Crazy Video: Giant Robot Cassette Kills Giant Robot iPod Classic

The iPod Classic is dead, sure. Now it’s really dead. And the cassette player outlasts its shiny Apple hipster-fashion-accessory counterpart with the non-removable battery – by kicking its sorry ass with a giant mecha fist punch to the face. Hold on… if it seems we may be losing our grip on reality, that’s just because we’re entering the wild world of cassette label / music collective Chrome BrulĂ©e. The retro-electro artists, comprising Tony Johnson, Michael Shredlove, Alex Mayhem, Kid Supreme, Aximus & Club Cannibal, make music that’s intentionally backwards-looking, and then release it on cassettes. And then they make crazy …


The iPod is Dead; Now Stop Being So Weepy and Start Looking at the Future

It happened just as Apple was giving us one thing many of us couldn’t imagine wanting (a watch), and one thing we definitely didn’t ask for (“buying” U2’s new record for us). Apple quietly killed the iPod Classic. That is, the iPod touch lives on as an iOS handheld minus a cellular radio, and there’s an app on iOS. But there is no standalone device, with the as-expected discontinuation of iPod Classic. Correction: there is one. The US$49, 2GB iPod shuffle is still available. But it’s a pale shadow of the iPod line. This is a big deal. It means …


AirBeam: Wireless Camera Streams from an iPhone, iPad to Mac, Syphon

If you’ve ever dreamed of using cameras live, wirelessly, this app’s for you. AirBeam works with any camera-enabled iOS gadget, and streams audiovisual signals wirelessly. Where things get cool: the developers have added Syphon support, meaning you can use your iPhone or other thing as a wireless video source in apps like Modul8, Jitter, Processing, and many more. (Oddly, they’re not doing much of a job advertising that feature on their site. They say something about baby monitors or security cameras or something. It’s almost like they’re not interested in catering to childless, homeless VJs. Go figure.) Features: iPhone, iPod …


Ten Years into iPod Era, the Big News: Apple’s Dedicated Player Survives

Rocking it old skool… sort of. The iPod Classic, the true successor, ten years on. Photo (CC-BY-ND) Mac User’s Guide. The tenth anniversary of the iPod debut means you’ll find plenty of commentaries on Apple’s iPod and how it has changed music. It’s an issue that’s been talked to death enough, continuously, in the past ten years that I’m literally uncertain there’s more I can say about it. Here’s one good, compact commentary from Daring Fireball, inspired by Macworld’s sharp review from the 2001 debut of the hardware. Instead, let’s consider what hasn’t happened: Apple hasn’t discontinued the standalone iPod, …


TuneCore: Apple iCloud will Transform Industry, Make Streaming the Norm (Wait, Really?)

This could be the biggest shock to the industry since the iPod, argues TuneCore. Photo (CC-BY-SA) strollers. Jeff Price, writing for TuneCore, has a different take on Apple’s iCloud. He thinks it will both transform the industry and shift consumer listening from downloaded files to streams. That would mean I’d have to substantially revise my knee-jerk take following Apple’s announcement – and his line of thinking would raise questions about whether dividing up a $25-a-year fee will leave much of a revenue stream for artists. Updated: Apple responded to NPR’s request for clarification. iCloud is not a streaming service. That …


High Anxiety: Even Before Its Announcement, Indies Concerned About Apple Cloud

Seeing clouds on a sunny day. Photo (CC-BY) Kristine Paulus. We’ll be watching Apple’s developer conference closely to try to understand the implications of a likely announcement of an Apple cloud music service for artists. While Google and Amazon are already testing those waters, Apple’s dominance of the software player (iTunes) and mobile players (iPod, iPhone) give it arguably greater weight. We should know more after the official announcement, but early reports suggest independent labels (to say nothing of unsigned artists) may have reason for concern. I think it’ll make more sense to analyze this once some of the secrecy …


FL Studio is Coming to Fruity Mobiles iPhone, iPad – Well, Sort Of

Image-Line has long promised it’d never make a version of its popular FL Studio – aka Fruity Loops – for Mac desktops. Blame the Windows-centered development tools in which this cult-hit all-in-one production studio is built. But it has found its way to a fruit-themed platform of a different sort, with FL Studio Mobile for iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Leaked specs and early screenshots have surfaced (apparently unintentionally). That means anything said here could change as the app is developed. (Thanks to readers who tipped us off, though it seems I-L didn’t intend to make this public!) The app looks …


Music’s Future is Cloudy, But Maybe Not So Different; Human Size Matters

The radio, sound-playing object. For all the world has changed, music playing is not so radically different when you think of objects and applications. Photo (CC-BY) get directly down. Same as it ever was: With talk of the cloud, streams, special proprietary devices that pipe vendor-specific sounds to particular home stereos, intelligent, always-on access to entire music collections, tablets and set-top boxes and … all of that … it can be tough to look into the future of music and audio. I spent the last weekend at Project Bar-B-Q, a mind-bending retreat of audio tech industry sages and engineers, on …


Logic Adds Official Support for Wireless iPhone, iPad Touch Control via TouchOSC

If you’ve wished you could use your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad as a remote control for Logic, now’s your chance. And touch control continues to evolve as an additional option for manipulating music software, alongside good, old-fashioned knobs and faders. Handheld wireless touch control is certainly coming into the mainstream. As we see new controller integration in tools ranging from Ardour to Renoise, Apple quietly added support for iOS touch control in an update to Logic. One line in the release notes says it all: Supports iOS control surface apps that utilize the OSC protocol. Logic Pro 9.1.2: Release …


The Myth of Falling Fidelity, and Audio History Unburdened by Fact

Photo (CC) Alosh Bennett. With the regularity of clockwork, stories about how digital audio consumption is degrading the quality of music are published and then re-published. Nearly a decade after the introduction of Apple’s iPod, this still apparently qualifies as news. The content of the articles is so identical, you could believe the bylines are a ruse, a nom-de-plume for the same author re-publishing the same story. Whatever the reason for their supposed newsworthiness, the problem with these stories isn’t their claims about the variable quality of music listening. I think it’d be hard to overstate just how sub-optimal real-world …