How Music Got Free: the end of an industry, the turn of the century, and the patient zero of piracy

I recently finished reading How Music Got Free: the end of an industry, the turn of the century, and the patient zero of piracy by Stephen Witt (Penguin Random House).

It is a compelling account of the end of the era of major label largess told through the concurrent tales of a label executive, technology innovator, and early pirate. It doesn’t offer answers to the industry’s current problems, but it does help explain how we ended up where we are. Witt is a skilled story teller and it is an enjoyable read. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the inner workings of the music industry, and related technology.

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ISIM 2015

Here is a zip file that contain pdfs of the slides from my presentation at ISIM 2015. It also includes the Max patches for the instruments I demonstrated during the presentation. The instruments have no documentation with them, so feel free to contact me at jvalbert@loyno.edu if you need info.

Complete package of ISIM 2015 files here.

Pay me: Some Thoughts on Musicians and Money.

F*ck you. Pay me: Some Thoughts on Musicians and Money.: “When she writes of ‘norms,’ she seems to imply (and here I also draw from my own experience), that money is something to be tip-toed around, that there are tacit rules that must be followed, that handshake deals are the norm, and that money somehow sullies the purity of art.

This needs to end. Now.”

The Photoshop of Sound – The New Yorker

The Photoshop of Sound – The New Yorker: “Joshua Gersen, who conducted that night, began the show with a demonstration of the Meyer setup. He clapped his hands; the sound resonated handsomely. Then he signalled for the power to be turned off. Suddenly, the clap was clipped and lifeless. The crowd gasped and applauded. The Meyers, sitting amid a throng of twenty- and thirty-somethings, smiled. ‘Isn’t that a kick?’ Helen said.”

All the ghostly sounds that are lost when you compress to mp3

All the ghostly sounds that are lost when you compress to mp3: “Right now, you’re probably listening to music on your computer. The source of that music — whether you’re listening to an mp3 file or streaming — is a compressed version of a file that was much more detailed, but way larger. It’s worth interrupting your music for a moment and asking: What sounds are you missing?

To get a sense, watch the video above, created by Ryan Maguire, a Ph.D. student in Composition and Computer Technologies at the University of Virginia Center for Computer Music, for a project called The Ghost In The Mp3. It’s a song made with only the sounds that were left out when compressing Suzanne Vega’s ‘Tom’s Diner’ to mp3.”