Apps Alone Aren’t Problem; Apple iTunes Lockdown Hurts Creators, Consumers

Out of sync: iTunes integration was a selling point early on. But at what point is Apple’s own innovation upstaged by their desire to control distribution through the iTunes channel? . Last week, Apple rejected a podcast management app because, to paraphrase Apple’s own policy, they want iTunes handling all podcasts for you and not […]

The Album, Reborn Digitally – Much, Much, Much Longer

  Many musical luminaries have warned that the MP3 single is the death of the vaunted album format. The idea is people will listen to single tracks instead of whole albums. Don’t tell that to Harry Pyle (seen at right, promoting the hard-edged stereotype of accordion players). Far from gravitating to the single, he’s made […]

An Ableton Live-Friendly Remix: Martin Brothers Dancetracksdigital Contest with “Dum”

It’s amazing that, even today, relatively few artists release stems when they want to encourage remixes. A new remix contest with The Martin Brothers’ new track “Dum,” on the Dirtybird label, goes further, by providing not only individual stems, but a full-blown Ableton Live set, completely with warping parameters and even some plug-in inserts. That […]

Fine Print: What Do Royalty Rates Actually Pay?

  As an addendum to the Last.fm story today, what are the actual royalty rates we’re talking here? They’re not much – precisely the reason musicians will have to get broadcast-style play counts to ever see anything worth counting. For instance, Last.fm makes the comparison with the BBC in the Wired story. The BBC has […]

Metallica Attempts to Be Beloved Trent Reznor, Fails

Eliot Van Buskirk has, as always, terrific music coverage for Wired. The story this time: how Metallica’s Radiohead/Nine Inch Nails-style Internet release, free of DRM, seems only to make people angry. It gives a glimpse into how the Internet release could evolve over time, outside the aura of joy in which the latter two bands […]

DRM Lessons: MSN Music Restores Authorizations Through 2011

Let this be a lesson to you, purveyors of online music. If you do DRM-lock digital music, be prepared to continue to support it well into the future, lest users rebel. Microsoft announced earlier this year that its MSN Music service, defunct now for some time and never terribly popular, would cease to function as […]

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 […]

Another Free NIN Release: Give Away the Download, Sell the Vinyl?

Nine Inch Nails are back with another free release; this time, it’s an upcoming album release called "The Slip". And NIN continue to give us the kinds of formats we like, with the income this time coming entirely from physical sales: the music is available in a variety of formats including high-quality MP3, FLAC or […]

Record Sales Up — No, Really, Actual Records

Eliot Van Buskirk of Wired points out that RIAA numbers show that records are on the rise again, after two years of declining sales. No, I’m not just using the old-fashioned term "records" to refer to something else — I mean records, as in vinyl, as in big round things with grooves that you put […]