This week in the New York Times, op-ed columnist David Brooks mourns the passing of what I'd call the classic rock age. This was the era in which everybody learned about a musical act at the same time--the fabled Beatles-on-Ed-Sullivan moment--and it wasn't uncommon for active bands consisting of young people to sell out 20,000-seat arenas. (John Bonham and Robert Plant weren't even 30 when Led Zeppelin sold out the 60,000-seat Kingdome in Seattle in 1977. When's the last time a young, non-nostalgia-act rock and roll band had that many fans?) Brooks argues the … Read more
DanceJam is a well-thought-through Web site about dance and dancing, surrounded by what looks to be a solid business plan. I tried out the still-closed beta and then got a run-through of the site and the business by the exec team, CEO Geoffrey Arone and CTO Anthony Young (co-founders of Flock), and Chief Strategy Officer MC Hammer (blog). That added a bit of novelty to the meeting.
The first pass on DanceJam is this: It's a site where people can upload videos of themselves dancing and see other dance videos as well. The site will host contests in various … Read more
Earlier this year, I expressed skepticism that the iPhone would be able to break the convergence rule: historically, consumers have preferred devices that do one thing well over devices that combine multiple equally important functions. (The big exception being the personal computer.)
Some figures released today by retail researcher NPD suggest I may be wrong. Of the 38 million phones shipped to U.S. consumers last quarter, 50% of them were able to play music. That's up from 25% in the previous year.
Doing some quick math, it appears that the iPhone made up about 6% of all music-capable … Read more
Pandora has added classical music to the Music Genome Project, the extensive music database and engine that powers its DIY Internet radio site.
If you were addicted to Pandora before, just wait until you can actually figure out what kind of classical music you like.
The addition is significant as more than any other DIY Internet radio site, Pandora is known for its ability to figure out what listeners like based on a musical genetic code for each song. Nowhere is a song's musical genetic code more relevant to figuring out what you like than in the complexities of … Read more
Editors' note: This blog initially misstated the first name of the founder of Downtown Records. His full name is Josh Deutsch.
The service is an interesting combination of things we've seen elsewhere, such as blog postings, streaming audio, player widgets, and free downloads, but I wouldn't call it groundbreaking. Most of the artists on RCRD LBL are also on traditional labels and have so far only released a few songs … Read more
Yahoo announced on Tuesday that it has expanded its partnership with music mega-label Sony BMG to bring the company's music videos to its Yahoo Video platform.
The two companies already have an existing content deal, but this expanded agreement will add more video to Yahoo's catalog and allow Sony BMG artists' audio to be used in user-generated Yahoo audiovisual content. Additionally, Sony BMG media on Yahoo will be available in more regions across the globe.
Sony BMG artists include Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Bob Dylan, Britney Spears, and Avril Lavigne.
This is the latest in a series of … Read more
Like falling asleep to the soothing sound of whale song? Like waking up to the violent posturing of G-Unit? Yes, us too. That's why we use the Sound Asleep Pillow. It's a pillow with a speaker inside it.
Just set the sleep timer function on your MP3 player, attach it to the 3.5mm headphone jack, then lay back as you enter REM--while listening to REM. It works in reverse, too. Set the wake-up function on your iPod and it'll play music first thing in the morning.
Last week, I received an e-mail regarding the impending announcement of a new MP3 player with an impressive feature list, including Rhapsody DNA integration and support for both 802.11b/g WiFi and stereo Bluetooth. I was immediately intrigued by the product, called the ibiza Rhapsody, though I didn't recognize the manufacturer, Haier America. Always curious about newcomers to the portable media player market, I looked it up. You really had to be here to appreciate my groan of skepticism when I found out that the company specializes in home appliances. I mean, really: what could a team that … Read more
The launch of Google's OpenSocial platform earlier this month might have been more PR than anything, as many of the third-party partners implementing the new developer standard won't be releasing anything for months.
Instead, OpenSocial-related announcements have been rolling out slowly: one of the latest is that social music site Last.fm has created OpenSocial widgets designed for use on Ning, a site that allows any person or business to create a specialized social network. (According to Ning, more than 123,000 networks have been created so far.)
Ning network creators and members can now install the Last.… Read more
The next-gen Zune Marketplace makes a sharp departure from its Windows Media Player roots, embracing a clean, minimalist design with engaging visual imagery. As it's notably different from the standard jukeboxes, it takes a little getting used to, but it will please your eye in the interim. Check out our slide show of the Zune Software and Marketplace for a detailed look at the interface and service.