iPodnano - impossibly small...

Ipodnano

Apple is replacing the iPod mini with a completely new product it is calling the iPod nano. The device is white and grey, features a color screen, and is thinner than a No. 2 pencil. The iPod nano is half as thick and 62% smaller in volume than the original iPod mini. It features flash memory storage, a 14-hour rechargeable battery, and USB 2.0 connectivity. It also sports a 30-pin dock connector that is compatible with existing iPod accessories. The nano comes in black or white and is available in in 2GB and 4GB configurations for $199 and $249.

See www.apple.com/itunes/

Follow me on Twitter: @IanYorston

Songwriting for the Digital Age

After Flickr and iTunes comes social networking for musicians...

Do you have a killer guitar riff but can't sing to save your life? Do you dream of playing in a band but can't find the time? If so, this is the place for you. MyVirtualBand.com is on a mission to bring together "virtual bands" comprised of musicians and recording hobbyists from all over the world to collaborate on the writing and recording of music entirely over the internet. All you need is an instrument, recording software and an internet connection and you could be on your way to crankin' out the hits!

Link: MyVirtualBand.com.

Follow me on Twitter: @IanYorston

Last.FM - Personalised online radio station

Last.FM

I ought to understand how this works - but I can't immediately figure it out - and I'm stuck on a 33k modem connection in France so don't expect me to figure it out until we have broadband here... and that's another story all of its own.

Meanwhile, it looks seriously interesting...

Last.FM - Your personal music network - Personalised online radio station

Last.fm is connecting people and music. Your Last.fm music profile is your key to the world of online music.

The enormous collection of music on the internet calls for a new kind of online radio. A radio that connects you straight with the right music without having to do mind-numbing searches and scrolling endless playlists.

A radio that puts you, the listeners, in charge.

Mega star or an unsigned band, on Last.fm every song gets the same starting point. You, the listeners, decide what's great music and what's rubbish. So all together you are building the Last.fm program, for yourself and for each other.

Follow me on Twitter: @IanYorston

iTunes on Campus

Apple

Give your students easy access to iTunes. The best digital jukebox with the # 1 music download store inside. For Windows and Mac users.

Provide your students with the best legal solution to manage, acquire, and listen to music by participating in the iTunes on Campus program. This program provides an institutional site license for iTunes and materials you can use for student communications. The program is easy-to-administer and is free.

Why iTunes?

Over the past year, the illegal downloading of music by students has emerged as a top ethical, economic, and political issue for universities and colleges across the country. The iTunes on Campus program enables universities to provide students with a legal option for downloading music from the Internet and managing their digital music collection.

With iTunes students can easily import CDs, create playlists, burn CDs, download audio books, and transfer their music to the top-selling portable digital music player, the iPod.

Follow me on Twitter: @IanYorston

IBM predicts age of open media

Digital Media Europe

Massive changes in the terrain of media and entertainment over the next five to seven years will force tectonic shifts in the business models of broadcast and film companies, predicts a report from IBM Business Consulting Services (BCS).

The report, Media & Entertainment 2010, unveiled today, says that by 2010, the landscape of the industry will change so dramatically that, in order to survive, media companies will have to move to a truly open environment, allowing consumers around-the-clock access to protected media content for variable fees and the ability to largely control their own media and entertainment experiences.

We are seeing the revolution in the music industry,said Saul Berman, partner, Media & Entertainment, IBM Business Consulting Services.

There will be clear winners and losers, he added. The winners will be more open, will deliver protected information through variable packaging and pricing, will know their consumers and business partners intimately, and will deliver media to them how, when, and where they want it.

The report recommends that companies convert all content to digital formats and open digital doors to let consumers contribute, produce or author dynamic content. Companies that make it in the new environment will allow customers access to information on their own terms, including the ability to purchase and download the rights to a book, or other media and have it configured for one or more types of devices, or delivered immediately in traditional hard or soft cover.

The report also predicts that conglomerates, traditional studios and publishers will open up their inventories, putting old and new digitised content online in various forms for variable fees. The same song, movie, or other media will cost more or less, depending on complex variables such as age, sales tracking, or even the rarity of archival content.

Many independent artists and producers will offer their music, short videos and movies completely free, making money instead from tie-ins, product placements, webcast concerts and events, and fan merchandise.

Millions of micropayments will add up to sizable revenue streams from the sale of new or archived digital content, much of which will never travel to a theater, retail store or TV station - it will be delivered online.

Follow me on Twitter: @IanYorston

Music Piracy ....

Wired News

This is deeply depressing. Expect P2P downloads to continue...

For months, digital-music services have been touting albums for $9.99 to entice more people to buy online. But Apple's iTunes Music Store has been charging $16.99 for Fly or Die, while Napster sells the 12-song collection for $13.99. Both prices are higher than the $13.49 that Amazon.com charges for the CD itself. The same pricing shifts are showing up on albums by a growing slate of artists, from Shakira to Bob Dylan.

Unburdened by manufacturing and distribution costs, online music was supposed to usher in a new era of inexpensive, easy-to-access music for consumers. In many cases, buying music online is still cheaper than shopping for CDs at retail outlets. But just a year after iTunes debuted with its 99-cent songs and mostly $9.99 albums, that affordable and straightforward pricing structure is already under pressure.

All five major music companies are discussing ways to boost the price of single-song downloads on hot releases -- to anywhere from $1.25 to as much as $2.49. It isn't clear how or when such a price hike would take place, and it could still be months away. Sales of such singles -- prices have remained at 99 cents -- still account for the majority of online music sales.

Follow me on Twitter: @IanYorston

Shareware Music

Magnatune

We're a record label. But we're not evil.

We call it "try before you buy." It's the shareware model applied to music.

Listen to hundreds of MP3'd albums from our artists. Or try our genre-based radio stations.

If you like what you hear, buy our music online for as little as $5 an album or license our music for commercial use.

Artists get a full 50% of the purchase price. And unlike most record labels, our artists keep the rights to their music.

Founded by musicians, for musicians.

No major label connections. We are not evil.

Follow me on Twitter: @IanYorston

Just Say 'No' to Record Labels

Wired News

CANNES, France -- Rock veterans Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno are launching a provocative new musicians' alliance that would cut against the industry grain by letting artists sell their music online instead of only through record labels.

With the Internet transforming how people buy and listen to songs, musicians need to act now to claim digital music's future, Gabriel and Eno argued Monday as they handed out a slim red manifesto at a huge deal-making music conference known as Midem.

All this and Apple's GarageBand should be making a few Music execs sweat...

If you own an iMac, you've got your own recording contract... GarageBand to iTunes to iTunes Music Store to consumer.

Follow me on Twitter: @IanYorston