"music" entries

Can open source reinvent the music business?

San Francisco band Severed Fifth wants to create a new template for success.

Chart success would be nice, but Severed Fifth has a loftier goal than most bands. They want to use hallmarks of the open source movement — specifically, community involvement and free distribution — to change the music business.

Comments: 13
Four short links: 25 October 2010

Four short links: 25 October 2010

Artists on Piracy, Web Tracking, Thinking about Future Food, and Library Futures

  1. Pirate Verbatim — artists, in their own words, talking about piracy. The mix of opinions, attitudes, and nuance shows that there’s far from any single consistent view out there. (via Graham Linehan)
  2. What Rapleaf Knows About You — aggregating information from various sites, and your ad clickthroughs, to build a dossier about you that relates your email address to real name, age, shopping history, political leaning, and more. How do I control others’ ability to gather information about me? (via Mauricio Freitas)
  3. By Design — Australian radio show episode where five interesting people (artist, author, etc.) talk about water, electricity, food, and technology and then have Q&A. Dan Hill helped it happen.
  4. Rare Book Room — read high-resolution scans of important and beautiful old books (Shakespeare Folios, Galileo, Books of Hours, etc.) online. Digital for libraries means new ways for customers to view materials, and new customers: I can read an item from the Bodleian Library, but I’m in New Zealand and they’re in Oxford. Am I a Bodleian customer? Do they change what they do to support me? Who pays for the services I use? These are the questions many collections organisations are struggling with. (via Paul Steele)
Comments Off on Four short links: 25 October 2010
Four short links: 23 September 2010

Four short links: 23 September 2010

Location Services, Clever Cursors, Intuitive Trouble, and Maturity Wins

  1. Universal Location Service — API access to location information from mobiles on Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T. “Universe” here is defined, naturally, to be “United States of America”.
  2. The Bubble Cursor in Javascript — Javascript implementation of a circular cursor that grows and shrinks in size depending on proximity to something interesting.
  3. The Revenge of the Intuitive (Brian Eno, Wired) — now I’m struck by the insidious, computer-driven tendency to take things out of the domain of muscular activity and put them into the domain of mental activity […] This appetite for emotional resonance explains why users – when given a choice – prefer deep rapport over endless options. You can’t have a relationship with a device whose limits are unknown to you, because without limits it keeps becoming something else.
  4. “Wait, What?” (Alex Russell) — I didn’t try to organize people who didn’t see the value in organization: instead, I tried to organize folks whose experience was valuable in terms of personal maturity and not just facility with code. We picked a hard technical problem and an easier social problem knowing that the social aspects were more critical.
Comments Off on Four short links: 23 September 2010

Musopen sets classical music free

To fund copyright-free recordings, Musopen asked for $11k. They got $55k.

The music of Beethoven and Brahms isn't covered by copyright, but performances and sheet music are. With an assist from KickStarter, MusOpen has raised more than enough money to right that wrong by recording and releasing classics into the public domain.

Comments: 3
Four short links: 18 August 2010

Four short links: 18 August 2010

Place Context, iPod Hardware, Mobile Cognitive Surplus, and Music Hacking APIs

  1. BBC Dimensions — brilliant work, a fun site that lets you overlay familiar plcaes with famous and notable things so you can get a better sense of how large they are. Example: the Colossus of Rhodes straddling O’Reilly HQ, the Library of Alexandria vs the Google campus, and New Orleans Mardi Gras began at the headquarters of Fred Phelps’s Westboro Baptist Church. (via this piece about its background)
  2. Podapter — simple plug that takes mini-USB and goes into an iPod or iPhone. (via Tuesday product awesomeness)
  3. New NexusOne Radio Firmware — a glimpse of the world that’s sprung up sharing the latest goodies between countries, carriers, and developers. For everyone for whose products the street has found a new use, the challenge is to harness this energy, enthusiasm, knowledge, and devotion. In terms of cognitive surplus, this far exceeds the 1 LOLCAT minimum standard unit. (via YuweiWang on Twitter)
  4. Echoes Nest Remix API — access to database of song characteristics and tools to manipulate tunes. See the Technology Review article for examples of what it’s capable of. (via aaronsw on Twitter)
Comment: 1
Four short links: 27 July 2010

Four short links: 27 July 2010

Preservation, Scaling Social Networks, Monetizing Music, and Android Unopened Source

  1. Digital Continuity Conference Proceedings — proceedings from a New Zealand conference on digital archiving, preservation, and access for archives, museums, libraries, etc.
  2. What Are The Scaling Issues to Keep in Mind While Developing a Social Network Feed? (Quora) — insight into why you see the failwhale. (via kellan on Twitter)
  3. Fan Feeding Frenzy — Amanda Palmer sells $15k in merch and music in 3m via Bandcamp. Is the record available on iTunes yet? Absolutely not. We have nothing against iTunes, it’ll end up there eventually I’m sure, but it was important for us to do this in as close to a DIY manner as possible. If we were just using iTunes, we couldn’t be doing tie-ins with physical product, monitoring our stats (live), and helping people in real-time when they have a question regarding the service. Being able to do all of those things and having such a transparent format in which to do it has been a dream come true. We all buy stuff on the iTunes store – or AmazonMP3 or whatever – but it’s not THE way artists should be connecting to fans, and it’s certainly not the way someone is going to capture the most revenue on a new release. (via BoingBoing)
  4. Sad State of Open Source in Android TabletsWith the exception of Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader, a device that isn’t even really a tablet, I found one tablet manufacturer who was complying with the minimum of their legal open source requirements under GNU GPL. Let alone supporting community development.
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Four short links: 26 July 2010

