Music Technology

Planning a trip to the U.K ?

Then it’s time to update your laptop’s security.

The Digital Economy Bill enables the British government to fine individuals whose computers have been used to download pirated material in the United Kingdom. And this includes computers that have been hacked.

According to Times Online a dozen people have already been served in regards to this law, which is expected to pass and become active on Wednesday.

This means that travelers to the U.K will need to disable their file sharing software on their laptops and use higher wireless security settings, WPA2, to access the internet in the U.K.

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Guvera Live

Australian music download service Guvera is now online in Australia and the States.

This advertisement funded service allows registered users to stream or download music free (in the Mp3 format) from EMI, Universal and several indie labels.

The American service is in beta mode at the moment and is only giving 100,000 users access until more advertisers can be found.

Here is a Billboard article on this service

Scalpers VS Smart Chips

BBC News reports that Live Nation UK is experimenting with new smart chip technology that would identify ticket purchasers.

This technology, which may make paper tickets obsolete, is embedded in specially manufactured wristbands that are unique and may enable concert goers to purchase food and drink, according to Live Nation UK.

These “digital wristbands” will first be introduced at festivals in the UK but could make their way to concerts in Great Britain if they are successful. And perhaps they will make their way to North America, Ticketmaster and Live Nation having merged in late January in the states, creating Live Nation Entertainment.

There is some concern in regards to the ability to re-sell these wristbands online though, a concern that Ticketmaster would need to address to promote the re-selling of these wristbands via their TicketsNow subsidiary.

Would the editing of the information contained on the chip be difficult, hindering the resale of these wristbands ? Or would these wristbands simply be reissued instead with amended or updated information ?

I guess the pilot project will help answer these questions.

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Live Nation Merchandise

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3D Concerts at Home ?

Samsung has just released their 3D TV televisions and Blu-Ray players in Canada via Bestbuy and Futureshop. And Sony will be releasing 3D televisions in Canada on June 25th via Sony Style Canada.

This technology will not only display 3D images from 3D broadcasts and Blu-Ray discs but will also simulate 3D from normal HDTV broadcasts and Blu-Ray discs, which is good because there aren’t that many 3D concerts and films out there on Blu-Ray yet.

I suspect we will seeing a few IMAX concerts on Blu-Ray soon, including the Rolling Stones, Jonas Brothers and U2 concerts that have been featured at the IMAX theaters, but I’m guessing that wont be seeing many of these releases until the technology becomes a standard, especially from lesser re-known performers.

But I bet Queen Rock Montreal and Live-Aid and Heart: Dreamboat Annie Live would look great in 3D.

Speaking of Queen and U2, “Queen Live In Montreal” will premiere on Treasure HD tonight at 8PM EST and “U2 – Rattle & Hum” will air on that channel on April 30th at 10pm EST.

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New Levy Proposed For Mp3 Players

A new levy for mp3 players and iPods has been proposed in Parliament.

Private Members Bill C-499 would extend the current private copying levy from blank audio cassettes, CD-R, CD-RW and DAT tapes to MP3 Players, including iPods, in order to compensate copyright holders for the distribution of copyrighted material to these devices.

Unfortunately the previous attempt to expand this levy to “digital audio recorders” called for rates up to $75 per device, which would have been passed onto consumers by the manufacturers, and would have resulted in the decimation of the Canadian sales of these devices because Canadian consumers would have imported them to avoid the additional fees.

As a consumer I oppose these levies because I believe I have already paid for the right to distribute recordings that I have purchased online to these devices. And I have also purchased the compact discs from which I make private copies, copies for personal use that are deemed legal since the passing of the Private Copying Act in 1997.

Remuneration is not required from me because I do not download music illegally off the net, yet this levy is based on the assumption that I download recordings off the net illegally simply because I own a device that can be used to store this material.

After all they had assumed that most of the previously levied items were used to make copies of copyrighted material. And this will of course result in further assumptions about film downloads, which will likely result in more levies in the future on DVD-R, DVD-RW and devices on which video can be stored or played back.

We need an equitable, logical remuneration scheme based on the realities of today’s recording industry.

Distribution is no longer limited to a physical medium like vinyl, cassette or compact disc and the consumer should not be paying for a recording every time they copy this recording to a medium when this copying is meant for personal, private use.

Please contact your local Member of Parliament and voice your opinion on this issue as soon as possible.

I will be updating this blog entry as the issue progresses.

New Music File Format ?

A new file format is in the works and may be introduced soon.

MusicDNA enables music producers to add lyrics, video and various other multimedia presentations to music files, that are compatible with the current mp3 players.

The new file format created by BACH Technology premiered at MIDEM 2010 in Cannes but has yet to be adopted by any of the major labels or online music distributors, Universal Music being the only label that has shown interest in the technology. But the new format will be introduced shortly in China according to Digital Music News and BACH Technology is hoping to sign on more clients by the summer, when the format will be officially released.