Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Soundcloud: Not Just for Musicians

As I have mentioned before, Soundcloud is a platform not just a file hosting service.  And while it is a huge resource for great underground music it is also becoming a great resource for sound samples and loops for music, film, and games.  There are also great libraries and sounds from independent sound designers and field recordists like Tor Johnson.  He developed a Soundcloud app called New Sound Lab.

New Sound Lab is a web-based, high resolution sound library collection that makes use of the Soundcloud platform.  It also features geo tagging, which utilizes google maps to give you a visual pinpoint of where the sound was recorded.  Tor is providing high quality sound libraries up to 192kHz for use in music, film, games or any other application your creative mind can think of.  

Soundcloud itself can be used like a sound library.  Before you search be sure to click on the "show advanced search options" check box.  This will allow you to narrow your search by allowing you to enter tags/genre terms, whether the original is in an uncompressed format, downloadable, and by it's creative commons license and permissions.  Now you can hit that search button and click play on the first track and Soundcloud will automatically play all of the results and even go to the next page for you.  All you have to do is save your favorites, or download that perfect sound!

Here's my search Tip:  I left the main search field blank and selected one-shot samples from the "track type" drop down menu, downloadable and only creative commons tracks that are free to use commercially.  This returned over 500 results.  You can use tags to narrow it down but it is dependent on how well the uploader tagged the file.

Have Fun Exploring!



Saturday, December 25, 2010

Music Industry Needs To Catch Up

As a fan of music I have listened to it in a variety of ways. The most common way is to download it. Today I embarked on a short journey to find some information on the emergence of digital music as a pivot player in how consumers listen to music.

I decided to read Ed Bott's blog post on about subscription services such as Zune Pass and Napster. This post essentially broke down the costs and features of each of the subscription services. What I found interesting is that some of the comments that people made revealed what we all already know: You can get music without having to pay for a subscription. The way its gotten is very much illegal. In fact one commenter quipped: "people are still pirating, and its free, so why pay for a subscription when you can get it that way?" Obviously this person is very much into piracy of music. Like many people, this guy would rather get tracks free using P2P or torrents.

I currently do not use P2P or torrents to download music though I have in the past. The reason is that I would rather support the artists by buying CDs. Piracy cheats the artist and record labels out of money.

The industry is going through a transitional period presently. It currently has suffered losses since consumers are simply not buying physical albums. Major record labels are trying find ways to effectively monetize the streaming of its artists' music for example. Unfortunately they have to compete with piracy. The music business is set up to make profits off of album sales. Also money is made off live performances and successful tours.

Interestingly, I found out that a not-for-profit organization collects royalties for artists from digital streams. They then disperse this money to artists. In fact they dispersed over $150 million dollars in royalties. The group is called SoundExchange. The LA times blog I read also mentioned that in some cases SoundExchange cannot find artists to cut them the check for royalties.

Seems artists need to do research to find out about the royalties they are missing out on. Even more important, it seems that the industry should spark some innovation that will please music fans and sustain the music industry and spur it back to profitability.

I will be keeping an eye on what the music industry comes up to keep up with technology.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Save The Rave: California Anti-Rave Bill AB 74

AB 74 targets all public events but is definitely targeting electronic music genres which rely heavily on pre-recorded music but other types of music events could also fall into the hole.  I do believe that more can be done at these events to manage safety and security and that is the responsibility of the promoters. A better bill would require the promoters of these events to maintain a higher level of security and emergency response based on venue capacity.  Limiting the time does absolutely nothing to protect anyone if that's what it's really about. 

We will be following this closely!

Check Out Save The Rave

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bill S.3084 - Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act (COICA)

COICA (S.3804) is a bill designed to tackle the issue of online copyright and trademark infringement.  In a nutshell, an "Internet Blacklist" will be created listing sites that are dedicated to infringement. 

Sounds great on the surface but the definition of "dedicated to infringing activities" seems a little vague in the bill and and creates a large gray area. Demand Progress started a petition to fight this bill and was successful in delaying it's passage.  The concern is that websites that are not dedicated to the purpose of infringing on copyrights will also be blacklisted because users may utilize their platform for piracy and activities that do infringe on copyrights and trademarks.  The problem is some of those activities are actually protected by existing laws.  But this bill will create a way for just about anyone to file a complaint with the Department of Justice via public website and therefore bypass the existing procedures and immediately shut a site down.

Here's a breakdown of sites that may be affected and why. 

This Bill seems to be a small part of the big scheme to censor the internet which I believe to be part of eliminating net neutrality which could result in the internet functioning more like cable/satellite or radio where all of the content is censored and controlled by big corporations and we'll end up paying more to receive such content. 

What do you think about COICA?  Is it legit or a back door to censoring all of the internet?
The fight isn't over and it's up to us to make our voices heard!

Visit and Electronic Frontier Foundation to stay updated on this and other issues.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Abbey Road and Soundcloud

Soundcloud is fast becoming the premier music host of choice amongst labels, artists, DJ's, and producers.  The thing that sets Soundcloud apart from the sea of music hosts, is that it's more of a platform than just another place to host your tracks.  People can follow you like on Twitter or Facbook, but instead of asking What are you doing?  The question is, What are you creating?  They are even asking that same question to software developers.

During their "Music Hack Day" events they invite any software developer that wishes to participate to use the Soundcloud API to create new applications, and software.  These events have been so successful that they've added an apps section to their website.  Check it out Here!    

To top it all off they partnered with Abbey Road Studios to create a new online mastering service.  Soundcloud users around the world can now get their their tracks mastered at the same studio where The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and many other world class artists have mastered some of their most notable works.

Currently there is a 20% discount for soundcloud members   

See Video Here