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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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.”

Stayin’ Alive: Preserving Electroacoustic Music | NewMusicBox

Stayin’ Alive: Preserving Electroacoustic Music | NewMusicBox:

“What on earth is going to happen to compositions that are painstakingly crafted for effective live performance at the time of their creation, but which become increasingly difficult to mount live, simply due to the march of time?”

It is a question we all must face when we make piece specific software.

LOST IN TRANSLATION: An Exploration of Lossy vs. Lossless Audio Formats | GRAMMY.com

LOST IN TRANSLATION: An Exploration of Lossy vs. Lossless Audio Formats | GRAMMY.com: “Lost In Translation is a revelatory presentation offering and audiophile format comparison in a high-end listening environment. Experience the auditory differences of master recordings played back in different formats such as vinyl, CD, MP3, AAC and online streaming models.”

Follow the link to go to grammy.com and watch the video.

Rhythm as Pitch

Dan Tepfer wrote a very cool article about the relationship of rhythm and pitch. It can be found here: http://dantepfer.com/blog/?p=277 He used SuperCollider to make some cool audio examples.

I thought I would make a ChucK version of his idea and make it available to anyone who wanted to play with the ideas and find the rhythms of your favorite intervals, or hear the intervals of your favorite polyrhythm. (Read Dan’s post, he explains it well.)

I have written the code below, or you can download the .ck file from this link. (You may have to right-click “Save as…” depending on your browser)

//aim one Phasor at each speaker
Phasor a => dac.left;
Phasor b => dac.right;

//This number sets the gain. Don’t go over 1.0
0.5 => dac.gain;

1 => int i;

//This is the loop that increments the frequency values
while(i < 1000) { //adjust these denominators to make the ratio you want to hear i/2 => a.freq;
i/3 => b.freq;

//The smaller this number is the faster it moves
1.0::second => now;

i ++;

<<< i >>>;

}

ChucK is an audio programming language for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. It is free and you can get it here: http://chuck.cs.princeton.edu/

Creative Commons License
This work by Jeff Albert is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.