serum

Rent-to-own Serum means Kanye doesn’t have to pirate it

Somewhere – tonight, even – some unknown producer is going to make some brilliant new track using software. (Seriously, this is the world we live in.) And when they do, odds are they might well turn to a popular synth like breakout-hit Serum. The problem is this: someone getting started in producing is probably unwilling or unable to shell out US$189 for a single software instrument. So that individual is likely to pirate the software.

READ MORE →
discoipod

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 …

READ MORE →

SoundCloud More Affordable for Creators, As Service Attempts Balancing Acts [Analysis]

We hear some pretty clear messages from CDM readers about SoundCloud. One, almost all of you seem to have some criticisms of it. Two, almost all of you appear to use it, complaints or none. Even as other services remain valuable, SoundCloud is practically its own category. (In fact, the level of detail about those complaints suggests to me that they come from ongoing, intensive usage.) Ubiquity is an understatement. “Do you have a SoundCloud?” is a question I hear about as much as I once heard “do you have a MySpace?” a few years ago. People ask it in …

READ MORE →
anonymous

MegaUpload Raided; Do You Feel Your Future as a Creator is Brighter Yet?

Anonymous 2. And, uh, jeez, if you like uptime, you don’t want to annoy Anonymous. (CC-BY-SA) liryon. Well, that happened. It’s a surreal episode that seems not to have any clear winners, as the US government on one side and hackers on the other face off over what is and isn’t freedom online. The mystery is, what will be the long-term outcome for people making content – or, for that matter, do these kinds of dramatics even really have any logic in your work at all? While the music tech industry was holed away in the palm tree-lined walls of …

READ MORE →
sopa

Opponents of US SOPA Legislation Gaining Momentum on Blackout Day; Musicians Have a Stake

Photo (CC-BY-NC-SA) Dawn Loh. It’s been called, bluntly, “Internet censorship” by opponents. And now, US legislation that claims to curb piracy faces mounting challenges as that opposition grows, particularly as the White House warns it will block the bills. Today, even as a flood of delightful new music toys become available, it’s worth pausing to consider why this matters – and, if you vote in the United States, to call your Senators and Representatives (again, if needed). Many of us who create music believe the dynamic, user-driven nature of the Web is our best chance at a bright future. Free …

READ MORE →

Pirating a Fundraising Album for an Italian Quake – Really?

Ligabue, one of the contributing artists, live in Berlin. Photo (CC) Matthias Muehlbradt. Sure, many issues around intellectual property are gray. But contributor Jo Ardalan has a disturbing story: what happens when a fundraising album gets pirated? Did illegal file sharing users know what they were doing — is there a need for a donation mechanism for these services — or is it really this bad? Apologies if this is old news – catching up during travel – but a question well worth considering. -Ed. We all know piracy forces labels, artists and developers to incur a huge cost. Recently, …

READ MORE →

How Propellerhead’s New “Ignition Key” Authorization for Record Works

Propellerhead’s upcoming Record has attracted a lot of attention and discussion, but some of the forum chatter has centered on the new authorization scheme. Record will in fact use a hardware dongle as a key. Propellerhead obviously anticipated a response, as on their own site, they concede: “Wait – a USB device? You mean… a dongle? Are you insane?” But in the current description, and the teasers over the weekend, they also promised a “different” way of doing authorization – a promise that in the short term may have made people even more confused. At the risk of causing a …

READ MORE →

RIAA Website: Portrait of an Industry Group Out of Touch with its Own Interests

This Website is brought to you by Chicken Little and Bad Cop. Much of the debate online about the record industry has devolved – with quite a lot of help from the misguided message of the US trade group, the RIAA – into a debate about piracy. It winds up being something dumb, like, “Piracy is evil!” “No, piracy is great!” Wow, this should be a really insightful discussion – I can’t wait! Piracy is, pure and simple, “loss prevention.” People often laugh off the comparison between piracy and things like shoplifting. But I think that comparison isn’t made enough …

READ MORE →

Round-Up: Samples, Stealing, Fakery, the Law, and Lots of Sample Shenanigans

Deadmau5, acting mousey. Photo (CC) iamdonte. Who’s sampling what? When is sampling stealing? Who’s stolen sampled samples, and was the sampling stolen stealing? Is anyone actually playing live? Does anyone know what the law is? Does anyone care? Yes, it’s been a lively November so far for massive, complicated legal battles, PR battles, who-said-who-sampled-what battles, and general sampling messiness. Here’s a quick round-up for those of you who haven’t been able to keep up (understandably). And we’re going to play a game. I’m going to start talking, and you can see at what point your head starts to spin and …

READ MORE →

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 are enveloped. I can make the story short, though: In many circles, Metallica is no longer cool or never was cool. Lawyer make people MAD. Angry. Smash. (Apparently in addition to going after 60,000 pages of fans on Napster, Metallica doesn’t even like fan-made buttons.) …

READ MORE →