Digital technology has enhanced music production, recording and distribution in ways unimaginable just a few decades ago, but are we losing something more essential in the process? Chris May (of The Vinyl Factory) talks to ambient pioneer and friend of technology Brian Eno about the dangers of digital dependence in modern music. “It doesn’t just apply with African recordings. It’s a problem everybody is having at the moment. Do I resist the temptation to perfect this thing? What do I lose by perfecting it?"
Why Would Anyone Buy a Cassette Tape? "I went back to the merch table to see what was on offer and saw - among other things - a cassette tape. I figured that participating in a weird economic trend would be worth the $5, so I bought it. Needless to say, I don't own anything that could play a cassette tape."
Ho-hum, it's another music download service and MP3 player - but this one's been created with the needs of correctional facilities in mind and is already in use in a dozen states and some federal prisons.
The music industry is moving rapidly into the digital world whether it likes it or not, and vinyl just might be the last thing standing in the way of a world where nobody bothers to buy physical music anymore. So did labels sabotage vinyl on purpose? Of course, the death of the CD has been touted before. Trends indicate, vinyl does seem to be making a comeback, but is a a word where you don't own your digital music (or do you?) enough to save the once-popular format? [more inside]
Do you need a free library of high-quality, carefully-recorded samples of a wide variety of musical instruments? The University of Iowa Electronic Music Studios' Musical Instrument Samples page has got you covered, from alto flute to violin. [more inside]
Who would have known that that the death of DRM would come in the form of a press release? While MP3 stores are nothing new, with iTunes moving to a 100% DRM free catalog by the 31st of March this now cements a de facto standard of DRM free music in the marketplace. As a side effect it's now a near certainty that AAC will become the successor of MP3.
So you've decided that you're uneasy with Apple's virtual monopoly on digital music. So you picked Microsoft's Zune. Hell, maybe you even got a tattoo! You're bucking the trend, and you're satisfied with your purchase. It's not like Microsoft would make a faulty machine, would they? Well...Happy New Year!
"'49:00' is a 43-minute-long album in the form of one long recorded track that claims to be six minutes longer, and insists in its subtitle on grabbing exactly that portion of your time/life." To commemorate his upcoming 49th birthday, ex-Replacement Paul Westerberg released his first digital album on 'June 49th.' He's worked out an exclusive arrangement with Amazon, selling it at a price that's all shook down: $0.49.
Coming off the previously-addressed possibility of Apple purchasing Vivendi Music comes the news (if you still call the New York Post that) that Microsoft might want the company too. Are people, especially the online community, going to make this out as a battle between good and evil? Or is Bill Gates' Dance Party a good thing?
You too can be a felon! Last year, the SDMI Foundation made a public challenge to see if anyone could crack 6 proposed protection mechanisms for digitally-encoded music. All six turned out to be feeble and all six fell. Since then, the SDMI Foundation has been relying on lawyers to cover up for the incompetence of their engineers. They're trying to suppress this article, so everyone reading this has a duty to make and store a copy of it. (Everyone should also own at least one copy of DeCSS. I have the 442-character C version printed on the back of my personal card.)
A while back, you'll remember, a professor from Princeton cracked the SDMI watermark, but couldn't publish [MeFi search], and weren't awarded the prize because they wouldn't NDA. Well, a French team has also cracked it, and not being bound by the US DMCA, they've published. Good thing? Or bad?
IBM, with the latest attempt to put the genie back in the bottle. Their fatal flaw is betting on a post-napster world, though I bet their EMMS technology gets cracked before that ever happens.
The SDMI Hack challenge seems to have gone down in flames. And apparently it wasn't even very difficult to break into it. This article goes into it in some detail. [more]