31 7 / 2014

Vevo on the market | Complete Music Update » Digital

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1uGDYEg on July 30, 2014 at 06:46AM

Hey, it’s been a few months since we had any sort of speculation about Vevo being up for sale now. But don’t worry, it’s back. According to The Information, Vevo’s co-owners Universal and Sony having hired Goldman Sachs back in April to come up with a plan for the future of the company, the bankers

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31 7 / 2014

Rhapsody claims two million paying users | Complete Music Update » Digital

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1tZHdTl on July 30, 2014 at 06:45AM

Rhapsody International, the digital music company that operates both the Rhapsody and Napster streaming services, and the recently launched Rhapsody unRadio venture too, announced yesterday that it now has two million paying subscribers. Which is an interesting boast for what is one of the longest established subscription-based digital music operators in the market (Rhapsody being

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30 7 / 2014

Samsung’s Milk Music streaming service now has a $3.99/month premium tier with offline music | TheNextWeb

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1lZ6XtK on July 30, 2014 at 11:55PM


Samsung took a plunge into the music-streaming fray with its own US-only internet radio service Milk Music in March — which was free and without ads. Now that could change though, as the Milk Music Google Play app has just been updated to introduce a premium-tier offering, as reported by Android Police. UPDATE: Samsung tells TNW that ad-free listening will still continue on both the free and premium versions of Milk Music — what you’re paying $3.99 for is offline listening and unlimited song skips. It also revealed that Milk Music has passed three million downloads. See the company’s full statement at…

This story continues at The Next Web

The post Samsung’s Milk Music streaming service now has a $3.99/month premium tier with offline music appeared first on The Next Web.

30 7 / 2014

Buy Jenny Lewis’ Wine, Get a Free Album… | Digital Music News

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1uIMAdG on July 30, 2014 at 09:15PM

James Murphy created an espresso blend, then Guided by Voices released a beer. Now, Jenny Lewis has released her own 2014 beverage… wine. The wine…

The post Buy Jenny Lewis’ Wine, Get a Free Album… appeared first on Digital Music News.

30 7 / 2014

Samsung’s Milk Music Update Adds $3.99 Premium Subscription Option (Ryan Whitwam/Android Police) | Techmeme

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1ocPhug on July 30, 2014 at 10:05PM

Ryan Whitwam / Android Police:
Samsung’s Milk Music Update Adds $3.99 Premium Subscription Option  — Samsung pitched Milk Music this spring as a totally free music service exclusive to its devices, but slipped in at the end that it might not be free forever.  You can still stream tunes for free without ads …

30 7 / 2014

BitTorrent unveils NSA-proof online calling and messaging software | LA Times

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1s54RND on July 30, 2014 at 04:24PM

BitTorrent Inc., the San Francisco company behind the most popular technology for sharing files online, is branching out into a new arena: snoop-proof calling and texting.

30 7 / 2014

Snapchat value could hit $10 billion with possible Alibaba investment | LA Times

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1rHrgj9 on July 30, 2014 at 03:14PM

Last year, Snapchat decided Facebook’s $3-billion offer wasn’t cool. You know what’s cool? $10 billion.

30 7 / 2014

Buy Jenny Lewis’ Wine, Get a Free Album… | Digital Music News

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1uIMAdG on July 30, 2014 at 09:15PM

James Murphy created an espresso blend, then Guided by Voices released a beer. Now, Jenny Lewis has released her own 2014 beverage… wine. The wine…

The post Buy Jenny Lewis’ Wine, Get a Free Album… appeared first on Digital Music News.

30 7 / 2014

Apple to lay off about 200 people at Beats: Bloomberg | Reuters

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1nKz9VE on July 30, 2014 at 08:30PM

(Reuters) - Apple Inc intends to lay off about 200 people at Beats Electronics LLC following its $3 billion acquisition of the headphone and music streaming services company, Bloomberg cited a person with knowledge of the restructuring as saying.

