Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

[Update] Beatles for iTunes Officially Launches! #itunes #beatles


It’s now official: The Beatles have come to iTunes, and on a larger scale, the world of digital music. Of course, as we noted in a previous article yesterday, many of the die-hard Beatles fans who really wanted digital copies of the band’s music have already gotten it in some form or another. Honestly, the announcement is no where near as “exciting” or “life changing” as the banner yesterday hinted at. Nonetheless, the pricing for the Beatles content is as follows:

  • All-Encompassing Box Set: $149.99
  • Double Discs: $19.99
  • Single Discs: $12.99
  • Single Tracks: $1.29

In other news: It looks like we’re still going to have to wait for that iTunes Streaming service…

**Be sure to check out the Poll of the Day located on the top right in the sidebar and vote on today’s Beatles-iTunes announcement.

Update:

EMI’s Dylan Jones has stated (Macnn) that Apple has a short-term exclusive period on digital Beatles downloads. It lasts into early 2011 supposedly. After which, the flood gates open and the rest of the digital music store fronts pounce.

[iTunes]

Apple Unveiling Beatles Catalog for iTunes Tomorrow? Is it That Big of a Deal?

If you take a stroll around the web right now, you’ll find a slew of sites reporting that Apple isn’t really going to announce streaming services or any other type of cloud-based system. The reason for all of the commotion and special announcement time (it’s rather early for an Apple event) is apparently because the entire Beatles catalog is coming to iTunes.

I’m sorry, but I’m not excited, nor is it possible for anyone to care less than I do right now. I know, it’s somewhat sacrilegious because somehow the Beatles are the “building blocks of modern music”. Though honestly, I’ve never been able to stomach the popular English rock band.

The announcement if it does turn out to be true, should make the millions of current Beatles fans pretty excited. On the flip side however, one has to believe that everyone who has wanted the beatles on their iDevice up until now has surely gotten it in some form or another. With that said, is it really that big of a deal? Let us know in the comments.

Apple, Twitter Unleash Twitter Integration with Ping. [Ping is Now Social] #ping #apple

Since it’s release back in early September, Ping hasn’t exactly caught on. The overall idea behind it is nice — a more social music experience. But now after several months for consumers and artists alike to try it out, it’s pretty evident that Ping is pretty useless. Compounding that fact is the whole Ping-Facebook integration issue which blew up a few days after Ping was launched and once visible “Facebook Connect” buttons and verbiage vanished.

But that changes today. Twitter just announced on their blog that Twitter is now deeply integrated with iTunes Ping. Besides the given of being able to find your Twitter friends on Ping, users will now also have the ability to tweet out Ping activity. But the coolest part of this new Ping-Twitter lovefest is that not only will Ping-Tweets link back to the song/artist in iTunes, but the songs tweeted out are actually able to be previewed in New Twitter’s right-side pane.

For those whom have so far found Ping boring and too closed off from society, this new partnership gives you a reason to check it out once more. I for one will give it another shot now that it has a sort of Last.fm-esque sharing/social ability to it — because I love last.fm. Anyone else open to giving Ping another try?

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German Court Finds File Sharer Guilty, Fines Him $42. Wait…What?

In stark contrast to the ridiculous fines doled upon Jamie Thomas, it appears that the German court system has both common sense and the ability to tell major labels/music industry lobbyists to go screw themselves. A man in Germany was accused of sharing two songs back in 2006 when he was just 16 years old. The songs in question — “Engel” and “Dreh’ dich nicht um” (whip out that German dictionary). In the U.S. under our “completely legal, reasonable, and fair” guidelines, such a punishment would equal out to roughly $120,000. In Germany however, the same penalty for sharing two songs is $42.

Assuming the price of a song at the a-la-carte price of $0.99, $42 for two is a solid 20x the normal price. That’s a far cry from the markup the music industry is getting from settlements and full blown lawsuits in the U.S. But of course, if file sharing fines were actually anything close to reasonable, the music industry wouldn’t make any money, and as such, wouldn’t use them to prop up their broken industry.

Hmm. Just think about that.

