Amazon has installed some major upgrades to its Cloud Player music service...
After finally attaining the licenses from all the major record and publishing companies, the Cloud Player is now equipped with the ability to scan a user's computer, and automatically match songs to a master database online. Needless to say, this is much more efficient than uploading each song individually. Users can store up to 250 songs for free on Amazon’s servers, or pay $24.99 to upload 250,000 songs. Amazon is also making its service more compatible with various devices such as the Kindle, Androids, and iPhones. In addition, according to ZDNet, it has plans to integrate with Roku and Sonos entertainment systems in the near future. The Cloud Player is in direct competition with iTunes Match, which also charges $24.99 per year (but doesn’t have a free option), and Google Play.
Spotify has now launched its Radio app for Android users. The app gives listeners access to its entire catalog of music (more than 17 million songs), and it features the same freemium model used by Spotify's core streaming service. In the free version, ads intermittently interrupt playback, and users can't playback songs from their mobile device on-demand (though they can save songs they hear on Radio to their desktop). Spotify hopes that this model will entice people to subscribe to its premium service, which costs $10 a month.
In other news, 7digital has just launched music download and streaming service Music Hub for the Samsung Galaxy SIII. With a vast catalog of over 19 million songs, 7digital is looking to challenge Spotify and iTunes. The business model is a sort of hybrid between the two. The free version only offers paid downloads, while the premium version (which costs $9.99/month, just like Spotify) gives you unlimited access to stream the entire catalog. It also features a personalized radio, a la Pandora. Check out C|Net's review of the service here.
With the Internet and television already starting to converge, investors are looking at innovative new platforms for music. One concept that has gained some traction is BalconyTV, a YouTube channel that features up-and-coming artists literally performing sets on balconies and rooftops. BalconyTV was founded in Dublin by Stephen O'Regan, Tom Millett and Pauline Freeman, three friends who would record and upload videos of artists daily from their balcony. The idea caught on, and now shows are produced in over 30 cities around the world. BalconyTV just received $750,000 of funding from Polaris Venture Partners. The business model is still ad-based, but cofounder O'Regan says that this is only its short-term strategy. "We can see a much bigger potential in the future that will come off the brand’s ability to grow."
Warner/Chappell has purchased the rights to hundreds of Miramax film scores. That includes the masters as well as publishing rights to films such as Good Will Hunting, Gangs of New York, and Finding Neverland. The terms of the deal, announced Tuesday morning, have not been disclosed.
Snoop Dogg is releasing his first reggae album in the fall, to be called Reincarnated. The rapper visited Jamaica for a month and claims that, while he was there, he channelled the spirit of Bob Marley (hence the album title). He is also changing his name to Snoop Lion to match his new Rastafarian persona. "Raggae was calling… it's a breath of fresh air," said Snoop in a news conference on Monday. "Rap isn't challenging; it's not appealing." The rapper also said he was looking forward to making music that his children can listen to. "I've got to give them something," he said. "That's what you do when you're wise."
Just as musicians spend countless hours developing their craft, producers, mixers, and all the 'sonic sculptors' in the studio work tirelessly to give music balance, depth, and consistency. Recording, mixing, and mastering were once artforms that each required specialized training (not to mention thousands of dollars of equipment) to understand. But as the internet has democratized information of all types, it is becoming fairly straightforward for aspiring artists to learn how to produce music themselves. Disc Makers, owner of CD Baby, is one company that has spearheaded the proliferation of free information. Their latest tutorial is an extensive Microphone Guide, available for download here as part of their free "Home Studio Series". So if you've been trying to get that 'professional sound' for your music, now’s the time to start studying up!
M. Zion Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Jah Rastafari Snoop Lion! Is He going to give up eating meat too?
re mixing and mastering Wednesday, August 01, 2012
"to give music balance, depth, and consistency"
IMO professional mixing and mastering has reduced pop music to a homogenous pile of crap.
I realize it is hard to convince someone that sounding exactly like the current hit single is bad but if no one sticks their neck out to try something new, we are doomed to hear the same tripe over and over again