Four short links: 26 July 2010

Maturing Wikileaks, Connectivity as a Right, Music from Proteins, Preserved Source

  1. Is Wikileaks Growing Up? — I linked earlier to FAS commentator Steven Aftergood, who had ripped Wikileaks as irresponsible and dangerous. The latest leaks, however, get grudging respect. “the latest dump deals with a perfectly newsworthy topic and — judging from my initial glances at the news coverage — Wikileaks itself has acknowledged the necessity of withholding certain portions of the documents that might endanger individuals who are named in them. If so, that is commendable.” (via jayrosen_nyu on Twitter)
  2. Open Connectivity and Open Data — is access to the Internet a human right? Video of a presentation by Jon Penney, the InternetNZ CyberLaw Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
  3. ProteoMusictwisted music inspired by genomes and proteins. (via christianbok on Twitter)
  4. MacPaint and QuickDraw Source Donated to Computer Museum — source is as much a historical artifact worthy of preservation as hardware, and will be increasingly so. Should Library of Congress require submission of distributed computer code the same as for published books? (via Andy Baio)
Comment: 1
Four short links: 15 July 2010

Four short links: 15 July 2010

Measuring Life Success, Music Industry Woes, Google Humanities, Open Source Hardware

  1. How Will You Measure Your Life? (HBR) — Clayton Christenson’s advice to the Harvard Business School’s graduating class, every section a gem. If you study the root causes of business disasters, over and over you’ll find this predisposition toward endeavors that offer immediate gratification. If you look at personal lives through that lens, you’ll see the same stunning and sobering pattern: people allocating fewer and fewer resources to the things they would have once said mattered most. (via mjasay on Twitter)
  2. Lyle Lovett Yet To Make a Penny From Record Sales (TechDirt) — read with Virgin Sues Platinum-Selling Band and Zoe Keating’s ongoing exploration of life outside a label. Big record companies take the album profits but give you visibility so you can tour. This sucks if you’re a good musician but can’t tour (e.g., just had a #cellobaby). (via danjite on Twitter)
  3. Google’s Commitment to Digital Humanities (Google) — giving grants to universities to work with digital works. Will also be releasing more corpora like the collection of ancient Greek and Latin texts.
  4. Open Source Hardware Definition — up to v0.3, there’s momentum building. There’s an open hardware summit in September. The big issue in the wild is how much of the complex multi-layered hardware game must be free-as-in-speech for the whole deal to be free-as-in-speech. See, for example, Bunnie Huang’s take.
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Four short links: 14 April 2010

Four short links: 14 April 2010

Social Think, Elegant Design, Online Safety, and Music Royalties

  1. Designing for Social Interaction — useful and thoughtful advice for designers of social applications. Some people believe that this is changing, that the web is making us closer to more people. On the contrary, research studies have shown that the vast majority of usage on social networks is between strong ties. As we saw earlier, on Facebook it’s with 4 to 6 people, with phone calls its with 4 people, and with Skype it’s 2 people. When people play online computer games with others, they are mostly interacting and playing with people they know, often with people who live less than a few miles away. This pattern of technology being used for strong tie communication is not new. When the telephone was invented, it did more to expand and strengthen strong ties than to weaken them. A study in the 1970s showed that the majority of phone calls were to people who live within five miles of the caller’s home. (via bokardo on Twitter)
  2. EveryTimeZone — beautiful HTML timezone visualiser.
  3. Teaching About Web Includes Troublesome Parts (NYTimes) — Common Sense’s classes, based on research by Howard Gardner, a Harvard psychology and education professor, are grouped into topics he calls “ethical fault lines”: identity (how do you present yourself online?); privacy (the world can see everything you write); ownership (plagiarism, reproducing creative work); credibility (legitimate sources of information); and community (interacting with others).
  4. How Much Do Music Artists Earn Online? — an astonishingly depressing chart of how uneconomic traditional online sales are for artists.
Comments Off on Four short links: 14 April 2010

The Best and the Worst Tech of the Decade

It was the best of decades, it was the worst of decades...

With only a few weeks left until we close out the ‘naughts and move into the teens, it’s almost obligatory to take a look back at the best and not-so-best of the last decade. With that in mind, I polled the O’Reilly editors, authors, Friends, and a number of industry movers and shakers to gather nominations. I then tossed them in the trash and made up my own compiled them together and looked for trends and common threads. So here then, in no particular order, are the best and the worst that the decade had to offer.

Comments: 51