With Beatguide, Listening Connects to Live Events: New Electronic Music Startup

If it’s music events, what your calendar really needs is a play button. A funny thing happened on the way to the online music world. Roughly a century after the music recording revolution, we’re all newly concerned with getting into venues with other human beings. The problem is – and there’s no nice way to say this – the tools out there just aren’t very good. Facebook’s popularity is unquestionable, to be sure, but it still doesn’t cater to music needs with its event listings. And beyond that, there’s a scattered landscape of different tools, none of which seems to …

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The record lives. Drip.fm co-founders Sam and Miguel merge subscription ease and affordability with high-quality downloads you keep, and even closer connections to artists and labels. Think "fan club," not "utility company." Here, Sam tells CDM how it came about. Photo: Will Calcutt.

Saving Downloads, Fans? Sam Valenti IV Talks Ghostly’s Drip.FM As Label Roster Grows

PK: In the digital age, subscription services or “all-you-can-eat” music gives passionate listeners nothing if not flexibility and a wealth of music. But they can also distance music lovers from labels they care about – and the reliance on streaming threatens to sever the special relationship you have with albums that are really special. Drip.fm is different. Founded by Ghostly International, it has the affordable monthly subscription rate – but with actual high-quality downloads you keep. First launched with some of Ghostly’s boutique-quality electronic music, it has since expanded to some big names. Today could be a watershed moment for …

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In addition to a cleaner browser layout, SoundCloud is bringing more functionality to mobile, starting Thursday. Images courtesy SoundCloud.

New SoundCloud, Now For Everyone: What’s New, Screenshots and Analysis

For some months, a lot of us have been using an overhauled SoundCloud interface. Playback works better, and everything is bigger, clearer, and more usable. A lot has changed, but I think the simplest endorsement is this: I haven’t wanted to go back to the old version, ever. Today, SoundCloud is launching that new UI for everyone. They’re also taking the opportunity to tout just how much usage they’re getting. SoundCloud’s founders have routinely told people they believe sound and music will be essential media for the Internet, making comparisons to video. Now, they have some numbers. There are 10 …

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Whatever the implications for labels and artists, Facebook users have spoken, giving connected listening a big thumbs-up. Photo (CC-BY) JOHANNES FUCHS resp. GOIABA.

As Facebook Users Hit 1 Billion, Music Listening is Socially-Connected Online [Numbers]

Facebook is bragging about one number, in particular – one billion users – this week. But they’re also releasing some other hard numbers on how people are using their service. Much has been made of how Facebook has transformed social gaming and, via Instagram specifically, photography. But just on Instagram’s heels is none other than Facebook app Spotify. According to analytics site AppData, Spotify is ranked #12 with 22.1 million users, calculated as a monthly active figure, just behind Instagram at #4 with 33 million. Pandora has about a third of that, while other apps lag far behind. It wouldn’t …

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Cloud Music Making, Just Vapor? Amidst Shifting Businesses, Standards, Aviary Closes Shop

Doing creative work in the browser has, over the years, delivered a fair bit of hype. What it hasn’t delivered is a tool with any real apparent staying power. And as we watch the meltdown of creative Web poster child Aviary’s music suite, caught between changing business models and evolving standards, there’s reason for concern. That’s not to say that Web-based music making can’t work. But it certainly isn’t working like this. Aviary had been a key example of powerful in-browser editing tools, with an extensive suite of tools built in Flash. But Aviary switched their business model, focusing instead …

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Cloud in a DAW: Free Plug-in Lets You Browse, Drag-and-Drop to and from SoundCloud

From iPads to desktop, apps have been adding SoundCloud integration. But this plug-in goes one better: you can navigate SoundCloud from an in-DAW browser, then drag and drop sounds to hosts like Ableton Live. (You can upload, too, also via drag-and-drop.) The plug-in is free for native hosts on Mac and Windows. One major criticism: without the ability to see SoundCloud’s licensing terms, you can’t be sure if the samples you’re grabbing are something someone wants you to use. Unless I’m missing something, it’d be great to have Creative Commons search support – indeed, it’d help people who do want …

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Selling and Promoting Music: When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It?

I believe it’s possible to be a responsible business, and to be a responsible consumer. When you’re the business lecturing your consumers on what they should be doing, well, that can produce an awkward situation. Let’s leave it at saying that a certain blog post stating obvious things has resulted in what can best be described as a kerfuffle, and, since you’ve heard it all before, it’s probably not worth repeating. Better than lecturing music lovers, then, is finding out better ways to reach them. I know plenty of artists and even people whose day job is running a label …

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A Remix Crosses the Globe, 64 Bars at a Time [Ninja Tune forum Release]

Come on in; the water’s fine. A chain of remixers cross oceans as they remix “Oceandrift,” by Kelp. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Derek Keats. The opening track is aptly-named, a diving bell launched into aquatic depths of ambient sound. But on this release, it’s just the beginning of the journey. From Kelp’s track “Oceandrift,” a set of remixers chart very different musical worlds. They connect across geography via the NinjaTune forum. It’s the latest proof that electronic production need not sound like cut-and-paste templates and presets – and the most recent example of the phenomenon known as the remix chain. What’s a …

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SoundCloud Provides First Look at a New Interface [Gallery]

For all you hear about the primacy of visual culture, you might not expect a Web service exclusively focused on sound to be a big hit. SoundCloud, however, has seen meteoric growth, hitting 10 million users in January. Its interface, however, hasn’t quite grown and matured at the same pace. We’ve seen a lovely-looking new HTML5-based player embed, but the main site hasn’t gotten the same refresh – until now. Yesterday evening, SoundCloud provided press and some members of the public with a first view of the new site. The facelift is organized around even greater focus on SoundCloud’s signature …

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Unsuspected Sounds: Great Listening, Great Cause, in Analog Industries Community Compilation

Out of the noise of the Internet, don’t be surprised if some of the music being made is – unexpectedly – wonderful. So it is with a compilation curated by Chris Randall from the Analog Industries community. Unsuspected Sounds is unexpected. It’s proof that those people writing all those comments really do have time to make music. It’s nice seeing this come from Chris and the community he’s assembled. For his part, Chris doesn’t fit the stereotype of a blogger; he’s got industry experience as an engineer as an artist, is known to many as a veteran of Sister Machine …

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