30 7 / 2014

Banks: “Neon Jungle Put My Song on Their Album Without My Permission” | Digital Music News

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1nUOzYq on July 30, 2014 at 06:31PM

Banks (aka Jillian Banks) is at the beginning of what seems to be a very promising career. Her anticipated debut album drops in the fall,…

The post Banks: “Neon Jungle Put My Song on Their Album Without My Permission” appeared first on Digital Music News.

30 7 / 2014

City Of London Police Inserting ‘This Website Has Been Reported To Police’ Banner Ads On Websites With No Legal Review | Techdirt

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1ttZ07I on July 30, 2014 at 02:04PM

The City of London police have continued to take their bull-in-a-china-shop approach to “stopping piracy” (generally based on a near total misunderstanding of the internet) to it’s next level of ridiculousness. The police (which, yes, no need to remind us, represent a square mile in the middle of wider London, though, yes, it covers many big London businesses and financial firms) appear to have bought into Hollywood’s fable about “piracy” being the equivalent of “theft” and not being even remotely concerned about the possibility of collateral damage. Back in April, we noted that the City of London Police had been creating a “blacklist” for advertisers of “bad” sites. And, now it’s been revealed that advertisers are supposed to insert a ridiculous City of London advertisement on those websites in place of other ads.

Like so many poorly thought out “anti-piracy” campaigns, this one seems to be based on two faulty premises. First, that it’s somehow easy to determine what is a legitimate site and what is a “pirate” site. Second, that the thing standing between someone using such a site to get their content and going to an authorized site is just a bit of “education.” The “education” story has been floating around for decades and there’s basically no evidence to support it whatsoever. The idea that someone is going to go to one of these sites, see this ad, and then think “oh man, I had no idea, let me go to this other site recommended by the police instead” is just laughable. Even the idea that they’d read “this website has been reported to the police” and not laugh is kind of ridiculous. Hell, just the idea that the sorts of folks frequenting these sites even look at banner ads is kind of laughable.

In fact, some of us are so conditioned to ad blindness that it actually took a bit of an effort to get me consciously focus on the City of London Police banner ads in that picture — and I didn’t even notice the top banner until I was proofreading this post. Can’t imagine that’s particularly productive.

But the bigger problem is the one we brought up when it first came out that they were putting together this list in the first place. A totally non-transparent, one-sided system by which these technologically clueless police designate a site to be a “pirate” site seems ripe for abuse and harming perfectly legitimate sites. Remember, of course, the last time the legacy entertainment and online ad industry teamed up on such a list? It included tons of legitimate sites, including the Internet Archive, Soundcloud, Vimeo and BitTorrent’s corporate website. It also included a bunch of popular hip hop blogs and 50 Cent’s personal website.

One hopes that this new list will be put together with a bit more care, but you never really know. The industry has a way of declaring certain sites “rogue” despite them being perfectly fine. Remember, this is the same industry that tried to outlaw the VCR, the DVR and the MP3 player. It’s also the same industry that insisted that both Youtube and Veoh were “pirate” sites, though both sites won in court (not before Veoh went out of business though).

So what happens when the City of London Police put these banner ads on the next YouTube? Does that site have any recourse from this opaque and totally one-sided process? Do they get to sue the police for defamation? And, really, in what world do the City of London Police think they have any jurisdiction outside of a single square mile of land?

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30 7 / 2014

How An Oil Engineer Discovered Auto-Tune And Changed The Music Industry Forever | BusinessInsider

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1pGHlTC on July 30, 2014 at 06:03PM

Before inventing Auto-Tune, the software that would change the music industry forever, Andy Hildebrand was a research scientist in the oil industry.

Working for Exxon Production Research and then Landmark Graphics, a company he co-founded, Hildebrand developed software for processing data from reflection seismology, a method of estimating properties of Earth’s subsurface using reflected seismic waves. His innovations were great for finding oil, and they reportedly made him a lot of money.

