Recent Posts in technology - Page 2

January 30, 2013

Amoeba

Vinyl will never die, but at this may help put some of those ultra-rare releases into your pocket and not just on your turntable:

California-based mega-retailer Amoeba Music, the last big record store on the block, has moved into the digital age with both feet, with its inauguration of a revamped website. And possibly the most intriguing element of that site, and a direct reflection of Ameoba's dig-deeper philosophy, is the so-called Vinyl Vaults section -- thousands of rare and out-of-print LPs, 78s and 45s that flow through the company's three outlets in any given week -- now available for sale via download.
"We've been digitizing a lot," says Jim Henderson, who owns Amoeba along with partners Marc Weinstein, Karen Pearson and Dave Prinz. "What you see now is the lost-between-the-cracks, underappreciated, undervalued (music) from dead labels, (obscure) artists, stuff that we really stand behind. It's mostly in the rock genre, with a lot of jazz, a lot of blues, some country, some spoken word. There are some oddities for sure." -[Variety]
The number of titles grow daily, with more than one thousand already on hand. If it's anything like Amoeba's stock right now, expect some rare/obscure LPs in there. Check out Amoeba's "vinyl vault" here.

November 14, 2012

Beatles box set

Twenty-two pounds. Six Inches. $449 retail. The Beatles are releasing their fourteen original studio albums plus rarities into a single massive sixteen LP box set containing a 252 page booklet. Each album will also be sold individually as well. The release(s) have been newly remastered and are available now ("now $349"), for all of you who don't have copies of the records, possibly purchased from your local used record store.

Rumor has it that this massive sixteen LP and reported 50,000 copy box set has had another, unseen price though too... a delay in the pressing in many other records. Due to the limited and shrinking number of vinyl pressing plants in the US, many other labels have had delayed returns on their own pressings. It's too early to tell if this will have a serious negative impact on some companies (and record collectors), though the renewed interest in Beatles vinyl could also be good for the already-growing vinyl business as a whole.

Let us know if you've had an order delayed "due to Beatles".

October 31, 2012

Apple is getting into the streaming music business. Bloomberg News reports that the company is in talks with record labels and music publishers with hopes to launch a Pandora-esque internet radio service next year.

Meanwhile, Apple just launched the iPad mini which is a little bit cheaper than the regular iPad and fits in your hand. Perfect for those Goldilocks types who thought the iPad was too big but the iPod Touch was too small.

October 17, 2012

The Pirate Cloud

The Pirate Bay has made an important change to its infrastructure. The world's most famous BitTorrent site has switched its entire operation to the cloud. From now on The Pirate Bay will serve its users from several cloud hosting providers scattered around the world. The move will cut costs, ensure better uptime, and make the site virtually invulnerable to police raids -- all while keeping user data secure. -[TorrentFreak]
While the statement "virtually invulnerable to police raids" seems like a debatable one, the move is a bold step for the popular torrent website. Only time can tell what this means for the site and torrenting as a whole.

October 9, 2012

Online Piracy

Heads up, file-sharers:

The nation's major internet service providers by year's end will institute a so-called six-strikes plan, the "Copyright Alert System" initiative backed by the Obama administration and pushed by Hollywood and the major record labels to disrupt and possibly terminate internet access for online copyright scofflaws.

The plan, now four years in the making, includes participation by AT&T, Cablevision Systems, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon. After four offenses, the historic plan calls for these residential internet providers to initiate so-called "mitigation measures" that might include reducing internet speeds and redirecting a subscriber's service to an "educational" landing page about infringement.

The internet companies may eliminate service altogether for repeat file-sharing offenders, although the plan does not directly call for such drastic action. -[Wired]

The plan was outlined with the guidance of the Center for Copyright Information which reccommends email notification, a series of "educational alerts" and finally possible reduction in internet speed, though no cancellation in service.

Meanwhile, have you downloaded your legal BitTorrent Willis Earl Beale EP yet?

October 8, 2012

Howard Scott (R) with the great Aaron Copland
Howard Scott
Howard H. Scott, known by some as the godfather of the LP, and others as a classical composer and producer, passed away last month in Reading, PA at the age of 92 after a fight with cancer.

In 1946, Mr. Scott was 26 and just discharged from the Army when he got a job at Columbia Masterworks, the label's classical division. He was soon assigned to Columbia's top-secret project: developing a long-playing record to replace the 78 r.p.m. disc, which could hold only about four minutes of music on each brittle shellac side.

The project had begun in 1940 and was nearing completion. But its engineers needed someone with musical training -- particularly the ability to read orchestral scores -- to help transfer recordings from 78s to the new discs, which played at 3 31/3 r.p.m., could hold about 22 minutes a side and were made of more durable vinyl.

