So Much For the Theory That Artists Get Pennies From Streaming Music Services

Pandora ir lg

I’ve heard it repeated many times that artists make no money from services like Pandora. I guess that is incorrect- at least in some situations.

Pandora: Pandora and Artist Payments: “For over two thousand artists Pandora will pay over $10,000 dollars each over the next 12 months (including one of my favorites, the late jazz pianist Oscar Peterson), and for more than 800 we’ll pay over $50,000, more than the income of the average American household. For top earners like Coldplay, Adele, Wiz Khalifa, Jason Aldean and others Pandora is already paying over $1 million each. Drake and Lil Wayne are fast approaching a $3 million annual rate each.”

Pandora Blog (Via Daring Fireball)

Get an Invitation to the Google Music Beta

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THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

NOTE: AS ONE OF OUR READERS HAS POINTED OUT, GOOGLE MUSIC IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE IN THE U.S. ONLY

While Spotify is the music service that is getting all of the press these days, Google’s own music service is up and running. In typical Google fashion, Google Music is currently in beta. Google Music is not a subscription service, and doesn’t offer a catalog of music. Instead, it is a free service to which you upload the songs that you already own. You can then stream them to a web browser, or to the free Android app. The app also caches music, to support offline play. We’ve got 4 invitations to give away. Read on for details on how to score one.

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The No.1 Reason I Won’t Be Using Amazon Cloud Drive

The No.1 Reason I Won't Be Using Amazon Cloud Drive | 40Tech

Amazon recently launched its Cloud Drive service offering users 5 GB of free online storage, with very competitive plans that essentially amount to yearly subscriptions of $1/GB, going up as high as 1000 GB. When combined with the Amazon Cloud Player (US-only), which allows you stream your music files from any computer or Android device, and doesn’t count Amazon MP3 purchases against your subscription limit, the Amazon Cloud Drive seems like one hell of a deal! The Amazon servers are some of the best out there, and unlike services like Microsoft’s SkyDrive, there are no limitations as to what can be uploaded as long as you own the files and their contents, don’t violate any laws by storing them, and agree not to upload anything that could be potentially dangerous.

All very reasonable and expected, no? Be a law-abiding and conscientious citizen, use the service responsibly, and you’re golden, right? Right — unless you enjoy the possibility of your privacy being infringed upon at the whim of a large corporation.

My problem with the Amazon Cloud Drive service, no matter how good it might be, all boils down to a single clause in their terms of service — which I hope that everyone who signed up for the service (or any service) read thoroughly. In section 5.2 of the Terms of Use, Amazon clearly states the following:

5.2.Our Right to Access Your Files. You give us the right to access, retain, use and disclose your account information and Your Files: to provide you with technical support and address technical issues; to investigate compliance with the terms of this Agreement, enforce the terms of this Agreement and protect the Service and its users from fraud or security threats; or as we determine is necessary to provide the Service or comply with applicable law.

Giving a corporation and its designated appointees the right to access, keep, use, and share both my account information and my personal and business files is something that I’m simply not comfortable with. I understand the concept of limited access to files for the purposes of technical support, and I even get holding them on the order of a court of law or government body, but the use of the phrase “as we determine is necessary to provide the Service” is playing a bit too fast and loose for me. I have no idea what they might determine is necessary — it’s completely arbitrary. I am reasonably certain that, if there were victims of some sort of foul play resulting from that phrase, a court of law would be able to find in favour of those victims, but who wants to be a victim, even potentially? Don’t we have enough problems with digital privacy already?

The Amazon Cloud Drive is promising, but for a service that is fending off criticisms from the music industry by touting itself as a personal hard drive, they certainly don’t provide the end-user with anything even close to resembling the right to privacy that is inherent in a true personal hard drive. I hope that users read and thoroughly understand the fine print before they decide to upload their lives to this service!

What do you think of the Amazon Cloud Drive and its terms of use?

