Posts Tagged ‘music’

Burning CDs: NOW LEGAL

October 2nd, 2014 5 Comments By Ian Wade

flaming cd hand Burning CDs: NOW LEGALYou may have missed the street parties, but as of this week it’s actually legal to burn CDs.

Copyright law in the UK decided to get around to it, and allow what people have been doing for yonks! You can now back up your media for personal use and The Man won’t send you to the chair!

This action, which hasn’t dragged its feet AT ALL, happily coincides with nobody doing it anymore and your average shop cutting down on selling blank CDRs.

Earlier this year, UK Intellectual Property Office published a consumer guide on exceptions to copyright, indicating that by the summer, private back-ups would be allowed.

“The changes will mean that you will be able to copy a book or film you have purchased for one device onto another without infringing copyright.”

Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, the UK’s IP Minister, said: ”These changes are going to bring our IP laws into the 21st century. They will mean that the UK IP regime will now be responsive to the modern business environment and more flexible for consumers.”

And also, you can store your copied material in the cloud too.

The guidance reads: “You are permitted to make personal copies to any device that you own, or a personal online storage medium, such as a private cloud. However, it is unlawful to give other people access to the copies you have made, including, for example, by allowing a friend to access your personal cloud storage.”

So that will be interesting.

But anyway, those CDs you burnt over the last 15 years are now not bad or naughty, but, really, the creative industries should have done something about this years ago.

youtube 300x300 Googles musical YouTube service! Its here!Google’s long rumoured music service is upon us!

YouTube Music Key will feature over 20 million tunes and videos curated especially for the service.

It will offer a 30-day trial for free, and then a monthly subscription giving access to what they’re bugling as “high-quality tracks – complete albums, organised into artist discographies”, specifically for YouTube with both video and audio-only streaming and offline listening.

It’s likely that the service will link in with Google’s current Play Music All Access thing, which also costs £9.99 a month.

According to reports, the YouTube service will offer concert footage, covers and remixes in addition to the official discographies of artists.

Google will offer an enhanced version of YouTube’s existing recommendation engine based on user choice, making suggestions of what to listen to as users watch videos on YouTube.

The service is expected to be offered once they’ve cleared up all the business of licensing and rowing with smaller labels.

That will no doubt be exciting… but won’t stop people enjoying the fruits of the torrent tree.

Co op 292x300 Co op stores play unsigned bands... staff unhappyThe Co-op have decided to play music from unsigned bands in their shops in a bid to make everyone think they’re the lovely, kind supermarket on the High Street. They want to improve their image after all manner of drugs and sex-work was associated with them.

The Co-op signed a deal with licensing agency Emerge, which doles out music from unsigned bands and musicians to shops like Argos and Sports Direct. Crucially, deals with Emerge cost half a much as playing music by signed-artists.

“Shops normally have to pay a public performance licence to play well-known music, but the artists we represent are emerging artists and we create a direct licence between the business and the artist,” Gideon Chain of Emerge told The Telegraph.

“We then supply their music to the businesses, which is about 50 per cent cheaper than if they wanted to pay mainstream artists,” added Chain.

However, the supermarket’s employees are not happy about the unsigned bands being played in their stores and have started griping about it online, saying that they want rid of this ”terrible” music, which they have to endure all day. The Grocer reports that staff are demanding an immediate return to recognisable artists.

“The new cooperative radio unsigned artists initiative is absolutely diabolical,” one employee posted to The Co-Op Employees’ page. “More so for staff than customers. People want familiarity and songs they know, not to mention the staff who are subjected to these songs on a loop on a daily basis.”

Another angry employee spat that “even hipsters” would not listen to the “rubbish” music being played in their branch.

Dr Dre Net Worth1 300x300 Apple is finally going to buy Beats next weekThe news that Apple was buying Beats for $3.2bn broke a while ago, but after a few delays, the ubiquitous megacorp are due to put their hands in their pockets and actually buy it this week.

Maybe they were waiting for a cheque to clear?

Rumours that the deal had fallen through were rife, after the company announced the bid on May 8th, then went suspiciously silent. Actually, they’ve used this time wisely, by haggling the original price down to a nice round $3bn.

It could be that the drop in asking price was because Spotify, Beats Music’s main rival, has reached 10 million subscribers – and that could have given Apple a bit of leverage in the cash negotiations.

Anyway, it’s still a LOT OF MONEY, and there will be a big fanfare and announcement in time for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference next week. Beats founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre will apparently be in attendance, wearing outfits made of gold.