Here’s a screenshot of Landmark’s geophysical analysis software today:

landmark software autotuneBut reflection seismology was not his first love. A professionally trained flutist since a young age, Hildebrand really wanted to be involved in music, and he found a way to transfer his skills to that field in 1990 when he launched Antares Audio Technologies, a company originally focused on digital music processing and sampling software.

His breakthrough with Auto-Tune was inspired by a fluke comment in 1996 or 1997, when a distributor’s wife mentioned how great it would be to have a device that kept her singing in tune, according to Greg Milner’s “Perfecting Sound Forever.”

Hildebrand thought this over and realized that the type of processing he used in the oil industry could also correct pitch. As he explained on PBS’s NOVA years later: 

"Seismic data processing involves the manipulation of acoustic data in relation to a linear time varying, unknown system (the Earth model) for the purpose of determining and clarifying the influences involved to enhance geologic interpretation. Coincident (similar) technologies include correlation (statics determination), linear predictive coding (deconvolution), synthesis (forward modeling), formant analysis (spectral enhancement), and processing integrity to minimize artifacts. All of these technologies are shared amongst music and geophysical applications."

And here’s a screenshot of Auto Tune’s music software — note the similarities:

auto tuneAlthough there were ways to correct pitch before Auto-Tune, it wasn’t easy. Auto-Tune was incredibly good and incredibly easy, among other things allowing users to set a key and then have the software automatically correct notes to hit the right pitch.

"People couldn’t believe what they were hearing," Hildebrand told Milner about debuting the software in the late 90s. "I had trouble convincing several of them that I wasn’t pulling wool over their eyes."

For Hildebrand creating the software was his way of allowing artist to worry about the emotion of the recording rather than the technical aspects of it.

"The singer’s first take is often their best, it’s full of vitality and emotion," Hildebrand told NPR in 2004. “After the take, their producer will announce ‘great but the second phrase was pitchy so let’s do it again.’ Well, now the singer’s worried about pitch and has to focus on the intonation and the vitality and emotion are gone from their performance. What Auto-Tune lets the producer do is fix the first take.”

Auto-Tune caught on quickly but was treated as an industry secret until Cher brought it to the forefront with her 1998 smash “Believe,” which used the software at its most aggressive setting for a strange, robotic effect.

"Most major studios were using this software for pitch correction. The studios didn’t like to talk about what they were doing," Hildebrand told the Seattle Times. “They didn’t advertise the fact they were fixing the singer’s pitch, but they did… [Cher] was just the first to make it public.”

And then it was off to the races, with producers everywhere embracing it.

"It’s a great and totally acceptable tool," music producer Pat Dillett told Billboard in 2004. “We’ve been trying to fix pitch for years. Well before Auto-Tune, we’ve had tons of methods… to speed things up, slow them down, fly them back in [to the track] and get them right. It [was] really hard. So I’m glad it’s easy.”

"Since rising to fame as the weird techno-warble effect in the chorus of Cher’s 1998 song, ‘Believe,’ Auto-Tune has become bitchy shorthand for saying somebody can’t sing," wrote The Verge's Lessley Anderson. ”But the diss isn’t fair, because everybody’s using it.”

Of course, not everyone likes what Auto-Tune has done to music.

Time Magazine called it one of the 50 worst inventions while others have compared it to body modifications and plastic surgerySome artists have protested, too, like Jay Z, who released an “anti-Auto-Tune" album and a song called "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune).”

But mostly, audiences have been happy to settle into ignorant bliss about how much our favorite songs, like women on magazine covers, are digitally enhanced. That’s why people acted shocked, outraged, and disdainful when unedited tracks of Britney Spears’ awful singing recently leaked to the internet (the version we posted is no longer online, but you can find it if you search).

But was any one really surprised that Britney sounded so bad? And will this actually hurt her career? Nah, let’s just sit back and enjoy the wonders of Auto-Tune.

