Category Music

A detailed case study of Magnatune

It was written by ORG's Michael Holloway, who did an incredible job of synthesizing information from our web site, interviews with me, and my dozens of comments.

Πολιτιστική Κληρονομιά, 'Πειρατεία' και ΟΠΙ

‘Άκουσα’ από το blog του Ματθαίου Τσιμιτάκη την (ηχητική) συνέντευξη της διευθύντριας του Οργανισμού Πνευματικής Ιδιοκτησίας, κα. Ειρήνη Σταματούδη, τόσο σχετικά με το ζήτημα της πειρατείας όσο και σχετικά με το ζήτημα της πολιτιστικής κληρονομιάς και της διαφύλαξης των πνευματικών…

DRMless Europe

According to the BBC report, 7digital.com is the first online music retailer to offer Warner music sans DRM in several European states. This is not exactly true: Technically, even though you cannot actually download the tracks, the honour falls onto the popular last.fm service which started offering DRMless music on demand in the US, UK and Germany a few months earlier. Still, this is a great sign of things to come and hopefully the availability of AmazonMP3 in Europe later this year will makes things even better. At the same time, the success of Radiohead's latest release, as well as NIN's Ghosts I-IV that just came out --- and which netted $750K in its first few days through the sale of the $300, 2500-copy vinyl limited edition alone --- are certainly signs of change that seep into what one might call the 'mainstream music' realm.

OMNI: Ghosts

About three months ago and just a few days after posting my review of OMNI’s Paint by Numbers album, I was contacted by the band and asked whether I could write a review of their upcoming Ghosts album. I tried…

Cube "Oblique" Live

Τη περασμένη Πέμπτη πραγματοποιήθηκε στο 'Κύτταρο' μια συναυλία των The Earthbound την οποία άνοιξαν οι Cube [on MySpace], σε μια 'ατσαλάκωτη' παραλλαγή του σχήματος, με ακουστικές εκτελέσεις αρκετών κομματιών τους καθώς και κάποιες διασκευές. Κινηματογράφησα τη συναυλία των Cube και ανέβασα ένα μικρό απόσπασμα αυτής και συγκεκριμένα το κομμάτι Oblique το οποίο αποτελεί και τη συμμετοχή τους στην συλλογή 'In the Junkyard 3' της μη-κερδοσκοπικής Spinalonga Records1
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Το βίντεο είναι κωδικοποιημένο σε H264/AAC και είναι hinted για streaming. Θεωρητικά θα πρέπει να είναι συμβατό με όλους τους βασικούς media players στις τρείς μεγάλες υπολογιστικές πλατφόρμες των ημερών μας καθώς και smartphones/PDAs/touchy-feely mp3 players κλπ συσκευές που δεν προβληματίζονται από τη μη συμβατική ανάλυση. Μπορείτε να βρείτε το βίντεο σε HD στο Vimeo. Διατίθεται κάτω από άδεια Creative Commons 3.0 By Attribution - Non Commercial.

1. Full disclosure: Για όσους δε το γνωρίζουν, συμμετέχω στην οργάνωση της Spinalonga Records και επιπλέον γνωρίζω αρκετά καλά τα μέλη των Cube.

Charlie says 95, Ars says 50. Well, I say 30.

The lunacy of extended copyright and patent terms, the most threatening aspect of modern society with regards to freedom of information, progress, innovation and business comes to Europe, courtesy of Mr. Charlie McCreevy, the EU's Internal Market Commissioner. What Mr. Creevy seems to completely ignore is that the European Union is a completely different market and a different socio-political entity to the U.S., where extended copyright terms are already in place and the patent hell has already resulted in a vastly diminished cultural output1. And while in the United States there's increasing concern among academics, lawyers and even corporations (with the exception of the few colossal ones that stand to benefit) regarding the country's IPR legislation, many of the corporations controlling cultural output globally are European and would certainly like to see things change in Europe too. Given the radical change that the music 'industry' has been facing in the past decade, a proposal for the extension of the copyright term for music to 95 years by Mr. Creevy seems like a thinly concealed attempt by panicked record companies to hang on to whatever legislative vehicles are available to them in order to conserve a flawed and harmful (for everyone, but them) status quo. If anything, the copyright term should be reduced and should be accompanied by an overhaul of the intellectual property rights mechanism that --- to this day --- keeps musicians from enjoying the wealth that they deserve by forcing them to share the vast majority of the profits of their work with dozens of intermediaries, IPR management, marketing and promotional companies (the 'industry').

  • The main argument here is that with a more liberal legislative framework governing intellectual property in the United States, the cultural output of value, other things being equal, would be considerably higher to what it is under the dominance of a handful of multinationals and the unabated commercialisation of the main forms of art.

We will be paying artists directly.

One of my favourite sites leveraging social knowledge to benefit its users, last.fm announced yesterday that listeners will be able to stream full tracks and albums online for free on the site. And to top it all off, they will be paying artists directly from their advertising revenue. Yay!

Oscar is gone.

Oscar Peterson, one of the great Jazz pianists of the latter half of the 20th century and a marvellous pianist in general, died today. I was first exposed to his work by listening to Eloquence. My last musical encounter of his work was his 1994 album Side by Side, with Itzhak Perlman, a record full of covers of old american classics, recorded in a few days, without rehearsals and mostly consisting of the first takes. His death is a huge loss to the jazz community and a reminder that his generation, those largely responsible for what jazz is all about, is gradually passing away.

OMNI: Paint By Numbers

Long before MySpace became the de facto platform for music exploration, there were earlier attempts at creating the infrastructure required for people to explore, find and listen to independent music online. Two of these attempts were (and still are) Purevolume…

Robot Guitar ('Someone Kill The Marketing People')

So after the digital pickups now Gibson is releasing an auto-tuning guitar. Great. This does seem like a big deal and I do like it that Gibson is trying to pair modern technology with high quality craftsmanship and vintage design, yet the name, website and associated marketing videos are utterly ridiculous. Do they really think that guitarists are 8 year old retards that would find this kind of promotional material appealing? Ok, they clearly do. Are they? :)
Gibson Robot Guitar
The marketing literature even goes as far as comparing the future value of this limited edition auto-tuning LesPaul to that of a number of legendary guitars including the 1959 Standard; what a sacrilege! The overall presentation goes a long way against maintaining Gibson's respectable image among musicians. Still, when the limited run disappears and this becomes a standard feature of Gibsons I'm sure many people will be happier. I know I would if I had one. Image courtesy of Gibson Guitar Corporation.