Jan 262008
 

Another interesting article about the subject was written by Jim Brett and courageously published by DiscMakers (a company who, pending a re-invention, is bound to disappear along with the disappearance of CDs):

http://www.discmakers.com/community/resources/ffwd/2007/CreativeMarketing.asp

I also want to point out that in this article Mr. Brett looks at Radiohead (not surprisingly), The Eagles and (surprise surprise!) Mieka Pauly, a great artist I have loved, followed and blogged about before and for a while. Good bit of promotion for Mieka there!

Jan 062008
 

While my friend Antonella from the San Diego based band AntiQuark is trying to figure out whether she will put out her next record herself or though a record label, she sent me some very very interesting links she stumbled on while doing her homework.

These are articles that talk about the future of the music business and of music consumption as we know it. They say things I have been repeating to people who ask me for advice and some of these things I keep hearing at music conferences and panels. So I want to post these links for everyone’s reading (and listening, you’ll see why!) pleasure and I am glad that more authoritative figures such as David Byrne, Thom Yorke, Brian Eno, Robert Levine spoke at length and in a very clever and organized way about this topics.

So here we go:

David Byrne’s Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastar
This article is just great, it says it all, tells you about your options and offers six different scenarios of how to go about making your music available to the public.

The Death of High Fidelity
The one other problem nobody (sadly) seems to talk about (enough) nowadays is the way the loudness wars and MP3’s have ruined music, and I am NOT talking about file sharing thing but about the QUALITY of music today. Luckily Levine attacks this subject and exposes the differences with actual audio examples for everyone to hear.

Throughout the pages of these two articles I have also found at least four other extremely interesting links that I’ll be checking out myself before saying anything about them here (you know, check your sources first!).

However, as the ‘part 1 of 999’ bit in the title makes clear, I plan on writing more about this subject. Chances are I’ll be doing so after I finish “The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution“, a book I’ve heard good things about and that I have already bought as a present for people even before buying my own copy (which I just did). I also found out that the author of this book, Dave Kusek, runs a blog about the subject that I encourage you to check out at www.futureofmusicbook.com

Jul 212007
 

Apple iPhoneThat seems to today’s biggest Shakespearean dilemma for internet/phone-dependent networkers, gear-sluts and geeks alike (whether I fit in one, two or all three of those groups of people is subject matter for a whole other post)…

I absolutely ADORE the looks and feel of the iPhone. The user interface is just so easy, so great, so fast, so friendly, so slick: in one word so Apple!

The iPhone’s appeal to me consists primarily in knowing that the synchronization with OS X (which is vital to me!) is flawless when it comes to Address Book and iCal. I actually haven’t found out whether iPhone supports the Address Book’s groups and iCal’s categories but, considering it is Apple, I am sure that you can safely assume all the data will be in sync.

Having both Wi-Fi and EDGE internet on the phone is priceless. The good thing is that if you don’t need push email and you are happy with checking your emails every once in a while when you want to, if you live in a city like NY with hotspots or open router’s signals at every corner, you could easily just have a WiFi-enabled phone and not have to worry about paying for a $20/mo unlimited data plan on top of your voice plan.

The iPhone does have all of that but has some major issues, first and foremost, locking you into having to use a provider like AT&T (notoriously bad with voice and slow with data not to mention horrible with customer service) with plans that aren’t flexible and with the HUGE disadvantage of not being able to even stick in another SIM when you really need to (I go to Europe a lot so I have SIM cards for other countries that I would not be able to use ever again if I had an iPhone).

There are several things that the Apple iPhone lacks and that are making me strongly consider buying a different product (or waiting for the next generation iPhone).

Ever since the advent of smartphones (when PDA’s and phones became one) everyone had different expectations and needs from the device of choice. I have been a proud owner of some of the most ground-breaking devices this rapidly evolving market has seen (most notably Sony Ericsson P800 and P900) but recently I found myself using a BlackBerry, which has some nice things to it but which I hate for the most part (the Mac synchronization is crappy and the life-less one-column no-scripting-supported internet is awful – they call that SSR for Small Screen Rendering, I call it SSR for So Shitty Rendering!). Everyone’s bar has been raised and my most important requirements of today are:

1. ability to synchronize at least with Mac OS X’s Address Book and the iCal calendar

2. ability to check IMAP e-mail via Wi-Fi and EDGE/UMTS

3. unlocked (or unlockable) so I can use my European SIM when traveling

4. GSM (wait… are people seriously even still considering different networks?)

5. Wi-Fi (surfing the internet faster AND not have to have a data plan unless I really want to)

6. Bluetooth

7. good battery life (everyone except SonyEricsson seems to have forgotten that all together!)

8. real internet with JavaScripting, Flash and such (as opposed to SSR!)

Believe it or not, even stopping at only two of these eight requirements, there are just a handful of devices that pass the test! I looked into all of them: P990, Nokia N95, HTC Touch, HTC 8525, HTC Dash, HTC Wing, Smasung Blackjack, LG Prada and many more… For the longest time I was looking into getting a P990, since I know that phone is rock solid and I owned its two predecessors, but unfortunately I just recently found out that the latest Symbian OS that it runs, just do not talk to Apple at all! HTC stands out among its competition for having some of the most feature-packed, slick looking and versatile devices… Talented guitarist Robbie Angelucci (who pretty much has my same requirements list) uses a Dash phone and he almost talked me into buying one… I have only one major issue with all of these HTC devices: they run on Windoze!!! I have used Microsucks Windows in the past but I have been on a Mac for years and would NEVER EVER go back (and I dare anyone who has used a Mac for more than 6 months to say they would!). Although issues with sync-ing Mac OS X and Windows Mobile 5 & 6 seem to be addressed and taken care of by MarkSpace.com, the question still remains: do I really wanna have a reliable Mac and rely on a Windows operating system for my day to day mobile connectivity and productivity? Hell no! So I am still waiting and trying to decide…

At the end of the day, it would seem that when iPhone v2 (or even just a European iPhone v1) I just might have to get one… in the meantime, if I change phone, I’ll let you know!