SEE ALSO: Here’s what really killing the music industry

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30 7 / 2014

The TV Industry Says ‘Apple Has Bit Off More Than It Can Chew’ (AAPL) | BusinessInsider

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1AzQW7e on July 30, 2014 at 04:17PM

Tim Cook looking worried or sad

Apple has lofty plans for Apple TV.

But according to a new report from Jessica Lessin and Amir Efrati of The Information, those plans aren’t going so well and Apple’s plans to revolutionize TV with a new set-top box have been stalled.

According to The Information’s report, there’s a lot of finger-pointing going on between Apple and the cable companies and content providers it’d need to partner with to enact its revolutionary vision for the future of TV.

Specifically, TV industry executives told The Information that “Apple has bit off more than it could chew” when it comes to licensing content to stream live or on demand.

The pay TV landscape is poised to consolidate considerably if and when Comcast closes its deal to buy Time Warner. This was a major source of concern for cable executives sourced in The Information’s report on Apple TV. Plus, the merger could’ve been what really killed Apple’s TV plans since it was rumored to partner with Time Warner for its new TV, Bloomberg reported in February.

Companies like Comcast also fear that partnering with Apple could hurt them in the long term when customers begin associating Apple with TV delivery more than its cable partners.

On the other hand, a partnership with Apple could help cable companies hold onto revenue as more and more consumers "cut the cord" with providers in favor of just getting all their video over the internet.

But cable companies wouldn’t be the first to lose leverage after partnering with Apple. 

Before iTunes, record companies largely controlled the distribution channels for your favorite music.

Then along came Apple’s flagship music service. Although record labels initially resisted Steve Jobs, they ultimately partnered up. Now Apple has complete leverage over the record industry.

That’s the risk cable companies take by bringing their content to Apple TV. And given how negotiations are going, they’re well aware of being rendered obsolete by the tech giant.

Given its size and influence in tech and media, Apple is used to getting what it wants from partnerships. But despite the company’s ambition to take over your TV, Apple is completely beholden to the cable companies if it wants Apple TV to be more than just a convenient way to get Netflix on your big screen.

And right now, there’s little incentive for the TV industry to give into Apple.

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30 7 / 2014

Apple Is Starting To Lay Off Beats Employees (AAPL) | BusinessInsider

Reposted from http://ift.tt/WNt1C2 on July 30, 2014 at 03:12PM

apple beats

Apple has just about completed its acquisition of Beats Music, and in turn, layoffs have begun, according to 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman.

After weeks of buzz, Apple officially announced the Beats acquisition on May 28. Part of the $3 billion deal included Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre joining Apple, but apparently not all of the company’s employees will be as lucky.

According to Gurman’s sources who were briefed on the transition, Apple has begun shifting some of the employees and technology from Beats to Apple, moving some to Cupertino while still keeping space in Santa Monica — emphasis on “some.”

Apple executives visited Beats’ headquarters this week and last to notify employees who won’t be making the transition.

Gurman’s sources claim that many of the development and creative roles will be kept on, while employees in support, finance, and HR are having less luck. Some have already been laid off, while some will maintain their jobs until January 2015. A few have been offered positions in Cupertino.

Beats employees have apparently been given access to a hotline to speak with Apple Human Resources staff about severance packages or transition plans.

Apple has also started working on transitioning over Beats’ technology, and is reportedly having some difficulty syncing it with Apple’s existing servers, so there may be some technological restructuring as well.

SEE ALSO: It’s Official: Apple Buying Beats For $3 Billion

SEE ALSO: This Company Raised $2 Million For A Universal Music Streaming Service

Join the conversation about this story »

30 7 / 2014

Swell Radio sale to Apple confirmed by shutdown | RAIN

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1o5TZhO on July 30, 2014 at 05:50PM

On Monday we reported a possible sale of Swell Radio to Apple for $30-million dollars, citing unnamed sources talking to Re/code. That rumor has been substantiated now by thoday’s shutdown of the Swell site. The iOS app fails to connect to Swell servers, except for a brief audio message thanking listeners for using Swell. Continue Reading