In fact, Dre will probably be extremely happy about the whole thing, seeing as he stands to gain $750m from the deal. No chance of anyone forgetting about him now, eh?

flaming cd hand Behind the times government to legalise ripping CDs and DVDsThe government, in an attempt to drag its ass into the digital age, have decided to finally legalise ripping CDs and DVDs onto an Mp3 player.


In a move that seems to have been devised by Mr Burns from the Simpsons, the UK Intellectual Property Office is proposing to update copyright law to make it legal, even though everybody ditched CDs and DVDs ages ago.

The IPO announced the news by printing it out on striped green perforated paper and faxing it.

They said: The changes make small but important reforms to UK copyright law and aim to end the current situation where minor and reasonable acts of copying which benefit consumers, society and the economy are unlawful.’

(But apparently it’ll still be illegal to make copies of your CDs and DVDs for friends and family. Hahhahaha.)

The government will actually be debating this in the Houses of Parliament next month, and if it’s agreed, the law will be changed in June.

I wonder whether they’ve heard about these great new things called 78s? You can play them on the gramophone, so I hear.

Pono – a new way to rock in the free world

March 11th, 2014 3 Comments By Lucy Sweet

pono prototype Pono   a new way to rock in the free worldWatch out Apple, there’s a new digital music player out there that could rival the iPod. And guess who’s behind it? None other than that frisky whippersnapper, Neil Young.

Yes, Neil Young is developing a portable music player and download service which makes songs sound better. 68 YEAR OLD NEIL FREAKING YOUNG.

Called Pono, it’s a crowdfunded project that could potentially give the iPod a run for its money. Players will cost $399, and they’re very basic looking – shaped like colourful Toblerones.

But the thing about Pono downloads is that they’re bigger than usual, which means they won’t have that compressed, flattened quality. You will be able to hear the sound as the artist intended. The PonoPlayer can store from 100-500 albums, and there’s a memory stick for additional music.

Says Neil: ‘The simplest way to describe what we’ve accomplished is that we’ve liberated the music of the artist from the digital file and restored it to its original artistic quality – as it was in the studio. Hearing Pono for the first time is like that first blast of daylight when you leave a movie theatre on a sun-filled day.’

Now, remember, Neil has taken quite a few drugs in his time, but if this works as intended, it could potentially change how we listen to music.

So, if you’re sick of everything sounding neutered and flat in your ears, and long for the drama and depth of vinyl – get your wallet out and put in your pre-order on March 15th here.

Want to hear the final ‘shamones’ of Michael Jackson on his posthumous new album? Well, it’s going to take more than an iTunes voucher, I’m afraid. If you want to get your ears on the King of Pop’s farewell creation, you’ll have to spend £600. Why? Because you can only get it if you buy the new Sony Xperia Z2 smartphone.

michael jackson1 Michael Jackson’s final album – yours for just £600

Yes, it’s bad. It’s bad. You know it.

This fiendish move by Sony is bound to bring all the hardcore Michael Jackson fans running wildly towards the new Xperia – which is supposed to be a good piece of kit – but it’s not very fair for anyone else wanting to hear his final work without having to invest in a new and expensive smartphone.

Will there be a release of the album for people who don’t have £600 to drop on an exclusive albumphone bundle? Who knows. One thing’s for sure – MJ has enough crazy diehard fans out there to give the forthcoming Xperia Z2 a head start in sales.

What next in the depressing world of marketing? Will we have to buy a pair of Timberlands to get the next Justin Timberlake record? A royal yacht to hear Prince? What a bleedin’ rip off.

Location aware wifi set to ruin all gigs

March 3rd, 2014 2 Comments By Lucy Sweet

A UK-based start up called Mobbra is currently developing location aware wifi, called Massivity, which works using wifi connection points linked to an app called Fangage (which sounds a bit rude).
It’s designed to be used at gigs and festivals, and it could herald a new wave of mobile related annoyingness.
camerasandphones 300x268 Location aware wifi set to ruin all gigs

So let’s say you’re one of those bollockheads that likes to experience a gig by watching it through the small rectangular screen of your phone.

Massivity could help you find where the beer tent is, tell you the name of the song that’s playing, or – now there are no more cigarette lighters allowed at gigs – it could make the LED torch on your phone light up along with 3000 others during an ‘uplifting’ part of a Coldplay concert.

Do you wish you were dead yet?

In a test, Mobbra were able to make 1000 Samsung phones play the same video, light up and vibrate at the same time. But whether you want your phone to be controlled by Big Brother from a random wifi point and turned into a glorified glow stick is another matter.

