Years of observations in WFC3 (which offers a unique combination of high sensitivity and wide spectral coverage), Hubble's primary camera, the Advanced Camera for Surveys (which offers three independent, high-resolution channels covering the ultraviolet to the near-infrared regions of the spectrum), and the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 have given scientists varied views and detailed pieces of … Read more
Most of the big news this week came out of Las Vegas where gadget geeks gathered for the Consumer Electronics Show. But now for some mind-blowing stuff, courtesy of NASA: An international team of astronomers has determined that a stellar system called NGC 6872 is more than five times the size of our Milky Way galaxy and thus holds the title of the biggest spiral galaxy known to science. How big is big? Think about it this way: the spiral galaxy spans more than 522,000 light-years across.
America may not design world-class cars anymore. We don't build TVs, phones, tablets, cameras, or all that much consumer technology, but we're still at the top of the heap in high-end audio! That's why the White House should have an American engineered and built hi-fi system for use by the president and his invited guests.
I'll volunteer my services to coordinate and help assemble such a system (presumably donated by the manufacturers). On a leap of faith, I'm assuming the president still plays LPs, so I'd recommend the Spiral Groove turntable and tonearm from … Read more
The iPhone and iPad are truly elegant designs, but they are the rare exceptions in the rather drab world of consumer electronics. Most cameras, printers, computers, home theater receivers, and speakers are pretty sedate, but there is one product category that stands out: turntables. I've picked a choice selection that represents remarkable achievements in industrial design, and they're highly functional, exquisitely engineered products.
The Redpoint Model A turntable has an aluminum and composite Teflon platter, damped by silicone oil, and the turntable features a battery-powered 12-volt DC motor with precious metal brushes. The turntable weighs 90 pounds.… Read more
Spotify has struck its first licensing agreement with one of the four largest record companies and is closing in on a second deal, but what is it costing the European music service to open up shop in the United States?
The answer is plenty. The impasse that has prevented Spotify from acquiring U.S. music rights for more than a year has forced the streaming service to make significant concessions to the record labels, multiple music industry sources told CNET on Monday.
Not only has Spotify sweetened its financial offer to the top labels, but the streaming-music service has agreed … Read more
commentary If you want to get a sense of both the wishful thinking and the likeliness of dashed dreams for people investing in the digital-music business, click over to your Netflix queue and rent a copy of the 1962 musical "The Music Man."
Humor me here: "The Music Man," first a Broadway play, tells the story of a traveling huckster who convinces people in small towns that he can teach their tin-eared kids to play a musical instrument--all he needs is money to buy their trumpets and whatnot. And what happens once they give him his … Read more
Digital music has not been altogether kind to Robin Kent.
Kent was once CEO and chairman of mighty ad agency Universal McCann, but since jumping to digital music, he has had the misfortune of working for one start-up that went bust (SpiralFrog) and another that has done little more than attract controversy (Qtrax). Kent is now walking away from the sector.
On Tuesday, Kent notified associates that after three years working almost exclusively for Qtrax, he will no longer provide consulting services to the much maligned legal peer-to-peer company, which is only available in a few overseas markets. Qtrax has … Read more
Update 2-26-10, 6:17 a.m. To include quotes from Spotify and to clarify that NPD's numbers were for U.S. only.
NEW YORK--Free on-demand music sites haven't fared very well when it comes to driving song sales.
Russ Crupnick, an analyst with market researcher NPD Group, told a crowd of music and tech executives here Wednesday that free streaming-music sites, which enable people to listen to any song at any time free of charge, lead to a 13 percent decrease in paid downloads.
Speaking at the Digital Music Forum East conference, Crupnick sized up the situation this … Read more
EMI Music has licensed music to ad-supported music service FreeAllMusic.com, becoming the second major label to partner with the start-up.
FreeAllMusic.com, which made the announcement Tuesday, is the latest company to support the offering of free songs to the public with ad sales. Most of the companies that have attempted this have failed, including SpiralFrog, Imeem, and Ruckus.
It must be noted that Pandora, an ad-supported music company, has recently logged a profitable quarter.
That said, FreeAllMusic is no Pandora. The company's business model more closely resembles SpiralFrog's, which also gave away downloads. SpiralFrog's songs, … Read more
Free All Music, whose unusual business model is to show users a short video advertisement in exchange for letting them download an unrestricted MP3 file, began private beta testing of the service last month.
The process of watching ads, then downloading MP3s, is surprisingly painless. The site will limit you to a certain number of downloads per period (right now, users are permitted 10 downloads to start, plus an additional 5 every week, but those numbers could change before launch). Through a secondary advertising system, Free All Music shows banner ads noting that particular users have downloaded songs "sponsored&… Read more