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music

Zap to roll out 'Made for iPod' electric car

Having already capitalized on the green movement, electric car maker Zap is hitching its star to another unstoppable trend: the iPod. The company, which has made headlines in the last year for expanding its lines to include higher-end models such as sports cars and SUVs, reportedly plans to unveil a "Made for iPod" auto at next week's Macworld extravaganza in San Francisco.

The model will feature a head unit that will accommodate the music player and pipe its tunes directly through its speakers, according to iLounge, using its new "iZap" power system made specifically for … Read more

Music industry urged to drop download prices

The music industry needs to drastically cut the price it charges for downloads if it wants to survive the Internet revolution, according to CEO of one of the world's most successful independent labels.

Terry McBride, CEO of the Nettwerk Music Group, which manages such best-selling acts as Avril Lavigne, Barenaked Ladies and Dido, told the CES conference today that the music industry needs to "let go it's control and let consumers own their music" in order to survive.

The industry, McBride says, has been "hitting a glass ceiling" in terms of sales. It won'… Read more

iPhone Accessories: Sounds like... a blimp? B&W and THX offer some new speakers to plugin your iPod/iPhone

So yes, there are iPhone-related products at CES 2008 primarily focused covers and protective skins and audio speakers. Two products that really caught my eye in terms of form and function are B&W's Zepplin (yes, a Zeplin, like the Hindenpeter of Family Guy fame - hope this one doesn't burst into flames) and THX/Razer's Mako speakers. Both are definitely against the grain from a Bose or a Altec Lansing iPod docking audio system. I've never liked the Bose docks - the sound is too grainy or metallic, and the Altec Lansing product at … Read more

Napster kicks it old school with MP3

For my money, one of the most exciting pieces of news coming out of CES this year is Napster's announcement that the service will be offering up its entire download catalog in the DRM-free MP3 format. It may not be free, but it still hearkens back to the olden days of Napster. Of course, Amazon.com's digital music store has been selling MP3 files for months now (and eMusic much longer than that), but having another major online music service push for the most universal of digital music formats is just one more step in the right direction--it … Read more

MTV Networks video, coming soon to a site near you

MTV Networks announced Tuesday that it will distribute its video content across the Web through deals with a number of social-media sites and video portals: GoFish, Veoh, MeeVee, and Imeem. Through this initiative, users of the video sites will be able to view both short- and long-form content provided by MTV Network as well as embed them on blogs and social-networking sites.

The partnerships will start to go live over the next few weeks; representatives from Imeem, for example, said that MTV Networks video content will appear on the social network, which focuses on ad-supported streaming media, in February.

MTV … Read more

French electronica act to headline MySpace tour

No, it's not Daft Punk, but the robot-suit-clad techno heroes' influence is evident in the choices of artists for MySpace.com's second concert tour.

The tour, produced by concert powerhouse Live Nation, is slated to take place in March in a number of U.S. and Canadian cities. Headlining the tour will be French electronic duo Justice. Joining that act on select nights will be a combination of the electronic and hip-hop acts Diplo, DJ Medhi, Chromeo, Busy P, and Fancy.

The first show will kick off on March 3 in Austin, Texas, and will hit a total … Read more

Lessons for digital content

Seth Godin has a great post about 14 "things you can learn from the music business (as it falls apart)." And it doesn't just to music. Read the whole thing (a couple of times) but one big point that I take away is this: All the analysis and hand-wringing over what percentage of people pay for some downloadable album is really beside the point. The business model has changed for better or worse. The music business going forward won't continue to be about CD's that just happen to be available in electronic form but are … Read more

Nokia Music Store

Update: a spokesperson from Nokia contacted me and let me know that, despite what the booth staffers told me, Nokia has "not announced plans or a timeline for the U.S. market" regarding a music store. So we'll have to wait and see.

I stopped by the packed Nokia booth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to get an update on the Nokia Music Store announced over the summer. It's already online in the U.K. (PC only), with a library of nearly 3 million songs.

The Web-based store looks fairly standard. But according … Read more

Sony's inane offline/online music proposal

The answer is "Yes." Sony, as Techcrunch reports, is set to allow DRM-free online music...with the inane requirement that you visit a physical store to buy your online music.

DRM free music from Sony BMG will be available from January 15 to those who purchase a plastic card called the "Platinum Music Pass" for the album they want from a retail store for $12.99. Buyers will then have to visit MusicPass.com and enter a code to download the DRM free album they selected in the store.

Astronauts have reported spotting Sony BMG executives … Read more

Sony BMG to offer gift cards for unprotected MP3s

Call it a mix-and-match approach to music retailing.

Sony BMG Music Entertainment, one of the top four music labels, is the latest to meld an offline-online sales strategy. The record company said in a press release it will soon offer gift cards through brick-and-mortar stores that can be used to redeem music from the Web.

The best part of the offering is that the music is available in unprotected MP3s, more proof that Sony BMG is easing away from copy-protection software. Citing unnamed sources, BusinessWeek reported last week that the label is preparing to strip digital rights management software from … Read more