Beyond The Apple – Wal-Mart Music Landscape

Above: The future of iTunes? By dave_mcmt. By now, you’ve likely heard that Apple’s iTunes Music Store has taken the #2 spot in music sales — all music sales — right behind retailer giant Wal-Mart. This tends to lead to one of two somewhat gloating reactions from Apple advocates. One is a sort of “rah, rah, go Apple!” attitude. The other is along the lines of “hurrah, discs are dead, go throw your CDs in with your eight tracks and vinyl while we leap into the future!” A typical sentiment comes from Scott McNulty on The Unofficial Apple Weblog: “I …

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Musicians, Like Writers, Left Out of Online Revenues – Or Not

Thom gets his own poster, courtesy M.A.C. Kingsley. Because new records have sound all over them, and you should probably get paid for that. Television itself (well, American TV — BBC is doing just fine) has ground to a halt over online revenues for writers. How are musicians doing? Not so well, say Radiohead. Ars Technica notes that Thom Yorke has been going around pointing out many labels screw artists out of digital download income in contracts. The solution isn’t rocket science: get a better contract, get a different label, or go it alone. Radiohead chose the “go it your …

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iTunes, Video Marketplace? TuneCore Does Music Videos

Stores like iTunes (and all those Windows Media-based alternatives, if anyone ever uses them) aren’t just the domain of major labels. Indie artists and smaller labels are finding their way onto these services, courtesy the power of distributors and other conduits. (For music, tools like CD Baby have been a big boon.) But part of the potential of all of this technology was supposed to be video content as well as music. TuneCore has stepped up to the plate with a beta service that lets artists sell music videos via iTunes. Many artists, I suspect, will prefer to use videos …

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Free TuneCore Album on iTunes, Music Video Sales in Beta

While on the subject of free music listening, in case you haven’t seen this yet, TuneCore has a free mix album up on iTunes — 33 tracks for free, from everybody from Public Enemy (whoo!) to the awesomely-named Harry and the Potters: TuneCore Free Album The only bad news: DRM-equipped tracks, so get ready for the burn and re-rip trick if you want them to be truly free. (Odd that you’d want DRM on a free track, huh? Hopefully this is a trend whose end is near…) In other news, TuneCore is also doing music video sales. It’s just one …

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Soundtrack Pro 2.01: Delay Designer, Fixes, and iTunes Plus DRM? (Bug?)

Just as the Macworld review was going to “press” (or appearing online, anyway) Soundtrack Pro 2.01 arrived. New in this version: Delay Designer: This effect now allows custom delay taps, with optional sync to project tempo. Combine clips into multichannel clip: This is nice: drag up to 24 source clips to the timeline, and you automatically get a combined multichannel clip, which should be handy for surround and stereo multichannel alike. Various fixes for performance / stability / etc. But there’s one release note that caught my eye: Soundtrack Pro 2 does not support iTunes Plus files. Now, that’s curious, …

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Listeners Test New 256kbps iTunes Plus Tracks — Can You Taste Test the Difference?

Apple’s iTunes Plus is here, featuring higher-res files and no DRM. CDM reader Ryan Pollack points us to Slashdot, where readers are abuzz about a Maximum PC taste test shootout: “Maximum PC did double-blind testing with ten listeners in order to determine whether or not normal people could discern the quality difference between the new 256kbps iTunes Plus files and the old, DRM-laden 128kbps tracks. But wait, there’s more! To add an extra twist, they also tested Apple’s default iPod earbuds vs. an expensive pair of Shure buds to see how much of an impact earbud quality had on the …

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How to Run Ableton Live on Apple TV; Live Music + Visual Apple TV

Imagine the Apple TV as live music and visual instrument, and not just a way of watching archived Battlestar Galactica? Our friend Jeff Gambera has been busy hacking his Apple TV for just such unusual purposes. He’s gotten the real-time audio and music workstation Ableton Live working; even the demo song runs. (Plenty of people use Ableton Live with equal or lesser hardware; the aTV should easily beat many older G4s.) This is big news for one primary reason: it means the Apple TV is capable handling multi-channel audio with real-time virtual instruments and time stretching. That makes the ATV …

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Apple DRM Lock-In: Illegal in Norway

While we’re talking DRM, bless those progressive Vikings. Norway’s Consumer Ombudsman (whom I imagine wears a long, ornate robe and a thick beard — or something archaic and cool, since us Americans don’t get any ombudspeople, just a lot of corporate lobbyists) has pronounced iTunes/iPod FairPlay DRM illegal. Apple DRM is illegal in Norway, says Ombudsman [OUT-LAW.com] Now, you may have heard this news already. But what I find interesting is that it’s not the DRM that Norway doesn’t like: it’s the fact that you’re locked into playing songs you buy on Apple’s software and gadgets and nothing else, as …

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MediaMonkey Review: The Ultimate Music Player and Library Organizer for PC

For many of us, listening to music — and managing our collections of music — can be as important as making music. Jaymis has me sold on MediaMonkey, available in cheap / free versions, for Windows. Note that this doesn’t run on the Mac — feel free to discuss Mac alternatives in comments. Listening software is often one of those few apps we run every day, so here’s Jaymis’ exhaustive review of his favorite. -PK I received my first MP3 file over ten years ago, as a zip archive spanned over three 3.5″ floppy disks. In the time since there …

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Apple Integrates CoverFlow into iTunes 7; Seamless Playback for Audio

Today’s Apple announcement was mostly as-expected, and ho-hum for music listeners. Wait, what’s that? John Lennon on iTunes! Fantasti— uh, sorry. That’s John Legend. Never mind. (One of these artists is not like the other.) Apple did offer improved iPods, long-awaited movie service and high-resolution TV shows, an upcoming video and audio streaming device for US$300, and two features I think music lovers will enjoy: First, the new “AlbumFlow” feature in fact comes direct from CoverFlow, the homemade app that created gorgeous 3D versions of album art and let you flip through them. Apple can’t be accused of stealing from …

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