YouTube Remixed, Remastered, Re-channelled ThruYou

YouTube Remixed, Remastered, Re-channelled ThruYou | 40Tech

We’ve all watched music on YouTube, whether it was someone performing, someone teaching, or someone just goofing around. The site has so much content on it that sorting through it all would be more than a full time job. Kutiman had a vision, though — a vision that took multiple unrelated videos, distilled them into perfectly matching clips, and mixed them all together to create entirely new tracks. It’s amazing! A little insane, too… But the body of work that he has put out since 2009 may literally smash your mind into little pieces if you think about it too hard.

Check out the video below — it is the original ThruYou track. Below that, I’ve embedded ThruYou-03: I’m New, which is equally awesome, and below that, the most recent offering, a jazzy number called My Favorite Color. Dig it, Cats — and hit up the ThruYou site or the Kutiman YouTube channel for more!

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Enjoy and have a great weekend!

30 Days of Roc (and Some Free iTunes Gift Cards, Besides)

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Late last spring, we talked about a tool that allowed you to make music right in your browser. Roc was in alpha back then, and was still ironing out the kinks, but Aviary has been hard at work making their online music creator one of the easiest ways to knock out a loop. There are currently (as of this writing) 167,843 saved music creations on Aviary.com, and people have been using the tool to create everything from ringtones to full, multilayer tracks by combining Roc with Aviary’s audio editor (also free and online), Myna.

Aviary has decided to kick off 2011 with a bang, and are in the middle of what they are calling 30 Days of Roc, where they will release a new instrument pack every weekday for 30 days, adding 50 new instruments to their already expansive library. As with all of the instruments in Roc, the new sounds will be licensed under Creative Commons attribution, which means that they can be used even in commercial projects without costing the user a dime. Don’t you just love free stuff? Yeah? Well, then you’ll like the contests that they’re running alongside the instrument releases too!

Image from Aviary Blog

Aviary’s sister site, Worth1000.com, is offering up challenges related to new instrument releases. Generally, the task is to create the best new track (in a specific timeframe) for the instrument of the day, meeting specific criteria. Winners get an iTunes gift card, usually in the $10-$20 range. Don’t worry if you’re not some super-talented beat-maker or composer; Roc is ridiculously easy to use — just point and click and see what you come up with. If you need help, check out the Roc Tutorial video at the bottom of this post.

The new instruments that Aviary has released for Roc so far are surprisingly good (and fun) for sounds that you don’t have to pay for. The first day of the 30 (February 4, 2010) saw a set of five Human Beatbox instruments, and subsequent days have brought about bells, chimes, vocal FX and jazz sounds, singing vowels, tabla bols and konokol, animals and birds, sounds around the house, body sounds (it’s not what you’re thinking…), a thumb piano, and more — just to name a few. And they are only on release #14 as of this writing.

If you are even halfway interested in creating your own ringtone or mucking about with loops and beats, you should dive in and take another look at Aviary’s online music creator. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover you’re the next Kanye West or Dr. Dre.

It could happen…

Really.

Roc Tutorial

Experience the TÖKEN: Multitouch Gone Awesome

Token Experience Multitouch Music Technology

I’m a music nut. Are you a music nut? We’re all technology nuts, here — and when the two combine… well, let’s just say it makes me happy. This afternoon, my friend and fellow music/tech geek Eric — also known as my business partner — sent me something fantastic that I had to share with you. I want one! If you haven’t come across it already, allow me to introduce you to Töken, a “multitouch technology platform” that was made to bring live music performance to an entirely new level.

Töken was created by Rodrigo Campos Santiago of Chile. It’s a prototype; not for sale, not even in production, but just begging for an audience. I’m not kidding when I say I want one — and my mind boggles when I think what could happen if Timbaland got hold of one. Check out the video below for a sample, and visit the Vimeo site for more Töken and some other fun multitouch tech vids.

Awesome!

Töken Experience [TökenExperience]