Google and Universal Music Group last week announced Vevo, a music video site that will feature Universal's music videos running on YouTube technology. I use YouTube as my primary source of watching music videos, and I'm not convinced that I, personally, need a Vevo-like site in my life.
That doesn't mean there isn't room for a site like this. Vevo could still become a great site--but not if it just streams music videos. Here are five features that I'd like to see on Vevo at launch:
1. High-quality video Whenever you try to watch music videos on sites other than MTV.com, the video quality is usually poor. But if Vevo offers outstanding video quality, it will certainly make pople notice. If you're going to a site to watch music videos, wouldn't you expect them to look good? Yeah, me too.
2. An awesome community I love reading comments on YouTube. Popular music videos have hundreds, if not thousands, of comments from both fans and haters alike who want everyone to know their opinions. Vevo needs a community like that to be successful. Watching music videos is fine, but if Vevo really wants to keep people coming back, allowing them to comment is a must. There's a reason why most sites allow users to post comments; they keep people interested in content they've already consumed. That's what Vevo needs.… Read more
I went to the New York International Auto Show to listen. Weird yes, but I'm the audio guy, and nowadays high-end cars all have high-end audio systems. These cars go for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I was hoping to hear some decent sound. That didn't happen.
The nice folks at the Bentley Motors display put me in a spectacular Flying Spur Speed ($252,000). The car has a 6-liter W-12 engine with twin turbochargers, 6-speed automatic transmission, and a claimed top speed of 200 mph. The interior was lavish beyond belief, with truly gorgeous wood and leather that puts your average Mercedes to shame. Rock stars and sports heroes know how to live!
The sound? I'm sure the engine sounds fabulous, but they wouldn't allow me the honor of blipping the throttle. Ah, there was a Naim audio system in the car, and I'm a fan of Nain's home gear, but the Bentley's sound system was nothing to get jazzed about.
The $6,900 Naim audio system sports 15 speakers, including dual subwoofers. Just don't kid yourself, it's not remotely on par with a credible home system. I thought the in-dash display was sort of tacky. Naim would never put such a thing in its home systems.
Next, Rolls-Royce cars, like this awesome Phantom Coupe pictured at the top of this blog ($437,000), now have Lexicon audio systems. Too bad I didn't get to hear it. (Maybe the Bentley guys told them about me, just kidding.)
The Mini Cooper people were a lot friendlier, so I checked out the sound in their 10 speaker MINI Hi-Fi Sound System. Considering it adds just $500 to the car's bottom line, it was pretty good.… Read more
Bathed in Sunburst Orange Pearl, the chunky 2009 Dodge Nitro R/T 4X4 looks like a child's Tonka truck toy. Hop inside and the SUV's cabin also feels very toylike, with low-grade plastic trimming on every visible surface and a general cheapness to the feel of things that implies disposability.
On the road, the Nitro's 4.0-liter V-6 makes a lot of noise but doesn't seem to back it up with performance. Adding insult to injury, the R/T's "sport-tuned" suspension did a better job of tossing passengers around the cabin than it … Read more
When I told CNET audio editor Donald Bell about the Flat, Flexible Loudspeaker out of the U.K.'s University of Warwick, he immediately imagined subway posters shouting at him. And he's probably not too far off.
The new loudspeakers are less than a quarter of a millimeter thick and can be hung on walls like pictures to make announcements in places such as passenger terminals.
They're so slim and flexible, engineers say the speakers could even be concealed inside ceiling tiles orinteriors, conceivably leading to talking roofs, wallpaper, or seats.
The speakers were pioneered … Read more
The same day a new antipiracy law went into effect in Sweden, Internet traffic took a dive and five audio book publishers went after an alleged illegal file sharer in court.
The so-called IPRED law, which went into effect Wednesday, requires Internet service providers to reveal subscribers' Internet Protocol addresses to copyright holders in cases where a court finds ample evidence of illegal activity.
As of 2 p.m. local time Wednesday in Sweden, Internet traffic was down about 30 percent from the day … Read more
There's no lack of music instruction online. Sites like iVideoSongs and Internet-connected applications such as Garage Band, can tailor music instruction right down to the specific genre, song, and instrument of your choice. The trouble is, they don't actually show you how to make a great recording.
If you're more interested in how to use side-chain audio compression in Logic, than how to how to play "Stairway to Heaven," WinkSound.com is worth a look. The site design is a little rough, but the video tutorials are helpful and clearly organized into relevant topics (Garage … Read more