RIAA; Industry Pushing Campus Licenses?

Reflecting Harvard: a bike passes through Cambridge. Photo (CC) sandcastlematt. Music DRM may be a thing of the past, online sales may be growing, but that doesn’t mean the U.S. record industry has missed a beat in its ongoing legal and lobbying campaign against music piracy online. The latest battle starts today in Rhode Island federal court. The difference this time: the RIAA and record companies will have to face a Harvard Law prof and his students. Prof. Charles Nesson and his team allege the industry is abusing the court system, unfairly making “examples” out of the people they’re suing, …

READ MORE →

Apps Alone Aren’t Problem; Apple iTunes Lockdown Hurts Creators, Consumers

Out of sync: iTunes integration was a selling point early on. But at what point is Apple’s own innovation upstaged by their desire to control distribution through the iTunes channel? . Last week, Apple rejected a podcast management app because, to paraphrase Apple’s own policy, they want iTunes handling all podcasts for you and not any third-party apps. (Officially, “Since Podcaster assists in the distribution of podcasts, it duplicates the functionality of the Podcast section of iTunes.”) Over the past few days, that’s generated plenty of chatter on the blogosphere, mostly centering around technical and philosophical discussions of the way …

READ MORE →