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The war on music

home_taping_is_killing_musicpngLike oil, music is pumped out and commoditized by large corporations. Commoditization occurs as a goods or services market loses differentiation across its supply base. Sound familiar? The goods in question is the garbage being churned out by the music industry. Like the wars waged for other commodities, the corporations are at war with consumers and the battle field is the Internet.

Technology is killing music

In the 80′s and 90′s people would ask their friends for recommendations and share mixtapes. It’s apparent that ‘high speed dubbing’ has been replaced by ‘drag and drop’. Thank goodness for that, it took me hours to splice mix tapes and my music doesn’t degrade over time. Like a broken record, pardon the pun, the music industry has used the same old line since the 1980′s. Copying is killing music? No, the only thing killing music is the music industry.

Failed to diversify, blame the Internet

It’s now possible to obtain trend information and track specific files being sharing in the digital domain. This type of information was not easily obtained in the world of analogue high-speed dubbing. These figures are the biggest weapon in the music industries arsenal of misinformation. I doubt that even a paltry 10% of blank cassette or VHS tapes sold in the 80′s were used in dictaphones or handy cams. Cassettes were used for copying and distributing, and the large labels still made huge profits. The Industry skews figures to justify their war on customers. They want to squeeze every last cent out of the us to maximize their profits. Music is not a commodity, they should stop treating it like one.

The internet, and all it entails – MySpace, social networking, file-sharing, blogs – has destroyed the importance of the physical ownership of music. – Hazel Sheffield – The Guardian

Peculiar statements such as this highlights the successful brainwashing of the masses by the RIAA and the big four. Vinyl sales are increasing. The Internet is an enabler and an important communication tool for musicians, local music scenes, independent labels and alternative music festivals. Social networking sites have enabled other people to share tracklists, music reviews and podcasts. Most importantly; discovery and even creation of new sounds and genres. For example the Internet has aided the growth of the Dubstep scene worldwide through forums and blogs.

It’s foolish to ignore the future of music distribution. It’s obvious that the old encumbents are bloated and slow to act. The 2009 book ‘Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Recording Industry in the Digital Age’ sums up the music industries loss of control

amid the actions of extravagant, sometimes cocaine-addicted executives — ending with the seismic domination of the download,
which slipped out of the industry’s control before its chiefs could decide how to harness it.

A fine example is the demise of Tower Records. Music industry ‘experts’ blame Tower Records’ closure on its failure to compete with the Internet. The high paid executives probably never heard the saying ‘if you can’t beat them join them’. You’re meant to be ‘on’ the Internet. Not competing with it. I’m sure if Tower had taken their head out of the sand and started selling music online in parallel to allow iPod docking facility in their stores they would be still be alive and kicking today. The once-ubiquitous Tower Records is gone because they failed to diversify.

Today, it’s clear Sony is failing to diversify. Over the years Sony has been abismal in the field of innovation and diversification. Like the ingenious mini-disk, the Sony Memory key and their fabulous attempt to infiltrate your computer with a DRM trojan virus. Ironically, even after attempting to copy Apple iTunes, the mighty Sony failed again with ‘Sony Connect’.  Their profits dropped from a whopping 2.2Billion US$ in 2007 to  110 million in 2008. Chump change I shout! Sony & others have shot themselves in the foot repeatedly while pointing the blame elsewhere….

How are we ever going to tame this rampant corporation killer know as the Internet? Answers on a postcard to 550 Madison Avenue, New York.

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 26th June 2010 4 Comments

New ‘Swarm Intelligence’ DJ mix – Against the Grain

simonhayesAnother DJ mix to download from Berlin based label owner & producer Simon Hayes. If you enjoyed Simon’s previous Agentcast you’ll love his new mix entitled ‘Against the grain’ over at SwarmIntelligence.net. Plenty of Irish based labels representing. It’s full of energy and rolling beats, get downloading because it’s absolutely banging. Check out the track listing below.

