Music Industry

Oh What A Feeling–The Next Generation

Fans of Canadian music and Canadian History will love this book.

Oh What a Feeling: The Next Generation includes the vast majority of the information found in its 1997 predecessor, which listed the major events of the Canadian music industry chronologically from 1886 to 1995, and extends this history further to 2013.

Additional events from 1886-1995 were added to this version as well as birth and death information, a chronology of Canadian hit songs since 1900 and profiles of the members of the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame since 1978.

This book is available from Amazon.ca and Chapters/Indigo.

Competition For The Pono ?

Another portable high resolution music device has made its way onto Indiegogo and surpassed their crowd-funding goal.

Geek wave promises the highest resolution audio available with a 32 bit/384 kHz plus DSD 128 component whilst being compatible with all music formats.

This music player “uses both a dual core MIPS32 MPU from Microchip Technology and an eight core 500MIPS CPU from XMOS” and features a user accessible lithium ion battery that can be swapped once the battery surpasses its expected two year lifetime.

Four devices are expected to be released in March 2015, ranging from a 160 mW device with 64 GB of internal storage to a 450 mW device with 128 GB of internal storage. And all of these devices have an external SDXC port to extend their storage capabilities by an additional two terabytes.

Incredible !

The Indiegogo campaign for these devices will end in 34 days and individuals can purchase one of the four devices at a significant discount by donating. Additional technical information can be found by clicking here.    

Google Play Music Comes To Canada

Google Play Music is now available to Canadians.

Canadians can now purchase music from this service and store their music library online in a cloud that can be accessed from computers and Android devices. But users of this service will of course be required to confirm their eligibility by using a credit card or debit card and will be required to install software on their computers and Android devices to access their library, Google Play music purchases and Google Play music subscription.

The price of individual track downloads range from $1.29 to $1.50 on this service whilst their music subscription service costs $9.99 per month ($7.99 prior to June 30th, 2014).

The initial set-up is relatively pain free though I suspect some individuals with low upload speeds will find it a bit time consuming.

Basically the Google Play music software scans your library for items Google doesn’t already have in their catalogue to download from your computer for your cloud and if you happen to have a significant number of these recordings the setup process may take some time.

Of the 2700 or so mp3 and iTunes recordings I have in my player ready directory, the directory where I store my very favourite music for easy transfer to my mp3 player, it recognised about 700. And the program didn’t accept a hundred or so DRM protected recordings so the process took about less than an hour using the highest bandwidth setting.

This means that people with a low upload rate will need to give the program time to download their recordings. But they shouldn’t have a problem doing something else while this happens in the background on a four core computer. And I listen to obscure French recordings so this can account for a large portion of the recordings that were not recognised.

I should also note that most of my recordings have a bit rate of 320 and the average mp3 has a considerably lower rate of 192 or 256. Google Play will likely recognise more of those 192 or 256 bit rate recordings and take less time to download the remaining lower rate recordings. 

Errors in cataloguing were rare in my case. I had issues with a David Foster recording and a duplicate entry for Bjork’s catalogue, both of which included characters that were replaced with Asian fonts. But the rest of my library appears fine. And like on iTunes purchases are automatically added to the cloud when purchased on Google Play.

I will of course be testing the Android software on my tablet over the next few days and posting an entry if I encounter any issues.

Bill S-4 – (The not quite) Digital Privacy Act ?

I had originally wanted to wait until the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released a report on Bill S-4 before commenting but decided that I should just go ahead and post something about this senate bill.

This bill was proposed to help in the cases of security breaches, to help control identity theft. But unfortunately it may also cause individuals to have their information given to third parties without their consent or knowledge.

“an organization may disclose personal information without the knowledge or consent of the individual if

(a) the disclosure is made to the other organization, the government institution or the part of a government institution that was notified of the breach under subsection (1); and

(b) the disclosure is made solely for the purposes of reducing the risk of harm to the individual that could result from the breach or mitigating that harm.” – Bill S-4, Section 10.2 (3)

Furthermore warrants may not be required under Bill C-13 and the costs associated to the infrastructure required to keep records of your online activities would be passed onto either consumers and/or taxpayers.

Are to believe this bill is meant to improve our situation ? We would be paying more for internet and give more private information to a government that was just hacked because of the Heartbeat Bug.

I think this bill needs to be re-written. And if you do too I think you should sign the Open Media petition on Privacy.

Thank you.

Free Television Online ? Tou.tv Update.

Francophone service Tou.tv has decided to offer extra content to their subscriber. But again it appears that some people will get this content free and some people will need to pay $6.99 per month for the service.

Now rebranded as ici.tou.tv, the Radio-Canada affiliate will offer their extra content free to Telus and Rogers subscribers but this commercial free content will only be available as a subscription to everyone else.

Personally I used the service to catch up on Radio-Canada Television programs La Facture, L’épicerie, Découverte and La Semaine Verte whenever I missed an episode of these series. But now I don’t know if the service will remain accessible on my Smart TV, as is, or if it will only be able to access a few episodes because I am not on Telus or Rogers.

The site is currently in beta so details are light. But it appears that users might already be limited to one or two seasons worth of episodes online.

I have checked the recordings for the aforementioned series and they appear to be limited to the most recent season, which is acceptable. But hopefully they are not considering further cuts to the free content.

I have noticed that they have added quite a few Pierre Richard films so I’m a bit tempted to take advantage of their $3.49 offer, which is valid for three months. And I’m sure if they were to offer more films from TV5, TFO and Telé Québec I would possibly consider subscribing. But I’m guessing they will take some time to get the site up and running at full speed.

Pono Music – A Week Later

It’s been a week and the response to Neil Young’s Pono Kickstarter project has been incredible.

They have now surpassed US$4 Million when their original goal was US$800,000. And many of their first Pono players have already sold out.

The official Pono Music site has been updated with a special video from Neil Young along with additional information on the player and music service.

By the way, a second VIP Dinner and Listening Party with Neil Young has been added to the project. This event will again happen in New York.