Archive for the ‘mp3’ category

Tulsa’s 2008 Battle of the Bands (MP3s)

February 24, 2008

The winner’s been announced. There were some really good up-and-coming Tulsa bands among the finalists. Clickthrough to enjoy some solid music from the newest crop on the Tulsa scene. And, if you happen to be rolling through Tulsa on a Grocio, Google or Vidoop interview… let me know you’re going to stick around for the night and we’ll catch a show.

I’ll throw my bias around a bit (just ’cause I can)… “Here is There” hails from Booker T. Washington high school, which is near and dear to me as a class of ’85 grad and, well, I’m on the BTW Foundation board too. So, despite all that… they’re still REALLY good. Juneaux‘s another BTW band… just not my cuppa.

I’m not even considering The Twenties or Black Sheep Drive. They’re both ready to be signed by someone and it’s not a fair fight. Like pitting Billy the Kid’s gang against Roy Rogers.

Here is There
Caught Between a Door and an Escalator
Counting the Stars Blindfolded
Sinbad (Seven Seconds to Climax)

The runaway best of the amatuer bands though… Big Sleep. A hauntingly professionally finished sound for a band so young.
Corey Feldman (best of the lot and love the song’s title)

Keep Quiet (close second)

Qtrax FREE Music Site Launches. Again.

January 27, 2008

Browsing the AP headlines this morning I see Qtrax is coming out of cold storage with a fresh angle: 25 million free songs with a FairPlay work around. Sounds like they’ll be protecting the files while retaining the playability on iPod devices. Lest we forget the Achilles heel here… What Apple giveth, Apple can taketh away. Just look at all the jailbreaked iPhones out there. Qtrax may have their headlines for a couple of days – Good for a bump in curiosity traffic. But, the first update Apple issues to the iPods will most certainly be busting the playability of those trax… Qtrax had better have a compelling and strong value proposition to retain customers. The Mac beta of Qtrax will be available March 18 according to their site (which is slow as can be). [EDIT: It may not matter anyway… looks like someone at Qtrax was over-zealous and made some misleading claims about “who” and “how much”.]

If you’ll recall, Qtrax was/is a P2P approach much like Napster was in its day. In a move to stay alive, avoid legal entanglements, etc they shuttered the doors and hunkered down to buy time. All the while they’ve been cutting deals with the labels with an interesting model (similar to SpiralFrog‘s): namely ad sponsored distribution of music files which are somehow playable on the iPod as something other than your house variety mp3.

I’m certain this isn’t what they want to hear… I love music and I’m positive somehwere in that 25 million large pile of digitized music I’ll find some new stuff I don’t already own… I can ignore ads with the best of them. They’ve gotta know this about us. Seems to me they’ll have to be very intrusive with their ad plays in order to pay the license fees their labels are going to demand. Doing the rough math… if they’ll owe .50 on each distributed track I will have to have earned Qtrax enough during my site visit to offset what they’re going to owe (not to mention enough for infrastructure, salaries and operating costs). That’s one helluva lot of ad sponsored clickstream.

I don’t see them living to see 2009 with this model.

Amazonmp3 v. iTunes Store

September 26, 2007

Folks, it’s WAY too early to be drawing any kind of conclusive comparisons of Amazonmp3 (beta) and the iTunes Store (I’ll call it version 7). Although, Om Malik has a very good side by side and where our options weigh in at.

First, the online music business is really just getting started. It’s by no means a mature market. Maturing? Yes. Mature. Nope. No one place has the whole package. The recommendation engines are weak. The social sharing of lists is far from ideal… The list of deficiencies and possible innovation is long.

Second. Remember back when Bezos and co. came on the scene? They were pooh-poohed and discounted. Then they promptly began pulling judo moves on the BOOK industry of all boring things and look at them now! No. To be sure, Amazon’s got the clout, the respect, the scalable computing and the prowess to get into this market and make some amazing things occur (89 cents at a time).

Sure, they’re not selling music in far flung countries yet. It’s not even a week old folks! (sheesh)

Third. Pricing is, um, interesting. I’ve bought one whole album on iTunes. Everything else has been onesy-twosy singles. They’ve chosen to offer almost all of their Top 100 singles at 89 cents per. OK, that’s Long Tail thinking. Buy the pop business with a dime discount and market the peeps like crazy and feed them on the Long Tail at 99 cents a bite.

