Articles about music

old Cassette Tape player and recorder on a white background... the play and record keys are blurred from use.

Home taping revisited: A mic in each hand, pointing at speakers

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I once tried to do it standing on one leg, arms pressed against the wall for stability. On other occasions, I would do the business with arms and legs akimbo. In fact, I have variously tried it huddled in a corner, sitting on a ping-pong table, at both ends of a teak sideboard, straddling the back of a leather sofa and even …

As the singularity approaches, neural network pens black metal album

RotM If Coditany of Timeness was released without the high-tech fanfare, no one in the notoriously elitist black metal scene would bat an eyelid. Perhaps popular online US music mag Pitchfork would even give it a "6/10". The album has everything intrinsic to the sub-genre – tremolo guitars, blasting drums, barked vocals, and total …

More are paying to stream music, but YouTube still holds the value gap

With Google's user-generated content loophole firmly in lawmaker's sights, global music trade body IFPI has published new research looking at demand for music streaming. The research confirms YouTube's pre-eminence as the world's de facto jukebox. 46 per cent of on-demand music streaming is from Google's video website. 75 per …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Sep 2017

Spotify just can't wash those songwriters out of its hair

Spotify is embroiled in new legal objections over how it pays songwriters royalties... or doesn’t, as the songwriters insist. At issue is the mechanical copyright royalty – the amount owed to the composer or songwriter from the reproduction of the recording. Songwriters and composers argue that while Spotify negotiated …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Sep 2017
cockroach is invited into hotel/motel

Facebook's music plans mean you'll never leave Facebook

Analysis A year ago, Facebook was denying that it was a media company. No way, not ever. Not us! Then it said it was "not a traditional media company". But quite soon, it could be the media company that you never leave. Yes, we've mocked the video dabblings before, but things have moved on apace since then, particularly in music. And …
Steve Jobs presents the iPod to an audience of press and Apple employees

Apple exits music player biz by killing iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle

Apple has exited the standalone music player business by discontinuing the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle. In an unusual move, an Apple representative responded to a Reg request to confirm multiple reports of the devices disappearing for good from its website. An Apple operative told us those reports are accurate. Those of you …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jul 2017

DIY music veteran SoundCloud flounders, lays off 40% of staff

Online audio distribution platform SoundCloud is laying off two in five of its staff and closing several offices to cut its cloth in a crowded market dominated by music streaming giants. The business, founded in Berlin in 2008 by Swedish sound designer Alexander Ljung and compatriot artist Eric Wahlfross, which allows …
Paul Kunert, 7 Jul 2017
U2 on your iStuffs

I still haven't found what I'm malloc()ing for: U2 tops poll of music today's devs code to

Time to put to bed once and for all the image of the hip young hacker pounding out code to cutting-edge techno music. It turns out that today's devs prefer to work to most of the same tunes your mom plays while driving to the store. A study from survey and research company Qualtrics found that while nearly all developers like …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jun 2017

MP3 'died' and nobody noticed: Key patents expire on golden oldie tech

Key patents held on the MP3 audio format expired last month – and it's taken three weeks for anyone to notice. And the Fraunhofer Institute has declined to renew the intellectual property it owns on the MPEG Audio Layer III technology – as well as terminating its licensing programme. So yup, now you can use MP3 encoding in …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 May 2017

Yet another job menaced by AI! Uh, wait, it says here... Dance Dance Revolution designers

Dance Dance Revolution – one of the few computer games that causes players to break into a sweat – is getting a boost from artificial intelligence. The game is frequently spotted in arcades. Players stand on a metallic square pad that has up, down, left and right arrow buttons, and you basically follow on-screen prompts to …
Katyanna Quach, 24 Mar 2017
Pirate ship in Croatia with a hole blown through it. For editorial use only. Photo by shutteretsock/s-mart

Google agrees to break pirates' domination over music searches

UK government-hosted talks spanning two Parliaments have culminated in Google and Bing at last agreeing to tweak their search results in response to copyright-holders' concerns, thereby heading off threatened legislation on their conduct. The code means Google, Bing and other search engines will demote illegal sites from the …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Feb 2017
Skeptical hipster. photo by shutterstock

Big Music goes mad for chat bots and AI

The BPI has embraced the post-human era, with a report of the use of AI in music by consultancy MusicAlly. “AI is enabling the creation of hyper-personalised playlists using contextual data and deep analysis of the relationship between songs, while artists and labels are now using chatbots to engage fan-bases in campaigns,” we …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Nov 2016

Top of the bots: This AI isn't a cold, cruel killing machine – it's a pop music hit machine

Feature AI are often seen as cold, calculating machines, devoid of any warmth or humanity. One way to make AI more relatable and human-like could be encouraging them to take part in human activities like making music. Using AI is one of the geekiest ways to make tunes, and has been around since the 80s. It’s a thriving area of …
Katyanna Quach, 11 Nov 2016
Nerd fail photo via Shutterstock

Is this the worst Blockchain idea you've ever heard?

Poll The music industry has been a petri dish for some fairly atrocious digital ideas, but few can be as desperate as Blockchain. Is this the worst Blockchain idea you’ve ever heard? We thought the business had scraped rock bottom with blockchain .bc “format”. This got oodles of press, as Imogen Heap was fronting the publicity for …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Oct 2016

Daddy, what's 'P2P file sharing'?

So long peer-to-peers, and farewell dodgy file lockers: young music fans now steal their music straight from YouTube instead. Research from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the global body for the recording industry, finds that 49 per cent of 16-to-24s use streaming rippers, overtaking …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Sep 2016

Google had Obama's ear during antitrust probe

Updated According to emails released under the US Freedom of Information Act, Google briefed the White House amid an antitrust investigation into itself, breaking a 40-year precedent of the President's office staying well away from competition issues. Google lobbyist Johanna Shelton and the web giant's antitrust lawyer Matthew Bye met …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Aug 2016

Church organist nabbed for playing glory hole in excelsis

A church organist is due before the beak next month after he allegedly thrust his pink pipe through a glory hole in excelsis and “waited” for someone to make sweet music. 74-year-old Jerry Michael Childress is alleged to have entered the bog in a Brooksville, Florida-based park and, er, pulled out all the stops, a report by …
Paul Kunert, 27 Jul 2016
Street musician busks for coins. Photo by Shutterstock

Spotify, YouTube pay musicians with ever-shrinking buttons

Digital music is a loss leader for tech giants, driving traffic to other parts of the plantation as they harvest personal data. But it’s creators who are carrying the loss. “Leaked” Spotify numbers suggest its maintaining an audience lead over Apple in the digital streaming business - but only by giving the music away for …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jul 2016

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