Yesterday, Jay-Z's streaming music service Tidal was launched. The press event featured over a dozen celebrity musicians as signing "owners" of the service (each reportedly received 3% equity in exchange for exclusive content), and, by some accounts, was a bit awkward and content-free. At $19.99, the subscription plan is double the cost of competing services like Spotify, and no "freemium" plan is offered. The justification is two-fold: 1. Artists should be compensated fairly for streaming; and 2. The service's high-fidelity, lossless streaming is far superior to the current standard (320 kbps AAC, as Spotify and Rdio currently provide.) You can take an online blind test between 320 kbps AAC and Tidal's lossless streaming, to see if you have the "equipment and ears" for lossless music. Is there really a noticeable difference, or is this snake oil? Will the artist-forward approach change the conversation and ingrained habits of streaming music listeners? Is Tidal a sort of streaming for the 1% rather than for struggling independent musicians? Is it a walled garden for artists at the expense of fans? Or is this all simply a great vertical move for Jay-Z's Roc Nation label? So many questions.
"Every month, Netflix quietly clears its virtual shelves to prepare for the arrival of new offerings. There are roughly 80 movies expiring from Netflix Instant at the end of November. We've picked seven that we think you should make sure to watch before they’re no longer streaming – one for each night until Dec. 1." (Paste Magazine)
Let’s change how streaming royalties are calculated, and save the full-length album while we’re at it
Following a record-breaking $750 million syndication deal with parent company Fox, the FXX network most recently made headlines back in August with its twelve-day marathon of Every. Simpsons. Ever. But that was just the prelude to the real deal launching today: Simpsons World, a staggeringly comprehensive multiplatform video database including clips, news, featurettes, curated playlists, a heartbeat tracker of each season's popularity, and (for the intrigued who'd like to subscribe to their
newsletter network) on-demand streaming of all 552 episodes and counting. Coming early next year is an even greater expansion of features, bringing full-series dialogue search, real-time script tracking, and "geolocation" of all scenes throughout Springfield -- something very close to Myles McNutt's vision for a shareable Simpsons clip database (previously).
I, for one, welcome our new Simpsons-quoting overlords. [more inside]
Top hat at the cleaners? Opera glasses broke? Lost your box? Watch The Metropolitan Opera, the Bavarian State Opera (Deutsch, English) Vienna State Opera, or concerts from the Berlin Philharmonic and a variety of options from medici.tv and The Young Vic, The Globe, The Royal Opera House, The Royal Shakespeare Company, and more. [more inside]
ComicsAlliance writer Benito Cereno has put together a collection of links to horror films available for streaming on Netflix this October: The Haunting of Netflix House 2: Your Sister is a Netflix
293 Thoughts I Had While Watching “Gilmore Girls” For The First Time. Gilmore Girls begins streaming on Netflix tomorrow.
Yesterday, the first season of "Transparent" went live on Amazon Prime, starring Jeffrey Tambor as a 70 year old transgender woman who is coming out to her family, and the world, for the first time. [more inside]
Radiohead's Thom Yorke just released a surprise album, Beyoncé-style [vox.com]
Tomorrow's Modern Boxes is only available on BitTorrent, where listeners can download the track "Tomorrow's Modern Boxes" for free, and watch the video. The full album can be downloaded for $6, and will also be available on vinyl and in a box set.[more inside]
Between the limited amount of titles on streaming services and the fact that Netflix seems to be shifting away from DVDs altogether, are you just out of luck if you want to watch a non-blockbuster like "Sweet Sweetbacks' Baadasssss Song" or "Raising Arizona"? KQED investigates.
Cmd.fm is no frills, command line music streaming. For the geek music lover in all of us. [more inside]
Cable TV apps (aka 'TV Everywhere') are soaring in popularity, according to the Adobe Digital Index.
W.B. Saul High School, the largest agricultural farm school in the United States, is part of the Philadelphia School District. This spring, the animal husbandry majors are tending to their latest additions. For your midweek enjoyment - W.B Saul presents their live streaming of their little lambs, appropriately called Ewe Tube
CBS-owned music site Last.fm have announced an end to streaming radio services. In a move widely attributed to the punishing costs of licensing, last.fm will now source music from Youtube and Spotify rather than from its own bespoke music database. Existing subscribers, particularly Canadians, are not best pleased. With Pandora stocks already in trouble due to licensing costs, what does this mean for the future of user-curated internet streaming radio? [more inside]
' “Episode one, and a robot sprouts from a lump on a boy’s forehead. I certainly did not see that coming” (Tamplin 304). Director Tsuramaki was quoted in an interview, “I'd like you to think of FLCL as imagination being made physical and tangible, just as it is for me when I take whatever is in my head and draw it.” (Surkult). [FLCL, pronounced] Furi Kuri, or Fooly Cooly, keeps its audience on its toes waiting for the next bizarre turn of events. However, if the viewer pushes past the first layer – which can at first be confusing – they can reach the heart of this anime. This series is, quite simply, a coming of age story.' Of course, it's not really that simple, so let's dig in! [more inside]
On Valentine's Day, Netflix released the second season of House of Cards. 16 percent of Netflix users on one particular Internet service watched at least one episode of the show over the weekend, and shares of Netflix hit an all-time high of $439.49 on Thursday. But when, exactly, Does Watching a Lot of Netflix Become a 'Binge'?
