We Need to Re-Think How Music is Released

Having an all-you-can-eat music service like Apple Music is fairly incompatible with how music is traditionally released. Releasing singles and then eventually full albums and then sometimes deluxe albums and then even remix albums causing a lot of confusion. I end up with tons of duplicates in my library which then skews the “randomness” of shuffle. Here’s the scenario:

  1. Hear a new song that you like and add it to you library. This song comes from the single.
  2. Listen to “radio” streams or curated playlists and hear the same song. That song is being sourced from album. You add it to your library again because you don’t really know if it’s in your library yet or not.
  3. Listen to your library in shuffle and keep hearing the same songs over and over again.
  4. Realize you’ve added five versions of the same song – several are identical versions.

The multiple versions of songs also creates confusion when individual albums are pulled from the service by the studio for whatever reason. I’m assuming most reasons relate to contract negotiations. I also hate when songs are pulled and then are no longer playable then we they do get added back they’re not always associated with what’s in your library.

I’m not sure what the answer is to solve this. Maybe a machine learning algorithm to help reduce the duplicates by predicting matches better (“this song is already in your library”)?

Radio Garden

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http://radio.garden

By bringing distant voices close, radio connects people and places. Radio Garden allows listeners to explore processes of broadcasting and hearing identities across the entire globe. From its very beginning, radio signals have crossed borders. Radio makers and listeners have imagined both connecting with distant cultures, as well as re-connecting with people from ‘home’ from thousands of miles away – or using local community radio to make and enrich new homes.

 

From Electronic Dance to Orchestral Music

My coworker Alex reminded me of the Kickstarter project by the electronic music artist BT where he would use an orchestra in a live performance to replace most of the electronic components of his top songs. Well, the album was released! The music is great. Check out the Kickstarter campaign video below, the wrap up video, and links to the album.

Kickstarter project

WHAT IS ELECTRONIC OPUS?

Electronic Opus is a unique and immersive Electronic Symphonic album project featuring the most popular songs from the award winning, world renowned, multiple platinum artist, film composer and technologist BT.  BT is considered one of the people who transformed modern music forever and is widely acknowledged as the godfather of trance.

Start with the power and excitement of electronic dance music (EDM), blend in the emotional and classical tones of a symphony orchestra, and the result is Electronic Opus, a first-of-its-kind, high-energy album and live concert experience arriving in March 2015.

Produced by BT and the award-winning composer and Video Games Live creator Tommy Tallarico, Electronic Opus features BT’s signature EDM hits re-imagined, re-arranged and remixed with a full orchestra.

Wrap-up video

The finished album

Stealing Music

I admit, back in the day I stole a lot of music with peer to peer sharing programs like Napster and WinMX.  I stopped after I realized that most times the MP3s I was getting were subpar and the metadata associated with them was crap.  I spent more time fixing artist names, track numbers, etc than I did listening to the actual music.  Enter buying a Mac and having iTunes and I’ve tried to go legal for all my music.

Then my mom calls me this last week.  “Hey, I’m looking for the sound track to Steven King’s tv movie The Stand.  They don’t make it any more and Ebayers want like $60.  Can you find it ‘for free’?”

My mom is asking me to break the law and download this CD without paying for it.  I, of course, said no problem and starting the search and eventually found a few seeders with the songs.  I went to iTunes and the album was there, sort of, but I couldn’t view it getting a “not available in the US Store” error.  Amazon doesn’t sell the CD and their marketplace sellers want $40+ for a copy.

When I told my mom I had the files, a mere 30 minutes after she requested them, remorse set in for her.  “Oh are you sure this is okay??”  I told her, it’s illegal and if the RIAA had anything to say about it, they’d cut off my nipples.  However, I’ve tried every LEGAL route to obtain the album.  It’s not like this is a collection of songs from other albums – this is music orchestrated specifically for the movie.

So, in the end, screw the music industry (in this case).  You don’t want to sell it to me, then I don’t want to buy it from you.