But one thing’s for sure – it’s going to be really, really irritating – for musicians and everyone else.

de la soul 300x300 De La Soul will be giving away their entire back catalogue for FREE!Announced on De La Soul’s website and via Rolling Stone magazine, De La Soul are to give away their entire back catalogue for free. If you like Golden Age Hip Hop or are just curious about De La Soul, this is not to be sniffed at.

The band are giving away their music in honour of the 25th anniversary of their debut LP ’3 Feet High and Rising’.

Their backcat will be available on a free download for 25 hours on the group’s website. Great news, unless you’ve already bought all their music or got it from a torrent. Either way, it’s very kind of them.

Things kick off around 4pm UK time, provided the servers don’t crash after being swamped with traffic.

Talking to Rolling Stone, Posdnuous said: ”It’s about allowing our fans who have been looking and trying to get a hold of our music to have access to it. It’s been too long where our fans haven’t had access to everything. This is our way of showing them how much we love them.”

“We’ve been blessed to be in the Library of Congress, but we can’t even have our music on iTunes. We’ve been working very hard to get that solved.”

Apparently, their music has not been available (most of it isn’t on Spotify) thanks to frequent personnel changes at record labels and muddy language in early contracts. However, it’ll all be yours for free! They’ve got new stuff coming out soon and, excitingly, they’ll be working on an unreleased J Dilla beat too.

Cliff’s Mistletoe and Wine banned by Costa Coffee

December 11th, 2013 7 Comments By Lucy Sweet

There’ll be no children singing Christian rhyme in Costa Coffee this year, as the popular chain has banned the song from being played in any of its stores this Christmas.

cliff 181x300 Cliff’s Mistletoe and Wine banned by Costa Coffee

In a clear case of the pot calling the kettle, the move came after Cliff’s homage to booze and poisonous greenery was voted the most hated Christmas song in a Costa poll of 3000 customers.

Kevin Hydes from Costa said: ‘The festive happiness of our customers and staff is our upmost priority.’

It’s not been a great year for Cliff. His sleazy calendar is nowhere to be seen, and in another survey of hated Christmas songs recently, Mistletoe and Wine, Millennium Prayer, and Saviours Day took the top three.

However, the Costa survey had some glaring inaccuracies. The excellent ‘Christmas Wrapping’ by The Waitresses came in at number 3, and that’s the best Christmas song ever. And these tedious mainstream latte drinking philistines also had the temerity to slag off ‘Little Saint Nick’ by The Beach Boys.

Don’t listen to the haterz, Cliff. There’ll be logs on the fire, and gifts on the tree, and time to rejoice in the good that we see. In Starbucks.

McDonald’s now with a side of prison gangrape

November 21st, 2013 8 Comments By Mof Gimmers

mcdonalds McDonalds now with a side of prison gangrapeMcDonalds have had to apologise to customers and a Welsh branch played a track that featured sexually explicit lyrics at 9.30am in the morning. And we’re not talking about a sly f-bomb here – this is full on explicit.

Customers in the Haverfordwest McDonalds were eyeing up a sausage and egg McMuffin while the speakers blasted out ’Only 17′ by US rapper Rucka Rucka Ali, which talks about underage sex, being raped in prison and more.

Steve Davidson, spoke to a Metro hack (who was probably trying to not laugh) who said he’d heard the song while with his 20-month-old grandson. He said: ”The lyrics are disgusting, they are very explicit – not just a bit risqué or a bit of swearing. It’s not what you want while you’re having your breakfast. You have to be over 18 to download it, for them to be playing it somewhere that attracts children is obviously a concern.”

McDonalds blamed all this on a nightshift worker who had left his MP3 player in the system and said: “The vast majority of our restaurants, including Haverfordwest, have external music providers dedicated to creating playlists that have been thoroughly screened for appropriateness of language and content. We apologise to Mr Davidson for this isolated lapse in our rigorous standards.”

Of course, you want to listen to the track. Be warned, it is massively NSFW and, frankly, it is dreadful. So bad is the song that the member of staff responsible should be sacked so owning it. Anyway, click here to listen.

Rucka Rucka Ali meanwhile, was rather pleased with the exposure and tweeted: “Tomorrow, there will be youtube videos of Nuckas playing “Only 17” at McDonalds… we’re fighting back!!! #FreeRucka.”

X Factor alumness, James Arthur, has been embroiled in an internet row all week, after he called someone “queer”. Arthur, with a face longer than Morrissey’s, has been trying to brush it all off like he’s too hard to care. However, after a scrap with fellow X Factorite, Lucy Spraggan, things have really got heated online.

