MeatWater “Survival Beverage” Offers Techno Stimulus Package for Economy

Photo: Todd Thille. Used by permission. MeatWater (C) Liquid Innovations. If this economy is getting you down, our friends at MeatWater, the “high-efficiency survival beverage,” have a prescription. A prescription for techno: MeatWater MP3 Techno Remix Now, perhaps this is just a crass ploy for MeatWater to sell more of their MeatWater-protein drinks, which come in flavors like Gyros, Beef Stroganof, Hungarian BBQ, and Dirty Hot Dog. But if there’s one thing I believe in more than the health-giving power of proteins, it’s in the stimulating power of techno. I’m steps away from the stock market, so I may take …

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Are Economic Concerns Likely to Impact Your Music Tech Purchases?

Politics and economics are well beyond the scope of this site and ridiculously far out of my area of expertise. But at what point does economic confidence start to impact music technology? That’s a question I know colleagues and industry figures are starting to wonder about. Here is an entirely non-scientific “temperature test” — even if these feelings may shift over time. Feel free to answer from wherever you live in the world. [Direct poll link, in case the embed isn’t working]

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With Music Torrent Site OINK.CD Busted, Are Users Next?

So, you thought only Americans would be the target of anti-piracy crackdowns? Think again. Shortly after the raid of popular music torrent swap site oink.cd, British authorities now say they’re looking for a legislative anti-piracy remedy. They’ve got the backing, not surprisingly, of the British record industry, and it seems continental European nations might follow. Blogger and controversy-magnet Cory Doctorow is even getting to the debate, along with angry UK Internet Service Providers, as reported by BBC News. The apparent solution seems worse than the problem, as British officials propose monitoring individual data packets. (I’m not usually one to agree …

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Major Music, Software Torrent Server Busted: Oink No More

Pirates, caught by pigs? Pigs, walking the plank? Sorry, this is so metaphor-laden I’m stumped. Photo by frogmuseum, via Flickr. PS, the fact that I’ve made this torrent site look so darned cute is not me advocating piracy. It was either that or a dirty pig snout. Several readers have written in to say that Oink, a music torrent server, has been busted. British and Dutch police raided the servers (via several properties in Amsterdam) and the 24-year-old IT worker (and his father) alleged to have operated the site. The news: IFPI press release Huge pirate music site shut down …

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Jumpgate Resolved: Van Halen Guitar Sorta Absolved, Keyboard Detuned

Ah, YouTubers. While the rest of us pontificate endlessly, the unfairly-maligned YouTube community painstakingly assembles evidence to prove their point. Lonely girls need outing? YouTube is there. Can’t tell what’s wildly out of tune in a botched Van Halen “Jump” performance? Let’s just listen, shall we? (Too bad, as I had just worked out a really great theory about sun spots, Greensboro’s atmospheric pressure and relative humidity, and a freak wormhole.) Thanks, Wilfred Fumbly. (video’s gone now … more in a moment) So, the original theory holds: most likely a sample rate issue. Well, unless Van Halen is really old …

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Internet Radio Wins Temporary Delay, Possible Minimum Rate Break

This may stretch your definition of “good news” for webcasters, but the latest on the Internet Radio crisis runs something like this: Webcasters don’t yet have to pay new fees for their broadcast. But they’re still accruing debt — fast. Sort of like our credit card debt. Webcasters may get a small break on the minimum fee, one that could literally have shut down “personalized” radio services. SoundExchange explains the deal thusly: Under the new proposal, to be implemented by remand to the CRJs, SoundExchange has offered to cap the $500 per channel minimum fee at $50,000 per year for …

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The Day the Music Died, Otherwise Known As The Dawning Era of Negotiations

Several readers have observed this quite eloquently, but let’s summarize: laws around music are complicated, messy, and confusing. If they don’t seem that way to you, you’re either a lawyer or you haven’t done your homework. That said, without question, proposed changes to streaming music licensing fees would be devastating to Internet radio, because not just top 40 music requires license fees — even many indie labels are RIAA members and participate in SoundExchange. But here’s the key: they’d be devastating as proposed. And suddenly, at the eleventh hour, SoundExchange seems to be backpedaling. (Their strategy, evidently: push as hard …

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Eerie Quiet, Days Before Monday’s “End of Internet Radio” Deadline

Photo: geodesic. Cricket sound: provided by you. Hear that? Nothing. No, it’s not silence making a political point, as with the Internet Radio Day of Silence staged last week by web radio to protest punishing new royalty rates by showing what they could cause. This is an even more disturbing silence: as the deadline for new US rates for Net radio approaches, online radio’s supporters seem to be desperate and exhausted. Here’s the problem: net radio supporters, concerned that new rates (and the backdated royalty rates that would be owed along with them) could kill Internet radio, haven’t exactly gotten …

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Turning Economics into Music: Sing Along with Philippines GDP

Click To Play Max/MSP visionary David Zicarelli is fond of saying that Max/MSP is really about numbers. You might hear music, but it’s number crunching that makes it all happen. Understand how to make the numbers work, and you can make your music and visuals do what you want. (Happily, this does not require a whole lot of math acuity, or I wouldn’t be able to do it. Instinct and imagination seem to be the best hallmark of Max masters.) Lest you believe numbers can’t really make music, though, there are always bizarre and unusual examples of sources for Max …

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Free Anti-Radiation Music Downloads from Kraftwerk, Ryuichi Sakamoto Friends

Musical activists are opposing a Japanese nuclear reprocessing plant. What’s in it for you: free musical downloads opposing contamination by nuclear radiation. (Any pro-radiation readers will have to look elsewhere.) Nuclear reprocessing is a way of reclaiming spent nuclear fuels. Sounds great, right — recycling and whatnot? Unfortunately, there are serious risks involved. The plant, Rokkasho-mura reprocessing plant in Japan’s Aomori Prefecture, is under fire because: Just two weeks into testing, after the plant opened last year, radioactive water containing plutonium and uranium spilled inside the plant. According to a recent report, this particular plant has a design flaw that …

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