David Bowie celebrates his 66th Birthday with the release of his first single in a decade.
Taken from the album: The Next Day (Deluxe)
Available from iTunes
Apple still needs to take next steps: they should allow seamless wireless integration of your Itunes library to your car stereo player. There are many models of stereos, and Apple needs to license a mod or app for manufacturers. It’s highly ridiculous that the means of playing your Itunes songs in a moving bumpy vehicle still involves burning songs to a spinning platter device. If they are not going to integrate, then they need to make their own aftermarket car players.
Also note that right now you still have to hit the “check for update” drop down from within Itunes to get the update if you haven’t hit the point you’ve set to check for updates automatically yet.
Apple Inc. unveiled a new version of its iTunes media service, overhauling its look and feel while integrating it more closely with the company’s iCloud Internet- storage service.
The iPhone maker, which planned to release the upgrade last month, said it needed more time to get it ready. Changes to the iTunes store are intended to make it easier to search for content and discover new material, Cupertino, California-based Apple said when it previewed the changes earlier this year.
The update is one of the biggest Apple has made to iTunes since its debut more than a decade ago. Under Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, Apple is working to improve the tools that helped make it the largest seller of music while giving customers added incentive to buy more of its other products.
The company is seeking to make it easier for people to access media content from various Apple devices without having to plug them into a desktop. With the iCloud integration, if a user starts a movie on an iPad computer tablet, it can be restarted at the same point on a different device later.
Just like every other time I’ve upgraded Itunes I had to manually find and relink several songs that were already in my cloud. I’ve also lost artwork to several songs that I’ve painstakingly hunted down the covers for over the years - yeah, they are rare cuts that ITunes doesn’t have, know, or care about. [e.g. Stuff like this, this, and this. ]
I heard the first five bars and bought it.
Purchase the single at candyrat.com
Adam Ben Ezra delivers a remarkable one man show in this original multi-instrumental piece called “Openland”.
Talking about how he makes money, the independent musician Jonathan Coulton has compared his business to a “special engineered cow who eats music and poops money.” Coulton doesn’t have any idea what happens inside the cow’s gut, but that’s okay. Money comes out the business end.
And that’s how it is for most online musicians, or artists generally, in today’s digital economy. If they’re lucky enough to make money, they may not heavily analyze the particulars. They feed the cow music, and out comes the money.
So it’s rare that we, as consumers or fans or fellow artists, get the ability to see exactly how successful makers support themselves: to look at the source of their earnings, and to glance up into the cow’s — well, I’ll cut this metaphor now.
The avant garde cellist Zoe Keating has allowed us see her revenue model. Earlier this summer, she posted the details of her Spotify earnings, revealing that every time someone listened to one of her songs, she made about three tenths of a cent. She also posted her iTunes earnings at the time.
But yesterday, she augmented that data with new material: what she makes from Pandora, radio plays, and her participation in the royalty-collecting American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (which everyone calls ASCAP).
During those six months, Zoe Keating made (before taxes) $84,385.86. This is where that money came from:
Out of Sight, Out of Mind, an original song from the most recent CD, “This is What Happens”
Joseph Secchiaroli — Vocals/Guitar
Steven Padin — Drums/Vocals
Danny Pizarro Jr. - Piano
Michael Carroll — Guitar/MIDI
Jeffery Jarvis — Bass/Vocals
Sax — Nelson Rivera
Geraldo Castillo — percussion
© 2012 WMG. Download “Whistle” on iTunes now: bit.ly
“Whistle” is off of Flo Rida’s new album, coming this summer! Follow @official_flo on twitter
One of the most prurient aspects of reading the personal emails written to and by Bashar Assad that were obtained by The Guardian has been the chance to observe the dictator’s strange shopping habits on iTunes. Apparently, the Syrian dictator is a big fan of contemporary party music. But Bashar is far from the first dictator to have a strange relationship with pop culture. From Frank Sinatra to LMFAO, TNR takes a look back at the odd cultural tastes of some of history’s most ruthless rulers.
Bashar al Assad. The Syrian dictator’s recent purchases on iTunes include music by LMFAO, Chris Brown, Right Said Fred, and New Order. Of course, picturing Assad dancing to “I’m Sexy and I Know It” is an image that most of us would prefer to block from our minds.
