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Musical Instruments of the Future at Swissnex

Ever wished that your cello's bow was bluetooth-enabled? Wondering why your guitar doesn't have a USB out port? Barry Threw and Gil Carnal have been working on issues like these for years and, along with guitarist Mesut Ösgen, will be presenting—and performing—on their modified instruments at an event hosted by Swissnex, "the Swiss knowledge network," next Friday, 10/20 in San Francisco.

Report: Music Pirates Buy More Music

Ars Technica reports that, according to a study conducted by the BI Norwegian School of Management, people who download music from P2P networks actually buy the most music legally, too.

Researchers examined the music downloading habits of more than 1,900 Internet users over the age of 15, and found that illegal music connoisseurs are significantly more likely to purchase music than the average, non-P2P-loving user.

Independent SF-based musician Thao Nguyen on filesharing

I had an opportunity to interview up-and-coming independent artist Thao Nguyen (of Thao with the Get Down Stay Down) for the 2009 Noise Pop Festival a few months ago. During our interview, I asked Thao what she thought about filesharing. She told me a pretty funny story—at least I think it's funny—which I captures the attitude of a lot of artists who realize that album sales are no longer the end-all-be-all measure of success.

Microsoft Zune meltdown

As some of you know, yesterday all first-generation 30 GB Zune music players stopped working at midnight Pacific time. Technology journalist Andy Jordan had a piece on the breakdown on the Wall Street Journal Web site. He invited me to discuss the bigger meaning of the failure.

John Pareles: Songs from the Heart of a Marketing Plan [NYTimes]

My favorite New York Times music critic, John Pareles—who was once caught at a show tracking the setlist by scoring bass lines—wrote a great piece on the way that commercial licensing, particularly 360 deals, will change how music is conceived and written: "But how soon will it be before musicians, perhaps unconsciously, start conceiving songs as potential television spots, or energy jolts during video games, or ringtones?" I'm pasting some highlights below.

LastGraph: Beautiful Timelines of Data

agreatnotion at LastGraph

slotMusic Pre-Loaded SD Cards: The New 8-Track

A friend sent me this today: slotMusic.

Pluses: DRM-free, apparently, and they bundle it with a USB "sleeve" to ensure "seamless interoperability with all computers."

Putting the "Music" Back into MTV

For anyone who's turned on MTV in the last ten years and said "I want my MTV back," there is hope. Sometime in the last few days, without a great deal of fanfare, the network and its parent company Viacom launched MTV Music, a site that gives music fans in the US (sorry!) access to MTV's gigantic archive of music videos, including videos from CMT and VH1.

Rethinking the Album Release: of Montreal's Skeletal Lamping Collection

Running on Copyright Infringement

Jackson Browne filed suit against John McCain, the RNC, and the Ohio National Republican Committee for using "Running on Empty" in an Obama attack ad without the artist's permission. Browne, a liberal, objected to the ad and the Ohio Republicans say they pulled it right away so they don't understand what all the fuss is about. Duh, guys, it's called politics.

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