Get an iLoud Bluetooth speaker for $234 shipped

Calling all musicians (and music lovers): today's deal is for you.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, StackSocial has the IK Multimedia iLoud Bluetooth speaker for $239 shipped. And when you apply coupon code cheapskate5 at checkout, your price drops to just $234. It lists for $299.99 and sells elsewhere in the $290 range.

So, yeah, $234 is still a lot for a speaker. But this is about as premium as they get, a great choice for a den or family room where you want rich, full sound from a fairly compact package. Or for your … Read more

Sensaphonics ER earplugs, a better way to hush the noise

Earplugs are the best way to protect your hearing in loud environments, but sometimes they do their job too well. They muddle the sound, so music sounds dull, or you can't understand people talking around you. I've used earplugs for decades; my first set was custom-molded to my ears, and while they were highly effective, the hard plastic plugs were uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time. So I moved onto inexpensive, but comfy foam plugs that quelled the noise almost as well, but they totally muffled the sound. Foam earplugs can be frustrating to use at … Read more

Apple tunes up Logic Pro X

Apple has launched a new version of its Logic Pro music-mixing software with an entire orchestra of features.

Available as of Tuesday, Logic Pro X sports a redesigned interface and more instruments and effects geared toward professional musicians. The new Drummer feature adds a virtual drummer that can play along with your song using a variety of drumming styles. A Flex Pitch function offers pitch editing for your songs, and the Logic Remote feature allows you to control Logic Pro X from your iPad.

Apple also has beefed up its MainStage live performance app, which can bring studio-produced sounds to … Read more

Pandora calls artist royalties flap an orchestrated 'lie'

Pandora struck back against critics Wednesday, calling accusations that the streaming radio service is trying to shortchange musicians "a lie."

In a blog post Wednesday, Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren accused the Recording Industry Association of America, the organization charged with defending the interests of musicians, of orchestrating and funding a "misinformation campaign" involving well-known artists. The RIAA believes artists should be paid more than they currently receive for their songs being played on the streaming service and has accused Pandora of trying to persuade musicians to accept a substantial reduction in royalties.

While saying he bore … Read more

With #Music, Twitter speeds its media domination march

When Twitter opened up its #Music app to everyone on Thursday, it was the strongest sign yet that the social-networking giant is aiming to become a media machine that dominates popular entertainment channels.

There's no doubt that many of Twitter's vast user base already have a deep interest in music, but until now there's been no structured way for artists or fans to leverage that. With the public launch of the company's new discovery service, Twitter has seemingly taken the next step to becoming an indispensable destination both for people to find new music to listen … Read more

Rock stars put their ears in audiologist Julie Glick's hands

I met Julie Glick a few months ago with some folks from Ultimate Ears at a Head-Fi meeting in NY. UE was promoting a new set of custom-molded in-ear headphones, the Personal Reference Monitors, which are just now entering full production. In her NYC office, Glick can fully demonstrate these unique headphones, which are not only custom-molded to your ears but fine-tuned, soundwise, to your liking. Ultimate Ears technicians use the frequency curve you create to build your Personal Reference Monitors. I crafted my EQ curve in Glick's office; it was a lot of fun to design my sound. … Read more

Why do musicians have lousy hi-fis?

I know it doesn't make sense, but it's true: most musicians don't have good hi-fis.

To be fair, most musicians don't have hi-fis at all, because like most people musicians listen in their cars, on computers, or with cheap headphones. Musicians don't have turntables, CD players, stereo amplifiers, and speakers. Granted, most musicians aren't rich, so they're more likely to invest whatever available cash they have in buying instruments. That's understandable, but since they so rarely hear music over a decent system they're pretty clueless about the sound of their recordings.… Read more

Rock stars accuse search engines of enabling music piracy

Some of music's biggest names have accused Google and its competitors of not doing enough to prevent music piracy.

Rock legends Elton John, Robert Plant, and Pete Townshend were among 11 signatories of a letter addressed to British Prime Minister David Cameron said it was time that search engines, Internet service providers, and online advertisers to "play their part in protecting consumers and creators from illegal sites."

The letter also calls for the immediately implementation of the the Digital Economy Act 2010, antipiracy legislation passed two years ago.

CNET has contacted Google for comment and will update … Read more

Is the record business headed for oblivion?

I've attended New Music Seminars in NYC before, but this year's event definitely had more passion and spirit. The subheading of this year's festival, "Appetite For Disruption," hinted at the possibilities. The shindig's hub, the old Webster Hall concert venue, hosted nonstop action, and there were more goings-on at 17 clubs and music halls in Manhattan and Williamsburg (Brooklyn).

Guest speakers ran the gamut, from heavyweights like Bob Pittman, CEO of Clear Channel; Lyor Cohen, CEO and chairman of the Warner Music Group; Steve Boom, Amazon's VP for Digital Music; Steve Savoca, head … Read more

Facebook inserts 'listen' button on musicians' pages

The ways to listen to music on Facebook continue to grow. The social network launched a "listen" button on music artists' pages today.

On the top right corner between the "like" and "message" buttons on musicians' fan pages, users can click "listen" and be guided to songs on any of the music streaming services the user has signed up for, such as Spotify and Rdio.

This is different than the "listen with" buttons users can click when they see what their friends are listening too; those buttons were created by … Read more