Feb 27, 2009

"What Digital Downloads Mean For The Aesthetics Of Metal"

What an excellent article! Says the author: "The ongoing transition from CDs to an entirely digital format raises larger questions about what the move to digital means for metal – a genre inextricably linked to images and artwork. What will the digital age mean for the aesthetics of heavy metal?"

As a music fan and a record collector, I can really relate to this. Band and labels are putting a lot of hard work into artwork & packaging, and no matter how convenient, it's unlikely that digital music will ever provide the same pleasure.

Maybe I should start another blog to display my collection and, yes, show off a little bit? Hmmm... ;)

Feb 25, 2009

Hard times for the music industry

The Pirate Bay trial ? They're gonna walk.

The new U2 album leaked by the record company? It will happen again and again.

Eminem's publishing company sueing the label for alleged unpaid digital royalties? That's just the beginning.

Not the greatest of time to be a music industry exec, I guess. Some words of confort, then. I did buy 3 CDs yesterday (indie labels only, I'm afraid): great bands, limited editions releases, fantastic packaging, bonus DVDs, etc.

If you give fans value for money, they'll buy.

If you consider them as cash cows or if you call them thiefs, they won't.

Get it?

AC/DC in Paris: 48 hours and counting...

Diamonds and dust
Poor man last, rich man first
Lamborghinis, caviar
Dry martinis, Shangri-la
I got a burnin' feelin'
Deep inside of me
It's a-yearning
But, I'm gonna to set it free

I'm goin' in to Sin City
I'm gonna win in Sin City
Where the lights are bright
Do the town tonight
I'm gonna win in Sin City

Oh, I'm gonna roll you, baby
Snake eyes

Ladders and snakes
Ladders give, snakes take
Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief
Ain't got a hope in hell, that's my belief

Fingers Freddy, Diamond Jim
They're gettin' ready, look out, I'm comin' in
So, spin that wheel, cut that pack
And roll those loaded dice
Bring on the dancing girls
And put the champaign on ice

I'm goin' in to Sin City
I'm gonna win in Sin City
Where the lights are bright
Do the town tonight
I'm goin' in to Sin City

Feb 24, 2009

"Graduated response": here comes filtering!

According to Internet rights watchdog La Quadrature du Net:

"The French minister of Culture in charge of the law setting up "graduated response" against filesharers ("HADOPI" or "Olivennes Law", or "Création et Internet") announced that public wifi hotspots will have to be filtered to allow only access to a "white list" of authorised sites"

This measure is part of an official report (in french only) revealed by PCInpact.

Says la Quadrature du Net: "This is the paroxysm of the absurd logic of this law, dangerous and doomed to fail. This is a perfect example of how a repressive and ignorant legislation can lead to terrible regression for the growth and innovation of our digital societies. French Internet is entering its dark age".

I cannot agree more. This is yet another excuse to restrict individual rights. Before you know it, filtering will be applied to all Internet access. And then... what ?

Get informed!

Feb 16, 2009

DVD: the end has begun

According to the Digital Entertainment Group, here are the revenue figures for US consumer video rental & sell (in billion dollars):


OK, so VHS is dead (anyone doubted it?) and so is UMD (do YOU even remember UMD? Nope? Thought so). Blu ray is finally picking up some speed, but not enough to fix the DVD drop...

Zooming in on DVD sales, the picture is even bleaker : in 2008, they accounted for 1.69 billion dollars, a 16.6% drop compared to 2007.

Of course, studios will blame it on the recession, but they should know better.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"

Read the full report.

Feb 13, 2009

Pirate Bay trial starts on Monday

According to The Local:

"Operators of The Pirate Bay stand trial on Monday in Stockholm. The four defendants from the popular file-sharing web site are charged with being accessories to breaking copyright law and may face fines or up to two years in prison if found guilty.


The Pirate Bay argue on their web site that, “only torrent files are saved at the server. That means no copyrighted and or illegal materials are stored by us. It is therefore not possible to hold the people behind The Pirate Bay responsible for the material that is being spread using the tracker

Read the full article here. There's also an "official" blog on the trial.

METALLICA: 'The Complete Metallica' Digital 'Box Set' Due In March

According to Blabbermouth.net:

"Multi-platinum hard-rock band METALLICA will release "The Complete Metallica" — a digital "box set" containing their entire official discography, exclusively via iTunes beginning March 31. The package will be available from all other digital service providers beginning April 28"

Pricing hasn't been announced yet. Read the full article here.

Feb 5, 2009

Woz is back :)

Steve "Woz" Wozniak, the God of Geeks (and co-founder of Apple Computer with Steve Jobs) has joined SSD storage champion Fusion-io as Chief Scientist.

Responsible for the hardware design of the Apple I & II (and for a lot of the software too), Woz left Apple in '85 and kept pretty quiet ever since.

It's very cool to see him back into the game, especially on a topic as hot as solid state storage. What took you so long, Woz ? Welcome back :)

Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak, April 1976

Apple vs the music industry

Everyone knows how dominant Apple is in the digital music world, thanks to the iPod, the Tunes music store and now the iPhone.

This excellent article by the New York Times sheds some light on what happens behind the scenes between Apple and the music majors... In case you had any doubt ;)

Update on lastfmlib and mediatomb

In a previous post, I showed you how to install lastfmlib on mediatomb. This C++ library introduces Last.fm scrobbling for audio files streamed to your favorite UPnP device.

It all worked fine with the PS3, but only for file formats supported natively (MP3, etc), i.e. not for transcoded files (like FLAC).

I discussed this with Dirk, the author of lastfmlib. I'm happy to report that he sent me a patch yesterday, which I've successfully tested on the latest mediatomb release. The installation procedure described in the original article is unchanged.

Now you can fully enjoy your FLAC / OGG library :)