Howard Hillison Scott fit the bill. -[NY Times]

He went on to produce many classical records with symphonies in Boston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and the New York Philharmonic among many many others, eventually winning a Grammy in 1966 for his production on Charles Ives's Symphony No. 1, performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

R.I.P. Mr Scott, your lasting contributions to both music and technology will be felt for generations to come.

September 27, 2012

music notes

Oh no! PC Magazine reports:

Social network Myspace is back, and it's honing in on Apple's territory.

As noted by GigaOm, trademark judges last week denied Cupertino's attempt to protect its music app image, saying that users might confuse it with the mark already owned by Myspace.

In a Sept. 18 decision, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) upheld a previous decision denying Apple its requested trademark (left). The rival orange-and-white square music-note icon was issued in 2008 to music service iLike, which was later acquired by Myspace.

Apple argued that the registered mark is "weak," pointing to eight other organizations that have obtained trademarks with music notes without any consumer confusion.

The TTAB dismissed the argument, saying that the Apple and Myspace marks are more similar to each other than the third-party registrations Cupertino submitted to the court. "Moreover, consumers may not recognize the differences because they do not typically set out to find them," the decision said.

Does Apple's icon confuse you? Do you think MySpace will make a comeback?

September 17, 2012

It's just Lego Optimus Prime, checking out the 2011 Con. NBD (more by Chris La Putt)
Comic Con

The 2012 edition of the New York Comic Con returns to Jacob Javits Center on October 11 - 14, featuring four days of sci-fi, your favorite fantasy/action heroes, and costumes, costumes and more costumes. In addition, the 2012 edition will feature its share of big name appearances as well, including the cast of The Walking Dead, members of Robot Chicken and Children's Hospital, Elmo & Gordon from Sesame Street, Draco Malfoy (not kidding) and many others. In addition, you can kick-off the festivities with a concert featuring Ben Folds Five at the IGN Theater on 10/11, as discussed. Tickets for the Comic-Con are on sale.

In semi-related news, gamers know that when you play a video game enough, those songs stay with you until you find yourself humming them when you are far far away from your controller. If you know what I am talking about, this one is dedicated to you:

Featuring dynamic and compelling video accompanied by a live symphony orchestra, The Legend of Zelda™: Symphony of the Goddesses brings the world's most popular video game series to life! Enjoy original music spanning 25 years of adventure from the celebrated Zelda franchise, uniting music and visuals in a way never before realized. Experience the magic at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, November 28.

The Legend of Zelda™: Symphony of the Goddesses is the first ever video game themed concert to feature a complete 4-movement symphony, showcasing the work of Nintendo composer and sound director Koji Kondo.

That's right. Legend of Zelda. IN THE FLESH. Get stoked... tickets are still available.

And finally, if you're heading to Comic-Con, look for possible tributes to Sean Smith, known as Vile Rat, who was tragically killed in the attack on the Libyan Consulate this week. So sad.

September 14, 2012

Mr Bill

And Greenpoint. Luckily for Patrick Stewart, he lives in Park Slope!.

September 12, 2012

iPhone

USA Today is liveblogging it:

1:15 p.m. It is official: Apple announces iPhone 5.

Apple exec Phill Schiller is on the stage for the iPhone presentation. It's made entirely of glass and aluminum. Thinnest lightest... 7.6 mm thick 20% lighter than 4S.

It is the same width but taller screen, 4" diagonally. "It should be easy ... More apps on every screen"

1:24 p.m. ET:

Specs: GPRS, EDGE, Ev-DO, HSPA, HPSA+, DC-HSDPA, LTE: single chip, single radi, dynamic antenna.

The world's most advanced display, says Shiller.

He shows OpenTable and how it looks better. Of course, movies take advantage of that new display... has 40% more color saturation.

New 4" inch retina display allows developers to do more, says Shiller. It makes a "better application."

1:25 p.m. ET: Here's the carriers: Sprint, AT&T, verizon in U.S.

There is a brand new A6 chip that's two times faster at CPU and chip graphics, as well as 22% smaller.

There's up to 150Mbps on Wi-Fi.

1:26 p.m. ET: "It actually makes the game easier to play," says Murray showing off car racing game using new graphics. "Now this is something we have never seen before. ... On a powerful new iPhone" ... leaves stage. Schiller back.

1:30 p.m. ET: Schiller: 8 hours of 3G talk time. 40 hours of music playback. iSight. 8 megapixel sensor. f/2.4 aperature. Dynamic low light mode ... "you really see the difference in those low light images."...

Stay tuned for more. UPDATE: Check out Wired for tons more detail.

Let us know what your favorite music apps are in the comments.