Radiohead are a band which does not need to prove anything to anyone. Their seminal album 'OK Computer' is consistently voted one of the greatest recordings of all time, be it the critics or mere mortal music fans putting the crosses in the boxes. Which is perhaps why the latest Radiohead album '[URL="http://www.inrainbows.com"]In Rainbows[/URL]' has not been made available through the usual channels, but rather the group have bucked the trend and challenged the music industry by making it available for free download instead. It was not meant to be quite that simple, of course. The distribution and sales model …

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I know that Apple has been expending a lot of hot air telling anyone who will listen that the new iTunes pricing regime is a good thing for consumers. I know that it reckons that for every song which is ramped up to the new 99p (here in the UK) price it will drop another 10 songs down to the 59p bottom dollar pricing. Trouble is, I also know that music download market runner-up Amazon has taken advantage of consumer confusion surrounding the price changes by jumping in with 100+ songs going for just 29p a pop. Importantly, Amazon has …

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Music sharing with Facebook friends just became easier, and if that isn't enough to distract you, how about a game of Internet pinball? Two manufacturers are banking that these innovations will keep Facebook users entertained 24/7. Facebook users that subscribe to [URL="http://www.thumbplay.com/"]Thumbplay Music's desktop app[/URL] can combine it with iTunes Auto-Sync, and automatically import their iTunes playlists when signing into their accounts. Music is streamed by right-clicking "Share" on Thumbplay Music's desktop app. Music can be shared with specific friends or everyone on the user's Facebook network Music sharing for Twitter users is also in the works. What Thumbplay Music's …

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All the news and social media feeds seem to have overdosed on one story this week: will The Beatles be on iTunes after the big Apple 'Rock and Roll' event today? News at eleven: I don't give a stuff, and here's my top ten reasons why. [LIST=1] [*]Most people would rather have an iPod with a camera than an iPod with The Beatles. [*]Reality check: the only people who are really getting their knickers in a knot over the possibility of Beatles music on iTunes, unfortunately, would be we the media. [*]The Beatles are not, and I'm really sorry to …

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[ATTACH=RIGHT]21680[/ATTACH]The British website for pop sensation Lady Gaga has been hacked, it's official. The website was targeted by the US SwagSec hacking group it would appear, a group which has a track record (if you'll excuse the pun) of hacking the official websites of pop stars having already hit Justin Bieber and Amy Winehouse to name but two. Universal Music has now confirmed that part of a database was copied and the names and email address records of Lady Gaga fans accessed. The record label was at pains to point out that no passwords or credit card data was stolen. …

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Teen pop sensation Justin Bieber has already conquered Twitter, and now it would appear he has become the undisputed King of YouTube after knocking Lady Gaga off of the 'most viewed video ever' spot. According to a posting on Twitter by YouTube, Bieber first overtook Lady Gaga on Thursday night but was soon beaten down again as Gaga fans viewed the Bad Romance video by the thousand. [attach]15894[/attach]However, within 48 hours the inevitable weight of Bieber fans has taken its toll and the Baby video has now pulled well clear with 247,991,181 views compared to 'just' 246,609,606 views for Lady …

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Justin Bieber is, so my 10 year old daughter informs me, a pop sensation. Actually, her exact words when I asked just who the heck this Bieber bloke who keeps topping the Twitter trending chart is were: Oh My God, Justin Bieber, he's gorgeous. A little more journalistic investigation turned up the fact that in reality he's a 16 year old Canadian who [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkKqihEUmH4"]doesn't know what the word German means[/URL]. Having listened to a couple of his songs, and I must confess that I'm more a Slipknot man myself so my opinion of Bieber is unlikely to be too high, …

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[ATTACH=LEFT]16727[/ATTACH]With the release of[I]Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock[/I] on September 28th, Acitivision has a tall order when it comes to winning back fans of the once coveted trail blazing rhythm guitar phenomenon. The franchise has been stagnant as of late, a redundant vessel too busy with its hands on all utters of the cash cow to realize that it has steadily grown light years behind [I]Rock Band[/I]. [I]Guitar Hero: Van Halen[/I] was an inexcusably lazy mess, so much so that Activision had to bundle it with [I]Guitar Hero 5[/I] to offload its supply. Released on December 22, 2009 and February …

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Nobody should have any reason to wish the fledgeling [URL="http://www.hmvdigital.com"]HMVDigital[/URL] music store, launching today, anything but the best of luck (unless you're an Apple shareholder). A bad business is in nobody's interests and a competitor to an obvious leader is a good thing. On the surface many of the omens are good. HMV has a solid track record as a music company, which Apple certainly lacked. The download market is growing healthily but the continuing dominance of the CD format suggests there's a lot of organic growth to come before competitors have to start poaching each other's market shares. A …

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According to a recent survey of Apple iTunes, iPod, iPhone and iPod Touch users, conducted by The NPD Group, more than a quarter of consumers participating had a strong interest in a free cloud-based music option. Many were willing to pay a subscription fee to access their own music libraries from multiple devices and platforms, when asked about their reactions to various music subscription-model concepts. [ATTACH=right]15838[/ATTACH]The "iTunes Usage Report" asked consumers to evaluate a music service offering free and unlimited streaming of content from the consumer's own iTunes library, as well as several paid options for music subscriptions that included …

