Posts Tagged ‘music’
The 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
McDonalds 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.
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.
The 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.
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.
For a paltry £1.19, you can download 259 tracks by John Martyn as part of the John Martyn Island Collection.
Some people are kicking off and demanding refunds because, through another deal, some paid just over £7. These people are clearly cheapskates and pushing their luck as that’s still a bargain.
However, if you missed it and want in, click here to see the outrageously good deal before some office bod at Amazon gets a memo to nuke what seems to be an error on the company’s part.
If you check the comments on the deal, you might even be able to get all that music for free! Knock yourselves out!
Includes the excellent ‘Stormbringer’, ‘Bless The Weather’ and ‘Solid Air’ LPs and loads, loads more.
A combined software-update and hardware-launch, Connect means that your music is synced to the cloud, enabling you to switch between any compatible hardware or stream your music to compatible speakers, using your phone/tablet as a controller.
In addition to this, Spotify have teamed up with a number of companies, such as Philips, Revo, Bang & Olufsen, Denon, Pioneer, and Yamaha, so you can link up Spotify with compatible hardware.
The company will be hoping that this will encourage more users to get premium accounts, as they’re still making a loss of around $77 million, which means that this new product will be only available to subscribers.
They want to see the ISPs signing -up to a scheme which will see them handing over details of those who are downloading music illegally.
BT, Virgin Media, BSkyB and TalkTalk have been asked by the BPI and British Video Association to sign up to a voluntary code to create a database of file sharers, however, it doesn’t seem likely that the ISPs will want to annoy their customers, so this’ll probably fizzle away like all previous attempts.
Again, the ‘three strikes’ rule is being floated, where customers will be sent some letters advising them to legally download things, before a final warning of some kind of sanction and “ultimately prosecution.”
Virgin and Talk Talk are both resisting the collection of user data, with Talk Talk pointing out that this kind of activity is dubious under the Data Protection Act.
“We are involved in discussions about measures to address illegal file-sharing and ultimately would like to reach a voluntary agreement. However our customers’ rights always come first and we would never agree to anything that could compromise them,” said a spokesperson for Talk Talk.
Over at Virgin; “Music and film companies are speaking to broadband providers about how to address illegal file-sharing but what they’re currently proposing is unworkable.”