5TFU is a simple web radio station. Its content is completely anonymous; upload a track, and it's on the radio, identified only by a numeric string. Don't like what you hear? Click 5TFU! and it's gone.
World Concert Hall publishes a schedule, seven days out, of live classical concerts and operas scheduled for streaming broadcast on the web.
Turntable.fm (previously), a virtual DJ room where users streamed music together, has lost the fight (previously) to stay alive and has gone silent. Are other streaming music sites like Spotify and Pandora also in danger?.
Christmas Cats TV is "an eight-hour streaming video of a 'cat lady' and an elf hanging out with cats — some of them in holiday sweaters." (Direct link to site - autoplaying music)
David Byrne on making a living from music. 'Many a fan (myself included) has said that "music saved my life", so there must be some incentive to keep that lifesaver available for future generations.'
Media Studies professor Anne Helen Petersen writes about the dominant role of Netflix in her students’ film and television consumption, and its effect on the lasting influence of works that are — or are not — available there:
Through this reliance on Netflix, I’ve seen a new television pantheon begin to take form: there’s what’s streaming on Netflix, and then there’s everything else…[more inside]
It's an open secret that many bands and solo artists allow fans to audio record their live performances for non-commercial trading. The Internet Archive's Live Music Section is maintained by volunteers from etree.org, and currently offers over 120,000 live performances from nearly 6000 bands, for in-browser streaming as well as download in a variety of formats. [more inside]
At the end of a long work week, maybe you could use a bit of relaxation. Pleasantly soothing, delightfully literal, PianoAndRain.com does what it says on the tin. [autoplay sounds, in case it wasn't obvious]
Hoot.ch is a cool, beautifully curated music gizmo with new songs almost every day. Dazed electronica, sunny pop, arty rock, stained-glass hip-hop - from John Hopkins to Belle & Sebastian to Pusha T, and lots of unknown gems. Sometimes you just want to sit back and let good songs play. [more inside]
As has been widely reported, today, May 1, Netflix is letting thousands of titles expire (link down due to heavy traffic) mostly licensed from Warner Bros, Universal, and MGM. Some will possibly to move to the new streaming service offered by Warner Bros itself. (Warner Archive denies that they are "taking" content from Netflix.) Less widely reported is the fact that Netflix has also let their deal with Viacom expire this month, removing large swaths of children's favorites (including Dora, Thomas, Bob the Builder, and Backyardigans) from the service. Despite forecasts that this could be the end for Netflix (again) The company maintains that they are headed in the direction they want to go.
The Verge has a nice article looking at streaming as a business model (or not, of course...) "Do you think it's good or bad for the value of music if the only people who sell it don't care if they're making money on it?" David Pakman asks. "What you really want is an ecosystem with lots of financially healthy companies selling your product." [more inside]
Push The Sky Away, the new album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, is streaming now. It's already garnered one negative review.
TruthTeller is an ambitious new automated application built by the Washington Post, which fact checks political speeches, ads and interviews "in as close to real time as possible." The prototype is intended to be a complement to the paper's Fact Checker Blog. More on the project from TechCrunch and Poynter.
"...the ways in which musicians are screwed have changed qualitatively, from individualized swindles to systemic ones."
"The "Tugboat" 7" single, Galaxie 500's very first release, cost us $980.22 for 1,000 copies-- including shipping! (Naomi kept the receipts)-- or 98 cents each. I no longer remember what we sold them for, but obviously it was easy to turn at least a couple bucks' profit on each. Which means we earned more from every one of those 7"s we sold than from the song's recent 13,760 plays on Pandora and Spotify. Here's yet another way to look at it: Pressing 1,000 singles in 1988 gave us the earning potential of more than 13 million streams in 2012."Making Cents: Damon Krukowski of Galaxie 500 and Damon & Naomi breaks down the meager royalties currently being paid out to bands by streaming services and explains what the music business' headlong quest for capital means for artists today. [more inside]
Suppose I could offer you a choice of two technologies for watching TV online. Behind Door Number One sits a free-to-watch service that uses off-the-shelf technology and that buffers just enough of each show to put the live stream on the Internet. Behind Door Number Two lies a subscription service that requires custom-designed hardware and makes dozens of copies of each show. Which sounds easier to build—and to use? More importantly, which is more likely to be legal? If you went with Door Number One, then you are a sane person, untainted by the depravity of modern copyright law. But you are also wrong. The company behind Door Number One, iCraveTV, was enjoined out of existence a decade ago. The company behind Door Number Two, Aereo, just survived its first round in court and is still going strong. Why Johnny can't stream: How video copyright went insane by MeFi's own James Grimmelmann.