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If piracy and illegal downloaders really are killing the music industry, how come more singles have been sold this year than ever before and people who file-share spend more money on legal releases than those who do not file-share? I have to admit, it's not been a good week to be on the side of law and order and the established way of things as far as the music business is concerned. While the UK Government pushes ever onwards with the Digital Economy Bill which promises a robust legal and regulatory framework to deal with illegal file-sharing, and continues to …

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It has been a long time coming, but Apple has finally announced that iTunes is going DRM-free. As in, all songs on the iTunes site will ditch DRM. That's everything from Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, Warner Music Group and EMI along with thousands of indie labels. All with their musical offerings now available in the iTunes Plus DRM-free format. According to Apple the iTunes Store will begin offering eight million songs in the DRM-free format immediately, with the remaining two million songs offered in iTunes Plus by the end of March. But at what cost? Apple might have ditched …

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Spotify is fast become the de facto way of listening to music online for millions of in the know users. Rather than buy a copy of a track which is downloaded to a player such as an iPod, Spotify users either pay a monthly fee (for a no advert service) or stream their tracks free of charge in exchange for the odd advert here and there. They don't actually own the track, nor do they download it for offline storage; it's like a digital radio where you are the DJ and control the playlists. Indeed, Spotify has been hailed by …

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What might kill illegal downloading do you think? The long ([URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story220692.html"]and mostly ineffective[/URL]) arm of the law perhaps, or maybe a sudden (and unlikely) [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story235178.html"]feeling of overwhelming love[/URL] for the poor music and movie industry? According to the [URL="http://www.globalwebindex.net"]Global Web Index[/URL] the answer could be simple and obvious: why bother downloading something illegally when you can watch it or listen to it perfectly legally using streaming media services? YouTube has certainly showed a thirst for streaming videos, free of charge to the end user. The Global Web Index research reveals that 64% of Internet users watch video clips this way. …

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A couple of months ago DaniWeb reported how British singer Lily Allen [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story226113.html"]turned the music copyright debate into a copywrong farce[/URL] with some ill conceived blogging. Things went quiet soon after the media had swarmed all over Allen and her odd arguments, not least as she [URL="http://torrentfreak.com/lily-allen-deletes-pro-copyright-blog-and-ends-career-090924/"]closed down her blog[/URL] complaining of getting too much abuse. Now, following an interview with the [URL="http://www.nme.com/news/lily-allen/48488"]music press[/URL] it seems that Allen has jumped straight back into the controversy with both feet. This time she appears to be confusing price and value, claiming that she wants her fans to appreciate the value of her …

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Jon Lech Johansen is perhaps best known as DVD Jon, the chap who cracked DVD movie encryption at the tender age of just 15. He may soon have to adopt a new nickname, how about iTunes Jon, as he releases software that takes iTunes out of the iPod music equation. [URL="http://www.doubletwist.com/dt/Home/Index.dt"]doubleTwist[/URL] exists on the foundation that in the same way you don't have a different web browser for every web site that you visit, you shouldn't have to have different software when you use an iPod, a Nokia smartphone, a Sony device and so on. "The typical household today has …

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Sky, better known for news and sport television broadcasting, has today announced that it is entering the online music business with an ad-free streaming download service. All of the four million songs accessible by users of the service will be available by way of unlimited online streaming as well as in MP3 format for storage and playback on any compatible device. Launching on the 19th October, Sky Songs in the UK will start off by providing access to new release and back catalogue songs from EMI. Sony, Universal and Warner along with a host of independent labels for good measure. …

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When singer Lily Allen posted a passionate plea for people to stop illegally sharing music files, and started a dedicated blog where fellow pop stars could voice their concerns over the 'theft' of their work, you might have been forgiven for thinking it would just turn into the usual bunch of rich kids moaning about how unfair it was that they couldn't buy a second Ferrari this year. However, it quickly got much more interesting than that, thanks to a large dose of double standards on the part of Allen herself. The trouble with setting yourself up as some kind …

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Apple introduced a new feature today that lets you buy an album from iTunes complete with extra material like bonus recordings, video footage, lyrics and more. This is the kind of package I was suggesting the record companies need to bring to CDs a couple of weeks ago in my post [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story220750.html"]Record Companies Must Stop Being Stupid to Salvage CD Sales.[/URL] By supplying these types of bonuses, Apple is luring the true fans to buy not just one or two great songs, but an entire package of music and multimedia in a move that should not only boost iTunes sales, …

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Years ago [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_medium_is_the_message"]Marshall McLuhan[/URL] uttered the famous phrase, "The medium is the message." He said this long before the World Wide Web. If he were alive today, he might have said something else: "He who controls the distribution method, controls the money." When you look at the Web's influence on media companies over the last 15 years, it's clear, whether we are talking about news, music or television programs, as the distribution channel has shifted to the web, these media companies have struggled mightily to adapt. [B]Newspapers[/B] Newspapers [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry4481.html"]as I've written in past[/URL] have been notoriously bad at this. When …

