Guest Blog: Digital, Artists, Labels and the Crisis of Plumeting Expectations

Enough of the empty cheerleading. Web-only networking can have a dark side, too — and the music community can do better. Playing devil’s advocate this week to one-dimensional Web 2.0 optimism, we welcome Dave Dri, musician, producer, and founder of Segue. -PK I write a column for a weekly street press magazine in Australia. The vast majority of the universe won’t have picked up that magazine, of course. But my topic this week has been bouncing around Interwebs, cafes, and clubs like an alarm clock, waking the electronic music community from a happy slumber. The cause for alarm: the dire …

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Follow Friday: Musical Twitter Feeds You Read – and an Alternative Approach

Twitter has been (rightfully, in many cases) maligned as a distraction, but at times the “microblog” can keep us connected in smaller bits of time, not larger. People read while something is rendering, when they feel a bit lonely or distracted to begin with (a bit like taking work to a virtual coffee shop), while they’re in line at the grocery looking at their phone. And for the bedroom- and studio-based music maker, Twitter reveals something of what the future might be like. Twitter itself can sometimes prove too unstructured to be useful, but that one service aside, it demonstrates …

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Imogen Heap on Twitter: Real-Time, Real-World Creative Process

Photo: Lee Jordan. Speaking as a sometimes-music-journalist, I’ve always had the sneaking suspicion that we were all part of a vast conspiracy. Our job can become wrapping big-name artists into a polished, glamorous narrative. There are small nods to humanizing them, of course, but the message can quickly become: this person is special and different from you, this is the person you should want to be or want to consume, and as a result you’ll buy our magazine. I’ve never believed that myself, and I do believe a lot of great music writing is something very different, but there’s always …

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Update: Google AdSense Responds to Political Concerns, Sort of

AdSense pays publishers, period. And that means that what happens with AdSense impacts free content on the Web – particularly musician-made content, which increasingly turns to ads for revenue. As for improvements? Google says the check is in the mail. Photo (CC) Yusuke Kawasaki. Google has responded to widespread concerns about political ads, particularly those promoting California’s Proposition 8 same-sex marriage ban prior to last week’s US election. On one hand, I think their answers on policy and placement are incomplete. On the other, it looks like the upshot of this will be better tools for publishers to make their …

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Google AdSense Fails on Relevancy, Control, Policy, and Google Says Nothing

It’s not just gay marriage that’s at issue. A Google flap should have people thinking about the future of advertising. Photo: Eric Bartholomew aka Uber Tuber; also on MySpace. It’s a nearly unanimously-held belief: the future of digital content will depend, at least in part, on revenue from ads. This site is supported by ads. Musicians and digital producers will be looking to ads to support what they’re doing – sometimes in the form of direct ad revenue, sometimes in support for sites and communities they use (Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, and so on). Ads are very often what makes the …

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Calling Samplers, Sharers: Creative Commons Now in SoundCloud

SoundCloud, the music and sound sharing service we saw launch this month has added a very important feature: support for different licenses. When you upload tracks, you can elect to protect your work with a conventional copyright or opt instead for a Creative Commons license. That’s an important feature I’d like to see all these services support. The one thing Creative Commons and conventional copyright advocates agree on is that being explicit about what rights you want to your work is essential. Naturally, this means not only that you can upload works, but that SoundCloud could soon become a rich …

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Bandcamp versus SoundCloud: Online Music Sharing Services, Fight!

The wonderful wire to the ear beats me to raising the question of which online music sharing service should rule them all, Bandcamp or the just-public SoundCloud. I’ll be taking both for a test drive, but as I’m looking at them, any other services we should be considering for a prize fight? Any first impressions on which you like best? Be sure to vote in wire to the ear’s poll, too; we’ll be watching. Bandcamp Screencast from Ethan Diamond on Vimeo.

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What Do You Get from a Free SoundCloud Account? Co-Founder Explains

There’s been some confusion from our readers and existing beta testers of SoundCloud (see their forums / login required) about what you can get with a free account on the service. Co-founder Eric Wahlforss answers some of these concerns in comments. With a free account, you will be able to: Send/upload up to five tracks a month, of any length/size You can upload as many tracks as you like, but only your ten most recent tracks will be visible to others (unless you delete tracks). No tracks are deleted – you can upgrade/downgrade at will. You get a DropBox, and …

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SoundCloud Here: Like Flickr For Music?

  SoundCloud: The Tour from SoundCloud on Vimeo. SoundCloud, an online sharing community for sound and music, is now hours from public launch. I’ve been playing around with a closed beta for several months, and have to say, I’ve been really impressed. SoundCloud isn’t the first attempt to provide places to share music files with others, but previous attempts have been lackluster when it comes to easy sharing, features necessary to make music listening more enjoyable, and upload capacity. Most importantly, none has accomplished the community “stickiness” that has been the cornerstone of successful media services like Flickr, Vimeo, and …

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Lala, Free Music Streaming, And Why Two-Tier Pricing is the Future

It’s clear that the new world of music listening involves more — more music, listening in more places, with more styles of music from more places in the world. So, naturally, it makes sense that we won’t pay per-album fees for everything we hear; even if you were addicted to your indie college radio station 20 years ago, that’s the case. (And I’ll be you didn’t buy everything you heard, though you probably bought some of it.) The question is, how to model those costs, so the people making and distributing the music make money. Make whatever argument you like …

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