For the low-down on the scrap, HolyMoly have the best round-up (treating the whole thing with the contempt it frankly deserves). However, one interesting thing has happened – it seems you can now get refunds on albums if you don’t like something the artist has said.

The screengrab below shows what Michelle from iTunes said to a customer.

james arthur 281x500 James Arthur homophobic row can get you a refund on his album

So, with that, it seems that you can spend your money on albums, maybe films and TV shows and, should anyone involved in the project say something out of turn, you can ask for your money back.

That could be interesting, especially if you’re into hip hop or metal, where artists say all manner of stuff to get themselves heard or in a bid to pointedly shock. Same goes for horror directors or actors defending Roman Polanski and the like. If James Arthur has done little for the world, it seems his big mouth has ushered in a new type of refund.


Another 21 pirate websites to be blocked by ISPs

October 30th, 2013 8 Comments By Mof Gimmers

music piracy Another 21 pirate websites to be blocked by ISPsThe British Phonographic Industry (BPI) have bagged themselves another court order against websites that engage in copyright infringement. As of today, the UK’s six biggest ISPs will have to block 21 websites and torrents.

That includes TorrentHound and sharing platforms BeeMP3, Mp3Raid and FilesTube.

Last year, the BPI successfully got ISPs to agree to block The Pirate Bay and another three torrent websites. However, what they didn’t manage is to stop people from getting access to them through a proxy.

There’s also a Streisand Effect going on as well, with the BPI giving often unheard of sites huge amounts of publicity.

“We asked the sites to stop infringing copyright but unfortunately they did not and we were left with little choice but to apply to the court,” said Geoff Taylor, BPI chief executive. “The judge considered the evidence and declared that ISPs should not serve access to them.”

The websites which became inaccessible in the UK include Abmp3, BeeMP3, Bomb-Mp3, eMp3World, FileCrop, FilesTube, Mp3Juices, Mp3lemon, Mp3Raid, Mp3skull, NewAlbumReleases, Rapidlibrary, 1337x, BitSnoop, ExtraTorrent, Monova. TorrentCrazy, TorrentDownloads, TorrentHound, Torrentreactor and Torrentz.

This will be no problem for anyone who knows how to use a search engine to get an answer for a commonly asked question, so well done to the BPI.

Twitter #music #fail

October 22nd, 2013 No Comments By Lucy Sweet

You’re nobody unless somebody loves you, and after 6 not very long months the Twitter #music app is closing its digital doors.

twitter music 300x273 Twitter #music #fail

It all started out so well. The app was meant to be a matchmaking music service which created a playlist for users from iTunes, which was based on what musicians they followed on Twitter, and what music was trending.

So what went wrong? Was it constantly suggesting people download One Direction? Was it the fact that people are more likely to tweet about bacon sandwiches and Louise Mensch than discuss their favourite bands? Or was it the fact that project leader Kevin Thau buggered off to work on another Twitter offshoot and never got round to making a version for Android phones?

Whatever happened, despite glowing reviews and reaching number 6 in the App Store chart, Twitter Music slumped to number 1,079, somewhere between iToilet and My Snot Monitor. It is dead, it is kaput, it is an ex-music app.

Will we miss it? Well, we’ve already got Spotify, so OF COURSE NOT.


Will HMV’s new digital service revive Nipper?

October 18th, 2013 4 Comments By Mof Gimmers

hmv 300x202 Will HMVs new digital service revive Nipper?HMV have relaunched their digital service in a bid to stay relevant after the company was a dog’s whisker away from being put down at the vets. Now, with Nipper’s new service, we can browse HMV’s digital catalogue, buy and pre-order MP3s and generally obtain a service that’s available elsewhere.

There will be a HMV app, whic is the first non-iTunes-based service on Apple’s iOS platform which will allow music downloads through a native app, according to the company.

In the app, there’s a nifty thing called ‘image search’, where you can scan album covers with your phone and listen to a 30 second preview. There’s also ‘sound search’, which allows you to discover tunes they hear while you’re going about your business. So, Shazam then?

While these things are all well and good, people will surely still listen to leaks on YouTube or get stuck into torrents? HMV isn’t exactly offering a solution to a problem here.

“For the first time, music lovers have the ability to experience the traditional feel of HMV on the high street and have the option to discover and build a digital music collection, delivered and managed across devices, from HMV, the Home of Entertainment,” said James Coughlan, Managing Director of HMV Digital.

“An exciting vision is unfolding and I look forward to announcing further developments regarding our plans for 2014 in the coming weeks – this is just the beginning!”

The HMV app is available from today, free of charge, if you want to test drive it.