Music Technology Posts from August, 2007

117 Places to Plug Your Performances

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

I haven’t featured a list in quite a while, so today here’s a rather substantial one – 117 places where you can post your music, descriptions of your music, gig alerts or just general promotional blurbs…

Heavy Metal Not Responsible For Lightning Strikes

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

A 37-year-old man out jogging near Vancouver, Canada suffered a broken jaw, second-degree burns and burst ear drums when his iPod headphones conducted a lightning flash into his head…

Social Music Recommendation Goes Virtual

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

It seems like an obvious progression, but San Francisco’s Doppelganger has created a music-oriented virtual world that takes the music discovery aspects of sites like and combines them with the visual depth of online worlds such as Second Life…

The Rising Tide of Music Distribution

Monday, August 27th, 2007

Slowly but surely, the music industry is beginning to face the inevitable – figuring out how to monetise people’s listening habits without restricting them. Vivendi’s Universal Music is currently testing the sale of DRM-free mp3 downloads (the initial test phase is planned to run from August to January), which follows on from a simiar decision made by EMI earlier this year…

Silly Spectrum Analysis

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

If there is such a thing as a silly spectrum, the following items would certainly be easily detectable on it; however, these devices are actually somewhat unusual ways of analysing and visually representing an audio spectrum…

That’s The Radio On My Song

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Bob Dylan’s oft-quoted complaint that modern recordings “have sound all over them” presumably refers to the overcompression of music as freqently employed by mainstream mastering studios. One myth that has been floating around for somewhat longer is that radio transmission treats highly compressed music more favourably; this is not actually true. But what exactly does the radio do to a song?

Beat Rocking Blocks

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

It seems that moving small bricks about on a luminous table is the current big thing in the world of alternative music performance controllers. This technology was first brought to the (mainstream) public’s attention when Bjork decided to use the ReacTable on her Volta tour, and now Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop has adapted it for their Etiquette installation. This allows anyone to activate and manipulate a variety of sounds by placing rectangular objects (each one representing a particular sound, sample or sequence) on the interface…

Take A Fresh Look At Music

Monday, August 20th, 2007

The advent and development of Web 2.0 brought a huge amount of musical metadata into the public domain, and this in turn sparked off a number of interesting data visualisation projects. I previously posted on Lee Byron’s Last FM listening history chart, but a recent report at Smashing Magazine covers some other sites that take raw data and present it in new and sometimes pulsating ways…

Dead Elvis: 30 Compact Disc: 25

Friday, August 17th, 2007

Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley; today is the 25th anniversary of the birth of the Compact Disc. This quaint old audio format was officially launched when the first CD was pressed by Philips in their factory near Hanover, Germany on August 17th, 1982. For all you trivia buffs out there, the album that was first created in this shiny new ‘indestructible’ format was The Visitors by ABBA…

If you want to know that 200 billion compact discs have been manufactured since that fateful day, then this article over at Wired will provide exactly that, and more disc production details besides. On the other hand, if you would like to learn about the wax body theory and other remarkable shards of concrete evidence proving the demise of Elvis Aaron Presley may have been greatly exaggerated, you can check out this page (for as long as you can tolerate the wallpaper).

Audio Watermark May Be DRM Watershed

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Audio watermarking is the process of encoding information into audio that will uniquely identify that recording. A successful audio watermark must be robust, inaudible and unique – a difficult set of criteria to achieve, but that is exactly what Activated Content have done. Their watermarks are effectively undetectable by ear, remain unaffected by compression or re-recording of the source, and each recording can have its own identifier…