Is an album a more substantial work of art than a single? Or is a well-crafted single all we need? There were always singles, but in the days before the Internet, fans were sometimes "forced" to buy albums to get the music they wanted, even when most of the album's tunes weren't great. The hugely entertaining "The Great Debate: Singles vs. Albums" held last Monday at the New Music Seminar in NYC covered the issue in depth.
Songbird, an iTunes alternative that originally combined music playback and management with Web-based music discovery, will exit stage left permanently at the end of the month.
CEO Eric Wittman revealed in a blog post that Songbird will no longer be maintained as of June 28, and that its parent company, Pioneers of the Inevitable, also would be closing down.
"[T]he company has found ourselves unable to fund further business operations," he said. The open-source desktop version of Songbird, its mobile apps for Android and iOS, and its music discovery service Songbird.me will all go dark. Wittman … Read more
Who wears short-shorts...with gadget-charging capabilities? Attendees to the U.K.'s Isle of Wight music fest, that's who.
At the outdoor festival in Glastonbury, England, this weekend, mobile carrier Vodafone will try on its new Power Shorts, which harvest movement to boost the battery life of mobile devices. Need more power out there in the open field? Start dancing!
The shorts -- created with help from scientists at the University of Southampton -- incorporate a Power Pocket that contains foam-like ferroelectret materials with pockets of permanently charged surfaces. When the material gets squashed or deformed through movement, kinetic energy gets produced. Vodafone says a full day's walking and dancing will charge a smartphone for more than four hours (not much, but way more than campers can expect from those hawthorn-tree outlets). … Read more
iTunes chief Eddy Cue unveiled Apple's iTunes Radio at the company's big developer conference in San Francisco this week, and it didn't take long before a chorus of rivals and pundits dismissed the product as, well, no big deal, especially considering that so many streaming-music services already exist.
The current king of Internet radio, Pandora, made sure the press was aware of how large it was, with 200 million registered users, 70 million of whom are regular listeners, and 5 billion stations created. Even Nokia -- that's right, Nokia -- trotted out a VP who suggested … Read more
The world tends not to reward initiative as often as it should. Somehow, creating something new or presenting something different rouses many into fear mode, causing them to suppress with jerking knees.
This phenomenon might well have befallen a Chinese man called Mr. Li, who has been tossed into the clink for creating a stink.
Mister Li presented a mystery. He claimed to have caught an an alien in a rabbit trap and slipped it into his large freezer. He explained that there had been five aliens that descended upon his land. They allegedly came from a UFO.
The Shangdong farmer insisted that this alien -- which, for all the world looked like it was made of rubber -- was the real thing.… Read more
This is serious.
All over the world, people are are using apps from Apple's App Store in order to save lives, better lives, or change them completely.
So Apple has released a touching 9-minute film that tells some of the stories of how apps such as these truly make a difference.
I defy you to remain emotionally grounded on seeing Paralympic bronze medalist rower Oksana Masters explain that her app has made it possible for her to put on high-heeled shoes.
You might … Read more
Aside from delivering liquid courage or serving as an impromptu weapon, what can your beer bottle do for you? As far as we know, nothing you drink out of compares with the Edison Bottle -- a beer bottle inscribed with New Zealand indie rock band Ghost Wave's latest single "Here She Comes."
The Edison Bottle, created in collaboration with creative agency Shine Limited and Beck's Record Label project, contains a fully playable 3-minute, 23-second song etched onto a Beck's beer bottle. The project required around 600 hours of research and development.… Read more
Dear readers, I hadn't thought to mention this before, but I am the next F. Scott, Fitzgerald, Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway. There's more than a soupcon of Hunter S. Thompson here too.
There's also a touch of Walt Whitman, and I do have my John Updike and Arthur Miller moments. The latter I call Miller Time.
I apologize for such sudden immodesty, but I have been inspired by the great producer, rapper, fashion icon, and Kardashian-impregnator Kanye West.
He, you see, believes he's the next Steve Jobs.
You might think this is a temporary aberration, … Read more
You may feel that everyone wants to peek inside your cell phone just at the moment.
Please, therefore, allow me to make you a little more insecure.
State legislators in New Jersey would very much like to make it easier for the police to go through your cell phone, should you be in any way involved in an accident.
The wording of their proposal -- Bill S 2783 (PDF) -- is quite precise in its breadth:
Whenever an operator of a motor vehicle has been involved in an accident resulting in death, bodily injury or property damage, a police officer … Read more
Here's to the warm and cuddly ones.
It doesn't quite make one's smaller hairs salute, does it?
In recent years, Apple has tried various advertising routes, yet its default is still the tender, the human and the ever so slightly safe.
On Monday, in conjunction with its WWDC 2013 stage extravaganza, the company released an ad that echoed a huge amount of warmth and yet somehow offered a chilling relief to what used to be.
I was watching a presentation given recently by Apple's most experienced advertising creative director, Lee Clow.
In it, Clow explained how, … Read more