Saddam Hussein. The palaces of Saddam Hussein were found to have been adorned with fantasy art that included depictions of “naked blonde maidens menaced by dragons” and “warriors wrestling serpents.” It seems the former dictator had an aesthetic taste that was closer to that of an adolescent boy than that of a head of state.
Kim Jong-il. The diminutive and departed former leader was a noted film lover, with over 20,000 DVDs in his personal collection. His taste in movies can hardly be considered highbrow, however, with titles such as Rambo and Friday the 13th listed amongst his favorites. Not just content to watch movies, he once kidnapped a top South Korean film director to make a bizarre version of Godzilla entitled Pulgasari.
Hugo Chavez. Chavez, perhaps seeking to solidify his populist image, released an album of patriotic Venezuelan folk songs featuring himself on lead vocals in 2007.
Moammar Gadhafi. Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi has become the poster boy for eccentric dictators. He had a major crush on U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a crew of exclusively female (and exclusively virginal) bodyguards — and he also loved American musicians. He paid top dollar for musicians such as Beyonce, Mariah Carey, and Lionel Richie to perform private concerts for his family.
Slobodan Milosevic. The Serbian war criminal was a noted admirer of Disney and Frank Sinatra songs, though we’re guessing that the man who spent his later life trying to expand Serbia’s territory by military force preferred “My Way” over “It’s a Small World.”
High quality sound can be had on modern audio devices, you just have to work at it.
In an age when Apple has become the top music retailer without selling a single physical disc, audio engineers are increasingly creating specially mastered versions of songs and albums designed to counteract the audio degradation caused by compression. Though audiophiles typically scoff at paying for compressed audio, preferring vinyl or high-end digital formats such as DVD-A, mastering engineers are doing their best to create digital masters that can pass through Apple’s iTunes algorithms with minimal sonic corruption.
To highlight work done to improve the sound of compressed music files, Apple recently launched a “Mastered for iTunes” section on the iTunes Store. It now also provides a set of recommendations for engineers to follow when preparing master files for submission to the iTunes Store. To qualify for the “Mastered for iTunes” label, Apple says that files should be submitted in the highest resolution format possible, and remastered content should sound significantly better than the original.
How does this work? Ars spoke with Masterdisk Chief Engineer Andy VanDette, who recently completed a project remastering the bulk of Rush’s back catalogue. As part of the process, VanDette created special versions of each song specifically for uploading to the iTunes Store. He described the often lengthy, trial-and-error process of trying to make iTunes tracks sound as close as possible to polished CD remasters.
The state of compressed audio
All music purchased from iTunes is compressed using a “lossy” compression algorithm called Advanced Audio Coding (AAC). Lossy compression algorithms toss out some of the information contained in a digital file in exchange for very small file sizes. Formats like AAC (and MP3) try to be intelligent about what information is tossed out in order to maintain fidelity with the original, uncompressed file. They do so by eliminating frequencies and harmonics least likely to be discerned by the average listener.
(The JPEG image format attempts to do the same thing with photos, eliminating details and colors that aren’t likely to be noticed by the average viewer. This is why JPEGs can sometimes look blocky if saved at a high compression rate.)
A number of music industry luminaries, including Jimmy Iovine (head of Interscope-Geffen-A&M), Dr. Dre, and most recently Neil Young, have bemoaned the fact most music now plays back from a compressed file, resulting in a “degradation” of the sound an artist originally tried to create.
“We live in the digital age, and unfortunately it’s degrading our music, not improving it,” Young said in January during the D: Dive Into Media conference.
Young and his cohorts are attempting to make uncompressed, higher-end audio formats a common standard across the industry. Music throughout the last decade is typically recorded using 24-bit samples at 96kHz, and advances in computing power and hard disk space have recently made even higher quality, 24-bit 192kHz digital recording possible.
However, even the standard CD format comes in a much lower resolution—just 16-bit 44.1kHz. Compared to 24-bit 192kHz digital audio, a finished CD only has roughly 15 percent of the information captured during the recording process. Compressing the songs on a CD further into 256kbps AAC “iTunes Plus” format cuts the data down to just one-fifth of the size of CD audio, or as little as three percent of the original 192kHz recordings.