For The Apple Geek In You (And Me)

Unless you’re used to keeping tabs on all things Apple, as I tend to do, you may not have noticed that Apple not only released new iPods, but they also released iTunes 4, which includes support for AAC audio files and a not-quite-there-yet music store where you can pay $.99/song. If you do the math, it’s not a good deal, but I’m not going to go into that right now. The inclusion of AAC support is notable, but where the fuck is the support for OGG?? Someone much geekier, with way more time than I did a comparison between MP3, AAC and OGG.

In related news: Microsoft copies Apple…well, kinda.

Streamcast And Grokster: Not Guity

Judge Stephen Wilson should be commended for handing down a major blow to the music and film industry folk that blame piracy for, well, just about every problem going on in their respective industries.

“Grokster and StreamCast are not significantly different from companies that sell home video recorders or copy machines, both of which can be and are used to infringe copyrights.”

All I have to say is, it’s about time someone actually saw things for what they are. Yes, the issue is a little more complicated, but I think that pretty much sums it up. We have had tools to pirate music and film for much longer than Grockster and Streamcast have been around. I’d even go so far as to say that most of those tools are much easier to use.

Judge Wilson will be getting a letter from me this week.

Madonna? Who Gives A Shit? (Part 2)

I’m kind of on the fence about the following comment from Madonna. You can read the full text of the article as well.

“We as Americans are completely obsessed and wrapped up in a lot of the wrong values — looking good, having cash in the bank, being perceived as rich, famous and successful or just being famous,” Madonna told the television listings magazine.

“It’s the most superficial part of the American dream and who would know better than me? The only thing that’s going to bring you happiness is love and how you treat your fellow man and having compassion for one another.”

I agree with your statement, but it is coming from The Material Girl’s mouth. I mean, if love and how you treat other people is the most important thing, then why get your panties in a bunch over a few people stealing your album? Yeah, I understand, you have your celebrity image to uphold and protect your “artistic” integrity, but I still have to ask, what the fuck do you think you are doing? If having cash in the bank, of which you have plenty, is of little importance to you, then why not give your album away? Or better yet, call it quits?

Madonna? Who Gives A Shit?

Madonna released her new album yesterday (Tuesday), though it was available for several weeks on the Infosuperweb, if you looked hard enough. Perhaps you’re one of the people that went hunting, only to have an MP3 of Madonna saying, “What the fuck do you think you’re doing,” which I thought was pretty funny. But what the fuck did she think she was doing is my question. So she made it a little more difficult for people to download her album, but let’s be honest, anyone who wanted the album got their hands on it. It was all over the place. Hell, I even downloaded some of it just to get the phoney decoy tracks and came up with the real thing.

I don’t know how many times I have to explain this, but the labels cannot win. The kids are smarter than you, they’re ten steps ahead of you and if you fuck with them, they will get you back. During these tumultuous times that the music industry is going through, it would behoove you to spend your time thinking up ways to embrace the technology, rather than fight against it. Make it real pretty and real easy for people to purchase (yes, you read that correctly) what they want, when they want it and see what happens. You may just find a business model in there somewhere. I won’t even charge you for the idea.

In somewhat related news: A couple of the major labels are getting creative with their lawyers.

This Is [Your] Brain On MP3s

Some fancy-pants kids at Caltech and Harvard came up with a pretty cool new plug-in that actually pays attention to what you listen to, learns from your listening paterns and then generates streams of music that you will like. I think that’s how it works. I can’t be sure until they come out with an iTunes plug-in. For now it’s only available for WinAmp.