portastudio

Portastudio on iPad, with Faux Cassette, and Everything Old is New Again

If it’s an iconic piece of hardware or software, there’s at least a decent chance you could be seeing it in virtual iPad form soon. Tascam’s Portastudio, released today, is a particularly striking example. The famed, budget cassette multitrack recorder, the box on which countless demos and quick songwriter creations was forged, appears on Apple’s tablet. There’s even a fake cassette tape, which I have to say is a little bit unnerving. This is all nostalgia, right? Well, no, actually: those big, simplified plastic controls and memorable layout work because they’re so easy to use. The problem with a lot …

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Data+Music: Echo Nest and 7Digital on Discovery, Ping, and Social Music’s Future

Photo (CC-BY-ND) verityatthedisco. Remember the music industry? We used to talk about radio play and record deals. Now, we’re talking developers, APIs, and analytics. Of course, the test, now as then, is whether there’s actually substance for music listeners and artists. On Friday, we looked at Apple’s Ping and how, via TuneCore, artists who aren’t Lady Gaga can get their own pages. We also saw some vigorous discussion of TuneCore, which helps you get your music into “big bucket” sites like Amazon and iTunes, and SoundCloud, who together offer integrated sharing and distribution. The Echo Nest is an unusual animal …

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SoundCloud + TuneCore Get Your Music Sold Online; Hear Some Artists

Whether or not the ability to use TuneCore as a way to get an iTunes Ping page piqued your interest, if you’re generally interested in selling your music online, here’s some more interesting news. SoundCloud has teamed up with TuneCore to allow you to sell singles and albums in a variety of online stores, including Nokia phones, Amazon MP3, Zune, Emusic, and of course iTunes. TuneCore’s approach is pretty simple: accounts are free, and you play a flat fee ($9.99 per single, $49.99 per album) to distribute music online in all the stores. You keep all of the royalties; once …

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Want to Get on iTunes Ping? TuneCore Artist Ping Pages Go Live

Look, it’s not Katy Perry! Yes, individual artist pages are possible on Ping. TuneCore can help make the process easy. Shown here: singer/songwriter Andrew Belle, who helped TuneCore document the process. Check out his artist page in iTunes. What’s a social network for music discovery if there aren’t any artists? As covered previously, Apple’s Ping on launch was a pretty big flop. With no custom artist pages, artists felt left out of the party – and would-be users found themselves scratching their heads as iTunes mindlessly recommended U2 and Lady Gaga to everyone. At the very least, as expected, we …

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Apple’s Ping Launch is a Dud, But The Web is Alive with the Sound of Music

“ping” came before Ping – and it might just outlast it. Photo (CC-BY) Noah Sussman. And yes, when I asked readers about Ping, a number of people referred me to this one. Before diving into the litany of gripes from artists regarding Apple’s Ping social service, it’s worth saying: some critics say they expected better. Many artists want a smarter, more social iTunes. That’s the only reason anyone is spending time talking about the service’s perceived flaws. Cellist and laptop musician Zoë Keating, an independent artist with collaborations from Imogen Heap to DJ Shadow, reminded me of that via Twitter. …

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Follow-up: iTunes Library Access on iOS, Developers, and iPhone, iPad DJ Apps

Touch DJ, one of the early DJ entries on iOS. These apps could tie more closely into iTunes libraries on the device, broadening their appeal. Photo (CC-BY-ND) William Brawley. Following mobile music making means keeping up with technical details that are complex and changing. And because the Internet is open, when you post a story on iOS DJ apps, odds are it may be read by some of the Apple audio engineers, third-party developers, and a casual DJ with little understanding of what’s behind the scenes. But I’ll say this: the behind the scenes stuff matters, and it’s a great …

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Preview: The Chemical Brothers Go Audiovisual for New Album ‘Further’

Out today in the US is the new release from The Chemical Brothers, ‘Further.’ From what I’ve heard so far, expect a full-bodied, raucous record of sounds, neither particularly retro nor modern. I’m withholding judgment on how successful the direction is until I spend some quality time with it. I find it interesting that the press materials suggest the result should sound a bit like a live set – and I likewise look forward to seeing the act live when they come to New York in early September. What’s also interesting about this release is that it’s an audiovisual album. …

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DMX Control: Now in Quartz Composer, iTunes, iPhone, iPod touch

DMX (aka DMX512) is the lingua franca for lighting that MIDI is for music. (It even has a number of similarities to MIDI, and as with MIDI, I do hope eventually we’ll see more intelligent networked devices – but, for now, it’s what you use.) The folks at Synthe-FX have developed a mobile app with full support for controlling DMX from your iPhone and iPod touch. Now near the release of version 2.0, the aptly-named Luminair provides elegant control over channels, cues, color, and other controls. It’s a really beautiful app, too, a lesson for all developers working on mobile …

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Music Devs Want Change at Apple App Store, as DJ Apps Remain Unapproved

A powerful DJ application for your iPhone or iPod touch may be a tantalizing prospect. But several would-be candidates aren’t available to you yet. Why? They’re languishing in Apple’s approval process, with no sign of whether they’ll be released or not. For all the success of Apple’s App Store, some developers and users continue to express frustration at what they believe is a sluggish, unpredictable approval process, restrictive Apple policies, and Apple’s complete control over distribution and categorization. That now leads to two complaints from music developers. A number of music developers want more delineation from Apple’s categories, so that …

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Rant – Congratulations, Apple: “Syncing” Music Now Means “Using iTunes”

Photo (CC) Tim Douglas. Critics frequently attach the phrase “lock-in” to Apple’s iTunes Store – iTunes – iPod/iPhone combination. But, in the post-DRM age, what does that mean, exactly? First, you have to recall that while for many of us the manual drag-and-drop music management is appealing, it isn’t so for many average consumers. They want sync. That means that music will be stored in iTunes and synced to Apple devices and nothing else. Apple is serious about locking you to their store and their devices, enough so that they frequently update their software with special keys that prevent the …

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