The Mahogany Blog (based in London) features a diverse range of (often indie and/or upcoming) music: through streaming singles, guest mixes and video posts, sharing others' mixes, and brief interviews with artists. Their YouTube channel hosts The Mahogany Sessions - acoustic musical performances exclusive to and filmed by the blog.
Aereo is a new venture that is about to start streaming live, over-the-air TV signals in NYC to your computer, tablet or smart phone for $12 per month. How, you might ask, can they do this legally??? They have developed a ultra small TV antenna and they'll be deploying many thousands of them around NYC. Each subscriber then get's their own personal antenna, and they are therefore -- at least in theory -- protected by the 2008 ruling allowing Cablevision to offer DVR services from their head end. It's good they have Barry Diller behind them to cover their legal bills! Here's another article about this in today's NYT.
Psychonaut by The Cosmic Dead is free psych rock. Going Up, Coming Down by Sudden Death of Stars is free French psych with sitars. Kosmonaut 1 by Kosmonaut is free Tangerine Dream-style space rock. Sedan by Sedan is free hypnotic piano and drums. Ouroborus by Hypatia Lake is free stoner rock. Watch Your Back by Butchers is free slacker noise psych. Tumbleweeds by Across Tundras is free prairie rock. Concrete Light by Luger is free neo-kraut in a Stereolab vein. Born to Deal in Magic: 1952-1976 by Shooting Guns is free instrumental stoner doom. You Can't Win by The Runnies is free female-fronted organ trio psych. War of the Giants by Axxicorn is free stoner metal. [more inside]
"I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation." Netflix has lost 26% of its value after raising prices and splitting their DVD and streaming services (previously); they'll lose lose 600,000 subscribers by September 30 instead of gaining the 400,000 they predicted. Now Netflix is spinning off their DVD-by-mail service into a separate web site, Qwikster. [more inside]
Cinevault has over 1000 full length streamable movies, most from the golden age of Hollywood.
"Two years after first announcing it, Spotify is finally coming to the US. The service will be launched later today, at 8 in the morning EST. The company has signed a deal with the fourth and final music label just hours before launch and the service will be virtually identical to the European one, except for the pricing which, while keeping the numbers, is switching pounds for dollars. " [more inside]
The Illuminated Mixtapes — a running series of playlists for streaming, with hand illustrated covers for each one. Some nice background music while enjoying your MeFi.
The Professor is Dead. Long Live Netflix! As Netflix rebrands itself as a cable TV alternative rather than a by-mail video rental service, it's killing off its user community and anonymizing reviews. Top reviewer The Professor is philosophical about the change (see main link), others less so.
A couple hours of streaming music, courtesy of the friends of Bloglin (potentially NSFW banner, if you aren't blocking scripts). Browse through the audio on Soundcloud (57 uploads to date, and most are mixes), or sort through Blogin by categories (29 Keep Watch mixes, 167 mixtapes, and 3,235 music posts [though many are reviews and don't include handy downloads]). The music is mostly electronic, with some odd jaunts into post-rock/gothic styles and even some punk. [more inside]
Walking Home: stories from the desert to the Great Lakes. Laura Milkins is walking home. Home is Grand Rapids, Michigan. Laura lives in Tucson, Arizona. That's 2,000 miles (3,219 km), or about 4,473,976 steps. Right now she's in the shoulder of the road somewhere around Holbrook, Arizona. She has a pack on her back, a webcam streaming 24 hours strapped to a sun visor on her head, and hopefully, a place to stay tonight. You can follow her every step of the way, by watching live video broadcast from her hat. Or walk with her. [more inside]
The details are hazy, but somewhere outside of Toronto in the winter of 2004, on a stretch of highway near the U.S. border, a computer onboard a large bus spontaneously combusted. Some point the finger at the driver, others blame a faulty battery. Whatever the cause, Themselves and the Notwist were stranded. Gigs were cancelled. Meals were skipped. Shady motels were booked in below-freezing weather. It was the fifth breakdown of the tour, and despite those frustrations, a minor language barrier and the unfamiliar terrain, a cross-continental brotherhood was forged. Seven years later, the megagroup 13 & God have two albums, a live CD and and an EP as proof of that fateful tour. Join Doseone for a track-by-track commentary of their new album, and listen to the album, streaming on Soundcloud.
Music Beta by Google launches today, so go request an invitation to stream 20,000 songs from your collection for free (for now) .
As Amazon and the RIAA go head to head over the Amazon Cloud Player (esentially Dropbox with streaming) it seems like a good time to recap the turbulent history of the humble MP3, upender of the music industry business model.
New streaming entertainment service Zediva is streaming new-release movies, avoiding the waiting period you get with Netflix, Amazon or iTunes. How? Instead of converting movies to files on a hard drive, they're renting out actual DVDs being played in actual DVD players - remotely. That means if the movie you want is being watched by someone else, you're gonna have to wait. Launched in November, the company is supposed to exit its beta phase this week.