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Continuing on its charm offensive, the music industry is apparently not satisfied with the $675,000 fine for sharing 30 songs imposed on Joel Tenenbaum or the $1.92 million Jammie Thomas-Rasset was hit with for illegally downloading 24 tunes. Now it is going after the lyrics pirates. The what? Well, exactly. But apparently three music publishers have filed copyright infringement suites against a couple of sites which display song lyrics so you can sing along while the music plays. According to an article in [URL="http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3ia76573c6f2d502a15e774f187baccc91"]Billboard[/URL] the two businesses concerned, Liveuniverse Inc and Motive Force LLC, have been accused of "exploiting unlicensed …

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I'm not a great fan of the phrase 'total coincidence' and nor am I a fan of The Rt Hon Lord Mandelson, First Secretary of State, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills and Lord President of the Council to be formal. While I'm on the small matter of things I don't like, I'm not exactly standing cheering on the sidelines when a recording or movie industry executive bemoans modern technology for stripping them of some of their profit from the sale of music or film. So you can probably guess I was none too pleased to [URL="http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/arts_entertainment/media/was+mandelson+behind+piracy+crackdown/3321192"]learn[/URL] that …

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Today Dynamite Records, a fixture in Northampton, MA for more than 27 years shut its doors. Probably doesn't matter to most of my readers, but consider this news against the backdrop of [URL="http://www.npd.com/press/releases/press_090818.html"]figures released this week by the NPD Group[/URL] indicating that iTunes controls 25 percent of all US music sales in the US. What's more, they control 69 percent of all online music sales. Meanwhile, the news gets worse for the likes of Dynamite Records because the brick and mortar stores that sold the most CDs? WalMart and Best Buy. [B]CDs Still Dominate...For Now[/B] Yet surprisingly, in spite of …

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This is just odd, for too many reasons. [URL="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8177285.stm"]A file sharer has been fined $675,000 for downloading illegal music[/URL]. He is a student. People have offered him money because they think it's an unreasonable amount to pay. He has turned them down. Why do I think this is odd? Well, one by one: the amount is indeed a ridiculous amount to expect a student to pay. Yes, of course he knew what he was doing was illegal and the people with the rights to the music to which he's helped himself have some sort of recourse. But twice the price …

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Seems like a silly question, right? But $80,000 per track is exactly how much Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a single mother from Minneapolis, has been charged. Well, I say charged but actually she was fined this amount for each of 24 songs downloaded via a file-sharing site at the end of a jury trial which found her to be liable for wilful copyright infringement in every case. The $1.92 million in damages for the four record labels involved sets a new record, if you will excuse the pun. Her attorney told reporters he was angry about the damages, but Thomas-Rasset was more …

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File under strange but true, it would appear that 24 year old musician Gary Baker, better known as singer and songwriter Gary Go, is to play Wembley Stadium with his iPhone as musical accompaniment. As the supporting act on the Take That tour, Gary Go will be on stage on the 1st, 4th and 5th of July at Wembley. I guess he will not be requiring the usual entourage of sound guys, roadies and the like. Just a case to carry his iPhone in and possibly a mains charger lead or two. In what is being billed as the first …

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Just as the excitement started to hot up, first with the news that the controversial and increasingly popular legal free streaming music service Spotify was to open up with the release of a third party developer API, and then with the actual announcement of the availability of [URL="http://developer.spotify.com/en/libspotify/overview/"]Libspotify[/URL] itself, so the reality of the situation pours cold water upon it. What the heck am I talking about? Well, Spotify is perfectly poised to cash in on the [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry4215.html"]potential gap[/URL] that might open up in the online music market as first Apple, and now Amazon, introduce 'variable rate' pricing for downloads. …

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The Pirate Bay is, without doubt, a huge thorn in the side of the music and movies business. As the [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry3479.html"]worlds largest bittorrent tracker[/URL] with more than 3 million users and well over 20 million peers it constantly flips the bird at The Powers That Be. Even the threat of legal action does little to dampen the spirits of the owners who state that as no copyrighted material is stored by them is it "not possible" to hold them responsible for material being spread using the tracker. "Any complaints from copyright and/or lobby organizations will be ridiculed and published at …

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Earlier this week Apple was adamant that it would close the iTunes Store if the Copyright Royalty Board raised the royalties paid to music publishers, rather than be forced into either accepting smaller margins on the music downloads it sells or be forced into hiking prices. The way these things work, Apple pays something in the region of 70 cents on every dollar of music sold to the record labels concerned. The record labels pay around 9 cents of this to the copyright holders of the music, the music publishers. With me so far? Good. Trouble is, the National Music …

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Researchers tell us that, in the UK market, there were some 1.5 billion 'legal' music downloads last year. That's covering all bases, different devices and download services, but discounting the illegal file sharing trade. The Goddess alone knows how big the figure would be if you factored in dodgy P2P business and back bedroom file swapping. However, the point is that one research firm, TNS Technology, now reckons that it doesn't matter as the real big numbers will come from mobile phone music downloads via the Sony Ericsson and Nokia portals. How does 2.1 billion downloads of 'mobile music' in …

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The End.