Fourth. Their DRM policy is Spot Freakin On The Money. Why they have better DRM deals than Apple I can only imagine. They may have had to give a LOT of concessions to swing those deals. Concessions Apple just wasn’t willing to make. OK, fine. That simply left the door open for someone else to come in and put on a show to challenge Apple’s dominance. Keep in mind… Bezos has show us time and time again he’s willing to LOSE LOTS OF MONEY to eventually own a category. If they had to sell their Soul to get to DRMless R&B – he’s the guy that would have done it.

Finally. We’re in the very early moments of the first round of the bout. Up to this point Apple’s been shadow boxing. Now, someone with some real teeth and competitive umpf to them is bobbing and weaving across the deck. And, this isn’t even the championship round. There are some contenders out there we haven’t even heard from yet.

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Mixed Tape 18 Now Live (link)

July 19, 2007

Legal Free MP3s. High quality. Lots of indie music from Mercedes-Benz via MixedTape. Enjoy. Peace, out.

[EDIT: Appears MT18 will be the “last of it’s kind” in the Mercedes-Benz series and will morph into something new.]

Mixed Tape 17 Now Live (link)

May 9, 2007

The new Mercedes Benz Mixed Tape 17 has a good mix of jazz, new jazz and pop. Can’t beat FREE, high quality goods. Check it out. You’ll be glad you did.

EDIT: If you’re having problems downloading right now (Wednesday mid-day) you’re not alone. Looks like the server is having a tantrum right now. Will scrub this edit once we have a clearer shot at dowloads.

Hawaiian Acoustic Bliss

February 28, 2007

When the wife worked for Thrifty Car Rental HQ she was introduced to a musical group called Hapa.

Stateside I’d be surprised if you’ve heard of them. But, apparently on the islands they’re big cheese. So, Michelle and I were poking around the iTS looking at music and I’ve taken a shine to French Pop music (of all things) and Michelle searched for Hapa on a lark. Apparently, they’re not terribly active on the recording from but one track that has a GREAT beat and some Hawaiian influence slap guitar riffs managed to get bought and found a 5-star spot on ye olde iPod. Highly recommended! Hapa - Maui - Twinkletoes

$1.5B. Want Fries With That?

February 22, 2007

c|net reports Microsoft lost an initial federal ruling in San Diego over its licensing of MP3 technologies. No biggie. ‘cept it’s to the tune (heheh, I crack me up) of $1.5B! That’s not 1 & 1/2 Bucks. Nope, not by a long shot bub. That’s 1 & 1/2 BILLION dollars. Haysoos Marimba!

So, where’s the Apple twist in this deal right? Well, Alcatel-Lucent seems at odds with the co-developer (Fraunhofer now Thompson) of the MP3 technologies and licensor of the MP3 algo’s. This is the same group Apple cut their deal with.

There are apparently other torpedo’s in the water on this deal.

No wonder Apple changed their name. It’s probably going to morph into Apple, Attorneys at Law before long. Sheesh!

Digitizing 45s to MP3?

November 30, 2006

Dad’s got these humungous stacks of 45’s. Some are from his personal collection. Some were inherited from Grandma. Saw a title in there, Mel Tillis’ Coca-Cola Cowboy made me smile about Grandma dancing around in her kitchen years ago.

I’d love to digitize some (if not all) of them to MP3s as a special present to him. Anyone have any good advice on getting this done? I’d like to do it myself rather than farming it out. Call me cheap… Heck, I’d just love to learn how to do it in a high quality kinda way! It’s for my dear ole Dad after all. 🙂

Tips? How to clean them? Wire them through to a Mac for capture? Tweaks, etc?

Sample MP3

September 22, 2006

I’m going to upload an MP3 of a MUCH improved machine read text. I’ll be interested to see what everyone thinks.

The reason for this has some personal gratification and is a bit self serving. See, Grandpa’s eyesite was shot the last several years of his life. He loved his ham radio and all the print publications that went with his hobby. One thing that kept him sharp those last few hard years was the machine voice rendering of his favorite periodicals.

I gritted my teeth every time I heard that tinny sound. But, after each visit I knew it was good medicine for gramps. I think he’d LOVE where the technology is going.