Download free DJ mix now

01. Throbbing Gristle – Seperated [Mute Records]
02. Scorn – Doors [Hymen Records]
03. Pan Sonic – Pan Finale [Blast First Petite]
04. Autechre – Pce Freeze 28i [Warp]
05. Dual Purpose – anx9i [30mil Recordings]
06. Surgeon – The Crawling Frog is Torn and Smiles [Dynamic Tension]
07. Exium – Fresh Meat [Nheoma]
08. Cynthia Stern – Follow (The Wee DJs Mix) [Input - Output Inc.]
09. Eomac – Unite [!Kaboogie]
10. Somatic Responses – Cymrojunk [Acroplane Recordings]
11. Moderat – Seamonkey (Surgeon Remix) [BPitch Control]
12. Unknown Artist – Ugandan Speed Trials B [DN]
13. Fran Hartnett – Sword & Shield [Forthcoming on Stasis Records]
14. Synapscape – Folded Sheets of Silver [Ant-Zen]
15. Bas Mooy – Bloedneus (Oliver Kucera Remix) [Audio Assault]
16. Obscurum – Dom (Reeko Mix) [Mechanisms Industries]
17. Bradley Strider – Untitled [Rephlex]
18. Autechre – 90101-5l-l [Warp]
19. Rory St John – Silence is Golden, Ductape is Silver [Unreleased]
20. Swarm Intelligence – Hcdoer [Unreleased]
21. Cabaret Voltaire – Lost Possibilities of Modern Dreams [Virgin]
22. Shane O’ Donovan – CFRmx2 [!Kaboogie]
23. Nonima – Antisocialite pt. II [Forthcoming on Stasis Records]

Invisible AgentAdded by: Invisible Agent | 22nd June 2010 1 Comment

Download Podcasts and DJ mixes the easy way

Do you want an easy way to download DJ mixes and podcasts?

You need Juice, an excellent program written by the fathers of podcasting Adam Curry and Dave Winer. Juice is a podcatcher, a podcatcher is piece of software that allows you to subscribe to a podcast or RSS feed. Juice will automatically download any new DJ mixes or podcasts as they become available, this is particularly useful if you decide to listen to many podcasts as it saves you from having to visit each individual website and download the podcasts manually.

There’s even more excellent features.

  • Synch it with your mp3 player so that Juice automatically loads your podcasts on to the player. Perfect if you running out the door. A whole bunch of new mixes for you to listen to on the go.
  • It supports Bittorrent and several other formats.
  • If the media player on the system supports it, the downloaded content is automatically added to playlists.
  • The content is kept on the local harddrive in nested folders, titled with the show’s name.
  • The system works on Mac, Linux and Windows.
  • An alternative to iTunes.

If you download this little gem, be sure to add our AgentCast RSS feed URL

http://feeds2.feedburner.com/AgentCast/

Happy listening!

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 13th June 2010 Leave a comment!

Pay for illegal music downloads?

copying kills limasThe Internet revolution is like the railway revolution of 200 years ago. New and excessive opportunities are available for everyone. The major record labels missed the 6.15 and while they stand freezing on the virtual platform they whine about ‘piracy’ and CD sales being down. They fail to point out that online music sales are increasing at an exponential rate. They state that the increase in digital sales has not made up for the decrease in revenue from CD sales. Let’s get one thing straight, video didn’t kill the radio star and the Internet is a powerful tool for musicians, event promoters and record labels.

Choice please

I’m surprised the entertainment industry hasn’t reported ground breaking news like ‘VHS sales down’. Well, that’s because VHS sales are up! Drops in CD sales are obviously not because the technology is archaic and well, absolutely rubbish. The fact of the matter is: large record labels don’t want to give the customer what they want, choice.

track-by-track purchases create a significant revenue shortfall: where in the past those consumers would have generated revenue equivalent to an entire album’s worth of sales, now they only offer a small percentage of that revenue.

Major labels don’t appreciate users who want to select a few tracks from an album. They force users to download the entire album. I’m sure musicians will argue that you must listen to their entire album to fully appreciate its magical journey. However, users should still have a choice.

Meanwhile, the larger labels continue to cloud the waters with complaints of revenue loss due to ‘online priacy’. Hopefully they’ll all stop stamping their feet soon and appoint executives who have a brain.

There’s a set of data that shows that file sharing is actually good for artists. Not bad for artists. So maybe we shouldn’t be stopping it all the time – Douglas Merrill, EMI’s newly appointed president of digital music group

Big brother is getting bigger

It seems Google, Amazon and Apple want to create a DRM cloud. They want to digitally watermark your downloads. Apple and Walmart are already using this technique to track users. Labels are demanding that a user can only stream music that is watermarked to their username a.k.a ‘dirty MP3s’. Change the username, or try to stream music that you’ve ripped from a CD, and those songs won’t play. Yes, it’s true, DRM is raising its ugly head again.

To make matters worse, major labels are making deals with large ISPs to offer music on tap. Dirty MP3s and dirty ISPs, I have a bad feeling about this….

One of the UK’s top ISPs is preparing to launch an unlimited music service that would see it pay record labels for songs illegally downloaded by its customer

Ironically, Warner, Sony BMG, EMI and Universal face up to $6 billion in damages for pirating a massive 300,000 tracks. Seems you can have your cake and eat it.

Warren DalyAdded by: Warren Daly | 12th June 2010 4 Comments

  • Digital Download Stores

    • Amazon website
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