As one may suspect, working in digital music gives a person a somewhat skewed view about the permeation of online music in the general population. Everyone (aside from audiophiles and vinyl buffs) is getting their music fix though the Web nowadays, right? Wrong. Although digital music is on the rise, it's still well behind CDs in terms of overall sales ($2.8 billion versus $15.9 billion, according to one report).
Social music site Last.fm has unveiled a new look: a slick new design, an iPhone app, a partnership with Logitech to stream music to compatible home stereo systems, and a host of new features.
With the new features, members can receive music recommendations instantly by naming a few bands and artists they like. Previously, they had to hook up their music libraries so that the site's engine, or "scrobbler," could read and analyze what songs they'd listened to recently. The site's music charts now also update in near-real time.
Unfortunately, when I tried to … Read more
Instead of trying to scrawl down lyrics, doing a search on Google (only to be lead to some bizarre lyric website repository that may or may not work, all the while offering me free ringtones and ceaseless pop-up ads), with Shazam's app, I've actually found songs by, well, listening to them. Shazam is slick. You hear a song, start the app, hold your iPhone's mic up to the sound source and viola! It's been 'tagged' and identified like a wild bird you caught on Animal Planet. Another app by Midomi even lets you hum a tune … Read more
It's sometimes lost in all the flavor-of-the-week mix-remix-download-social networking sites, but eMusic has been selling DRM-free MP3s--meaning they can be played on the iPod or any other player--from independent labels and artists for a decade now, and has a reasonable claim to be the No. 2 music store behind iTunes.
A planned redesign is meant to help eMusic retain this position. According to reports in Fortune and Digital Music News, the site's slated for an overhaul beginning next week. Artist pages will be updated with Wikipedia biographies, original editorial content, and embedded YouTube videos. In a nod to … Read more
The end is near, another war seems imminent, oil prices continue to rise, the dollar is in free fall, and now audiophiles have abandoned the CD.
Don't get the wrong idea: they haven't all dumped their CD players for turntables (I wish). Instead, they've bought music servers of some kind or another. How can this be happening?
I read the sad news on the Stereophile July 6 voting feature (scroll down to see results).
That week's question: how do you listen to digital music? The poll says 34 percent still use CD players as their primary … Read more
For those true-blue rockers who might frown on a (gasp!) plastic guitar controller, gaming peripheral maker Peak Products is out with the Starpex, which it says is the first-ever full-size wood guitar controller for the PS2/PS3.
The idea here is that a more authentic-feeling instrument can make you feel even more rock star-esque than you already do as you shred your way through the popular Guitar Hero and Rock Band titles. Peak Products says Starpex has an instrument-quality hardwood body, neck, and headstock handcrafted by a leading guitar manufacturer, which as of now, shall apparently remain unnamed.
A button … Read more
For all you electronic music fans and lovers of all things blinky, my review of the Yamaha Tenori-On music sequencer is ready for your consideration. The final ruling in a nutshell: the Tenori-On is an awesome tool for performing electronic musicians, but too pricey for nonmusicians and too limited for studio music production.
What a long, strange tease its been since we first caught wind of the mythical Tenori-On music sequencer back in 2005. Now, here we are at the end: you've seen the photo gallery, the unboxing video, my interview with Yu Nishibori, the requisite comparison to the Monome, … Read more
MTV might've strayed away from music these days--My Super Sweet Sixteen, anyone?--but the entertainment mainstay's latest project aims to both bring it back to its roots and propel it into the social Web. Ambitious, yes.
It's called "Soundtrack," and it's an "interactive music guide for TV." If you're watching a heated moment of cattiness between Lauren and Audrina on The Hills and are dying to know what song's playing in the background, you can log on and find out exactly what it was. Then you can purchase the MP3, … Read more