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Jammie Thomas Loses Another Battle with the RIAA.

Jammie Thomas, the single mother of 4 who’s more or less become the poster child for filesharing in the 2000′s has lost yet another case. That makes (3) times now that a jury has stood with a straight face and awarded a broken, backwards thinking company ridiculously high damages.

Jammie Thomas’ latest bill for sharing a mere 24 songs comes in at $1.5 million. Her last case totaled $1.92 million and her first was the lowest of them all at $222,000. Honestly, in all three cases the punishment is so completely disproportionate to the crime it’s repulsive to think about. Yes, she stole music. But is it really worth $1 million+? Absolutely not. Continue on…
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Apple Increasing iTunes Song Previews to 90 Seconds.

iTunes users will soon find previewing songs before purchasing more enjoyable as well as more useful. Currently, there is a 30-second time limit on song previews. While a fair chunk of songs start the ball rolling before the 30-second mark, there are quite a few out there that need 2-3x that length before you start getting into the meat of the melody.

On that note, emails are being sent out to various content owners and record labels today, detailing a pretty important change. Specifically, song previews on any and all songs that are longer than 2 minutes and 30 seconds will see their preview time increased from 30 seconds up to 90 seconds! Songs that are shorter than 2:30 will continue on with current 30-second preview.

The licensing issues that caused this feature to pass the music event back in September look to have been finally resolved. As of writing, no official launch date has been announced. But rest assured, as soon as I know, you’ll know.

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[Update] Irony: Monster’s “Apple approved headphones” don’t work on Apple products.

Why the “Irony” tag? Oh…only because Monster produces overpriced garbage. But if we look past that to the object of this story, it actually has to do with a faulty design (supposedly on Monster’s part) in regards to iPhone/iPod/iPad usage. Specifically, the aforementioned users can expect “erratic play, puase, next/previous, and stopping behavior”. And this isn’t some small-time issue either. BGR’s source from within Apple has stated that it’s a pretty widespread thing, and that Apple is trying to distance themselves from the problem so that people don’t think that Apple is the problem.

Speaking of which, the source of the problem as determined by Apple is a “misuse of Apple’s Remote and Mic technologies”. The faulty part in question is simply called a “conductive flange”. It is these flanges that are causing the shorts, and in turn the funky behavior. Granted, this is coming from Apple whom obviously wants to show that it’s the “other guy’s fault”. However, taking into consideration that no other headphones from any other “certified” manufacturers exhibit this issue, I’m willing to side with Apple this time.

As for affected models, it’s actually quite a lot — Jamz, Lil Jamz, Turbine Basic, Turbine Pro and Heartbeats. We’ve fired off an email to Monster so we can get their side of the story, which I’m sure will go something like “it’s not us…it’s them”. Check back soon…

Update

Official Monster response after the jump…
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Marshall outs another set of high end cans — The in-ear “Minor”

If you’ve stopped by here in the past, you may have gotten the drift that I’m an audio junkie. I love headphones. A few weeks ago, we saw some new headphones from popular audio equipment manufacturer, Marshall. Those babies are set for release on November 15th. (And you can put money down that we’ll have a review for you shortly after!) This morning I received another email telling me that November 15th is going to be a very good day — Marshall has twins!
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Spotify: “Absolutely not for sale”.

Remember back into the past…like…12 hours ago when we were talking about a potential Spotify + Apple deal? Apparently it isn’t happening. (But that’s what they always say, isn’t it?) Of course, when the communications director (Jim Butcher) of the company in question — A company that doesn’t often comment on internet rumors. — comes forward and bluntly says that they’re not for sale, it tends to hold a bit more weight.

We wouldn’t normally comment on this kind of speculation, but we wanted to make it clear that we have absolutely no intention of selling Spotify. We’re working hard to build the best music service we can and are in this for the long haul.

It’s no secret that Spotify is tearing it up overseas. Adding to the doubt of a potential Apple take over, Apple wouldn’t really gain anything new that they didn’t already acquire when they picked up Lala last year. Of course, common sense, rationalization, and company employee statements are hardly “set-in-stone” proof one way or another. What do you guys think?
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