Apr 142010
 

Those who’ve read my post called “The New Now of Music” know how I feel about the future of music. Although I’d like to believe in Sandy Pearlman’s “paradise of infinite storage” and his 5 cents ownership solution, I believe that the people will instead opt for cloud-based streaming even if that means embracing a non-ownership based model.
I have always contended that I would LOVE to pay for a music service that offered me ALL the music of the world, at HIGH quality, available ANYTIME & ANYWHERE (including the NYC subway, which has no wifi or 3G coverage).
I’ve tested some services like Last.fm and Pandora and I like their music discovery features however the quality of the streams and/or the lack of caching support in their iPhone apps were deal breakers for me. I’ve had a chance to test the desktop version of Spotify (whose iPhone app does support caching) but as we all know they are not yet available in the US. As of last week I started testing out MOG. Although their 7 million strong catalog is not as ‘total’ as they like to claim and I’ve already managed to query artists or albums that aren’t available through MOG, I am fairly (not totally) happy with their streaming quality AND they are allegedly releasing their cache-supporting iPhone app later this month. At $5 or even $10 per month I could go for that until the competition (and the technology) in this field becomes such that more offerings will become available (everyone is waiting to see what the recent Lala-acquisition by Apple and their plans to offer a cloud-based iTunes version will turn into). I still think that Google might at one point sweep in strong of their technology and marketing presence, but what I am really waiting for right now is how MOG will compare to Rdio, the new (and still secret) service being launched by the founders of SkyPe. When those two do something it’s always big and so I think for now the battle will be between MOG, Rdio and Spotify (if they ever enter the US market). We shall see.
In the meantime my MOG player is streaming all sort of music at 320kbps and the discovery slider already helped me discover some new artists I didn’t know. There is of course room for improvement but right now I really just wanna see the iPhone app and keep testing this until there’s more to test.

Mar 302010
 

Before the music ends up free on torrent websites and p2p networks like LimeWire, we all have tried to find the best option to get our music distributed online. There are a ton of options for artists wanting to sell tracks, and everyone wants to be on iTunes, and Amazon mp3 is becoming increasingly important to be on.

I have been considering creating a comparison table for them. So far online I’ve only found one such table (by Moses Avalon, whose interesting book I did read) but it is by no mean comprehensive and misses one of the biggest movers and shakers in the industry.

I was wondering what you guys use and what your favorite is…

Here are some of the major players:

SongCast

TuneCore

Reverb Nation

CD Baby (acquired by Disc Makers)

And here are some articles with other options:

7 Ways to Sell Your Music on iTunes on Garage Spin

Digital Music Distributors Redux by Steve Wilde

Choosing a Digital Music Distributor by Jamille Luney

Exploring the Digital Music Distribution ‘Jungle’ on Buzzsonic.com

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