The ultimate example: a music system designed to look like a shower knob, as seen on Technabob. Unfortunately, this bath toy is only an AM/FM radio, but its relatively reasonable $25 price should leave some money left over for a separate wireless device to stream your MP3 tunes through it.
You know, it only occurred to me until very recently that karaoke means something very different for the younger generation than it does for mine when I was a kid. When I was in elementary school, we had roller skating parties and laser tag parties and arcade pizzeria parties--but no karaoke parties, because that was dorky and no one would sing, and since we were well under the legal drinking age, no one could break the ice with, "Okayyy, let's get a round of SoCo and Lime and then see if anyone wants to try the mic, how … Read more
As many a deafened parent of pre-teen kids will tell you, Disney's High School Musical is a force to be reckoned with. It has gone well beyond its TV-movie origins to become an international phenemenon, with live shows, DVDs, CDs and maddeningly repetitive pop tunes that are driving innumerable moms and dads to the brink of insanity.
All of which makes it a perfect storm, of course, for a major merchandizing blitz. Never one to shy away from a marketing challenge, Amazon is offering a "High School Musical Wii Bundle With Microphone" next month. But Gizmodo notes … Read more
Watch the show on CNET TV.
Things we Crave
Anewslady writes - My hard drive in my Toshiba laptop died. I would like to replace it, but don't know where to begin. I have the recovery disks from the original configuration. I'm sure it's not that hard. I've just never done it before. Can you help?"
Special guest, Brad … Read more
As we reported earlier this week, many Webcasting services kept streaming without incident after feared new music royalty fees took effect, as talks with the record industry about alternative arrangements seemed to be proceeding on a favorable track.
How quickly things can change.
Now a new spat appears to be brewing between the Digital Media Association (DiMA), a lobby group representing large Webcasters like Pandora, Yahoo, RealNetworks and AOL, and SoundExchange, the group that collects and lobbied for the new payments on behalf of musicians and record labels.
The issue? Whether Webcasters should be required to cloak their streams in … Read more
If you were paying attention to Crave back in March, you may recall my first expedition to South by Southwest. While I was there, I attended a panel titled The Ultimate Music Recommendation Smackdown, which turned out to be much more letdown than smackdown. Based on the description of the panel, I was expecting a competition of sorts between various Internet-based music recommendation engines, such as Pandora and Last.fm. Unfortunately, there was no real competing and, well, that's just kind of sad, don't you think? Me, too. So I decided to take things into my own hands … Read more
Today, I'm taking a look at Fairtilizer, a potential new haven for indie musicians. Fairtilizer bills itself as a "trusted filter" for new music. If you are familiar with the concept behind Digg, this is going to be really easy to understand.
Anyone can submit a song (in MP3 format) to Fairtilizer as long as they hold the rights to that song. Unlike Digg, where once you submit a story the public starts reviewing it right away, Fairtilizer requires their editorial board to review every song submission to ensure that it is good enough for the site. I am not exactly sure whether this editorial board judges songs based on their musical merit or if they are just weeding out bad quality recordings and other junk that floats in, but that is definitely an important distinction. Tracks then make their way to the front page of the site, or "The Charts" as they call it, if they have enough user votes and listens in the Upcoming section.
I am not sure whether or not Fairtilizer is attempting to take on the wildly successful MySpace Music, but it certainly does appear that they are taking a much different approach to MySpace. Although there is a profile page for people who are submitting music, it is nowhere near as robust as what MySpace Music offers. The focus is more on individual tracks and music than bands here, and that's not a bad thing.
One thing that I really like about Fairtilizer is their integration of RSS feeds. You can subscribe to a feed of tracks from all over the site. For example, if I wanted to subscribe to someone's feed of submitted tracks in iTunes, I can just grab the URL, put it in iTunes, and it will automatically grab new tracks from that person whenever they submit them.… Read more
CD sales are falling fast, but CDs are still the way most people listen to music. Digital downloads are supposed to be the future.
The music industry is stuck somewhere in the middle. Amid all the uncertainty, Disney is due to announce a hybrid approach on Wednesday, one that weds the old with the new.
A spokeswoman for Disney's Hollywood Records was tight-lipped, but did say the new offering will combine a physical disc with a downloadable element.
Why not? At this point, nothing seems to work for the record labels, although the idea of packaging discs and downloads … Read more
Last week, Digital Music Group (DMGI) agreed to a merger with The Orchard. Reading through the details--summarized nicely by the New York Times--it appears that this is more of a buyout than a merger, with The Orchard owning 60% of the combined company, which will retain the DMGI name.
I met DMGI founder Mitch Koulouris back in 2004 when he was first raising money for the company, then called Digital Musicworks International (DMI). He and one of his associates (who's since moved on) were very excited about their business plan, which he called the first all-digital record label. … Read more
It breaks my heart to see an iPhone that's missing album cover artwork. There you are with the most beautiful iPod ever created, but your music collection looks like an endless series of generic boxes. Prove yourself worthy of owning such an advanced piece of technology by using my step-by-step guide for adding cover art to your iPhone's music collection. It's the least you can do. Respect your iPhone, people.
You can even use the guide to find out how to replace your album art with custom photos. You haven't truly lived until you've seen … Read more